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Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras


Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras


85mm lens for Nikon SLR cameras

  • 85mm focal length is considered the optimal choice for portrait work using a 35mm SLR camera
  • High-performance, fast, maximum-aperture, NIKKOR telephoto lens
  • Internal focusing for fast AF operation
  • Rounded diaphragm makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural
  • Fast f/1.4 aperture is helpful in shooting indoor sports or stage productions

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What customers say about Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras?

  1. 117 of 120 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Legendary, April 21, 2006
    By 

    This review is from: Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Electronics)
    This lens is highly coveted by anyone that has ever shot with it. The 9-bladed aperture creates beautiful bokeh (the out of focus areas) and the sharpness, color and contrast are amazing. Primarily designed as a portrait lens, it really shines at f/2 to f/5.6 with an amazing 3-D like quality that has to be seen to be believed. The fit and finish are first class, with a nice feel and balance to it. It uses 77mm filters like most other Nikon pro glass and flares quite easily so be sure to use the included metal lens hood.

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  2. 59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Blown Away, January 19, 2010
    By 
    Glenn Carpenter (Golden, Colorado) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Electronics)

    I didn’t expect this lens to be so astonishingly good.

    I’ve read all the reviews and all the tests, and I’ve used my share of older Nikon AF and AF-D lenses, and I expected a performance from this lens along the lines of what I’d experienced with other, similar lenses – just with the addition of the legendary bokeh that everybody seems to buy it for and the giant fast aperture.

    Instead what I got is a lens that exceeds its spec sheet, exceeds the performance implied by every formal test I’ve ever seen of it, and exceeds nearly every expectation I had for it.

    Here’s why:

    Any lens will tend to lose acuity as larger apertures are used. This is due to spherical aberration and occurs to very different degrees in different lenses, but occurs to some degree in every lens. Tests of this lens show this loss of acuity to a similar degree to that which occurs in its smaller f/1.8 sibling, which I found to be mediocre wide open, and to most of Nikon’s older AF and AF-D primes, the performance capabilities of which I’m also familiar with and not always particularly impressed by.

    Yet while those other lenses are indeed diminished in terms of image quality as their wide-open aperture is approached, the 85/1.4 doesn’t seem to lose a thing in terms of the visual impact of its images no matter how wide it’s opened up. Even wide-full-open at f/1.4, this lens gives stunning images with excellent sharpness, excellent contrast, and beautiful colors that leap right out of the image in full three-dimensional glory.

    The reason, I suspect, has to do with the fact that the perception of sharpness in an image is not at all the same thing as pure optical acuity. Acuity is the element effectively measured by performance tests, which look at the loss of contrast on a tiny scale barely resolvable by a digital sensor. Quite different is what our eyes perceive when we look at an image. The “snap” we find striking when looking at a stunning photo has to do with color and contrast on a somewhat larger scale, and also with other factors in the image as a whole, such as the contrast between in-focus and out-of-focus parts of the image. Under close inspection at full magnification, it is clear that this lens, like any other, loses acuity at very large apertures. The overall color and contrast, though, the snap and pop that makes images look vibrant, alive and three-dimensional, does not diminish. That is extraordinary in an f/1.4 lens. It means that I can take a photograph of a colorful, detailed subject with this lens at f/1.4, and with another excellent lens at f/5.6, and the image made by this lens will have at least as much of those qualities, even viewed with moderate magnification, as the f/5.6 image will have. That is the reason this lens deserves its legendary reputation.

    Of course, that f/1.4 image will also have the beautiful bokeh that this lens is famous for, and it will have a degree of de-focus (not the same as bokeh, which is the QUALITY of the de-focus) that can make the background meld into a soft blur of color mere inches from the plane of perfect focus. That of course is also what this lens is legendary for. Many lenses can create de-focus, though: wider, slower lenses can do it close-up, and longer, slower lenses can do it at similar distances – and some, to my eyes at least, have bokeh that is just as nice as the 85/1.4. What makes this lens remarkable is the combination of those qualities: excellent quality of bokeh, degree of blur controllable all the way to extreme at f/1.4, and a rendering of the in-focus part of the image that is just superb, and that loses not one whit of perceived quality even at wide-open aperture. That is a combination that will let you make magic.

    It is not perfect. This lens’ biggest optical flaw is something that is most commonly called purple fringing. This is a chromatic aberration that occurs in out-of-focus contrast transitions and can also, I believe, be called longitudinal chromatic aberration. It occurs because different wavelengths of light are focused slightly differently as they pass through the various lens elements, and it is very noticeable in certain types of images if you look closely. The lens is also susceptible to flare, so it’s important to take care to shade the front element, if possible, when shooting into backlit scenes. These qualities do affect the usability of the lens to a degree, but this lens is a rather specialized tool, and knowing when to use it, and how to use it properly, should be considered a reasonable requirement for anybody who wishes to benefit from its extraordinary capabilities.

    Perfection is one way to greatness, and there are lenses out there that come close to perfection without being extraordinary in any particular way. Some of those lenses are deserving of five-star ratings. This lens does the exact opposite, being extraordinary…

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