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I am stuck, undecided about my 85mm and 35mm on Canon and Nikon...but mostly stuck on the 85mm right now. The question I am trying to answer for myself is, is Nikon's 85 f/1.4g fringing and bokeh similar to their 85 f/1.8g (which I consider subjectively inferior to the Canon 85L)?
Yesterday I just brought my Canon stuff for a 3-hour prewedding shoot. 85L performed well overall through the day. I used it around f/1.6 a lot. contrast lines/edges have a very faint pink/purple glow, I expect that. It's not bright and it's not that big, but it's there. It is fairly easy to remove in post or just ignore altogether.
I remember consistently I have felt that the 85 f/1.8g produces a bokeh that I don't like. I have always wondered if it is just a subjective, ignorant bias making me want to dislike the Nikon. However, I have never really directly compared it to the 85L at similar apertures...until tonight.
In an informal comparison, the difference in highlights is, IMO, extremely noticeable when both are at f/1.8. The 85L's highlights are much wider and more round overall at f/1.8. Now, if I stop down the 85g, of course the highlights will change a bit and probably become more round...but they will still be smaller than I would like to be able to produce with 85mm, and the background will be even less blurred.
Nikon 85 f/1.8g vs Canon 85 f/1.2L II both at f/1.8:
Notice that the highlights aren't the only things being rendered differently: The shadows and other details definitely seem like a "bigger" bokeh on the Canon image (left) while also possibly showing more angular lines within the bokeh. The result seems to be more out-of-focus, more blurred backgrounds with the 85L.
But maybe I'm imagining that...a lot of it is still subjective. The highlight size and shape differences, however, are not subjective.
Another thing that I am not sure about yet but I suspect is that the Nikon 85 f/1.8g is very slightly actual focal length than the Canon 85L II. Somehow I feel that I have to get ever so slightly farther away when shooting with the Nikon...but I'm not really sure.
Now, onto the question...For those who have experience with 85mm f/1.8, f/1.2, f/1.4 lenses...have you noticed or tested the Nikon 85mm f/1.4g against Nikon f/1.8g OR Canon 85L to see the bokeh comparisons? Is the difference between Nikon 85 f/1.4g and Canon 85 f/1.2 much smaller than the difference between Canon 85 f/1.2 and Nikon 85 f/1.8g at similar apertures? If I like 85L bokeh but dislike Nikon 85 f/1.8g bokeh, is it likely that I also won't care for Nikon 85 f/1.4g bokeh?