Nikon 85mm f/1.8G vs Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
Let’s take a look at how the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G compares to its big brother, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G:
As you can see, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G looks very good in the center, outperforming its big brother. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G starts out stronger in the corners, but suffers there when stopped down due to field curvature. Stopped down, both lenses do really well, but the larger and the heavier 85mm f/1.4G shows superior corner performance.
The lenses differ in their distortion characteristics. Imatest measured very slight barrel distortion of approximately 0.46% on the 85mm f/1.4G, whereas the 85mm f/1.8G showed pincushion distortion of 0.47%. Vignetting is a bit stronger on the 85mm f/1.4G, whereas the 85mm f/1.8G is better in handling lateral chromatic aberration. Bokeh-wise, both have their leads at different apertures, although the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G can render bigger and smoother bokeh wide open at the same distance, thanks to its larger aperture. AF speed and accuracy is better on the 85mm f/1.8G in my experience.
Overall, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G proves to be a superb alternative to the 85mm f/1.4G. While the latter is more than three times more expensive, it is surely not three times better from the technical standpoint.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G vs Nikon 105mm f/1.4E
It is a bit unfair to compare the older and the much cheaper 85mm f/1.8G to Nikon’s marvel, the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E. These lenses differ significantly on many levels – from focal length and weight, to size and price. However, the 105mm f/1.4E is a popular choice among portrait photographers, so let’s take a look and see how the 85mm f/1.8G compares anyway:
You can see how different the two lenses appear even at the widest apertures. The Nikon 105mm f/1.4E is an insanely sharp lens, something that can out-resolve most other modern Nikkor primes. It reaches very impressive resolution numbers across the frame and when stopped down to f/2.8, there is simply no room to compete for the 85mm f/1.8G. That’s something expected though, as the 105mm f/1.4E is a very different class lens…
Table of Contents