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Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
42 163872 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $340.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.87
8.97
9.1
1931NCP_180

Specifications:
Compact and portable telephoto lens that is ideal for portraits
Rear focusing for fast AF operation
Subtle blurring of background for beautifully natural and evocative portraits
An excellent choice for your first telephoto lens.

Filter Size 62mm (screw-on)
f/Stop Range 1.8-16
Minimum Focus Distance 3.0'
Magnification 1:6.6
Formats FX
DX
FX in the DX crop mode
35mm film
Angle of View 28°30' (FX format)
18°50' (DX format)
Groups/Elements 6/6
Dimensions (Diam. x L) Approx. 2.8 x 2.3" (71.1 x 58.4mm)
Weight Approx. 13.4 oz (379.9 g)
Usable Nikon Teleconverter TC-210 (manual focus only), TC-14a (may have occasional vignetting & uneven exposure when used with smaller apertures than f/11 and high shutter speeds)


 


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Mark K
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 115
Review Date: Jul 15, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Small size, light weight
Cons:
Poor resolution, fair bokeh, poor contrast

After having 85/1.4D, my GAS wanted me to my a smaller parts. Reviews of this lens were rave so it is so attractive, pricewise.
However, the optical resolution does not live up with the reviews.


Jul 15, 2013
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the solitaire
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Registered: Jun 22, 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 800
Review Date: Jun 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, sharp, good contrast, small size, has an Aperture ring
Cons:
Minor purple fringes in backlit situations

This is pretty much a perfect lens. It´s very sharp, even wide open. It does improve quite a bit at f2,2 though where I mostly use it.

Due to the small size, fast Aperture and instant and accurate AF performance this lens is on my camera most of the time.

The build quality is very good. Even if the exterior is plastic, the interior appears to be completely made of metal. Nothing wobbles or rattles. The filter thread is metal.

Optically the only things I can fault on the lens are the out of focus blur which isn´t always as smooth and a little bit of purple fringing in some situations.


Jun 23, 2013
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3cameradog
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Registered: Apr 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $469.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp as a tack wide open. Not AF-S, but still fast and quiet. Much better IQ than the F1.4 version and for less money.
Cons:

I only bought this lens based on a recommendation from a friend. Glad I did. It is always in my camera bag. Perfect for those pictures where a nice out of focus background is desired.

Mar 22, 2013
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7393
Review Date: Nov 12, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $250.00

 
Pros: sharp, light
Cons:
build quality sucks

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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lsutigerfan
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Registered: Jun 25, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 171
Review Date: Oct 4, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tight build quality that will keep lens sturdy for years and years, sharpness at most apertures, compatibility with older Nikon bodies, great value
Cons:
More bad characteristics than newer 85/1.8g, a little soft @1.8, noisy operation, not as bokeh-licious as other 85mm Nikkors

Great little lens! My sharpest glass by far (I only use one other prime -- 50/1.8g). Although brand new this lens' MSRP is close to the newer 85/1.8g, they can be had for much. much cheaper. i use on my D800 with wonderful results. Balances well, handles well, and feels well! built to last and has aperture ring of course. I love it and will probably skip 1.8g IF i decide to upgrade down the line. You really can't fault this lens much -- its reputation sells itself.

Oct 4, 2012
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wolfbreath
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Registered: Feb 4, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 10, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Nice length for portraits, no distortion issues on DX, wide aperture
Cons:
My lens was particularly not sharp, slow AF speeds, minor ghosting issues, lots of CAs.

I wasn't very happy with how soft this lens was wide open. At f/2.8 it was tolerable. Compared to the 50mm 1.8D and 1.4D, the 85 wasn't as sharp at the same apertures. The 85mm 1.4D is much sharper wide open (but costs much more).

I had some annoyances with chromatic aberrations, so in combination with the softness wide open, I felt like this lens was useless for portraits. That is the intended purpose for most people who buy the lens.

Other performance issues I had included slow AF, even on the D7000, which my other lenses had no problem with. AF hunting was especially a nuisance in low light shooting, whereas I was fine with the 50mm 1.8D. Once in awhile I had some ghosting issues as well.

Bokeh was okay, a little rigid, not so smooth. It was not worth trying grab a shot of a subject with nice bokeh in the background because the subject was so soft. When you bump the aperture to f/2.8, the bokeh wasn't circular anymore.

Most of my complaints were from using the lens wide open or in low light activity. However, I do think it performs well in the daytime, for street photography, food photography, or landscape. I didn't have any issues from f/2.8 - f/8 with ample lighting. The lens is built well and adequate for general photography, just not astounding. I'm sure some people are confused by my ratings and not recommending it. That's because it didn't do well in achieving the results I thought it had the potential to produce. If the new G version has any improvements, at $500 it might be enough to make the D version obsolete. We shall see. Otherwise, I'd recommend the 85mm 1.4D or the 50mm 1.8D/1.4D over this lens.


Feb 10, 2012
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mohawk51
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Nov 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optics are excellent in my opinion. Also has SIC on the lens elements.
Cons:
Not much really.

Optically an excellent lens. Extremely sharp and a fast aperture. Not crazy about the plastic build but still it looks tough enough for the field. I wish the focus ring had a bit more "damping" to it. Other than that is produces some pretty darn good shots. Low distortion and low CA's make it a very good lens.

Nov 17, 2011
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jessi74
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Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, quick AF, good rendering, a bargain. My favorite lens.
Cons:
Spinning MF ring can get in the way a bit. As you stop down the apeture doesn't remain quite as circular as one would like, so it's usually used wide-open.



Nov 5, 2011
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Gregory.Rotter
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Registered: Oct 13, 2008
Location: Greece
Posts: 2338
Review Date: Oct 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Low weight, large aperture, small.
Cons:
at this price, none.

I use mine on a D700. I can't say it's gets THAT much use, as I have the 70-200VRII, which gives greater working distance, and has VR for static subjects in low light.

Auto focus is plenty fast with my D700. I wouldn't say it's noisy to the point that it's distracting. It's not often I go from mfd to infinity from shot to shot, so anyone who says af-d lenses are noisy is exaggerating.

Wide open the 70-200VRII has more contrast, but that's to be expected. For close portraits where you want a lens that's a little more discrete and for low light where you need something faster than f2.8, I like it. Stop down f2.2 or so, and it sharpens up nicely.


Oct 3, 2011
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Isaac Viel
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Registered: May 7, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 83
Review Date: Oct 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Affordable. Well Built. Includes hood. Fast, accurate AF.
Cons:
Not very sharp wide open. Screw on hood.

When I was shooting a Canon APS-C, I loved my 85 F1.8 so when I switched to the D700, I wanted to pick up Nikon's version for portraits. Unfortunately, while the Canon version of this lens is a cheap must have, the Nikon version is a bit lack luster.

•I am less than impressed with performance of this lens wide open. As a pixel peeper, it gets a passing grade but only just. The good thing, is that what I think is soft is still sharp enough for printing and web-sized photos. It's not terrible or even bad. It's just okay. However, once you stop down one stop it gets dead sharp.

• Color and contrast both are excellent and don't need any extra work in post.

• Vignetting on the FX sensor is there wide open, but it's not very pronounced and easily fixable if you notice it at all.

• Purple fringing and ghosting are also there when shooting wide open, but it's very manageable and hardly noticeable.

• AF Speed is fast and accurate, but you have watch out for the focus ring since there is no clutch in this lens. Also, no full-time manual focus. It's not silent, but it's not too loud either. Has a solid mechanical movement sound.

• The metal hood is a great addition, but it's a screw on type, which is a bit bothersome.

• Build quality is great for the price. Everything feels nice and tight and the plastics feel solid and high quality.

Overall, this is a good lens if you need the focal length, but don't have the money or don't see the need for the f1.4 lens. I'm not sure I will love this lens as much as Canon's but it will certainly work for what I need it for. If you're looking for the absolute best 85mm for Nikon, save up for the F1.4, but if you can sacrifice a bit of softness wide open then this is your guy.


Oct 28, 2010
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Marc_h
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 153
Review Date: Dec 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Incredibly sharp, good isolation and just amazing quality. Focuses very well on my D200, even in dark situations.
Cons:
It's way too good, makes me want to replace the rest of my gear =)

Recently bought this amazing piece of glass, and I'll tell ya, it already is doing an incredible job in the studio, if you're looking at this lens, just buy it, I mean you really should.

It's incredible.

Samples of the first shoot with the lens;

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo26/Marc-Haers/Untitled-1a.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo26/Marc-Haers/Untitled-1-4.jpg


Dec 29, 2009
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Tim Ashton
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Registered: Dec 26, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3071
Review Date: Dec 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp and beautiful backgrounds. Perfect length for shooting small children on a crop sensor. Allows one to frame tight without crowding them. Love it
Cons:
Sort of ruins one for using zooms:)



Dec 5, 2009
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profmom
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Registered: Oct 12, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Review Date: Nov 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp, beautiful color rendition, fast, smooth bokeh
Cons:
I did get flare when photographing sunsets



Nov 3, 2009
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williamkazak
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Registered: Jun 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6325
Review Date: Jun 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $390.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Indispensible lens on my camera all of the time. Great for portraits and all around shooting. Nice for flowers too. Compact with pleasing bokeh. Flare not a problem with shade attached.
Cons:
Not happy with 62mm threads because I have a lot of 52mm filters.

Being a people photographer and a prime lens fan, this is my favorite lens. On a DX body it has a little extra reach and I like the distance from the model that this lens affords me. As a walk around lens it is compact and the AF is never really a problem for me. I don't shoot speed races of any kind so I don't need this to be AFS. Make your own tests. That is the only way to find out what a lens will do for you.

Jun 19, 2009
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digiman69
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 4
Review Date: Aug 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp even on FF, if you don't need f1.4 better than the much more expensive nikkor f.4, less CA.
Cons:
could have ultrasonic motor and better construction.

for those still loving primes ...

Aug 7, 2008
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Raphael T-M
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Registered: Jul 7, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Review Date: Jun 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, fast, good IQ starting at around 2.2
Cons:
Screw-on lens hood is very annoying. Not very, but a little soft at 1.8

A nice lens to own. Great for portraits and low-light work. A wee bit soft wide open, but not horribly so. Small and lightweight is very convenient but the screw-on type lens hood is -very- annoying.... still a pleasure to use.

Jun 21, 2008
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Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
42 163872 Jul 15, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $340.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.87
8.97
9.1
1931NCP_180


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