Bower 85mm F1.4

The Bower 85mm F1.4 features 85mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/1.4. The lens construction has 9 elements in 7 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 23.9° x 16.1° (WxH), 16.1° x 10.8° (WxH) w/ DX cameras. Closest focusing distance at 3.3′ (1 m) and has a filter size of 72mm. The Bower 85mm F1.4 lens weighs 1.13 lbs (513g) and it measures 3.1″ (78mm) in diameter and 2.8″ (72mm) long.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

User Opinions

Bower 85mm F1.4 User Reviews

“I have many vintage manual focus Nikkor lenses but was lacking the 85mm f1.4. I am impressed with the feel and quality of this lens for the price. Much of my photography is still with B&W film on manual bodies and judging by the results thus far this lens compares favorably with my vintage lenses in sharpness and image contrast. The build and internal focusing feels solid and handles really well. The narrow depth of field at f1.4 may be an issue for those not accustomed to manual focus lenses but with practice will improve.” – by Rix Pix
Rating: ★★★★★

Great bang for buck
“Use this lens for mostly portraits but gives the informal sittings great “glamour bokeh”. Downside is that it is difficult to get proper focus (aging eyes) especially in low light situations. Never seem to have that difficulty when I was shooting Nikon F3 and a 50mm f/1.4 but that was 25 years ago… Overall, if you can shoot at a slower pace, concentrate on the focusing, it is an excellent lens, especially for the price!” – by A.K.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Expert Reviews

Bower 85mm F1.4 Reviews

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Features & Specifications

Bower 85mm F1.4 Specifications

The Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Lens is a special effort in the independent lens manufacturer world, being a popular focal length for serious portraiture combined with an extra large f/1.4 maximum aperture. Most independent manufacturer lenses are either zooms or very short or long focal length fixed lenses. This lens is appropriate for Nikon FX “full frame” cameras in addition to their 15.6 x 23.7mm “APS-C” style digital ‘DX’ SLR cameras, and works similarly upon the cameras as later-model Nikon manual focus lenses. This lens is precision manufactured in South Korea.

With a 35mm equivalent focal length of ~127mm and that f/1.4 aperture on DX cameras (or a classic 85mm f/1.4 on FX cameras), this Bower 85mm lens opens up photographic opportunities you’ll never get with your zoom. Capture close portraits of singers on dark stages with only spotlights on their faces, and those background lights will be soft cascades of low-contrast coloring. With the big f/1.4 opening, you’ll have enough light to stop subject motion. Or try it in brighter conditions at fast shutter speeds and low ISOs to make great shots of people in front of blooming trees, with background flowers almost looking like paintings. It isn’t easy nailing manual focus at f/1.4-2.0 (nor for that matter is it easy for an AF system), but you’ll get better with practice, and soon be making many snaps that stand out in a crowd.

This lens was truly created with large-aperture shooting in mind. Though a fine performer with plenty of contrast and resolution at f/5.6-f/11 apertures, it is at its best shooting between f/1.4-2.8, where it presents a high-peak-resolution focus point surrounded by lower resolution/contrast out-of-focus areas. Rather than just sharpness all around, for many pictures it is this stark drop off in resolution and contrast that effectively draws a viewer’s eye towards a subject.

• Bright f/1.4 aperture

• Aspherical lens element provides high quality images

• Fully multicoated optics

• Ideal portrait lens

• Low weight relative to many 85mm f/1.4 lenses

• Smooth helicoid manual focus action

• Internal focusing means that lens length remains constant during focusing (lens front also does not rotate)

See also: Lens Reviews

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