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Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF Nikkor

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Reviews Views Date of last review
46 136055 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,021.38
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.82
8.92
9.6
1933NAS_180

Specifications:
High performance fast maximum aperture Nikkor telephoto lens
Internal focusing for fast AF operation
Rounded diaphragm makes out of focus elements appear more natural
Fast f/1.4 aperture is helpful in shooting indoor sports or stage productions

more info from Nikon

A fast f/1.4 aperture makes this lens a standout for sports photography and photojournalism. With Nikon's typical attention to details, its aperture has extra blades, enabling the diaphragm shape to be a near-perfect circle. This ensures crisper images and more flattering highlights in the out-of-focus portion of the image.

Note! AF not supported by D40 and D60 cameras.

Internal Focusing (IF) design

Filter Size 77mm
f/Stop Range 1.4-16
Minimum Focus Distance 3.0'
Magnification 1:8.8
Angle of View 28 Degrees
Groups/Elements 8/9
Length 3.2"
Maximum Diameter 3.1"
Weight 1.23 lb
Usable Nikon Teleconverter TC-201 or TC-14a (manual focus only)


 


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Mark K
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 115
Review Date: Jul 15, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, inexpensive, good bokeh
Cons:
Can be more contrasty

This is a one of a kind lens. When you want a fast 1.4 portrait for your new FF Nikon, this is the only original Nikon branded one.
Comparing to my new 85/1.4G, the only difference is colour and contrast.


Jul 15, 2013
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f8andshowup
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Registered: Jan 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Incredible sharpness, excellent AF accuracy, near-perfect bokeh, lenses do not get much better than this.
Cons:
Longitudinal CA wide-open, not as well-built as the AF-D, sharpness can be a bit much for portraits

Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G review:

I'm posting here because there is no other place to do it.

I love this lens. I tried the AF-D first, but found the focus to be just good, not great (even after AF fine-tuning). Also, there was the focus noise issue.

Everybody knows that this lens is one of Nikon's best for bokeh, probably second only to the 200mm f/2. The creamy backgrounds are unbelievable.

Another great feature of this lens is it's razor sharpness (yes, even more so with the new version). It the the sharpest Nikkor I have shot, besides the 300mm f/2.8 AF-S, which is saying a lot. On a tripod with a D800, you will see *everything* with this lens. When used for portraits, this lens will require lots of post processing on the skin, unless you subject is a baby.

This is one of those lenses that makes magic, but at a huge price.

Good news for those who can't afford this lens: The 85mm f/1.8 AF-S is about 90% as good, lacking only a little bit in smoothness of bokeh.


Apr 23, 2013
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phiggys
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Registered: Apr 7, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 25
Review Date: Apr 16, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, optical quality, it's simply a dream lens for portraits and weddings. This is my third copy if you include the MF Ais version I had. I started using a couple of zooms to lighten the load but there is something a little special about this lens. The opportunity came along to get another copy so I did a straight trade for a new Nikon AFS105mm f2.8 VR macro I had sitting in the cupboard. It simply produces quality and Bokeh to die for IMO.
Cons:
IMO nothing I still prefer it to my friends new AFS version.



Apr 16, 2013
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7390
Review Date: Nov 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, colors
Cons:
heavy

This is one of my all time favorites in the nikon lens lineup. This lens is very fast and gives you a nice creamy background. A must have in your bag. I shoot weddings in Pittsburgh and this lens is used 50% of the time. I like a nice tight shot with creamy backgrounds. Check out some samples on my site taken with this lens. http://nbombichstudios.com

Nov 12, 2012
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pc168
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Registered: Mar 9, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pros: Excellent build quality with metal outer barrel and metal hood Excellent bokeh. Accurate AF even at wide open. Sharp at F1.4 and very sharp when stop down 1 to 2 f-stops. Not heavy and relatively portable.
Cons:
The M/A switch is the only thing that I dislike.

Comparing this pro grade lens against my 16-35 VR, the Nikon classical pro grade design (built like a tank) is better than the modern ones.

85mm is not limited to portrait. Stop down a little it can be a general purpose lens. Indeed I use it as my D700 kit lens.

Value for money when we compare it against the new G version.

Highly recommended!


Aug 17, 2011
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Digital Gold
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Registered: Apr 17, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: mega sharpness, great contrast, build quality, amazing bokeh.
Cons:
a bit soft wide open, expensive for an 85mm prime lens.

For weddings and portraits one of our photographers ALWAYS equipped with this bad boy. It's one of the sharpest lenses I own and it never disappoints. I've also used this lens for low light conditions like night time concert photography. It's our go to lens for shooting people.

To see some examples of photos taken with this lens please visit my website and photography blog: http://digitalgoldphotography.com

Feel free to reach out to me with any specific questions.


Apr 17, 2011
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dves
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Registered: Jan 19, 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 85 1.4 is a nice aspect
Cons:
shadow detail

I have used this lens extensively in available, flash, & fluorescent light. I have shot wedding, portrait, fashion & product with it. Wedding & portraiture it is fantastic as good as canon's 50mm f1.4 FD mount lenses which I have owned as well. It's one let down in comparison to my 50mm 1.4 summilux leica optics is in shadow rendering, there is a lot of missing data which is frustrating when shooting dark textures like hair & skin tone, so I sold it. I will try the Zeiss Makro-Planar 50mm f/2.

Jun 6, 2010
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84FJ60
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Registered: Sep 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 307
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Mystifying Bokeh
Cons:
Screwdriver autofocus

Without a doubt, this is the best portrait lens I've ever used. I also love it for indoor sports such as volleyball or basketball.

May 25, 2010
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Kliff
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Registered: Nov 24, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from wide open,pleasant bokeh, accurate AF
Cons:
none

Excellent lens for portraiture

Jan 28, 2010
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jlnewland
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Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Dec 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Gorgeous bokeh, sharp without stopping down, renders great skin tones, small and light for a portrait lens, old-school perfection.
Cons:
Some color fringing in high-contrast transitions between dark and white. Love the metal hood, but it prevents the standard lens cap from seating firmly back on the lens. Once you shoot with this lens, though, you probably won't care.

I keep coming back to this lens for portraits. It really shines for work in an outdoor or non-studio environment, where the bokeh can really be appreciated. The smooth bokeh makes the subject really pop, and this lens has an almost magical touch with fine detail and skin tones. A classic that's worth every penny.

Dec 12, 2009
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KrazyYak
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Amazing sharpness, build quality, weight, bokeh. Balances perfectly on a D300.
Cons:
Slow to focus in certain situations.

This lens is fan-freaking-tastic for portraits. It throws the backgrounds into a very pleasing blur and keeps the subject super sharp. I've joked with my friends that they need to do a better job of cleaning their pores after retouching portraits of them.

It balances wonderfully on my D300, and I am usually hesitant to take it off.

Only downside is that it is quite slow to focus on quickly moving subjects (I suspect this is due to the older AF-D style focus drive). This is especially true for subjects moving towards you. By the time it focus and snaps the shutter, the subject has moved too much to remain in focus.


Oct 23, 2009
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 669
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, f1.4, included metal hood, sharpness, IQ - everything!
Cons:
perhaps cost

What can I say that hasn't been said? It's a well-made, fast AF, excellent IQ addition to anyone's kit. Like my purchases of the 35/1.8 and 50/1.8, this was to complete my low-light glass to allow for a wedding for a friend. I'm so glad I agreed to do it.

This lens isn't cheap and despite it's age, it's difficult to find. I got a great deal on a refurb and I couldn't be happier. Like I said, it's built like a tank, comes with a metal hood and is just sharp sharp sharp. You gotta love it in low-light and even in great light. Some large aperture lenses are only sharp stopped down. Well, what's good about that?? This is great from 1.4 on and only gets better.

Worth it all the way around.


Jul 28, 2009
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Enche Tjin
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Registered: Jun 14, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 17, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,000.00

Pros: built quality, bokeh, image quality, sharpness
Cons:
AF speed

Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D has been hailed as legendary lens for Nikon DSLR or film camera. I think it is because of its unique characteristic but also its age. This lens has been around for thirteen years.

Image Quality and characteristic
Mounted in Nikon full frame camera D700, the lens is sharp at maximum aperture of f/1.4D, which is excellent. Stopped down to f/2.8, the lens become very sharp. But extreme sharpness is not what this lens is made for. It is primarily made for its ability in low light condition, and its ability to create a beautiful out of focus effect in background or foreground.

Because of those characteristic and its fixed focal length, this lens is ideal for portrait. It is also good for candid portraiture such as in wedding. For Nikon pro wedding shooters, this lens is one of must have lens.

Unfortunately, this lens suffers a bit from purple fringing in high contrast area (see sample pic below), it is also susceptible to flare, but not as bad as other lenses.

Auto Focus operation
Because Nikon 85mm f/1.4D does not have built-in motor focus like modern lenses (AF-S) lens, it relies on camera body to focus. It speed will also depend on the camera body. The more higher-end model such as Nikon D700, D3 or D3X will focus faster than the entry-level camera.

When mounted in Nikon D700, the lens focus very fast. Unfortunately entry level user such as Nikon D40, D40X and D60 only can use manual focus because the camera body doesn't have the capability to focus AF lenses. This lens also create some noise when focusing because lack of Silent Wave Motor.

In sport games such as basketball, the lens has difficulty in continuous tracking. It fails to lock on the object properly resulting in many blur image. I don't recommend it for sports.

Build Quality
Built quality of this lens is awesome, it is average in size and weight and very nice to handle. The focus ring is smooth. Closest focusing is 85cm, make it not very ideal for macro / close-up photography.

It will come with "metal" lens hood. Unfortunately the lens hood it screw in type and you can't reverse it for more compact storage. In spite of that, the lens hood is fully metal, so it is better than regular plastic type and a lot more durable.

Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D vso 85mm f/1.8D
Compare to f/1.8D version, This lens is 2.5 times more expensive, the cheaper lens is not as sharp as f/1.4D in its maximum aperture of f/1.8. At f/2.8, the sharpness is almost equal. The build quality is also a lot worse than the f/1.4D. But the 85mm f/1.8 is more compact and portable.

In Conclusion
You might want to get this lens because of several reasons:

* You frequently shoot at extremely low light condition which f/1.4D is often needed
* You are concern about artistic, especially smooth background blur.

You might not want this lens if
* You are looking for the sharpest lens from edge to edge of the image. (The lens is designed to be sharp in the center "focus" and soft in the corner).

Don't buy this lens for indoor sports, it is better to get either f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens or lighting equipment.

Please visit my blog www.radiantlite.com for sample photos and video tour


Jun 17, 2009
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Enche Tjin
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Registered: Jun 14, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D has been hailed as legendary lens for Nikon DSLR or film camera. I think it is because of its unique characteristic but also its age. This lens has been around for thirteen years.

Image Quality and characteristic
Mounted in Nikon full frame camera D700, the lens is sharp at maximum aperture of f/1.4D, which is excellent. Stopped down to f/2.8, the lens become very sharp. But extreme sharpness is not what this lens is made for. It is primarily made for its ability in low light condition, and its ability to create a beautiful out of focus effect in background or foreground.

Because of those characteristic and its fixed focal length, this lens is ideal for portrait. It is also good for candid portraiture such as in wedding. For Nikon pro wedding shooters, this lens is one of must have lens.

Unfortunately, this lens suffers a bit from purple fringing in high contrast area (see sample pic below), it is also susceptible to flare, but not as bad as other lenses.

Auto Focus operation
Because Nikon 85mm f/1.4D does not have built-in motor focus like modern lenses (AF-S) lens, it relies on camera body to focus. It speed will also depend on the camera body. The more higher-end model such as Nikon D700, D3 or D3X will focus faster than the entry-level camera.

When mounted in Nikon D700, the lens focus very fast. Unfortunately entry level user such as Nikon D40, D40X and D60 only can use manual focus because the camera body doesn't have the capability to focus AF lenses. This lens also create some noise when focusing because lack of Silent Wave Motor.

In sport games such as basketball, the lens has difficulty in continuous tracking. It fails to lock on the object properly resulting in many blur image. I don't recommend it for sports.

Build Quality
Built quality of this lens is awesome, it is average in size and weight and very nice to handle. The focus ring is smooth. Closest focusing is 85cm, make it not very ideal for macro / close-up photography.

It will come with "metal" lens hood. Unfortunately the lens hood it screw in type and you can't reverse it for more compact storage. In spite of that, the lens hood is fully metal, so it is better than regular plastic type and a lot more durable.

Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D vso 85mm f/1.8D
Compare to f/1.8D version, This lens is 2.5 times more expensive, the cheaper lens is not as sharp as f/1.4D in its maximum aperture of f/1.8. At f/2.8, the sharpness is almost equal. The build quality is also a lot worse than the f/1.4D. But the 85mm f/1.8 is more compact and portable.

In Conclusion
You might want to get this lens because of several reasons:

* You frequently shoot at extremely low light condition which f/1.4D is often needed
* You are concern about artistic, especially smooth background blur.

You might not want to get this lens if:
* You are looking for the sharpest lens from edge to edge of the image. (The lens is designed to be sharp in the center "focus" and soft in the corner).

Don't buy this lens for indoor sports, it is better to get either f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens or lighting equipment.


Jun 14, 2009
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baabbott
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Registered: Jul 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Jun 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fine image quality, smooth subject isolation, solid build
Cons:
Very expensive

I bought this lens new and I really enjoy using it. I wish the hood was not the screw-in type as I tend to leave the hood attached and it's difficult to store in most camera bags in a compact way with the hood installed.
Like many others, I wish the lens had af-s focusing so the ring switch did not have to be used to tweak manual focus. IF Nikon decides to upgrade this lens, I'm sure it will come in around $1500 or so.
I have contemplated selling this lens and my 17-55 and buying the 24-70 as I don't use the wide end that much and I would like a little closer focusing as well, but...every time I think about it, I talk myself out of it.


Jun 5, 2009
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puyan Kachani
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Registered: Nov 24, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Exceptional sharpness at 1.4, Bokeh is beautiful, construction, lightweight perfect finish
Cons:
You ARE getting what you pay for.



May 25, 2009
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Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
46 136055 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $1,021.38
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.82
8.92
9.6
1933NAS_180


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