Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Review

February 16, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


Optically, the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G is excellent, which given its reasonable price tag is a very nice surprise. Sharpness is excellent in the centre from f2.8 to f/11, with f5.6-f/11 producing the sharpest results at the edges of the frame. Bokeh is very good, vignetting is essentially a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations aren't too bad, either.

With the exception of the lack of built-in vibration reduction, the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G also offers a decent feature set. Full-time manual focus override in the M/A mode allows you to easily micro-adjust the auto-focusing if required, the Silent Wave Motor makes the focusing mechanism very quiet, perfect for shooting video, and the distance scale is useful when manual focusing. The actual focusing happens internally, which means that the length of the lens never changes and the filter thread doesn't rotate, which is good news for filter users. Mostly made of plastic, the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G is quite a compact, lightweight lens with some degree of weatherproofing thanks to the rubber lens mount.

The AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens is a great choice if you are looking for a relatively affordable telephoto prime lens with excellent optical performance. Slightly sluggish auto-focusing means that it isn't best suited to shooting fast-moving subjects on a regular basis, but that won't be the main aim of most users, so we can highly recommend the new AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4.5