Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF

Last updated (15 October’11):
– Review by MomentCorp

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF is a medium telephoto lens. The lens features 85mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f1.8. The lens construction has 6 elements in 6 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 28 degrees 30 minutes (35mm format), 18 degrees 50 minutes (Nikon DX format). Closest focusing distance at 3 feet. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF lens weighs 13.2 ounces and it measures 2.8 inches in diameter and 2.3 inches in long.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Reviews reviews the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF and writes;
“Quite an astonishing lens, performance is almost at top of the line. The lens outperforms it’s price with ease, delivering great results. Contrast is pretty damn good even wide open. I rated this lens for portrait photography, as this is what the lens is more or less made for. I would rate it 4 out of 5 for other types of shooting, the reason for this is quite simple, on a portrait lens it’s ok for some softness wide open. From f/2 and to f/8 the lens shows remarkable results. Definitely worth it’s price.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF and writes;
“In its own right, the 85mm is an excellent lens, offering class-leading performance for chromatic aberration, very low corner shading at wide apertures, and practically no distortion. Sharpness is excellent at ƒ/2.8, only showing a touch of softness when used wide open. For the price, if you need the 85mm focal length, the lens is an excellent option we have no trouble recommending.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF and writes;
“Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D is a pretty solid lens, that despite its aging design still manages to show some character. Image resolution is quite decent on both APS-C as well as FF cameras “
rating: N/A reviews the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF and writes;
“The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D was a very boring lens during the tests simply because it showed a exceptional performance in all tested categories. Besides the lab results the lens shows a beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus blur). If I had to name a weakness it may be flare in contra light but it is a minor issue in the otherwise very harmonic package. So if you´re looking for a portrait lens or a similar application where you would like to isolate an object from its environment this is an ideal lens. Highly recommended! “
Rating: ★★★★★

User Opinions

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF User Reviews

Sharp lens, beautiful bokeh | Rating: ★★★★★
“I bought this lens for my Nikon D80, and I love it! It is incredibly sharp, and renders beautiful bokeh. I’ve taken many portraits with this lens, and all have turned out beautifully. If you’re like me, and can’t afford the 85mm f/1.4, this lens is perfect. I’m so glad that I bought it, and now that I have it, I can’t see myself ever needing the f/1.4, this one does the job amazingly well. “ – by Lori Collett

its all that, and good for basketball | Rating: ★★★★★
“Thanks to other reviews and advice found online, I bought this lens so I could shoot my son’s basketball games and hopefully get some “stop motion” shots in a mediocre lit gym. The lens arrived in record time, and I shot a game the same day. I was pleasantly surprised at the results, and am sure I would have gotten some even better shots if I had had time to read the book or study up on the new camera (that arrived the same day), my Nikon D-90. Very satisfied with this purchase, and highly recommend this lens. yes; I was considering a different brand, but am glad I paid a bit extra for this lens instead. “ – by Big B

This thing delivers | Rating: ★★★★★
“If you have a grand to burn…get the 1.4. If you are a practical person, enjoy maxin’ out the gear you currently own before buying more stuff get the 1.8. This lens produces absolute beauty. The Bokeh is very…and i mean very pleasing and, of course, sharp as hell. I own various fixed lenses and even the 80-200mm af-s behemoth(serious “bokeh-er”)and I’m still drawn to my 85mm 1.8 like a magnet. I believe in squeezing my current gear before moving on to 1.4’s for example. That’s just me. This Nikkor is indeed fantastic. This is your lens if you need above average performance at a reasonable price. “ – by Orlando Gonzalez

Wonderful lens, especially for crop-size DSLRs | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I like the 85mm focal length very much. On a Nikon crop-size DSLR, the 85mm focal length is a very useful short-to-medium telephoto length, giving a nice field of view with just enough distance compression to get a pleasant telephoto perspective. This lens’ wide aperture gives plenty of control of depth of field, allowing you to isolate your subject and get just the right amount of defocus elsewhere in the frame. I tend to prefer to use it at f/2.8 or so, although having the ability to go to f/1.8 is certainly useful at times. “ – by Glenn Carpenter

No need for the 85 f/1.4 for my needs! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I LOVE this lens!!! When shooting, I ALWAYS go to this lens for that “has to be sharp” photograph. I can’t believe I took so long to purchase this, but am so glad that I did! Focus is fast and accurate, and it does suffer from some CA, but only in extreme cases…but can be corrected easily in photoshop! This lens has a great build, great weight and a great feel to it. 85mm is great for portraits, and the f/1.8 offers a VERY NICE bokeh!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!” – by Ahmed Roberson “A.Roberson”

my new favorite lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“i really struggled over whether or not to drop the extra $1000 and get the 85 1.4. i decided to save my money for now, and i must say i am really pleased with this lens. it’s by far my favorite lens i own, and i have rarely taken it off my camera. the clarity is great, and the colors even seem more vibrant. beautiful DoF, sparkly bokeh, and sharp. a definite must-have for portraits!” – by M. Mosley “photomom”

Killer optics & build; but can be tricky to focus, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This is a solid performer on any Nikon, although the old-school screw-drive AF system will render it less useful on less compatible models. The depth of field is so narrow at f/1.8, that users will have hard time nailing sharp focus on moving objects if they’re limited to manual focus mode (as you would on a D60 or D5000 for instance). On my D90, this lens is awesome — razor sharp with professional-looking bokeh. I never liked the built-in flash using my other lens (16-85mm Nikon), but I find that shots taken with my 85mm look totally different — the bokeh is so rich that the harsh background shadows otherwise captured with lesser lenses just disappear in the blur. Even with functional AF on my D90, accurate focus tracking can be tricky on moving subjects. I suspect that if this lens was updated to AF-S, it might focus a tad quicker (and not drain my battery so fast). But overall, this is a great lens for the price. Flawless optical quality. “ – by Erik H.

Fantastic lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“Great contrast, bokeh, and speed! Only wish you didn’t have to be 3′ from the subject. This lens is a keeper.” – by Aimee Starr

Excellent Portrait / Low Light Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is an excellent lens for portrait and low light photography. I used it to shoot a cheerleading group at a night stadium game – the portraits of the cheerleaders were sublime!!! While I am better using my F2.8 70-200mm lens for football action photos, this lens was perfect for closeups and group shots of the cheerleaders. I hope to use this lens for high school basketball. Can’t wait. Very pleased!!!! “ – by G. Witenske

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Sample Photos @


Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF User Manual

– Download Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF User Manual (PDF – 1.7Mb)

Features & Specifications

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Specifications

Lens-making is an art–Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world’s finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the “glass” that makes the world’s greatest pictures.

AF Nikkor lenses work with Nikon SLRs for optimal performance, even the very latest. The Nikon 85mm f1.8D AF Nikkor is a compact and portable medium telephoto lens ideal for indoor or outdoor portraits. An excellent choice for your first telephoto lens, it features subtle blurring of background for beautifully natural and evocative portraits, Rear Focusing system for fast and smooth optical performance, and weighs 13.2 ounces.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating ensures exceptional performance
To enhance the performance of its optical lens elements, Nikon employs an exclusive multilayer lens coating that helps reduce ghost and flare to a negligible level. Nikon Super Integrated Coating achieves a number of objectives, including minimized reflection in the wider wavelength range and superior color balance and reproduction. Nikon Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors. Also, Nikon’s multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular lens. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure the uniform color balance that characterizes Nikkor lenses. This results in lenses that meet much higher standards than the rest of the industry.

Rear Focusing
With Nikon’s Rear Focusing (RF) system, all the lens elements are divided into specific lens groups, with only the rear lens group moving for focusing. This makes autofocusing operation smoother and faster.

Distance information
D-type and G-type Nikkors relay subject-to-camera distance information to AF Nikon camera bodies. This then makes possible advances like 3D Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash. Note: D-type and G-type Nikkors provide distance information to the following cameras: Auto exposure; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, F65, F60, F55, F50, Pronea S, Pronea 600i, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70. Flash control; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70 cameras.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, 62mm snap-on front lens cap, rear lens cap LF-1, screw-in hood HN-23.

One Response to “Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF”

  1. Keith G says:

    The beauty of this lens, beside the great optical quality, is that it looks very subtle, not in your face like a large zoom. Yet it allows you get in close without intimidating your subjects.

    Great for portraits of kids, they can act up the closer you get, it’s nice to have the distance.

    Also great for gigs, street, weddings … anywhere you might be a little bit back from your targets. Top notch.

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