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NikonAF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens
 
4.8

(based on 275 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (233)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (38)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (220)
  • Strong construction (199)
  • Consistent output (157)
  • Durable (156)
  • Rugged (116)

Cons

  • Heavy (33)
  • Slow focus (16)
  • Tough to attach (5)
  • Blurry focus (4)
  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Low light (103)
  • Night photography (102)
  • Portraits (101)
  • Weddings (97)
  • Sports/action (63)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (60), Photo enthusiast (49), Enthusiast (48), Pro photographer (33), Semi-professional (32)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (108), Yes (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great lens

I lusted after this lens for a while, that and the 85 f/1.4 Ais; I finally made a purchase of this with a D300 after my baby's first birthday, and it has...Read complete review

I lusted after this lens for a while, that and the 85 f/1.4 Ais; I finally made a purchase of this with a D300 after my baby's first birthday, and it has been used primarily for taking family and kid photos.

I always use this with a lens hood but do not use a filter.

This is a very solid lens, looks and feels very nice, mechanically. I don't often focus this manually, but it has a wide focus ring.

Minimum focus distance is more than 3 feet, which is inconvenient when children run up to you and you want to take a picture of their face, but on a DX camera it would be such a tight shot that it's not much of a loss.

Unlike a G lens, you can set the aperture on this lens manually, so you can use this with older cameras. Since it is not AF-S, this lens won't autofocus with some "lesser-model" Nikon D bodies (D40, D60, etc).

PROS:
It lives up to its reputation as "the cream machine". Whether wide open or not, pictures have a combination of sharpness, softness and bokeh which are really flattering to people. Even ugly objects which get into the background of ill-composed snapshots are typically rendered into painterly backdrops which are beautiful or at least not ugly. This is true even at around f/4.0.

It also focuses pretty quickly with the D300. I had been taking photos using single-shot autofocus, but moving children are typically out of focus that way. After re-configuring the D300 to use continuous focus and focus-tracking, this camera-lens combo has resulted in a majority of in-focus shots of moving children. Thus, while an AF-S version of this lens might be faster, this lens focuses quickly enough for me. That might not hold true with "lesser" camera models which have weaker AF motors.

Some reviewers have advised getting the f/1.8 lens since f/1.4 is rarely needed, but this lens has beautiful rendering at all apertures. Also, a brighter lens always provides more light to the camera: when looking through the viewfinder and when the camera sensors are performing autofocus and metering, the lens is wide open; the lens is only closed down to the desired aperture when the shot is taken.

CONS:
With my D300, this lens did not focus perfectly out of the box; that was particularly troublesome when using the razor-thin region of focus which this lens has at f/1.4. What to blame? I don't know, but using the D300's fine focus adjust has mostly taken care of this.

This lens has purple fringing at f/1.4. I haven't noticed purple fringing in all shots at f/1.4, though. The purple fringing goes away in all lighting conditions by f/2.0 (well, I don't know exactly where it ends). Reportedly, the purple fringing can be removed using software, but I haven't tried that yet. I often use this lens with the camera set to use aperture-priority at f/2.0, not just to avoid the purple but to also have a better chance of getting a sharp focus of moving subjects. However, even with the occasional fringing wide open, it still takes great photos; if I want to use f/1.4, I do so, I don't "worry" about fringing.

Last Points:
I have many lenses which I occasionally re-visit to give them another chance, but this is the lens I use by default. I take it to birthday parties including for group photos, I take it to the park or the zoo, I use it whenever I can. I've even used it to take landscape photos at f/8 and f/11. It suits what I like to take pictures of (people), but it's also a great lens in general. It has significant telephoto effect on a DX body, but if I need a full body shot I just get farther away from the subject; only when that is impossible do I get out a wider lens, and only when I desire extreme telephoto do I get out a longer lens.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great Lens

I love this lens, can't use it for everything, but it really can't be beat for portraits and is fun to shoot candids with! The focus ring is slightly loose on the one...Read complete review

I love this lens, can't use it for everything, but it really can't be beat for portraits and is fun to shoot candids with! The focus ring is slightly loose on the one I got though...

Reviewed by 275 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great lens

By MarkG

from Riverside, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

    Great lens, beautiful bokey.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    Fantastic Lens

    By Vimal

    from Portland

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • No VR

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Sports/Action
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

    I thoroughly enjoy the F1.4, I previously had a 50mm-F1.8, but the bokeh you get with this lens is just perfect!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    My favorite lens, ever.

    By JB

    from NYC

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Night Photography

      Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

      First off, this lens is a beautifully made, and you'll love the heavy, sturdy metal construction. The D series lenses are a little louder than the G series, but it's still less loud than the typical shutter, so I wouldn't let the absence of a "silent wave" motor throw you.

      One of my favorite times using this lens was when I was in the ultra-dark basement of Webster Hall in NYC snapping a performance. This lens, coupled with a D700, found focus in situations where my own eyes were failing me. I purposely under-exposed to avoid motion blur, and when I slid the shadows slider over in Lightroom, amazing low-noise images were revealed.

      I've since purchased a Df, and the retro stylings of it are a natural fit with the D series lens.

      This lens is now a couple hundred $ less than when I purchased it. I encourage anyone with a full-frame camera who intends to do headshots to get one. It's a little zoomed-in for an everyday walk-around lens, but I often put it on for that very purpose as an exercise in composition.

      In the end, pics I take with this lens get a lot of clicks.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      What's the difference: G lens & D lens?

      By OC Mike

      from Orange County, CA

      Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

      Hey there, It just occurred to me that most people reading this will want to know the answer to one very simple question: G versus D? I own both. I love both. I bought both from B&H, and I highly recommend them.
      As you know, the D was called the King of Bokeh. Hail the King! So, there's a hint that it's a darned good lens. Let's go! Focus speed: D can hunt but I never lost a shot, the G is faster. Center focus: very, very shallow DOF w/both.Ever slightly sharper in G. Off-center bokeh: G is great, but D has that classic look and I feel it is better for portraits of women. Travel lens: Have traveled with both as a single lens. G is superb for landscapes, but D has a gentle way of creating beauty in a subject. Costs: D is the bargain lens of the decade because instead of buying a crummy kit zoom, a mid-zoom that you'll never use and a long tele...you get one of the top 15 lens ever made in history. Sure, the Nikon 200mm f2 brings tears and Zeiss 135mm brings men to their knees. But this lens is unsurpassed...it truly is the best lens regardless of value for the buck [with a value that no other lens can beat...none!] For 80% of you, this lens far exceeds your ability...but if you're rich, then get the G. When your subject looks down the huge barrel, and you focus on the closest eye at wide open fstop...prepare for The Best Image you've ever created! Have fun.[Photo discipline req'd, the lens won't automatically make you great. Always put >15feet separation w/background, use lowest ISO, use stable hold position, and most importantly add accents in parallel plane to closest eye!][Shoot in shade...w/reflectors or off camera flash. Buy at B&H]

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Incredibly sharp

      By J-Bo

      from Knoxville, TN

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

        I used this lens for a portrait session and it was even sharper than I expected. You won't go wrong with this lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        crazy amazing portrait lens!!!

        By bajang

        from dekalb il

        Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

        I own a nikkor 50 1.4g but it's nothing compared to this master lens in terms of build quality, sharpness, contrast and clarity! Since I started using this lens every picture in the album I post socially gets tons of likes! The only time im going to prefer my 50mm I guess is when I know my subject will be constantly moving or if I don't have enough room to work with.

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        (1 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Nikon prices and choices challenging

        By larryd

        from brooklyn

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Cheapo Construction
        • Focus Issues

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Night Photography
        • Portraits

        Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

        depending on the body used this lens works OK but did not like Not being able to manually focus when in auto mode,, and was not that impressed with sharpness overall...for [$]. it is $500 less than the 1.4G, supposedly the best of the group, and 500 more than the slightly slower 1.8G.,which I ended up getting after returning this one..,.,reviews and tech reports are totally wishy washy and to really figure it all out you should have to use the three and come up with your own conclusion. Nikon has really become a strange company with their insane pricing and low quality but affordable consumer lenses.,.,and confusing choices . At this point in time, if budget restrictions prevail quality suffers,, recommend this for friends who still do film,.,.,

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome lens

        By tjc

        from Austin Texas

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Night Photography
          • Studio Portraits
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

          I have wanted this lens for a long time. I am a weekend warrior shooting weddings, events and studio portraits. I own the 85mm 1.8D lens and it is extremely sharp, but too soft at 1.8. The 1.4D is sharp in the center all the way through, but incredibly sharp from 2.0 on. I previously purchased the 1.4G lens, but I returned it. I actually liked the sharpness and color a little bit better, but did not like the build quality and size. It dwarfed my D7000 camera. I like the old school flare of the 1.4D better. I leave the hood on all the time and the AF noise does not bother me. Weather sealing is not an issue since I normally don't shoot in the rain.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          Love this lens!

          By Zoe Rain

          from Seattle

          Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

          This is my go to lens for headshots and portraiture. Easy to use, lightweight, and a beautiful focal length. Definitely recommend

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          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Love it!

          By Pretty Pix

          from Northern Virginia

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Nice Bokeh

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

            I've wanted this Lense for a long time, it did not dissapoint :)

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            AFNikkor 85mm f/1.4D lens

            By dmz

            from SanJose,CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

              I am using this lens for portraits, tabletop, and product photography,as well as a short-telephoto walk around lens.

              It is fast focusing on my D700. I really like the creamy Bokeh, and shallow depth of field. Stopped down a bit images are tact sharp!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great lens

              By scbeer

              from California

              Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

              Smooth bokeh! Fast focus and sharp pictures on my D800.

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Lens

              By Adrien

              from Boston,MA

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Portraits

                Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                An f1.4 lens can be a challenge. I am not that interested in the amount of light that it lets in, but rather the ability to get a very shallow DOF and beautiful bokeh. That being said, shooting wide open with this lens takes some practice, requires a well tuned AF system and the willingness to lose some shots due to near misses. The AF is fast, the bokeh is amazing, and images at 2.8 and 3.5 are spectacular, IMO.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                2 Awesome Choices

                By Bear

                from Baton Rouge, LA

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • NONE

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                My recent purchase of an outstanding Nikon Camera lense turn out to be such an awesome purchase.

                My experience with B & H Photo was just as good because they offered:
                Vast inventory of quality products
                Knowledgeable Service
                Quick Responses
                Quick Delivery

                Can't ask for more.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                It goes without saying...

                By Luis Rivera

                from The outskirts of Tampa Florida

                Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                The product speaks for itself; the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D along with the other line of 85's is an absolutely extraordinary lens for portraits.
                And yes, for reliability-I buy all my equipment through B&H.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Portrait Lens

                By Photomonk

                from New York, NY

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Extremely Good Bokeh
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                  The images getting out of this lens at f5.6 and up are extremely crisp with awesome Bokeh (even without the Nikon DC technology in 105mm and 135mm D lenses)! The advantage of this lens comparing to the either the 105mm or 135mm is the weight, which is much lighter. Although it is not a weather sealed, it is built mostly with metal and the built quality is close to perfect. Because it utilizes a screw-on metal lens hood, it might take a little more effort to change screw-on filters. But again this is just a very minor issue. It is made for someone who is serious about taking portraits, landscape and anything in between.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent portrait lens

                  By Steve Stanley

                  from Atlanta, GA

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Poor in Low Light
                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                  So far I have shot over 1000 pictures with this lens on many different photo shoots in the studio and on location. The lens is sharp, crisp and the color reproduction is fantastic. The depth of field, bokeh is exactly what I'm looking for in a portrait lens. I shoot with the Nikon D800E and this camera demands a high quality lens. So far I am very impressed with this lens. At low light levels with the lens set at f1.4 the image quality and DOF is very impressive however the lens did some searching to find its focus. The focus is a bit slow and noisy.
                  Over all, this is a great lens!!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Solid Performer

                  By Amudgarden

                  from Phoeniix, MD

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                    I've used this lens on a couple of outdoor portrait shoots so far, and it hasn't disappointed in the slightest. Easy to work with, auto focus is plenty quick enough and accurate, and it feels solid and balanced mounted on the D800E. Basically, it takes the shot how you wanted it to be taken.

                    It's not the most contrasty lens (sort of the opposite of the Zeiss 85mm, which delivers overwhelming contrast), but that's OK since it will only be used primarily for portraits...I usually like a certain softness to the image. At f/5.6 and f/8 (only apertures I've shot at so far), I see no degradation of the image or distortion to the corners. The image is crisp and sharp.

                    Overall, I'm pleased with the performance of this lens...for portraiture, it's a winner.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love this lens!

                    By Scout

                    from CA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                    This is a great lens! It's great for portraits. Really sharp and really fast and really fun to use!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love, Love, Love this lens...

                    By Nkon Fanatic

                    from New Haven, CT

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Babies
                      • Children
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens:

                      I specialize in expressive portraiture and love capturing fairly close up views of big smiles and gorgeous eyes. This prime lens is superb. So far, it's been used in two sessions and produced sensational portraits. Of course it helped that the baby is very cute and happy and the little girl is a beauty queen.

                      After spending about a month researching, the super helpful salesperson, James at B&H expertly guided my final decision.

                      Can literally shoot hand held at a slow shutter speed and still get sharp focus using continuous lights and strobes.

                      Really like how the prime lens makes one work within the space to get the best framing.

                      I firmly believe in using the right tools for the job so there are no negatives to report. Hope this helps.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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