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Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G vs. Canon 85 1.2L II USM (both on a Canon 5D MkII)

Top portrait lens head-to-head pixel-peeping action.


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Aspects compared:

* Far distance corner sharpness

* Far distance center sharpness

* Bokeh (general and highlights)

* Close distance center sharpness, rear and front bokeh

* Close distance corner sharpness, rear and front bokeh

* Relative illumination between the two lenses and vignetting at close-up and infinity


Conclusions: They're both great lenses and neither of them will disappoint in terms of image quality. The final decision comes down to f/1.2 vs. f/1.4 (speed, DOF, weight, cost, etc. differences). As cons, keep in mind that the 85L is a focus-by-wire lens which makes it tricky to get used to when manual focusing because it's very sensitive to slight movements of the focusing ring. The 85G feels very cheap and plasticky in comparison. While holding it in one hand, use the other hand and just tap the side of the lens with the tip of a finger and you'll feel vibrations going all over the lens. Not sure if I'd get this lens as a long-term investment but it'll make great photos while you have it.


Please leave comments if you have any questions or if you found this useful.


Special thanks to Camera Action Camera House.


My other tests:

Nikon 24 1.4G vs. Canon 24 1.4L II (both on a 5D Mk II)

Sharpness - Canon 300 2.8 IS vs. Nikon 300 2.8 VR

Bokeh - Canon 300 2.8 IS vs. Nikon 300 2.8 VR vs. Sigma 120-300 2.8

Two-Point Noise Comparison - 1Ds MkIII vs. D3 vs. a900

Reach - Full frame + TC vs. APS-C

Canon 24 1.4LII (5D Mk II) vs. Sony E-16mm f/2.8 (Nex-5)


See my other technical articles:

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Taken on October 7, 2010