Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G

7 September 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G was based on RAW files from the Nikon D3x. The measurement errors ranged from 0.2 to 0.9 lpmm.

It’s worth reminding here that in the case of tests conducted on the D3x, an area close to 30 lpmm is considered to be the decency level . The best fixed-focal lenses by f/4.0 and f/5.6 apertures can reach near 46-47 lpmm.

Now let’s check the tested Nikkor’s results. Its resolution was measured in the frame centre, on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor and on the edge of full frame.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G - Image resolution

At the maximum relative aperture the lens got exactly 30 lpmm. We can say by f/1.4 it is fully useful. Only the Canon 85L and the cheap Samyang 1.4/85 have accomplished such a feat so far. The advantage of the Canon lens, an instrument both faster and more expensive, becomes clearly visible by f/2.0, where it exceeds the 40 lpmm level, whereas the Nikkor just reaches 33 lpmm. That result is not weak at all because the Sony/Zeiss 1.4/85, the Minolta 1.4/85 or exactly the Samyang fared very similarly here. From f/2.8 the Nikkor starts showing its advantage over the last three lenses although still it is worse than the Canon. On stopping down to f/4.0 and f/5.6 we don’t get record-breaking results but the values at the level of 44 lpmm are really high and they guarantee an excellent image quality.

From a „prime” lens with such parameters you can hardly demand anything more. You get everything you should – fully useful images at the maximum aperture and very sharp photos on stopping down.

The performance on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor and, above all, on the edge of full frame makes the Nikkor an expert in this area. Even at the maximum relative aperture the image is already on the borderline of usefulness across the whole frame and the lens exceeds it without any problems on stopping down the aperture by 1 EV. Here the Nikkor prevails significantly over the expensive Canon L-series which reaches full usefulness on the very edge of full frame only by f/4.0. A round of applause for the Nikon.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G - Image resolution