Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
Here is how the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S compares to the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G sharpness-wise:
As you can see, the Z mount version is significantly sharper in every way. It starts out sharper at the maximum aperture, even in the corners, and gets insanely sharp at f/2.8 – something the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G simply cannot compete with. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G gets really good at f/4, but it simply cannot be compared to the Z mount version. The big difference is also in the corner performance when stopped down. Note those differences at f/5.6.
Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
What about the cream machine, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G? We know it is not a super sharp lens, but how bad does it look in comparison?
As expected, the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S is insanely sharper in comparison to its big brother. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G cannot keep up at any aperture in the center frame. Where the two lenses match, is in the corner performance when stopped down. This is where both yield very similar results at f/5.6.
Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon 105mm f/1.4E
Lastly, what about the new Nikon 105mm f/1.4E? We know this lens is an optical marvel, so let’s see how it compares to the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S:
This is a much tighter race. The Nikon 105mm f/1.4E outperforms the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 at f/1.8 and f/2, but once stopped down to f/2.8, the latter provides slightly superior center performance. Still, the Nikon 105mm f/1.4 is very impressive here, showing better corners. At the stopped down aperture of f/5.6, the Z mount lens is sharper in the center frame, but loses in the corners.
Overall, the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S is an insanely sharp lens with stellar optics. It certainly sets a new standard of performance for Nikon’s line of 85mm lenses. I am anxious to see how it does when compared to the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art, as well as the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lenses, which I am planning to test next.
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