Nikon AF 85mm f/1.4D IF
It’s long BEEN regarded as one of the world’s best portrait lenses Released: 1995 Price new: £1150/$1550 Price used: £600/$800
For beautiful bokeh, this lens is a real stunner. Not only does the combination of the 85mm focal length and wide f/1.4 aperture give a tight depth of field, the silky-smoothness of defocused areas is fabulous, and the transition between focused and defocused areas looks wonderfully natural, making it a perfect option for portraiture.
Centre sharpness and contrast are exemplary, even wide open at f/1.4. Sharpness at the extreme borders of images is lacking at wide apertures, but that’s not generally a problem in portraits.
Unlike with more recent AF-S lenses, there’s no internal focus motor, so the lens relies on the AF motor built into top-end DX cameras and all FX cameras to drive focusing. Autofocus speed is fast and accuracy is impressive and reliable. This is a great secondhand buy, and much less expensive than Nikon’s newer G-series version, which will set you back around £1350/$1600.