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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G

10 March 2012
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

In the case of small sensors the vignetting of classic 85 mm devices is not a serious problem. It is confirmed by both photos from the Nikon D200 and the appropriate measurements. At the maximum relative aperture the brightness loss in the corners amounts to 26% (-0.86 EV) and it decreases to the level of 20% (-0.64 EV) by f/2.0. The vignetting becomes quite imperceptible by f/2.8, where it is just 6%.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G  - Vignetting


The results of the new Nikkor are, within the margin of error, comparable to those of the Canon EF 85 mm f/1.8 USM. What’s interesting they are noticeably worse than those of the older version of the Nikkor 1.8/85D. The older lens, although physically smaller, had less elements and came without an autofocus motor so, perhaps, there was more space of the optics inside.

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The comparison of values got by several 85 mm devices on small APS-C/DX sensors is presented in a chart posted below.


Nikkor
AF-S 1.8/85G
Nikkor
AF 1.8/85D
Canon
1.8/85
Samyang
1.4/85
Zeiss
1.4/85
f/1.4–1.8
26%
15%
24%
25%
21%
f/2.0
20%
11%
20%
9%
8%
f/2.8
6%
3%
7%
2%
2%


Vignetting on full frame is quite a different story – the photos from the Nikon D3x, presented below, show it very clearly.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G  - Vignetting


By f/1.8 and f/2.0 apertures it would be difficult not to notice the vignetting as it amounts to 43% (−1.64 EV) and 37% (−1.32 EV) respectively. A significant decrease of that aberration can be seen by f/2.8, where the light fall-off in the frame corners decreases to a not very bothersome value of 18% (-0.57 EV). The vignetting becomes imperceptible by f/4.0, where it reaches just 10%.

The comparison to other lenses is presented in a chart below. You can notice that on full frame the Nikkor presents itself a bit better than the rival Canon. What’s interesting it fares very well when compared to its sibling - the more expensive Nikkor 1.4/85G.


Nikkor
AF-S 1.8/85G
Nikkor
AF-S 1.4/85
Canon
1.8/85
Samyang
1.4/85
Zeiss
1.4/85
f/1.4–1.8
43%
48%
47%
38%
41%
f/2.0
37%
35%
41%
22%
22%
f/2.8
18%
16%
21%
13%
7%
f/4.0
10%
5%
14%
8%
5%


Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G  - Vignetting