Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aqstik Soul with the Nikkor 85mm f1.8G ...

Semi Leo
A chance to see Aqstik Soul at Newmarket's Cock 'n Bull was not to be missed.  Especially as I had a lovely new 85mm f1.8G lens from Nikon to try out.

I'd used the 85mm f1.4G some time ago and was quite delighted with it.  Very fast to focus and really quite sharp even when wide open.  Often, when shooting the bands and musicians in the bars, the light levels are somewhat subdued.  As such, an ability to get sharp images at wide apertures is something for which I was really looking.  The 85mm f1.4G didn't disappoint here and I can recall thinking this particular lens was a dream optic!  The reason for the dream was the price.  Rather an expensive piece of glass, so when the f1.8G became available at 1/3 the price I was seriously keen to try it out.  Perhaps I'd get similar quality shots without having to spend quite so much.

To be honest, it's a lovely lens.  A really lovely lens.  The bokeh (out of focus blur) is lovely and smooth, and the highlights are nice and round.  There's a fair bit of chromatic aberration, but perhaps that's to be expected when shooting wide open at f1.8.  The big problem I had was with focus.  Compared to the f1.4G this lens seemed more hesitant and more prone to hunting in low light when trying to focus.  I even reverted to manual focus on a number of occasions as I was becoming frustrated with the lens's inability to snap onto my subjects.  Perhaps I was expecting too much?  Perhaps I had unreasonable expectations after using the f1.4G?  Not really sure, but I finished the evening with mixed emotions.  I loved the bokeh, I loved the price and I was quite impressed with the overall image quality.  I was a little disappointed with the focus speed and chromatic aberrations.  Take a look here at one of my Google Plus albums for a few more shots taken with the 85mm f1.8G.  Perhaps let me know what you think?
Malcolm Lakatani

Semi Leo

Semi Leo

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