Author Topic: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K  (Read 4375 times)

Steven P.

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2018, 18:01:03 »
Thanks for the link & discussion of an old classic. I happen to own the 1969-1971, H with a factory conversion, Ai ring. I bought it many years ago at a camera show for small money. While the glass is near perfect, the knurl on the focus ring is gone and the mount is severely worn.

Mounted on all previous Nikon bodies there was a loose slop that shifted the lens when clicking a shot. The only mount that seemed a match/transplant was from my old Ai'd 50/1.4, & that is still useful with issues. (The 50's mount is tight but the lens' aperture tab gets slammed too hard & I get camera shake.)

Fortunately, the 85/1.8 with my "new" D800, I got a winner. It serves quite well as a short portrait lens.

I may have a question on the latter sometime soon.

Steven P.

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2018, 18:06:41 »
I goofed 8)

John Geerts

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2018, 19:13:38 »
The Nikon 4T Close up lens and the 85/2 work good together.  (The 4T and the 85/1.8K is not a very good match)

Crocus at f/2

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2018, 19:46:44 »
I think I have one of those close up lens buried somewhere... Must find what diameter it is  :o
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2018, 21:11:50 »
It is striking that Nikon  stopped production of  the 85/1.8 K, and introduced the 85/2 Ai.   An introduction of a lens which seems not better than the previous one.   The above comparision is clear I think. 

Can commercial motives play a role here as a few years later the 85/1.4 was introduced? 
According to some sources, the 85/2 was designed as a portrait lens so was intentionally designed with low contrast (at wide apertures at least). Maybe coatings were changed to make it a better general purpose lens, as I don't have the impression that the colours and contrast of my AIS 85/2 are inferior to my 105/2.5 or 135/2.8.

I don't think Nikon purposely downgraded the 85/2 to make way for the 85/1.4, although it is interesting to note the the styling of the AIS 85/1.4 is very much like a fatter version of the K 85/1.8. The 85/2 was introduced in early 1977 at the start of the AI era, while the AIS 85/1.4 didn't appear until 4 years later, which is too much of a time lag. Even if the 85/1.4 was already in development in 1977 it would have only been the very early stages.

During the early-mid 1970s many of the older lens designs from the 1960s were replaced with new designs which were much more compact (a trend which is sadly lacking these days). To achieve the goal of a more compact design, some lenses such as the 85/1.8 and Nikkor-UD 20/3.5 lost some speed in the process. This may give the impression the new model is inferior but I think the main goal was to make the lens smaller.

John Geerts

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2018, 21:34:41 »
The headlights of the car are on in the first photo, indicating that the time of day was close to darkness.  Not so with the second photo, which appears to have been taken at an earlier time of the day and/or under better lighting conditions.
Same conditions. The time difference is one minute, cloudy.  12:51:16  and 12:52:25  both PM
First file   85mm/f2   ISO 100   1/2506 S     Second file  85mm f/1.8  ISO 100  1/3205 S

John Geerts

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2018, 21:38:00 »
According to some sources, the 85/2 was designed as a portrait lens so was intentionally designed with low contrast (at wide apertures at least). Maybe coatings were changed to make it a better general purpose lens, as I don't have the impression that the colours and contrast of my AIS 85/2 are inferior to my 105/2.5 or 135/2.8.

I don't think Nikon purposely downgraded the 85/2 to make way for the 85/1.4, although it is interesting to note the the styling of the AIS 85/1.4 is very much like a fatter version of the K 85/1.8. The 85/2 was introduced in early 1977 at the start of the AI era, while the AIS 85/1.4 didn't appear until 4 years later, which is too much of a time lag. Even if the 85/1.4 was already in development in 1977 it would have only been the very early stages.

During the early-mid 1970s many of the older lens designs from the 1960s were replaced with new designs which were much more compact (a trend which is sadly lacking these days). To achieve the goal of a more compact design, some lenses such as the 85/1.8 and Nikkor-UD 20/3.5 lost some speed in the process. This may give the impression the new model is inferior but I think the main goal was to make the lens smaller.
Interesting.  Thanks for the additions, Roland.  I guess the whole Series E  was also size-driven.? 

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 22:48:25 »
Interesting.  Thanks for the additions, Roland.  I guess the whole Series E  was also size-driven.?

Series E was cost driven which usually translates into making things smaller and more lightly built, or using less expensive materials and manufacturing processes.

John Geerts

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2018, 23:49:20 »
Thanks Jack.  Yes. of course.



The 85/1.8 K version

Erik Lund

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2018, 16:13:57 »
Series E was cost driven which usually translates into making things smaller and more lightly built, or using less expensive materials and manufacturing processes.
Plastic parts are used extensively,,,


Strangely the internal design apears unnecessarily complex,,,
Erik Lund

Fons Baerken

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2018, 16:55:12 »
1

Df, 85mm f/1.8H@f/1.8

2

Df, 85mm f/2 @f2

John Geerts

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2018, 17:13:58 »
Thanks for your comparison.  For me it confirms that the 85/2 works better with the close up lenses 3T and 4T, sharper central and more control over DOF.

Gil Aegerter

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2018, 17:38:38 »
My first Nikkor lens was an 85mm f1.8 K, bought in 1979. I still have it. Over the years it got used a lot, but in the early 90s I got some sand in it and set it aside to clean and never came back to it. Last summer I decided to dismantle and clean it, and now it works pretty well on my D5200. Here's a shot on film with my old F2 back in the 90s.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2018, 00:14:01 »
The 85/2.0 AI and AIS may trade some image sharpness at portrait distance for more pleasing bokeh in common with the 105/2.5 AI and AIS.

Regarding 85/2.0 AI and AIS...

"performance declines considerably at wide stops near minimum focus (both conditions together), otherwise this lens is excellent even wide open" --David Ruther


The underline is mine.

Regarding 105/2.5 K type (Xenotar)...

"(large rear element [late non-AI with black front]), performance declines at wide stops near minimum focus (both conditions together), otherwise this lens is excellent even wide open --David Ruther


I used David's lens evaluations before finding Bjørn's. David says the same about the 105/2.5 AI and AIS as well as the 135/2.8 AI and AIS. Nikkor - The Thousand and One Nights says the same about the 105/2.5 AI (Xenotar version). This would indicate a design feature.

At a portrait distance I can say the 85/1.4 AIS eats the 85/2.0 AIS' lunch as does the 105/2.5 AI and AIS from f/2.0 to f/5.6 after which they are the same in sharpness. My 85/1.4 is in the league with my 105/2.5 AIS. The 85/1.4 may be ahead by a nose, too close to call.

Near minimum focus if maximum sharpness is desired from the 85/2.0, 105/2.5 and probably the 135/2.8 all in AI or AIS try f/5.6.

Dave Hartman
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Re: Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI and 85mm f/1.8 K
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2018, 10:12:12 »


bokeh shot from the 85mm f/1.8K