AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
A must have lens for portrait photographer.
It's worth every penny spent.
Razor-sharp details and silky sweet bokeh.
July 30, 2010
One of the greatest Nikkor portrait lenses ever
This is one of the best portrait lenses out there. I fell in love with the 85mm f1.4D since the first shot I've taken with it. I started using it on a D300 and I currently use it on my D3. This lens is a gem: superb build quality (too bad lenses aren't build this way anymore), tack sharp wide open, amazing colors (although on the neutral side, not the warm side), exquisite defocus all this at a very good price. Mine focuses fast and precise, especially on my D3. I love the metal sun shade (which is terrific when you use CPL filters because you can rotate them smoother and have better control), the aperture ring is very useful if you can't control the diaphragm when in video mode (on D7x00, D6x0 bodies). I love using the aperture ring on my F100. Because it does rely on the AF motor inside your Nikon body, to achieve fast and precise focus you need a serious body. I recommend D3/D4 for perfect tack sharp photos @ f1.4. I noticed that on D810 it's tack sharp in the center @ f1.4 only if you shoot in live view mode. This is because any other AF system beside the ones in the D3/D4 aren't so micro-precise. Also the shutter-lag in the D3/D4 bodies is almost 0 and this aids a lot when shooting wide open. When shot on D8x0 and D6x0 the image is definitely sharp in the center @ f1.4 but you can't imagine how sharp it can be unless you start using a proper focusing and shooting technique - I guess this is why some folks don't get sharp images no matter what they do.
I only shoot at f1.4 - it's that good! :)
December 30, 2014
The Bokeh Queen...
I have had this lens on my wish list for a while, and finally went for it. So glad I did. I have always been a 70-200 2.8 guy, and still am for certain things, but I have found this 85mm 1.4d gives you the best bokeh effects specifically for portrait applications. And is much easier to carry around as well...I think a new love affair has begun for me....very solid construction...feels balanced with my D3. I've shot the 85mm 1.4G as well. It may have a slight edge in some areas, but I find those differences to be minor.
April 24, 2014
Phenomenal lens, tack sharp, creamy, melted butter of a bokeh
I have bought this lens originally for my Nikon D700, and it performed flawlessly. Tack sharp at 1.4, and the falloff into dream-like bokeh is quite beautiful. I also love the all metal screw in lens hood, very high quality and THAT's protection for the lens (I don't use UV filters, I think the hood is protection enough - especially this one).
Construction-wise it's well built, the AF motor is a tad bid louder than the newer G lenses, but I don't mind that at all. For me it's the image quality at the end of the day.
Though I was worried that when I upgraded to D800E and the D600 this lens would not be able to keep up, I was pleasantly surprised. I love everything about this lens, it's great for portraits. I only shoot it at 1.4. That what this lens was meant for.
Get it, if you can find a used one, it's built like a tank, so it lasts forever, and I have a feeling it holds its used value, so even if you give it up, you are not likely going to lose much.
June 3, 2013
This lens has no Nikon equal perhaps the canon 1.2l and I think this lens is sharper at the centre.
Flowers, portraits and depth of field are what I love most, so this lens is a dream, love it to bits, I started with the 50 1.4D which was a learning curve, and then the 80-200 2.8 ED which is also good but this lens is just so easy in comparison. Like the 50mm, the 85 is a gem when closed down for landscapes.
Comparing the 85 1.4D to the other versions, this one has the narrowest depth of field and looking at the photo-zone playing card tests, it is closer to the Canon 1.2L in the blur characteristics than the other Nikons, which is quite a surprise! though the Canon will let in more light obviously, but it does highlight that the design of being very sharp in the centre with large fall off either side was very much intended and a very clever design for its purpose, by landscape settings there is not much difference between all the 85's including Sigma. The other interesting fact is the new 85 has the same T stop of 1.7, despite the Nano coating.
This f1.2 like characteristic is what some pro's are missing in the new lens, which will show itself in the blurred region between the eyes and hair in portrait photography, so now they still need both lenses!
April 8, 2013