REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens
 
4.9

(based on 293 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (267)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (144)
  • Reliable (124)
  • Durable (115)
  • Lightweight (75)
  • Nice bokeh (29)

Cons

  • Heavy / bulky (19)
  • Pricey / poor value (9)
  • Price (8)
  • Cost (3)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (207)
  • Studio (109)
  • Everyday (63)
  • Travel (61)
  • Home (39)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (77), Semi-professional (67), Professional (59), Tech savvy (10), Semi-pro photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (256), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

... even better than I anticipated

1. Focus speed

I expected the new lens to focus faster, and it is in fact .. quiet. It just IS in focus .. all of a sudden. It...Read complete review

1. Focus speed

I expected the new lens to focus faster, and it is in fact .. quiet. It just IS in focus .. all of a sudden. It really is much much faster. This alone would've made it an automatic upgrade for me.

If you're used to the f1.4D buzzing sound as it focuses .. especially when it hunts a bit, then this lens will be a real treat for you.

2. Focus accuracy

Better yet, I frequently enough got mis-focused shots with the f1.4D ... but with the f1.4G it appears to nail focus at f1.4 more often than the f1.4D
Focusing on a model's eyes during various simple portraits of her, the f1.4G nailed it more often. Pretty much every time. It is difficult making a qualitative assessment here, working hand-held with an f1.4 optic. If either you or your subject breathes, the plane of focus shifts. Despite that, the f1.4G definitely appeared more confident. The focus was accurate and just *there*.

So this is a big improvement.

3. Sharpness at f1.4
I honestly couldn't tell a difference with the central area. For properly focused shots, you could count eye-lashes on photos taken with either lens. Towards the edges though, the G lens is significantly sharper.

4. Contrast and control of flare ...
Here is where the other great news is ... the G lens controls flare much better than the D series lens if you shoot in back-lit situations.

5. Bokeh

I can't see a difference in the bokeh in various test shots with a model. I photographed railings and grid-like iron-work .. things which very quickly show up a lens when it has harsh bokeh. But to my eye, these two lenses had the same great bokeh.

Final initial assessment ... focus speed is greatly improved. Focus accuracy is improved. Edge to edge sharpness is significantly better. And the new lens handles flare like a champ.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good, but not much better than the 85mm f1.8G

My copy did not focus consistently at f1.4. The IQ and bokeh was also not much better than the 85mm f1.8G to justify the premium price paid. However, the f1.4G DOES focus significantly...Read complete review

My copy did not focus consistently at f1.4. The IQ and bokeh was also not much better than the 85mm f1.8G to justify the premium price paid. However, the f1.4G DOES focus significantly faster than the f1.8G. So, I chose to return the 85mm f1.4G and keep the 85mm f1.8G. If you don't need the professional build and the f1.4 bokeh, the 85mm f1.8G is a far better value at 1/3 the price. Time will tell how well the f1.8G (made in China) lens holds up relative to the f1.4G (made in Japan) lens.

Reviewed by 293 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

How'd do without???

By fatSkeeter

from Wellington, FL

About Me Semi-Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Portraits
    • Studio

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

    Love this lens.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Solid portrait lens

    By Kianski

    from Los Angeles, CA

    About Me Semi-Professional

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easy To Use

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape Photography
      • Portraits

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

      As expected, this lens produces great portrait shots but can also be used for other subjects. The build quality is fantastic and the results are worth the premium.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      In love with this lens

      By Em

      from Washington, DC

      About Me Semi-Professional

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

      So far this one is my favorite. Bokeh is dreamy, and the focus is tack sharp. Couldn't imagine life without it now that I have it!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Love It!

      By Lisa

      from Charlotte

      About Me Professional

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Portraits
          • Studio
          • Traveling

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

          Headshots & Portraits!
          Sharp and beautiful!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Amazing portrait lens

          By Zax

          from Slovakia

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

          It's nothing short of the superlatives in other reviews. Total satisfaction.

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          5.0

          amazing

          By adman

          from NH

          About Me Professional

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Portraits

              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

              the best portrait lens. not as battleship built as the f1.4 35mm, but a beautiful lens. not cheap but still worth it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Top of the line

              By clossonrr

              from Prescott, AZ

              About Me Semi-Professional

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Everyday use
                  • Home
                  • Portraits
                  • Studio
                  • Traveling

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                  Beautiful Bokeh, Upgraded from the 85mm 1.8g, while the 1.8g was excellent, I am able to notice a difference in bokeh in the 1.4g version. No regrets with the upgrade even considering the price difference!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Perfect lens for portraits!

                  By Pro Photo

                  from Sauk City Wisconsin

                  About Me Professional

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Portraits
                    • Studio

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                    Being a professional photographer that changed camera brands (yes, I changed from Pentax/Mamiya) I wanted to get that go to portrait lens like I had with my Mamiya. This lens had mixed reviews with ones that made me nervous about making the purchase. I took the "gamble" so to speak and was I NOT LET DOWN. This lens give me the smooth blur that I wanted, the tack sharpness of a professional series lens, and aperture range I was expecting from a pro series lens. (I know this is a F/1.4 lens from the tech specs, and I was looking for a lens that was in the aperture range)

                    I read some reviews that this lens was bad or slow at focusing. I have experienced none of these problems with my D4s. It does "hunt" for focus in low light. By low light I mean candle light where I was shooting at ISO 4,000 @ f/1.4 and 1/30 sec. This is not your "normal" shooting conditions but it was one area that I noticed the lens struggle just a touch. Though I do not know of any lens that would be able to get it right the first time in these conditions so it is not all that fair for me to say that this was the lens's fault.

                    My one and ONLY complaint about the lens is the lens hood. Mine seems to not stay on very secure compared to the 24-70mm and the 70-200. I have become accustomed to not having it on the lens (none of my medium format lenses had lens hoods so I do not find this out of the ordinary to not use one)

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    As Good As It Gets!

                    By Jingle Writer

                    from Los Angeles, CA

                    About Me Semi-Professional

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Dreamy Bokeh
                    • Gorgeous Rendering
                    • Ideal Portrait Lens

                    Cons

                    • Big And Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Portraits
                    • Studio

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                    It's a wonder I don't take this lens out more than I do. It isn't small or travel-light so sometimes it sits for months on end. But when it's time for the medium long FOV for portraiture, subject separation and bokeh, there is no equal. I've used this lens primarily on paid gigs where the whole kit comes along anyway: weddings, events and portraits. In those uses, it is the gold standard. It has a way of rendering that is both super sharp when and where it's needed and also dreamy and luscious when you want to get in close-up and personal. You can't take a bad shot with the lens.

                    I pair mine up to the Nikon D750. I can recommend it any higher. If you're agonizing about this, pull the trigger!

                    Peace!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Bokeh bokeh bokeh

                    By Nikon Fan

                    from Bay Area, CA

                    About Me Casual user

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                      This lens is beautifully made. It's known for its portrait capability with unmatched bokeh. I have also used it for scenery shots as a mid range zoom and quite capable at that. It stays on my Df the entire month since acquiring it, as I try to shoot with only one lens instead of having the entire arsenal at my disposal.

                      The f1.4 is quite capable in low light, auto focus is accurate and fast, worth every penny. Weight and size are non-issue for me.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Perfect lens for Portrait Photograph

                      By Ed

                      from Seattle, WA

                      About Me Semi-Professional

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Portraits
                        • Studio
                        • Traveling

                        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                        Like it very much.
                        It's my first choice for portrait photograph.

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                        5.0

                        Love.

                        By Taryn

                        from Columbus georgia

                        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                        Great lens.. Great site to order from! I have bought multiple lenses they arrive fast and are always perfect!

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                        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        3.0

                        Good, but not much better than the 85mm f1.8G

                        By RJ

                        from Maryland

                        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Everyday use
                            • Home
                            • Portraits
                            • Traveling

                            Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                            My copy did not focus consistently at f1.4. The IQ and bokeh was also not much better than the 85mm f1.8G to justify the premium price paid. However, the f1.4G DOES focus significantly faster than the f1.8G. So, I chose to return the 85mm f1.4G and keep the 85mm f1.8G. If you don't need the professional build and the f1.4 bokeh, the 85mm f1.8G is a far better value at 1/3 the price. Time will tell how well the f1.8G (made in China) lens holds up relative to the f1.4G (made in Japan) lens.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Bad reviews mostly based on inexperienced buyers

                            By SBS

                            from Ypsilanti, Michigan

                            About Me Professional

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Reliable

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Portraits
                              • Studio

                              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                              I have been reading about this lens not being sharp and not working in auto-focus. One user identifying herself as a professional photographer was irate that it had not come precalibrated as it would cost $ to have it done.. What??? No lens can be precalibrated as each should be matched to a specific camera body. It cost nothing.. as in zero dollars to do this. I have calibrated each and every lens to each of my bodies. I am using Nikon D810s and after calibration the body remembers the setting and applies it whenever the lens is mounted. It takes a ruler and a sharp eye and that's it. Learn your settings people! Calibration is a few minute project. This lens is tack sharp and at wide open aperture has beautiful out of focus background. It has been my go to for portraits and low light projects and yes, I am a professional photographer shooting since the mid 1960s.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Ultimate Highend Photographic Objective

                              By Glenn M.

                              from Lake Stevens WA

                              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                              Very rich in results after capturing subjects where background consistency is well defined in the whole beauty of the picture brought in by this Nikkor lens. In plain language, picture perfect!

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                              5.0

                              Super Portrait Lens

                              By Guygabriel

                              from New York Metropolitan Area

                              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Super Sharp

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                                This lis a fantastic portrait lens. The Bokeh is outstanding. I've had this lens on my "wishlist" for some time, and just couldn't pass it up when Nikon had their annual lens sale. It focuses fast, even under low-light situations, and the color rendition is spot-on. It's a great addition to my modest collection of Nikon G Lenses. I believe it's so important to get top-quality lenses when pairing them with a full-frame DSLR, such as the D800E. I can never understand why people purchase high-end, high-resolution cameras, and then buy third-party lenses.

                                I am extremely happy with my decision to purchase this lens.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • Yes

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                                (1 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                3.0

                                Disappointed

                                By Vikie

                                from Portland, OR

                                About Me Professional

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                  • Calibration Issues

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Portraits

                                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                                  I feel very disappointed as I took a plunge and bought three 1.4 lenses, all of which lacked sharpness. I was told I need to calibrate them but it costs over $250. I would except it come calibrated for such price

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  My Favorite Nikon Lens!

                                  By Bill

                                  from Laguna Niguel, CA

                                  About Me Semi-Professional

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Durable
                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Precise
                                  • Reliable

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Everyday use
                                    • Home
                                    • Portraits
                                    • Street
                                    • Studio
                                    • Traveling

                                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                                    There's a reason why most of the reviews of this amazing lens are 5 Stars... It's simply one of the best lenses Nikon has ever designed and made! My favorite "Go To Nikkors" are the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G, and now the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G. The 85mm is outstanding for portraits, events, low-light photography, and everyday shooting! It's super sharp, great depth of color, accurate auto focus, and renders super smooth and beautiful bokeh!! It balances perfectly and feels just right mounted on my Nikon D810. The build is solid, precise, super smooth, and made for a life time of use. I've wanted 85mm f/1.4 for a long time and I am so glad I finally made the purchase!
                                    I appreciate quality, precision, and great photographic tools that help me render "Images that Matter"... this is one of those tools! I love this phenomenal lens! It's an investment and pricey, but I believe you get what you pay for. If you decide to buy this lens I don't think you will regret it!

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Changed the way I do Photography

                                    By CossMan16

                                    from Taylorville, IL

                                    About Me Semi-Professional

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Durable
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Reliable

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Everyday use
                                      • Portraits

                                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                                      First let me just say I was LIED too twice by B&H about when I was suppose to receive this lens of which they did nothing to correct there wrong doing or admitting failure to communicate with me and there employees.

                                      Ok now aside from that, the lens is GREAT!! The bokeh is crazy awesome on this lens. It really has changed the way I shoot and interact with my clients. The pictures are like night and day compared to other lenses that are at f2.8. Great lens for portraits, probably the best next to an Otus.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      A definite must have

                                      By ashley

                                      from California

                                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens:

                                      This lens proves it's with, both in size/weight and performance. When shooting opened wide, my backgrounds are silky smooth and beautiful- not blotchy or digitized like others. Light weight, simplistic and a flawless portrait lens. I dont take this thing off my d750.

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