After about two years of wanting this lens, I finally went out and bought myself one.
I got quite a good offer from my usual photo store and, after one day of waiting, received it yesterday. In the evening I didn’t feel much like going out, so after breakfast today I went for a quick photo-walk around the city.
The first thing I noticed was the immense size and weight of this lens. I often have my 50mm lens on my D3s, and it fits nicely into my Dharma bag; with the 85mm, not so much. And it makes the already heavy camera quite a lot heavier; that was a bit of a surprise.
Another significant difference compared with the 50mm 1.4G is that you have to keep more distance from your subject… I know this is obvious, but I seem to be too used to the 50mm. I found myself stepping back from the subject of my photo quite often. After getting over this, I started to enjoy the fast auto-focus and sharpness of the lens.
Even at an aperture of 1.4, the vignetting is very subtle, especially compared with the 50mm. I don’t think I have ever seen a nicer bokeh on any of my lenses… actually, I would love to test the 85mm against the Nikkor 200mm f2 in terms of sharpness and bokeh. The 85mm just feels so much more sophisticated than the 50mm: so creamy, yet clear and sharp. That sounds slightly confusing, I know, but make sure you give it a try at some point.
If I could take only two lenses with me on any trip, no matter how long, right now I would choose the 85mm and my 24–70mm. It would certainly make a great combo, regardless of the size and weight of the lenses.
I am really looking forward to using the 85mm in the studio, shooting some portraits and beauty setups.
The price is certainly not low, but after using it for a day I can at least say that it’s worth every cent: well built, amazing picture quality and, as far as looks go with camera lenses, it tickles the right spots. I’m still surprised how different this lens feels from any of my other lenses.
I will follow up on this post, probably after I get back from my trip to the US.
have a good one,