Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/01/24

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Subject: Re: Nikkor 85 mm (off topic)
From: "Stefan Kahlert" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 11:02:50 +0000

> Yes, maybe there are some LUGers using Nikons for tele lenses:

..and for macro lenses and to be honest for nearly everything right now 
because there is still an ocean between my first Leica (a M4-P
lying in a friends room in Boston) and me (I am in Bonn, Germany).

> 85/1.8 was made in 1964-1977 A legendary lens, very good wide open. I still
> have it!
> 85/2.0 was produced during 1977-1988. Avoid it, it is a true low-contrast
> dog...

I had the 2/85mm Nikkor for several years before I lost it 
and I now have a 1.8/85mm Auto-Nikkor HC. 

"A true dog" would be the last designation I would give to the  
2/85. Yes, it is lower contrast than most other Nikkors but it is 
very good at resolving fine details. This lens is addopted to its 
application which is potraiture at first hand and I took enough 
pictures with both lenses to convince myself that the differences 
between them are moreover a matter of taste and not of quality.

For street- or theater-photography the 1.8/85mm gives you more of the 
snap most of us will probably prefer for such applications but for 
portraiture that is not necessarily the most important criterium.

I suggest you put a roll of Tech-Pan into your F5 and give the 2/85 
another chance. With slow films the advantages of this lens become 
most obvious. You will possibly find out what I mean. 
It is not just soft but very nice at rendering fine details.
I got some very appealing results with this lense.
One just has to be aware what you get before you put it on the 

best wishes


BTW. I think it is even more flare resistant than the 1.8/85mm.
- --
Stefan Kahlert, 
Medizinische Poliklnik der Universitaet Bonn