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LENS: D800 + AF-S 85/1.4G

The reader is strongly advised to read the lens evaluation notes.

Quick summary

The Nikon AF-S 85mm ƒ/1.4G is a high performance short telephoto offering a flat field (absolutely minimal field curvature) with consistent contrast and sharpness across the frame, even into the far corners.

In short, the 85/1.4G is an excellent performer that could be criticized only perhaps in being a bit low in micro contrast, but that is quite an acceptable tradeoff for the remarkably consistent performance corner to corner.

Image quality at ƒ/1.4 shows modest sharpness and contrast overall, with some veiling haze due to apparent axial chromatic aberration (speculation).. Stopping down to ƒ/2 bumps up contrast nicely, and by ƒ/2.8 most areas are nearing peak performance, with ƒ/4 - ƒ/5.6 offering peak performance.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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