Review Nikon 85 mm 1.4G with Nikon D7100
This time, we reviewed the Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G on a Nikon D7100. This combination has a field of view that corresponds with the field of view of a 135 mm lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor. It used to be that this was a very popular focal distance as a short telephoto lens, but with a lower brightness than this Nikon f/1.4 lens. Today, for vacation, landscape, bridal or street photography, we choose a zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. But advanced photographers know the value of the fixed focal distance lenses. In our previous review, we were very pleased with the image quality of the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G. How would the Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G compare to its less expensive little brother?
Review Nikon 85 mm 1.4G @ Nikon D7100
Construction and auto focus
The Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G is delivered including a soft lens bag and is a professional telephoto lens with a large aperture, designed for use with Nikon's FX SLR cameras. On the D7100, it becomes a short telephoto lens, which is good for use in street photography, nature photography or portrait photography. Given the high brightness, concert photography, available light and night photography are also obvious choices. With a weight of nearly 600 grams and a filter size of 77 mm, this is not a small, light lens. It has a completely renovated optical construction (10 elements in 9 groups) with respect to its predecessor.
Because this lens is designed for use on a camera with a full-frame sensor, the vignetting is already low starting at full aperture. After stopping down 1 stop, you can even say that vignetting is completely absent.
Most short telephoto lenses show little distortion. If you use a telephoto lens that is designed for use on an FX sensor on a camera with a DX sensor, then the distortion is even lower. Distortion is usually most present at the edges of the image.
On a Nikon D7100, you never have trouble with distortion when you use the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, however demanding the subject—think about architecture—may be.
Nano Crystal Coat, according to the specifications, reduces ghosts and light spots. And that is clearly the case. Nikon puts really puts forth a great performance on this point. Many bright lenses are sensitive to flare from backlighting, but even when you photograph directly into a bright light source, the Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G has remarkably little trouble with it. You would almost think that the included sun cap is more for protecting the front lens than for protecting against backlighting.
Sharpness Nikon 85 mm 1.4G
At full aperture, the image is clearly less sharp than the Nikon 85 mm f/1.8G, although the comparison of f/1.4 with f/1.8 is not entirely fair. But even at f/2.8, the less expensive version beats out the f/1.4G. At f/4 through f/8, this lens puts forth an absolute top performance and is then even better than the 85 mm f/1.8G: sharp from center to corner. Only at f/11 does the sharpness drop off as a result of diffraction. That will also be the reason that the smallest aperture is limited by Nikon to f/16. Even a Nikon is subject to physics.
Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G + Nikon D4s @ f/1.4
Chromatic aberration Nikon 85 mm 1.4G
|Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G + Nikon D4s @ f/1.4
With a sophisticated lens design, lateral chromatic aberration is nicely limited, as can be seen in the unedited RAW files. Nikon cameras automatically correct lateral chromatic aberration in jpg files, so you won't have problems with red and blue edges at sharp contrast transitions in the corners.
It's rather different with—no big surprise for photographers accustomed to working with very bright (<f/2) lenses—longitudinal chromatic aberration. In some shots, as in the practice shot above, you do see green and purple edges at sharp contrast transitions. Longitudinal chromatic aberration can occur throughout the image. There are very few bright lenses that don't have trouble with it.
Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G + Nikon D4s @ f/1.4 & f/5.6 (mouse over)
The aperture of the Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G, with nine rounded lamellae, produces soft, pleasant background sharpness. The bokeh at f/1.4 is visibly softer than with the Nikon 85 mm f/1.8. That's an important reason why some photographers are so devoted to f/1.4 lenses. It makes your pictures distinctive. Even at smaller apertures, f/2.8-f/4, the difference in bokeh between the lenses is clearly visible.
|Click on the link in the table below for a comparison of the bokeh of the two Nikons (at full-frame) by Matt Granger.
Conclusion Review Nikon 85 mm 1.4G with Nikon D7100
Look in our list of reviewed lenses to compare the performance of this lens with other lenses.
WYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you store the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".