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Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AI-S Review

Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


February 2007

The Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 is said to be the king of portrait lenses, with its f/1.4 aperture, it`s excellent in low light photography. It`s the fastest telephoto lens in Nikon`s lens lineup, and the first telephoto lens to feature Nikon`s CRC (Close-Range Correction) This lens is a favorite by many portrait photographers, providing you with a nice working distance and a creamy Bokeh. I find that this lens on a DX Dslr gives me a more comfortable working distance then on a 35mm Slr.


Lens Construction: 7 elements in 5 groups

Picture Angle: 28 degrees 30 minutes (35mm)

Closest focusing: 0.85m/3 ft.

Filter Size: 72mm

Lens Hood: HN-20

Included accessories: Front & Rear Caps

Weight: 1.37 lbs (620g)

Diaphragm: 9 bladed with straight blades.

price from: $ Discontinued

Manufacturers web site:


  • Bokeh. Possible the best Bokeh I've ever seen.
  • Fast. With a f/1.4 aperture this lens is excellent for low-light photography


  • Price. Even on the second hand market this lens sell for quite a bit.
  • Tiny bit of CA wide open, by f/2 is gone.


A perfect portrait lens, with a sweet Bokeh. If you want a similar focal length on a DX Dslr the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.4 is a good alternative, it will also save you allot of money. If money is not a problem, get the 85mm f/1.4 which will give you a more comfortable working distance, and a sweeter Bokeh. With the manual focus version, you need your subjects to stand completely still when used wide open, the tiniest move and your subject will be OOF.

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF. From $1,169.95 USD

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D. From $434.95 USD

Nikon PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D. From $1,699.95 USD

Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF Planar T. From $1,033.00 USD

Or if you want a similar lens for a DX Dslr

Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S. From $679.95 USD

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S. From Discontinued

Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. From $129.95 USD

Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D From $319.95 USD

*Prices are subject to change, listed price is from July 27, 2009

Sample Pictures

Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.


85mm f/1.4
Nikon D200, 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/180 sec f/1.4

85mm f/2.8
Nikon D200, 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/60 sec f/2.8

85mm f/5.6
Nikon D200, 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/15 sec f/5.6

85mm f/11
Nikon D200, 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/4 sec f/11

85mm f/16
Nikon D200, 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/2 sec f/16

85mm f/1.4 back
back focus 85mm @ 1/200 sec f/1.4

tamron 90mm
Nikon D200, Tamron 90mm @ 1/45 sec f/3.2

Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8
D200, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 @ 1/60 sec f/1.8


© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.