The NIKKOR 85mm is a popular lens among most professional photographers. This lens is ideal for portraits and other close-ups you may need to take. This lens’s focal length makes it suitable for portrait and product photography thanks to its detail-oriented makeup.
The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens is quite famous due to its features. These include unusual 9-9 elements to group optical construction, 7 rounded aperture blades, and a 67 mm rotating filter size – all of which make it handy and comfortable for use. Amazingly, the lens also has a highly accurate distance meter, which lets your camera capture further details in the image.
A renowned brand of the camera industry, Nikon established a sub-company named NIKKOR, which deals with photo lens and video lenses. Since 1932, it has produced a world-class professional series of lenses for its line of cameras.
It also has considerable expertise in making environment-specific camera lenses, including aerial and aquatic lenses. Such lenses need to be highly sophisticated in terms of durability due to terrain roughness and hurdles. NIKKOR also produces individual ranges of industrial lenses, such as those used during World War II.
Out of the versatile range of NIKKOR professional on-land lenses, the NIKKOR 85mm is one of its most bought and most reviewed professional lenses. It has an incredible reputation in the industry due to the make of this lens and the high-quality pictures it is able to produce.
- Type: G AF-S
- Focal length: 85 mm
- Max aperture: f/1.8
- Nikon FX-DSLR camera angle of view: 28° 30′
- Nikon DX-DSLR camera angle of view: 18° 50′
- IX 240 System cameras: 22° 50′
- Distance info: forwarded to camera
- Autofocus: silent wave motor working on Nikon IF principle
- Manual focus: the dedicated focus ring
- Min focus distance: 0.8m from focus
- Max focus distance: infinity (∞)
- Number of aperture blades: 7
- Diaphragm operation: fully automatic
- Add-on Filter size: 67mm
The NIKKOR 85mm also comes with the following items:
- Front lens cap LC-67 (67 mm Snap-On)
- Rear lens cap (LF-4)
- Bayonet Hood HN-62
- Lens pouch CL-1015
- Screw-on filters (67 mm) (on demand)
Performance And Functionality
Due to the highly convenient dimensions and weight of the lens, handling it is easy. The camera has an outer rim, which allows the internal lens frame to be safe from potential harm coming in from the external environment.
You need to mount the lens onto the camera with the outer lid. Without it, the lens will not fit properly. This is an attempt on Nikon’s behalf to ensure the maximum safety of the lens.
The rear and front lens caps are adjustable and can be removed with careful handling. However, you must check the users’ guide and the handling precautions before doing so to avoid any damages. When mounted on a DX-format Nikon camera, the lens has a focal length equivalent to 127.5 mm.
The focal length of this lens is ideal for macro photography. It allows you to maintain enough distance to ensure you don’t unintentionally cast a shadow on your subject. It’s also not large enough to be too heavy when shooting for an extended period.
The NIKKOR 85mm is highly compatible with multiple cameras and shooting modes, such as the AUTO and scene modes. The lens has two focus modes M/A and M.
M/A refers to autofocus with a manual override. In this mode, you can hold the shutter button down halfway or press the AF-ON button to focus in on your subject. If you want to override the autofocus, you can simply rotate the lens focus ring. If you wish to go back to autofocus, press the shutter down halfway again.
The ability to easily switch between auto and manual focus is essential because sometimes when you’re taking macro shots, manual focus is actually quicker than autofocus.
If you choose to use this lens with infrared film, we suggest you adjust the focus manually. You’ll be able to see your current focus distance on the focus distance indicator. You’ll be able to use the lens with the infrared film once you rotate the focus ring to align the distance with the infrared compensation mark. All you’ll have to do after that is attach a red filter!
The Nikkor 85mm has no visible distortion. If you’re really picky, you may see very minimal barrel distortion, but this can easily be fixed on a photo editing software, such as Photoshop. The 85mm focal length also provides enough of a focal length to lessen the effect of distortion.
The NIKKOR 85mm vignettes heavily when shooting wide open. If you’re not looking for any vignetting, shoot at f/2.8 or above. At these apertures, vignetting is almost nonexistent. After f/4, the lens has no vignetting.
The highest level of vignette observed is at f/1.8, which is 1.58. At f/11, the value is as low as 0.19.
If you wish to add a vignette to your images on purpose, you can adjust the focal length accordingly. For macro photography, a vignette may be useful because it can draw attention to your subject.
At maximum aperture, the lens provides excellent resolution. This resolution remains up until an aperture of approximately f/8. However, at f/11 and later, you may see a slight reduction in quality, which can be due to the lesser amount of light being let in.
For clear borders, sharp lines, and accurate corners, this lens excels. You’ll see a sharp picture from edge to edge when you’re shooting full frame.
Chromatic aberrations refer to the inability to shift colors at the edge. Luckily, this lens has an excellent fix for these aberrations. Lateral aberrations are automatically controlled by the lens, which does an excellent job of doing so. At f/1.8, the aberrations observed are 0.69 CA in pixels while at f/16, they’re 0.68 CA in pixels. Hence, they’re pretty consistent.
Longitudinal aberration, which refers to color fringing, is visible at large apertures. Luckily, for macro photography, there’s rarely a need to shoot at higher apertures. So, longitudinal aberrations should rarely be a problem.
Bokeh And Fringing
Bokeh refers to the popular out of focus backgrounds we see in most pictures. The Nikkor 85mm lens can produce a smooth Bokeh while maintaining the rough outline of the images in the background. This gives a soft touch to the items you’re taking macro shots of, while also maintaining a realistic look.
The maximum aperture of this lens, f/1.8, allows for the perfect Bokeh. A lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 may be able to blur backgrounds better, but it comes at a considerable price jump. Hence, given the price range of this f/1.8 lens, the Bokeh is beyond impressive.
The 7 aperture blades contribute to the excellent Bokeh this lens produces. At f/4 and onwards, the lens produces polygonal results for the Bokeh, which are even more evident at f/5.6 and above.
Bokeh with glass often leads to the production of unreal colors, especially magenta and cyan at certain angles. This process is known as Bokeh fringing. The lens is capable of handling the fringing, for the most part.
Most fringes are observed with large aperture and low exposure settings. At f/1.8, the fringing is very close to the focal image. While at f/8, the fringes exist nearly at the end of the captured area.
User Interface And Control System
The lens is highly capable in terms of distance shooting, close-up shots, and portraits. It is effortless to switch between manual and auto modes for focus. A simple slider is placed at a convenient location for this purpose. The viewfinder panel on the lens can help you keep track of focal distance information.
The accuracy of the NIKKOR 85mm viewfinder is high. The depth of field is determined and displayed in SI units for ease of understanding. However, you can adjust the camera settings to receive even more calculated results.
The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) also ensures that you can take pictures without making too much noise. If you’re a macro photographer who frequently shoots photos of insects, this feature is essential. A lens that is noisy when focusing can scare off your subjects.
Controls And Markups
The lens is equipped with 11 items on the outside, which might be helpful for handling, operation, or ease of use. These 11 parts are:
- Lens hood
- Lens hood alignment mar
- Lend hood lock mark
- Lens hood mounting mark
- Focus ring
- Focus distance indicator
- Focus distance mark
- Lens mounting mask
- Tuber lens mount gasket
- CPU contacts
- Focus mode switch
Build Quality And Design
- Diameter: 80mm
- Distance from camera mount: 73mm
- Weight: 350 g (12.4 oz.)
The size and weight of the NIKKOR 85mm make it easy to handle. For longshots and hourly outings, the lens doesn’t load the camera with massive weight. However, the lens might not work correctly with cameras that don’t have the capacity to adjust to this lens. In this case, it may be uncomfortable to handle and risky as it might come out anytime from its space.
The body of the lens is made up of stiff plastic, which is weather resistant. The makeup of the lens also ensures that it is resistant to wear and tear. However, excessive rough handling might not be good for the lens.
The lens comes with a lens hood, which protects it from the external environment. There is also a rubber lens-mount gasket right after the lens film, which keeps the lens in place during shooting and also protects the edges.
The focus ring and accessibility buttons are placed in a convenient position, enabling smooth handling. The lens lids are also made of weather-resistant material, protecting it from wear and tear. Make sure to use the cover when the lens is not in use to avoid any possible damage. The cover also helps to protect the lens from humidity.
Overall, the lens has a highly sophisticated, elegant, and smooth body.
The lens hood is accompanied by various marks and guide indicators, which allows users to see if the shade is placed correctly or not. It should be placed right, by following instructions and handling the lens appropriately. If the hood is not set successfully, the camera might be uneasy to handle, and the lens might also be prone to damage.
Precautions And Safety Measures
When using the lens, keep in mind that you should keep the lens dry. If the lens gets wet, it could result in an electric shock. This is also why the lens should not be handled with wet hands.
You should also take precautions to protect the lens from direct sunlight. When using it for an extended period, attach the front and rear lens caps so that the lens is not exposed. If left in the sun for too long, the lens could focus the sun’s rays on flammable objects and start a fire.
Other sets of precautions and safety measures that can prevent any unfortunate mishaps are as follows:
- Do not disassemble the lens.
- Turn off the lens when not in use.
- Turn off the lens when any mishaps or malfunction occurs.
- Do not use in areas with inflammable gas
- Keep out of children’s reach
- Use the provided caps for the front and rear lens whenever not in use.
The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens is a popular lens in the photography industry. Due to its easy handling and high definition capabilities, you can produce professional images with this product. The lens system is fully equipped with all the features you may need to enhance your photography skills.
From apertures to focus length and reduced aberrations to excellent Bokeh, the lens is fully customizable to suit every photographer’s needs. In this way, the high number of features available make the NIKKOR 85mm a fantastic choice.
The NIKKOR 85mm has an excellent reputation among many photographers, especially product photographers or macro photographers. The incredible attention to detail you get with this lens is difficult to find elsewhere.