Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G £400/$480
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Like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, this is the smallest and lightest lens in its class, measuring just 80mm long and weighing in at a modest 350g.
Further similarities with the 50mm f/1.8 include the fact that it features a seven-blade diaphragm, whereas all of the other lenses on test have nineblade diaphragms. Build quality feels much the same, too, down to the weather-sealed mounting plate, and the inclusion of a single aspherical element.
Autofocus is faster than in the both of Nikon’s 50mm lenses, thanks in part to the fact that it involves the movement of the smaller rear elements, rather than the larger front ones. It’s superbly sharp, even shooting wide open, although naturally the aperture doesn’t go as wide as in the f/1.4 lenses. Vignetting is more noticeable than in the bigger Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens and, while bokeh is beautifully soft, stopping down gives specular highlights a heptagonal appearance – a consequence of the diaphragm having seven rather than nine blades.