Lazy Weekend With the 85mm 1.4
Nikon D700 | Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D
Started last weekend right with a trip to the cafe. Whoops, two posts in a row that show pictures of the same exact place! Shows you how often I go out for coffee I guess.
Since I’m shooting a wedding pretty soon, I decided to ask a favor of my cousin Josh, a New York based photographer. He was kind enough to ship some key gear out to me, including his most cherished Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D. That’s love right there.
Normally I take my E-PL2 with me for weekend errand running, but I was eager to give this 85mm a try, so along it came to Blue Bottle.
Ok, first off, I’m not used to this focal length. My mind’s eye tends to see wider, between my favorite 24mm through around 50mm. When I use my 24mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.4, for instance, I can compose at either focal length in my head before I even raise the camera to my eye. I can even “see” 200mm in my head, since that’s my other frequently used focal length. When I first started shooting with the 85, however, I kept expecting it to be wider than it is. I’d raise it to my eye and always find myself to be too close to my subject, cutting off areas I wanted to have in the frame (the top photo is an example), so I found myself taking a few steps back every time I raised the camera to my eye. Felt goofy and pretty awkward at first, hah.
It’s that guy again with the hat and the book stand! He must come here every day or something….
I can see why many dub this lens the “cream machine.” At f/1.4, wherever you put your focus point comes out sharp as anything, with everything behind it liquefying into some mighty attractive-looking bokeh. If I ever decide to buy this lens for myself, I’ll leave it at f/1.4 every time.
It’s a great lens for portraits…..of your friends making silly faces. Sorry Dez 😉
Taking a walk with Suki, I was again having a weird time with the 85. I’m used to getting in close with wider glass when shooting her, so again I found myself raising the camera up, oops, taking a few steps back, composing again.
This thing excels out on the street. Color, contrast, sharpness…the last thing you need to worry about with this optic is whether or not it performs well.
This lens is a legend. If you think you want one, go for it! As for me, I’m not sure I need to own one right now, since I can just borrow it (heh heh). Thank you Josh…sorry in advance if I delay a little in sending it back 😉
Nikon D700 + Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D