Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

£1350/$1600

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Nikon’s 85mm lens is rel­a­tively com­pact and light­weight. Even so, it boasts a fast f/1.4 aper­ture and plenty of up­mar­ket fin­ery: for ex­am­ple, it’s the only Nikon lens on test to fea­ture nano struc­ture coat­ings and, un­like both of Nikon’s f/1.8 lenses, it has a nine-blade di­aphragm for more rounded aper­tures.

Less com­plex than the Sigma and Tam­ron 85mm lenses on test, the Nikon fea­tures just 10 op­ti­cal el­e­ments. That’s only one more than in the much less ex­pen­sive Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens, but the for­ward el­e­ments are con­sid­er­ably larger, and the fil­ter thread is bumped up from 67mm to 77mm. Build qual­ity is of a fully pro stan­dard.

Per­for­mance

Al­though it drops off a lit­tle at f/1.4, sharp­ness is im­pres­sive through­out the rest of the aper­ture range. Even so, it’s mostly matched by Nikon’s much cheaper 85mm f/1.8 lens. Colour fring­ing, mean­while, proved slightly worse than in the f/1.8, while coma was about the same. How­ever, vi­gnetting was less no­tice­able, and bokeh was bet­ter when stop­ping down.

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