Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G £1180, $1600

A favourite with the pros thanks to its per­for­mance and re­li­a­bil­ity, it’s Nikon’s go-to por­trait lens

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Not just a re­vamp of Nikon’s clas­sic 85mm f/1.4 D-mount lens, which is still avail­able, this G-se­ries op­tic was a com­pletely new de­sign when it was launched four years ago. It boasts a nine-blade di­aphragm, plus Nano Crys­tal Coat­ing for re­duc­ing ghost­ing and flare. Un­like the older D-mount ver­sion, it also fea­tures ring­type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus, rather than re­ly­ing on AF drive from the host cam­era (which is ab­sent in bod­ies like the D3300 and D5300).

In keep­ing with the up­mar­ket price and fully pro­fes­sional as­pi­ra­tions of this lens, build qual­ity is su­perb. The tough yet light­weight mag­ne­sium al­loy bar­rel is fit­ted with weather seals, and the man­ual fo­cus ring feels in­cred­i­bly pre­cise. It’s about the same size as the Samyang and Sigma 85mm lenses on test, but rather lighter in weight than the Sigma, at 595g com­pared with 725g.


Aut­o­fo­cus speed and re­li­a­bil­ity, as well as im­age qual­ity, are in keep­ing with the pre­mium build, mak­ing this an ex­cel­lent lens in ev­ery re­spect. It’s sharper than the Samyang and Sigma 85mm lenses at f/1.4, and one of the sharpest lenses in the group at medium aper­tures. How­ever, the Sigma is bet­ter value at just over half the price.

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