Nikon 85mm f 1.8 AF Lens Review

Nikon 85mm f1.8 Prime Lens

I mentioned last week that I had picked up a used Nikon 85mm f 1.8 AF prime lens from eBay. I’ve been using this lens for just over a week now and it hasn’t spent much time off of my D90. I am VERY impressed with this lens and I just couldn’t wait any longer to review it!

One of the things I was concerned about when I bought this lens was that it wasn’t a “D” lens, as in “AF-D”. The “D” stands for Depth which comes into play as an element in Nikon’s 3D Matrix Metering. But after I thought about it for a minute, I really didn’t care because most of the time I’m shooting in Manual and then chimping to check my results. After considering that, it no longer mattered to me that it wasn’t an “AF-D” model.

So after mounting the lens on my D90 and shooting, the very first thing I noticed was this lens is TACK SHARP! I was blown away at how sharp and crisp my images are with this lens. With results like this, who needs sharpening??? Once again I was reminded why prime lenses beat zooms any day. I’m pretty confident that even the coveted Nikon 70-200mm f 2.8 VR lens isn’t as sharp as this baby! (If anyone wants to donate one for me to perform the comparison testing I won’t argue.)

The autofocus works well and is quite fast, although I find it a little noisy. It’s not so much that it would even be close to a deal breaker, but it is noticeable.

The construction of the lens is nothing less than pro quality. There isn’t one single piece of plastic anywhere on this lens. It’s got a solid, heavy feel that balances well on my D90 and lets you know that you’re carrying around some serious glass.

I haven’t had any problems with flare, ghosting, or chromatic aberrations either. I even pointed it right at my new Lastolite Ezybox and got no ghosting or flare. Impressive.

Here’s a few images that I’ve snapped with this lens on my D90:

Slip N Slide - Ben

Slip N Slide - Danny

The bottom line is that this lens is worth every penny, even if you’re buying the brand new “AF-D” version. I would gladly pay the $450.00 that they’re going for in order to have this lens in my camera bag.


3 thoughts on “Nikon 85mm f 1.8 AF Lens Review

  1. Hello Steve,

    You stated in your blog post the following: “Here’s a few images that I’ve snapped with this lens on my D90:” but where are the pictures.

    I am looking forward to seeing the example pictures by this lens as this is a lens I want for my arsenal in the future.


  2. Yep, I agree this is a great lens. I shoot with three lenses only. This one and two Voigtlanders (The 28/2.8 and the 40/2). These three cover what I need.

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