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NikonAF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Classic Portrait Lens
 
4.9

(based on 234 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (216)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (120)
  • Reliable (99)
  • Durable (96)
  • Lightweight (62)
  • Nice bokeh (28)

Cons

  • Heavy / bulky (15)
  • Price (8)
  • Pricey / poor value (8)
  • Cost (3)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (164)
  • Studio (84)
  • Everyday (47)
  • Travel (44)
  • Home (29)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (65), Semi-professional (51), Professional (43), Tech savvy (10), Semi-pro photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (214), Yes (4)

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

 

Jittery Copy - Disparity in Clarity

Delighted to receive a rare copy of this back ordered lens but the one I received had convergence issues at 8 feet and beyond. My copy drove me to discover the micro metering adjustments...Read complete review

Delighted to receive a rare copy of this back ordered lens but the one I received had convergence issues at 8 feet and beyond. My copy drove me to discover the micro metering adjustments of my D700 which helped tame unwanted flaring. Even with its problems, the lens revealed phenomenal detail and immaculate sharpness; this disparity in clarity (no rhyme intended) drove me insane - like a bad love affair. So much so good yet something so wrong. To prove I wasn't crazy I rented the Sigma 85 1.4 which rendered absolute sharpness in comparable shots. But I'm holding out to see if a replacement for the Nikon will be spot on - I crave the multi-dimensiional imaging promise of the glass and look forward to joining the 5* club when I receive a good copy.

Reviewed by 234 customers

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5.0

Favorite lens!

By ChristinainFL

from Jacksonville, FL

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

This is the lens I shoot with 90% of the time. Definitely worth the price.

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5.0

Beautiful glass

By jrf

from Seattle, WA

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Portraits
      • Studio

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

      There is not much I can add to previous reviews raving about the dreamy bokeh, clarity and quality of this lens. I did spend some time debating the value vs the 85mm 1.8, but from the moment I unpackaged the lens and with the first few sessions, no regrets at all.If you are taking the time to read reviews of this lens, I would imagine you might be considering the 105mm or the 135mm DC alternatives for portrait work, as I was. For my purposes, the 85mm has turned out to be extremely versatile for both indoor and outdoor work, and though I would love to own one (or both) of the above lenses, I suspect the 85mm will remain my go-to glass in most cases.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Outstanding Len

      By McGable in Vegas

      from Las Vegas, Nevada

      About Me Semi-Professional

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

      • Price

      Best Uses

      • Portraits
      • Studio

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

      This lens capture true beauty...and I used my D70!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Ahhhmazing

      By jamoore07

      from Columbia, SC

      About Me Professional

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Portraits
        • Studio

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

        I've had the 85mm f/1.4D for years and loved it but it had its shortcomings such as being soft at 1.4 and iffy focus at longer distances, but the f/1.4G makes up for all those. It is fast focusing, and sharp all over. It is the perfect "Classic" Portrait lens. Also, it is lighter than the D.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Not Flawless, But Excellent Overall

        By Seattle Joe

        from Seattle, WA

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Beautiful bokeh
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Sharp At Max Aperture

        Cons

        • Expensive
        • Loca At Max Aperature

        Best Uses

        • Automotive
        • Everyday use
        • Home
        • Landscape Photography
        • Portraits
        • Studio

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

        I've used this lens to take over a thousand photos now, and I feel like I can give it a fair review.

        Overall: this is a spectacular and highly capable lens with beautiful bokeh, usable sharpness wide open, and biting crystal clear images stopped down. It makes the most out of the D800E's sensor. But it does have a few drawbacks.

        I'll discuss those drawbacks first. The main problem with this lens is high levels of Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (LoCA) when used wide open. LoCA is often present on ultra-fast glass (unless you get one that is truly APO), and the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G definitely suffers from it. You will primarily notice it as purple fringes along high contrast subjects as well as green fringes on the edge of some highlights and bokeh circles. Lightroom and Capture One both include methods of reducing LoCA, though it can be tricky (purple fringes on a purple flower, for example, can make Lightroom turn the whole edge of the flower gray). LoCA can also reduce the perceived sharpness of the lens. All that said, this lens never gets as bad (in terms of LoCA) as, for example, the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro Planar.

        The LoCA issue largely resolves itself by stopping down to around f/2.8. By f/5.6 it's totally gone.

        The only other drawbacks of the lens are slight: the price is very high (especially compared to Nikon's own 85mm f/1.8G), the focus speed is good but not blazingly fast, it can mis-focus at f/1.4 occasionally, and it has a pretty short minimum focus distance (not a macro lens by any means).

        The positives, however, outweigh the negatives for this lens (in my opinion). It is sharp enough wide open for very usable shots (even blown up, even with the demanding D800E sensor) when you land the razor-thin focus on your intended subject. In fact, it feels as sharp at f/1.4 as some zoom lenses get at their very best aperture. Stopped down, from f/2.8 to f/8 or so, this lens is extremely sharp, fully capable of delivering on every little bit of resolution that the D800E can provide.

        Color rendition is good (very Nikon). The Nano coatings provide great flare resistance and high levels of saturation and contrast. The bokeh (out of focus highlights) is - as expected and demanded for a fast 85mm 'portrait' lens - very good, even excellent.

        I would love the build quality to be a bit better, but it is a gold-ringed 'pro' lens from Nikon with everything a modern pro lens from Nikon gets (solid plastic composite body, some weather sealing, etc) - so if you are okay with other pro Nikon lenses, or used to Nikon's consumer lenses, this one will make you happy. You might be a little disappointed if you only use Zeiss ZF glass...

        Aside from making this lens APO, the main thing that would improve this lens in my mind would be if Nikon could fit the VRIII technology from the 70-200mm f/4 into this lens' relatively compact body. 85mm can be reaching the tricky point to hand-hold at lower shutter speeds, and that advanced VR would make this lens even more versatile.

        Overall, if you can afford it and you want the pro build, Nano coatings, and f/1.4 max aperture, this is a fantastic lens. The 85mm f/1.8G is surely worth a go instead of this one if you want so save some money and don't need the aforementioned aspects of this lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Magical lens

        By hokomphotography

        from Thousand Oaks, CA

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Reliable

        Cons

        • Bulky

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Portraits
        • Studio

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

        This is a great lens with beautiful bokeh. I use it on a d800e and it never comes off the camera. Wide open sharpness is amazing and it gives beautiful shots. If you want to have a shallow depth of field that is useable for people this would be your lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Delivers the Goods!

        By Jimdrob

        from KY, US

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Big Honkin' Piece O Glass
        • Bokehlicious
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • I Said Sharp
        • I Said Sharp Right
        • Sharp
        • Very sharp

        Cons

        • Expensive But Oh Well

        Best Uses

        • Portraits
        • Studio
        • Traveling

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

        This lens is as good as everyone says. It's tack sharp and the bokeh is magnificent. The backgrounds just melt away. Autofocus is very quiet. I have nothing else to add that hasn't already been said many times. I am very satisfied.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great Lens for Portraits

        By sivan

        from New York

        About Me Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Reliable

        Cons

        • Bulky

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Portraits

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

        Love that lens for Portraits.
        Perfect depth of field and framing

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Stunning, frickin stunning

        By Nikonandy

        from Seattle, WA

        About Me Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Bokeh
        • Durable
        • Overall Amazing
        • Sharp

        Cons

        • Chromatic aberration
        • Heavy
        • Slow AF

        Best Uses

        • Candids
        • Portraits

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

        This is a 5 star lens for me. For some it may be lower, like 4.8 stars. But enough about the whiners, this lens gives me images like none other in the price point. Sure, the 200/2 competes with this one on gorgeous bokeh, but maybe that's just a really good reason to get the 85.

        First, things that fall short with this lens: AF is slower than super fast. It's not a creeping AF speed, like the canon 85 1.2 that you wait months for while it tracks, it's just a bit slower than what you'll probably be used to. The glass is a bit heavier to move than a nifty 50. You will also deal with a bit of fringing in brighter lighting, something I'm used to and has never bothered me, but hey, it's the "negatives" part of the review. Also, it's a touch heavy, but that's pretty normal for a 1.4.

        Best things ever: This sucker is sharp. You nail the focus and it's just gorgeous. The bokeh (out of focus light rendering) of this lens is sooooo dreamy. It'll throw your background out with just lovely shapes while keeping your subject sharp as a knife. I literally didn't use my 50 1.4 once this last weekend for my most recent wedding. I used this lens for portraits and candids where I wanted to get a closer framing (the 35 caught my wider shots).

        Just rent or borrow one. Take a couple portraits right there, then buy the thing. If you're considering it seriously, trust me, you won't regret the purchase. As cliche as it sounds, the only regret I have with this lens is not buying it sooner.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great lens!

        By June Etta

        from Wichita, Kansas

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Reliable
        • Solid feel

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Portraits

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

          I do a fair amount of portrait photography, and have been interested in this lens for some time. Up until I bought this lens, I relied heavily on my 105mm and my 70-200 for much of my work. While I love both of these lenses, I felt that I wanted the 85mm for times when the 105mm was a bit too long. Also, I wanted something a little lighter weight than the 70-200; hours of using this lens have started to take a toll on my arms. The 85mm is everything that I expected it to be, and I am really happy that I finally picked one up!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Prime lens that's ready for primetime.

          By Photo Geek

          from Sacramento, CA

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Common 77mm Filter Size
          • Lightweight
          • Sharp Sharp Sharp
          • Superb bokeh

          Cons

          • No image stabilization
          • Price

          Best Uses

          • Low-light photography
          • Portraits
          • Studio
          • Traveling

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

          This lens, while not new to Nikon's roster, may be the best of the best. It's sharper than any lens I've had or seen. Its images are crisp with precise color rendition and excellent contrast. This fast, F/1.4, lens produces superior bokeh at wide aperatures and its 85mm focal length is versatile and perfect for portraiture and low-light photography.

          Its optics are so excellent that image quality appears professionally done, even if you're far from being a Pro.

          The lens is pricy, however, quality has a price and this lens can produce its weight in gold.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Sharp with Sweet Bokeh

          By PK Walt

          from Greensboro, NC

          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fast
          • Reliable
          • Sharp

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Everyday use
            • Home
            • Portraits
            • Studio
            • Traveling

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

            Every time I press the shutter I have to pull up my socks again. Amazingly quick focus even in dimly lit situations. Just absolutely great. Anyone who can afford it needs to get one; even if you can't afford it, you still need to get one.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Couldnt Have Asked for more

            By Josh B

            from Amesbury,MA

            About Me Semi-Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Portraits

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

              I decided to try and start a side biz taking potraits. This lens is the best piece of equitment I ever bought and am very glad I invested in it. Its beyond clear and love the tight plane of focus.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Excellent Quality

              By GLAR

              from Colombia s.a.

              About Me Professional

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape Photography

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

                Fort, good looks, excellent, flash brightness in the shot for their fast and highly accurate approach.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Exciting results

                By Andrea

                from Greenville, SC

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

                The best lens I have ever purchased. I have recently switched to a fill frame D800. This is my first DX lens. I think it was an excellent choice for me; I take a lot of people photos.

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                (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Stellar Glass

                By Michelle

                from Denver, CO

                About Me Professional

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Crisp

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Low-light
                  • Portraits

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

                  I switched from Canon to Nikon because I was pleased with the low-light capabilities of Nikon for still photographs. The 85mm f/1.2 was my favorite Canon lens, so I had to purchase this and give it a go. I'm not disappointed. The image quality is crisp, always in focus, even in low light.

                  My only gripe:
                  I've always thought Canon's products were made to be sturdier and more high-quality, even down to the small details like lens pouches.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  A great product

                  By Joe

                  from columbus, indiana

                  About Me Getting Started

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Macro Photography
                    • Portraits
                    • Studio

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

                    fast service, the sale rep answered all my questions...

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Amazing Portrait Lens

                    By Erika

                    from Los Angeles, CA

                    About Me Professional

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Portraits

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

                        This lens is awesome! I shoot a lot of portraiture and this lens hardly comes off my Nikon D4. The bokeh is creamy dreamy and the focal length is especially flattering when shooting adults. It's sharp, fast and awesome!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Great lens!

                        By Pat

                        from Sacramento

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

                        Love this lens. B and H was quick to deliver it. I would order through them again.

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                        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        satisfecho

                        By Omargep

                        from Chile.

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

                        Producto excelente, en buen estado, todo correcto.

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