Nikon AF -S 85mm f/1.8G

For beau­ti­ful bokeh at a bud­get price, Nikon takes top hon­ours

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Prime lens > £380, $500 > www.nikon.com De­spite only hav­ing a seven-bladed di­aphragm, this lens man­ages to pro­duce beau­ti­ful, creamy bokeh and sur­pris­ingly well-rounded high­lights down to f/2.8. At this aper­ture, sharp­ness is ex­cel­lent right across the frame, and it’s im­pres­sively high at f/1.8, too. Mount it on an FX-for­mat Nikon and you’ve got a ver­sa­tile lens that’s great for still life, por­trai­ture and gen­eral use. This isn’t the best-specced op­tic, but great per­for­mance and sur­pris­ing light­ness make it a joy to use. At this price it’s almost a steal.

Up­grade if you own... Nikon’s 35mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 and are look­ing for a longer lens with smoother bokeh. How­ever, don’t feel you need to up­grade from the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, as it’s al­ready a pretty smooth op­er­a­tor.

run­ner up... Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

An 85mm FX lens on a DX body doesn’t give a ver­sa­tile fo­cal length, hence Sigma’s 50mm is a bet­ter match for DX Nikons. You get spec­tac­u­lar bokeh from its nine-bladed di­aphragm.

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