The AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.4G stays at the top of the rankings in this category thanks to its high overall image quality and high-sharpness but the more modestly priced AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.8G isn’t so far behind. Indeed there’s just one point in their respective DxOMark scores, which means image quality would be difficult to tell apart in real world use.
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G||2199||39||21|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G||690||38||19|
|Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1840||35||17|
|Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon||328||35||17|
|Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon||969||33||18|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF||1230||32||16|
|Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED||890||31||16|
|Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Nikon||749||31||19|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D||460||30||17|
|Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2D||1099||30||18|
|Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Nikon||499||29||14|
|Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon||1280||28||17|
|Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO Nikon||460||28||15|
|Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon||969||27||18|
|Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Nikon||640||27||17|
The Samyang 85mm f1.4 Aspherical IF is another high-speed model that performs well optically but it doesn’t have the same uniformity at wider apertures as the two Nikon lenses and, don’t forget, it’s a manual focus only model.
Still, while it doesn’t have the corner sharpness of the two Nikon models that’s not so much of an issue for a portrait lens, and it does have good control of CA and vignetting. At just under half the price of the Nikon 85mm f1.8 model, it’s a seriously tempting option.