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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 306 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (279)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 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

 

Very Close to the 85/1.8G - A Tough Decision

I have owned a 85/1.8G for at least two years. I also own several lenses from the 1.4G series. Knowing how well the 1.4G series performs I decided to purchase the 85/1.4G...Read complete review

I have owned a 85/1.8G for at least two years. I also own several lenses from the 1.4G series. Knowing how well the 1.4G series performs I decided to purchase the 85/1.4G to see how it works in real-life shooting situations compared to my 85/1.8G. (My comparison is limited to apertures from f1.4 to f2.8.)

At f1.8, the 85/1.4G has about the same center sharpness as the 85/1.8G. The 1.4G is a tad soft at f1.4 but still great!

The major difference in terms of sharpness is that the 1.8G has quite a large area of sharpness, whereas the 1.4G has more of a spot of sharpness. This definitely is a strong point for portrait photography! IMO, the 85/1.8G is too sharp for portraiture at f1.8 already, while the 1.4G produces attractive softness around what I want to see sharp (the eyes).

Overall, the 1.4G appears sharper compared to the 1.8G, because it produces a marginal, albeit noticeable edge of contrast and color detail. In that regard the 1.4G beats the 1.8G anytime.

The 1.4G clearly wins in terms of bokeh. The background just melts away. I had some situations, with strong horizontal contrast features far behind my subject, where the 1.8G actually seemed to produce some strong artifacts in the bokeh - not pretty, but rarely happening, as it depends very much on the shooting and lighting situation.

Summing up the above, the 1.4G is clearly better for situations, were one wants the best color and contrast, and subject isolation. The 1.8G is clearly better for situation where one needs the best possible sharpness.

My greatest complaint about the 85/1.4G is about focusing reliability. Both, my 1.4G and the 1.8G calibrated at -4 on my D3s and D700. In real-life shooting however, the 85/1.4G's focusing and its focus shift are very unreliable. It's hit and miss. It also highly dependents on subject distance. With my 1.8G I get 90% of shots focused where I want them to focus. With the 1.4G I am lucky if I get my focus 2 out of 10 times where I want it. Ouchy, Ouchy, Ouchy!

Reviewed by 306 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

So happy to finally have this lens!

By JessR

from California

Verified Buyer

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

Exceptional lens, I am a wedding and portrait photographer. The depth of field is beautiful

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

You need to buy it!

By Laszlo

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Perfect lens!

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great prime lens

By Kelly

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Got this lens for both product and portrait photography. It is a great focal length for portraits since you don't have to get too close to your subject. It works well for products as well as long as you have a little room in your studio to get far enough away from the item. Love the clarity and focus of the final images as well as the bokeh. I'm loving using it!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Quality Portrait Lens

By Guy

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I wanted this lens for a long time and finally made the purchase. It's my go-to lens for portraits. I love the bokeh, and it's really sharp from edge to edge even wide open. Definitely a "keeper". This is great tool to have in anyone's camera bag. The build quality is excellent, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Nikon.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens from the Nikon lineage.

By Manfai

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Optics is superb, sharp and nice bokeh. f/1.4 may be an overkill, but it is nice to have especially shooting indoor without flash.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A lens you should definitely use if shooting portraits.

By Luis

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I use this lens for portraits and do not know what I waited for on this purchase. The lens gives me the detail I need with smooth backgrounds.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful Lens

By Gary

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I wanted a lens that would go below f2.8 for portrait work and something a little lighter than my 70-200 for studio work. This lens has a stellar reputation so it was really a no-brainer. VR would be nice but they will probably announce a new one with VR about a month after I bought this one. I did have to fine tune the focus slightly on my D810, it was back focusing but worked without a hitch on my d4s...

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A great purchase...

By Yessica Cruz

from Mexico City

Verified Buyer

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

This lens is great, and also it is the personal of B&H who helped me to make my choice, was a great buying experience, i will buy again in B&H, a 100% recommended.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Yes, I would buy this product again.

By Marty the photographer

from Los Angeles, CA

Verified Buyer

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

The color and clarity of my pictures are breathtaking. I Could not be any happier with my purchase. Thanks also for your expertise that helped me purchase the lens.
My wife and I are going on vacation by the ocean; am looking forward to taking pictures with the filters that
came with the lens.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Portrait Lens

By WAYNE

from Undisclosed

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

The 85 mm is considered the classic portrait lens. I like the fast 1.4 aperture and though I normally shoot in manual mode, I have experimented with aperture priority
settings 1.4-2.0-2.8 with great results. I have a 70-200 mm which allows me to use a focal length of
85 mm with zoom capability but the
fixed 85 seems to give me a sharper
image (due to a faster lens @ 1.4 vs
2.8 on the 70-200). With the 85 in my bag I now have more latitude.

As always BandH sent me my purchase quickly and well packaged
from New York to a California guy.

Wayne in California

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Feel like I already got my money's worth...

By Matt

from Houston, TX

Verified Buyer

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

I bought this with the hope of upping my portraits. I love the results I've gotten already from a wedding and handful of portrait sessions I've done since: lighter than my 70-200 and capable of that nice creamy bokeh. I'm not shooting entirely on primes, but I can see why people do.

(29 of 44 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Very Close to the 85/1.8G - A Tough Decision

By JoEl

from Montana

Verified Reviewer

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

I have owned a 85/1.8G for at least two years. I also own several lenses from the 1.4G series. Knowing how well the 1.4G series performs I decided to purchase the 85/1.4G to see how it works in real-life shooting situations compared to my 85/1.8G. (My comparison is limited to apertures from f1.4 to f2.8.)

At f1.8, the 85/1.4G has about the same center sharpness as the 85/1.8G. The 1.4G is a tad soft at f1.4 but still great!

The major difference in terms of sharpness is that the 1.8G has quite a large area of sharpness, whereas the 1.4G has more of a spot of sharpness. This definitely is a strong point for portrait photography! IMO, the 85/1.8G is too sharp for portraiture at f1.8 already, while the 1.4G produces attractive softness around what I want to see sharp (the eyes).

Overall, the 1.4G appears sharper compared to the 1.8G, because it produces a marginal, albeit noticeable edge of contrast and color detail. In that regard the 1.4G beats the 1.8G anytime.

The 1.4G clearly wins in terms of bokeh. The background just melts away. I had some situations, with strong horizontal contrast features far behind my subject, where the 1.8G actually seemed to produce some strong artifacts in the bokeh - not pretty, but rarely happening, as it depends very much on the shooting and lighting situation.

Summing up the above, the 1.4G is clearly better for situations, were one wants the best color and contrast, and subject isolation. The 1.8G is clearly better for situation where one needs the best possible sharpness.

My greatest complaint about the 85/1.4G is about focusing reliability. Both, my 1.4G and the 1.8G calibrated at -4 on my D3s and D700. In real-life shooting however, the 85/1.4G's focusing and its focus shift are very unreliable. It's hit and miss. It also highly dependents on subject distance. With my 1.8G I get 90% of shots focused where I want them to focus. With the 1.4G I am lucky if I get my focus 2 out of 10 times where I want it. Ouchy, Ouchy, Ouchy!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent

By TheRealOmegaMan

from Davie, FL

Verified Buyer

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

Indoor, outdoor, shade, sun. Great lens. Excellent Boca at f/1.4 in close shooting. Great Portrait lens. Great nature lens. You won't be disappointed. Great clarity and color.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
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

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    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

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      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
       
      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
           
          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.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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

              (6 of 6 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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