Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm 1:1.8 G Lens (f/1.8)

Review of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm 1:1.8 G Lens (f/1.8).

Overall Rating:

Nikon

This lens is 10 years old and its cost was $430 USD. It's made in China. With no ED or aspherical elements, it has a relatively dated design. It is a good lens to partner with the AF-S 28mm/1.8 and AF-S 50mm/1.8. This lens has a good reputation for being sharp and having great all-important bokeh. This article will detail all this and more. This lens was introduced when the Nikon D800/D800E — a 36MP camera — was modern.

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yellow bells at 0.12× magnification
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barbados at 0.12× magnification (detail)

Performance

Lens is sharp and constrasty from the center to the corners. This is no doubt due to it being a prime/single focal length lens. There is very slight color fringing and only slight vignetting which can be eliminated by stopping down some.

Pincushion distortion is almost non-existant (0.1%). There is pretty much no flaring to speak of.

Because it is a prime, it lets more light in than a zoom meaning the shutter values will be higher than a zoom given the same subject and aperture, plus the lens has a greater maximum aperture than a zoom lens.

Diffraction has begun by f/8.

The autofocus is slow by most standards as it has a pause before it begins focusing making it poor for action photography (confirmed on three samples), but it is relatively silent.

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very little vignetting (detail)

Color fringing detail at 3-to-1:

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center at f/5.6
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corner at f/5.6

Infrared

This lens is poor for infrared photography. It exhibits a strong hot spot at f/16. It will be fine if shooting wide-open or nearly so.

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infrared at f/16

Ghosting & Flaring

There is not too much ghosting for a design like this, but there is a little flaring.

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ghosting at f/1.8
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flaring at f/16

Bokeh

As expected, the bokeh is good wide-open and stopped down some. Overall, the bokeh is quite decent. It's better than the AF-S 50mm/1.8.

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bokeh at f/1.8
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bokeh at f/4
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bokeh at f/6.3

Compatibility

"G" lenses like this are not compatible with older cameras, but they are compatible with all Nikon DSLR's and Z cameras (with FTZ adapter).

Construction

This is an all plastic lens, however, it is very sturdy feeling. The manual focusing feels good and there is no slop in it. It does focus beyond infinity to accommodate the UV wavelength.

This lens has a focus and depth of field scale but it's usefulness is limited because it is so small no doubt to help make the autofocus faster by making it travel less.

Specifications

Focal length 85 mm
Maximum aperture f/1.8
Minimum aperture f/16
Lens construction 9 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view 28°30' (18°50' with Nikon DX format)
Minimum focus distance 0.8 m/2.62 ft (from focal plane)
Maximum reproduction ratio 1:8.1 (0.124×)
No. of diaphragm blades 7 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size ø67 mm
Diameter × length Approximately 80 × 73 mm/3.1 × 2.9 in.
Weight Approximately 350 g/12.4 oz
Price $430 USD

Images

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Nikon construction legend

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