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AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D

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28 replies to this topic

Poll: Rate this lens (93 member(s) have cast votes)

Rate this lens

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  3. 3 Stars (average) (8 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  4. Voted 4 Stars (above average) (41 votes [42.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.71%

  5. 5 Stars (outstanding) (47 votes [48.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.96%

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#1 Dallas


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Posted 07 January 2008 - 18:21

What is your experience with this lens? This topic will be indexed on our LENSES page. Please keep your comments related to your experiences with this lens so that others may draw value from them. Off topic comments will be removed.

You may post sample images taken with the lens in this thread. If you have a question relating to the lens, please don't ask here, use the "Lenses For Nikons" board instead.

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#2 samu



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Posted 07 January 2008 - 18:42

What is your experience with this lens? This topic will be indexed on our LENSES page. Please keep your comments related to your experiences with this lens so that others may draw value from them. Off topic comments will be removed.

You may post sample images taken with the lens in this thread. If you have a question relating to the lens, please don't ask here, use the "Lenses For Nikons" board instead.

I've used this lens quite a lot, i don't personally own one though.
Thanks to rear-focusing this lens focuses very quickly, almost as fast as an AF-S lens.

For me the lens is fully useable wide open(@f/1.8) wich makes it perfect for sharp low-light photography.

The build quality when looking at the price-point is very good.

The images the lens produces have a certain 'feel' to them that's hard to describe.
The bokeh the lens delivers is also very nice.

The attached image is shot using the D70 at ISO640 f/1.8 at a touristfair in Gothenburg a few years back.

Attached Images

  • DSC_5484.jpg

#3 fks


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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:26

a sharp lens, even wide open. bokeh is nice, although highlights show up as octagons when the lens is stopped down. it's a cheaper alternative to the 85mm f/1.4. i've used it as a walk around lens on a DX body with good results, and even used it to take a panorama.

i'm looking forward to seeing how it performs as a portrait lens on an FX body.

some images taken with this lens and the D2H can be found here.


Attached Images

  • DSC_7494.jpg

#4 Chris101



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Posted 08 January 2008 - 18:43

I voted five cause I'm a superlative kind of guy. ;)

Ricky, I love that mask!

The 85 1.8 is one of my favorite lenses to use with film cameras (it balances perfectly on the F5.)  Here's a couple that emphasizes it's strengths, excellent sharpness and visually interesting out of focus qualities, and show what I find to be a magical quality that defies explanation:

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The 'See Food' joke.
Posted Image

#5 Ihmemies


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Posted 14 June 2008 - 22:11

I bought 85/1.8 because 1.4 was way too expensive for my budget.

+ Sharp from f1.8 ->
+ Metal hood
+ Nice construction (compared to consumer zooms)
+ Decent manual focus feel

- Loads of purple fringing at f1.8-2.4
- Harsh bokeh at f1.8-2.4

About bokeh:

It depends on what kind of stuff you have behind your subject. But usually bokeh has harsh edges at 1.8. It improves a lot when stopped down to 2.8: http://hakkarainen.k.../85mm_18_28.jpg

1.8 - 2.0 - 2.4 - 2.8 comparison: http://hakkarainen.k...8_20_24_28b.jpg

9-edged polygons in background (f2.8 or so and upwards): http://hakkarainen.k...47_lr_pieni.jpg - these I don't mind that much. A lot better than 7.

Overall I like the lens, it's just what I expected after reading some reviews and looking at example photos. You just need to know the limitations, and it's fine.

#6 percafluvialitis


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Posted 26 July 2008 - 15:11

Bought it from Yaotomi (superb camera store in Osaka, Umeda JR Station, Japan). Had to buy it because it was so inexpensive, only 150 EUR.

I don't know if it's a faulty sample or lens characteristics, but the lens didn't live up to the hype around it. Lack of contrast until you stop it down to f/4, center sharpness wide open to f/4 is good for web resized photos but imho to get quality good enough for medium to large prints it needs to be stopped down to f/5.6. Tested on D3, I did not find performance to justify all the web buzz about this lens wide open. I suspect this is a lens that sees performance greatly benefitting from DX sensors.

Manual focusing: only about 110 degrees turn from close focus to eternity, which is way too snappy for a lens of this focal length/aperture combination with very shallow depth of field. Focusing feel is flimsy, even looser than the 50/1.4D which is very similar in build quality. AF shooters won't mind this of course, and the rear focusing element makes for fast AF.

Bokeh is unappealing to me, with pentagon-shaped objects filling the OoF areas. This lens would need the rounded diaphragm of the Zeiss Planar T 85/1.4 ZF and the Nikkor 85/1.4D
  • Pistolio likes this

#7 vantje

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 07:57

I have the 85/1.8 AFD for almost 1 year. A good performer on the D200, an exellent performer on the D700. From f2.2 and above very good results. Sharpness is extremely good.
Compact lens, great color accuracy, good bokeh. One of my favorites on the D700. I use it even more than my praised 70-200VR.

(yes this is my first post...)

#8 Juan Leon

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 15:21

(yes this is my first post...)

First post too :angel:

For only 110 € second hand itīs a real gem, very very sharp from F/1.8 and above. Mine itīs the non-D version, no problem about it. Since I bought the Zeiss I use it rarely. Some pics:

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I like the bokeh
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No distortion, perfect for stitch panoramas:
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And very natural colors:
Posted Image

#9 Shac


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Posted 03 September 2008 - 17:21

This lens showed me what the D70 could do - I'd always been somewhat disastified with the 18-70 in terms of sharpness, and when the latter zoom ring quit on a trip to India, I started using the 85/1,8 - good grief I got sharp images at last (above f2). I have  D300 now and it works just as well on this body. For the money - it's great value.

Attached Images

  • _DSC0162.jpg

#10 Longhiker


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Posted 24 September 2008 - 16:49

I like this lens a lot for doing isolated people photos. I think it does a great job for the money. It is a good value. If you don't like it you can easily sell it for what you paid for it. Here's one example.

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There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept. - Ansel Adams

#11 chry

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:35

An exceptional lens for indoor shooting of sports and other things. It is very light and versatile for what it does.

#12 Clactonian


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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:17

A very versatile, compact and easy to carry lens. Can be too sharp at times (if that's possible) for portraits.

Posted Image

Mike B
Still trying.

#13 Micha


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Posted 29 January 2009 - 15:00

I think for this money itīs a very good lense.

In special I like the controllable dof very much.

Posted Image

Hard facts:  D90 - 85mm@1.8 - 1/80sec - ISO 800 - Exposure Bias -1.0 (rainy days in Hungary  :()

.... comments & critiques are appreciated!!!

<a href=http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=1469.msg110503#msg110503>My Interview</a>

#14 Guest_Doug_*

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:11

This is the lens that I find on my camera most of the time. It seems to do everything well. Good portrait lens and also very good for street photography. The only downside is having to screw the lens shade on it.

#15 Longhiker


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:32

I'm lazy. The shade remains on always.
  • Pistolio likes this
There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept. - Ansel Adams

#16 Guest_Doug_*

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 16:44

Mine does to as I dont use protective filters.

#17 JohnBrew


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Posted 25 April 2010 - 22:51

Yep, the shade stays on for me too. For those who don't know, the 1.8 actually has a better MTF chart than the ballyhooed 1.4!! I think the bokeh is very good, not 1.4 quality, but still nice. This lens remains an excellent value.

#18 helioer


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Posted 26 April 2010 - 10:23

I bought this lens some time ago for portraits. It focuses fast on a D3 and produces good results from wide open.

I have since then replaced it with the 85/1.4 D. More bulky but excellent results

Edited by helioer, 04 March 2012 - 14:16 .


D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...

#19 schung

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 16:41

An excellent, general purpose, short-telephoto lens!

Amazing sharpness by f2.8. I've used it for taking astrophotos and let me tell you: stars are pinpoints right to the edge of the field on FF. On DX, where is spends most of its time, it is an excellent portrait lens, (though a little long for indoor use)

Amazing AF speed. Pretty quick on a D300 but virtually instantaneous on the older F5/F100 bodies.

Generally very good/excellent bokeh. No, it's no like the 85 f1.4 but it also doesn't cost like that either.

Caveats: AF accuracy is sometimes a hit/miss, esp. when using AF-C mode and shooting wide-open - there is no room for error. This lens really needs an AF-S motor to do the micro focusing changes that the screw driven focusing can't do. Also, this lens required some significant AF tuning on my D300. Once dialed in, sharpness is simply great at all apertures.

All in all, highly recommended if you want a general purpose, short telephoto.


#20 davepaterson



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Posted 27 April 2010 - 17:05

Excellent lens at almost all apertures. Sharp at 1.8, very sharp at f2.8 and stays that way all the way to f11 at least.
Dave Paterson

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