The 85mm/f1.4 AF-S is the top Nikon 85mm lens. That lens is made by Nikon’s home factory in Japan with very high construction quality. The front element is much bigger requiring 77mm front filters. As a result, it is also quite heavy. For those who want “the best” AF 85mm lens in the Nikon F mount and the option of very shallow depth of field, the f1.4 version should be the top choice at a much higher cost, over three times as expensive as the f1.8 version in this review.
Close-up photography, in addition to portrait photography, is a subject that suits the AF-S Micro Nikkor 85mm 1/3.5G ED particularly well. This Nikon 85mm lens features an ED glass element, which enables sharp pictures with high contrast. The beautifully rounded nine-blade aperture guarantees an attractive hazy background.
For a number of years, I had been considering a Nikon 85mm portrait lens. Earlier when the top-of-the-line Nikon 85mm lens was the f1.4 AF-D, I decided to wait until an AF-S version was available. In August 2010, Nikon finally introduced the 85mm/f1.4 AF-S at $1700. Unfortunately, a few months after its introduction, in March 2011, Japan was hit by a major earthquake and then its subsequent tsunami, and the supply of the 85mm/f1.4 AF-S has been tight to this day.
This classic FX portrait lens is made of very decent material. Of course, we hadn’t expected anything less. The weight of 595 grams is not objectionable, and in combination with for example a Nikon D3s, an ideal weight distribution. The Nikon 85mm lens is a classic portrait lens that is especially used to shoot portraits, weddings, or fashion shoots. It is the type of lens that we have already seen for years at these types of events. The new Nikon 85mm f/1.4 design is also made to last for at least ten years at a high level.