Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4 D (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published August 2010


85 mm is a classic focal length for portrait lenses and Nikon offers two options in this segment. There is the quite affordable AF 85mm f/1.8D, but for that little extra kick Nikon also offers one of its ultra-large aperture fix-focal length lenses in the form of the AF 85mm f/1.4D. At around 1100€/US$ you pay a hefty (three-fold) premium for the extra f-stop but then there's no substitution for a large aperture but a larger one.

The AF 85mm f/1.4D is a beautifully crafted lens with most parts made of metal. Introduced in 1995 it features the typical crinkle finish used for Nikon's previous generation pro grade lenses. The rubberized focus ring operates very smooth and slightly damped.

The AF 85mm f/1.4D is a true IF (internal focusing) design so its length remains constant regardless of the focus setting and the front element does not rotate. Using a polarizer is therefore no problem.

The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera (which means there is no AF with Nikon's entry level DSLRs). As a result the AF generates a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is pretty fast for a lens in this class thanks to a rear-focusing system.

Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.85 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8.8)
Dimensions80 x 73 mm
Weight550 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HN-31, barrel shaped (screw-in, supplied)
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera.

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