The real voyage of discovery is not seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes. (Proust)
The Nikon 85mm f1.4G lens
is --as reported by virtually every reviewer-- a fully professional piece of glass. It is solid, serious, and
weighty, well-balanced on a D3x, and cradles naturally as into an
extension of the left hand. This is important if you are going to spend
several hours roaming an acre or two of lawn and party, stalking young
children, quiet couples, and older adults.It is not as heavy, or seemingly as fragile, as my old favorite for portraiture, Canonís 85mm f1.2.It is more inviting to hold than its predecessor, the older Nikon 85 1.4D. The
only flaw in the Nikonís design seems that the tiny switch that turns
off the autofocus function is easy to trigger inadvertently, which
caused a momentary panic when a perfect shot presented itself.But manual focus is quick and easy. Got the shot anyway.The
autofocus on the lens seems slow in comparison with smaller aperture
landscape lenses like the 16-35mm f4, or 24-70 f2.8. But the 85mm is
moving much more glass, and it is quick enough and completely silent.
Importantly, it seems to know what needs to be sharp.Never once did it autofocus on a nose. It went straight for the eye.Bokeh? At 1.4 to 2.8, superb. Backgrounds melted into creamy, buttery, non-distracting softness. Beyond that, not much different than other lenses. Sharpness? In the center, extreme.Edge-to-edge? That remains for an actual landscape, or perhaps the famous brick wall shot.
Overall, a great lens for events and weddings. For landscapes, maybe not, although its sharpness and reputed edge-to-edge sharpness should make it a useful landscape lens--despite a landscape-awkward focal length. I'll be looking for the outcrop or maybe fossil that I want to bring into shsarp focus, and let the rest of the world melt away.