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Archive 2013 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I'm thinking of this as my next lens... anyone care to post some samples? I know there will be some in the manual focus thread, but I'm not about to dig through 3000+ pages!!

how does it compare to the AF-D version?

Seeing as I still shoot a lot of film, with my FM2/FE and F5 I want to maintain the ability to use the aperture ring... so the G is out, besides, I have a bit of a fetish for the Ai-s lenses!! Is it the same optical formula as the D?


Oct 07, 2013 at 08:24 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

Don't have one but there was a period when the 85mm was the bees knees in the MF thread

Sometimes site specific searching helps. Sometimes. Plug this in google:
site :http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/929565/ "85mm" -1.8

Oct 07, 2013 at 08:51 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I love my 85mm 1.4 AIS here's a couple using it on the D600



Oct 07, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Jorge Torralba
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

here are a few more.

It is difficult to work with but when good, it rocks!





Oct 07, 2013 at 04:28 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

The AIS version is an excellent lens. I wrote a short article about it:
Be aware that focusing is not that easy, but the results are very good.

A few more test pics:

85 1.4 Brussels street photography 6 by gugs, on Flickr
100% crop

85 1.4 Brussels street photography 8 by gugs, on Flickr

85 1.4 Brussels street photography 2 by gugs, on Flickr

F5 Velvia 5 by gugs, on Flickr


Oct 07, 2013 at 05:23 PM

Search in Used Dept. 


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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I like a lot this lens, but due to its weight I have used more the 85mm f/1.8 in my trips lately.

Some samples:

Wide open:

Playing with Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS bokeh, wide open by labecoaves, on Flickr

D7000 + 85mm f/1.4 ais at MFD (85cm) wide open, ISO 500, 1/1000s, spot metering. ~15% crop.

Bokeh playing with Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS by labecoaves, on Flickr

Playing around with the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AI-S + Vivitar 12mm tube at minimum focus distance (51 cm).
D7000 + Vivitar 12mm tube + 85mm f/1.4 AIS hand held, ISO 100, f/2 at 1/3200s, ~20% crop.

Cityscape with Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS at early night by labecoaves, on Flickr

Early night cityscape test with the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS.
D3 + tripod, ISO 200, f/8, 25s.

Bokeh at f/2 - Guess which is the lens (85mm/1.4 ais or 85mm/1.8K aid)? by labecoaves, on Flickr

Bokeh at f/2 of Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 ais
D7000 at ISO 100, hand held.
Just to compare bokeh at f/2 with Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 K.
This lens has a little bit smoother bokeh, but for me both lenses are sharp and a joy to use.

Detail of assassin bug preying on a fly by labecoaves, on Flickr

Assassin bug (family Reduviidae, genus Apiomerus) preying on a fly which was on a Maned Wolf faeces.
D600 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS handheld, ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/800s. This is a 50% crop of na already DX crop mode of the D600. A testament to the lens sharpness.

Oct 09, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I see some AFD lenses going for not much over the AIS version. I see no point in getting the AIS version because of that reason alone.

Since I don't have the AIS I can't testify as to the IQ differences (if any) between the two. However, I can vouch for the manual focus ring on the AFD being quite smooth making it easy to focus manually, should you choose to do so. I do use manual focus glass about 60% of the time that I shoot.

Oct 09, 2013 at 04:31 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I have both, and think the 85mm f1.4 AFD is sharper wide open. I have gotten some very nice photos with the AIS lens, but they were not wide open. As some have said that might be in part to focusing accurately with newer digital cameras, versus the older split screen designed for manual focus. I have a brief test on my blog (which will be going away soon).


It compares the 85mm f1.4 AIS to the 85mm f1.8 AFD which is what I owned until recently. I have not compared the 85mm f1.4 AFD side by side to the AIS lens, but I know that the 85mm f1.4 AFD is sharper wide open than my f1.8 AFD that I sold. I would say that the 85mm f1.8 AFD is identical in sharpness at f2.0 with the AIS lens, but the AIS lens has better bokeh.

Oct 11, 2013 at 02:51 PM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 85mm f1.4 Ai-s?

I had a LNIB 85/1.4 AI-s that I sold here earlier this year. It was by far the best handling lens I've ever used. Smooth as silk and beautiful to just look at, but I just had a difficult time finding anything to shoot with it. I don't take very much static photos, so I sold it off after only a few weeks with it. Now looking to get a 1.4G since I loved that focal length, but need AF.

Good luck with your search. Like I said, the AI-s is one of the best if you can handle MF.

BTW, I do agree with what most say about the sharpness. I didn't really like the 1.4 rendering. Too soft for me and preferred shooting it at f/2. I used to own a 85/1.4D and it had much better rendering at f/1.4 than the AI-s version.

Jun 27, 2014 at 05:13 PM

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