Normally when I read a review I skip to the conclusion of the review and then go back and look at the review in detail. Therefore I am starting with the conclusion…
BUY THIS LENS!!! ITS’ A NO-BRAINER THIS ONE! It’s one of those lenses with amazing quality at a really great price. So if you wanted a 85mm lens and you didn’t have the money for the f/1.4 G lens then just go and buy this new Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens! In fact if you own the old 85mm f/1.8 D then I recommend you sell that one and get the new Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G lens!
(The “D” lenses are the older versions and the “G” is the newer ones. This review is more of an impression. For a full review and for more technical details please view the official Nikon site.)
I got the opportunity to shoot with this lens during the workshop I hosted in JHB, so I could not focus on doing just a review, nevertheless I was impressed. What I really liked is that this lens feels almost like the new Nikkor f/1.4 G 85mm lens. The newer lenses tend to have a slightly more plastic feel, but that is something that doesn’t bother me at all – I want sharp images and good focusing.
The lens is very light and I like how it looks in terms of design. It is always great to have a nice “fat” lens on your camera.
Comparing the 85mm f/1.8G lens to my old 85mm f/1.4 D I think the new 85 has slightly better focusing, produces warmer colors, and just as sharp at f/1.8. What is really great is that this new 85mm has the closest focusing distances between all the 85mm Nikon lenses! That is a great bonus. It has a 0,8m focus distance compared to the f/1.4 G – 0,9m focus distance.
It produces a really smooth and beautiful bokeh (background blur). I am not a technical expert, I am an artist and for me I want a lens to produce what I see and this lens will not disappoint.
Why shoot with an 85mm lens? 85mm Lenses make for great portraits and the focal length gives you a different dynamic compared to a 50mm or a 35mm. When I shoot I see in terms of focal lengths and I can’t do without an 85mm in my kit. If you own a 70-200 f/2.8, I would still recommend you get an 85mm because of the stops you gain in light. It gives you faster shutter speeds to capture motion in low light.
Here are some samples taken with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S: All shot at f/1.8 on a nikon D3. You can see the beautiful background blur and sharpness one would expect from a top quality 85mm lens.
This is going to be a HOT item so I recommend you pre-orders this lens! ORMS
A Big thanks to Nikon SA letting me try this lens!