Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G Review

The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens is a prime lens that offers a high level of performance and is developed primarily for portrait photography. This lens thrives in low-light circumstances and delivers superb background blur, making it ideal for photographers who want to create wonderfully isolated subjects. Its maximum aperture is f/1.4, making it one of the fastest lenses available.

It is designed to work with Nikon DSLR cameras that use the FX format and is capable of offering exceptional image quality and accurate focusing performance. Let’s get right into the nitty-gritty of this lens by performing a comprehensive examination of its many features so that we can grasp its strengths and weaknesses.

$1,596.95 36 used from $589.00 3 new from $1,596.95
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus...

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Format: FX/35mm
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 18°50′
  • Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 28°30′
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.12x
  • Lens Elements: 10
  • Lens Groups: 9
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  • Internal Focusing: Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 3.0 ft. (0.85m)
  • Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 3.4 in. (86.2 mm) x 3.3 in. (84 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 21.0 oz. (595 g)


The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens is a top performer in its area since it is capable of producing images of extraordinary quality and level of clarity. Even when utilized with the aperture wide open at f/1.4, the lens creates pictures that are very crisp, with very little chromatic aberration and distortion.

This lens has fantastic contrast and color rendition, which enables it to capture minute details and create photographs that appear to have been taken in natural light. Its quick aperture enables faster shutter speeds, which in turn reduces the possibility of camera shake and makes it easier for photographers to capture clear images of moving subjects.

Autofocus System

The lens is equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which is an autofocus mechanism that has the advantages of being quick, accurate, and almost completely silent. The autofocus motor travels at a speed that is both rapid and precise, allowing for perfect focus acquisition even in difficult lighting circumstances.

In addition, the lens has a full-time manual focus override, which enables photographers to make precise changes manually without having to switch to manual focus mode. This function is helpful for focusing on subjects in conditions when the autofocus may have difficulty since it provides additional control and flexibility.

Vibration Reduction

Unfortunately, the Vibration Reduction (VR) feature is not built into the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens. While shooting handheld in low-light conditions or while utilizing shorter shutter speeds, the lack of image stabilization might be a minor disadvantage. This is especially true in circumstances when there is less available light.

However, the lens’s large aperture makes up for this constraint, allowing photographers to reach higher shutter speeds and reducing the amount of influence that camera motion has. In addition, making use of correct handholding skills as well as a stable tripod is an additional way to compensate for the absence of VR.

Build Quality

The lens possesses a great build quality and a structure that is both sturdy and long-lasting. It has a metal lens mount, which ensures a secure attachment to the body of the camera. The lens barrel is crafted from high-quality materials, giving it a luxurious feel and providing protection against dust and moisture at the same time.

Because of the lens’s high build quality, it is appropriate for photography in challenging environments, such as portrait sessions or events that take place outside.

Handling and Ergonomics

Comfort for the user was a primary consideration in the development of the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens. It has a manual focus ring that is both smooth and precise, which makes it possible to make easy and accurate focusing changes. Because of the lens’s well-balanced weight, shooting handheld for lengthy periods of time is not only possible but also pleasant.

On the barrel of the lens are indications for the depth of field as well as a focus distance scale, which both help to facilitate rapid and accurate focusing. The lens, in general, possesses great handling and ergonomics, which contribute to an improved shooting experience.

Image Stabilization

The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens does not come equipped with an internal image stabilization mechanism. In spite of this, many of the more recent Nikon DSLR bodies are equipped with in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which can help make up for the absence of lens-based stabilization.

When using this lens, photographers may continue to reap the benefits of image stabilization so long as they employ a camera body equipped with IBIS. The combination of lens and camera stabilization makes it possible to take handheld photographs that are crisper and minimizes the likelihood that blurriness will be caused by camera shake.

Shooting Experience

In particular, for those who specialize in portrait photography, the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens provides a pleasurable experience when shooting. Because it has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, it has a wide maximum aperture, which enables accurate control of depth-of-field, producing lovely bokeh and successfully separating subjects.

The lens has a focal length of 85 millimeters, which makes it exceptionally adaptable for use in portraiture. This focal length enables photographers to obtain appealing views while keeping their shooting distances comfortable. The strong build quality instills confidence in the user’s ability to handle the lens in a variety of shooting conditions, while the quick and accurate focusing technology guarantees that moments are caught with pinpoint accuracy.

Image Quality

The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens is capable of producing images of truly exceptional quality because of the lens’s wide aperture. Because it provides sharpness, clarity, and the ability to render fine details, it is an excellent option for professional portrait photography. The lens has low levels of distortion, which guarantees that subjects will be depicted accurately.

It also does an excellent job of handling chromatic aberration, which results in images that have a high contrast and colors that are accurate to life. Because of the large maximum aperture, photographers are able to obtain excellent background separation and bokeh, which ultimately results in images that are aesthetically beautiful and have a three-dimensional feel.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Nikon teleconverters, the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens may extend its range and perform a greater variety of tasks. When combined with teleconverters such as the Nikon TC-14E III or TC-20E III, this lens has the potential to achieve an effective focal length of 119 mm (1.4x) or 170 mm (2x), respectively.

Because of its compatibility, photographers are able to extend the lens’s reach to capture subjects at larger distances while still achieving exceptional results with their focus and image quality. It is important to note that the usage of teleconverters has the effect of somewhat slowing down the lens’s focusing speed and reducing the maximum aperture by a very small amount.

Comparison with Competitors

The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens maintains its position as one of the best options for portrait photography despite the presence of a number of strong rivals in this market. The image clarity, sharpness, and ability to separate subjects from backgrounds that it possesses are highly praised. When compared to other manufacturers’ offerings of comparable lenses, Nikon’s product is superior in terms of both the precision of its autofocus and the quality of its build overall.

It’s possible that some of the competing lenses provide built-in image stabilization, but the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G makes up for it with its wide aperture, which makes it possible to use higher shutter speeds and reduces the need for stabilization in many different scenarios.


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length85mm
Maximum Aperturef/1.4
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)18°50′
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)28°30′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.12x
Lens Elements10
Lens Groups9
Diaphragm Blades9
Nano Crystal CoatYes
Super Integrated CoatingYes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance3.0 ft. (0.85m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual
Filter Size77mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Approx. Dimensions3.4 in. (86.2 mm) x 3.3 in. (84 mm)
Approx. Weight21.0 oz. (595 g)

Pros and Cons

The picture clarity, sharpness, and color rendering of the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens are all superb, and the lens offers a number of other advantages as well. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, which enables stunning background blurring and excellent performance in low light. The weather-sealing and sturdy construction of the lens contributes to the remarkable build quality of the lens.

The autofocus technology is extremely quick, accurate, and practically noiseless, which guarantees that the focus will be acquired precisely. Because the lens does not have image stabilization built-in, it is not possible to take handheld photos in some situations, which is a significant drawback. In addition, the lens is somewhat substantial. Therefore, its mobility may be compromised as a result of these characteristics.

Price and Availability

The remarkable optical performance and professional-grade build quality of the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens are reflected in the lens’s premium price point, which is available to consumers.

When purchasing any high-end lens, it is vital to think about the investment in proportion to the requirements that you have for your photography. The lens is available for purchase via authorized Nikon shops as well as online platforms; however, its availability may differ from one area to another and even from country to country.

$1,596.95 36 used from $589.00 3 new from $1,596.95
in stock
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus...


Portrait photographers who are looking for superb picture quality and accurate autofocus performance will find that the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens is an excellent option to consider. Because of its large maximum aperture as well as its variable focal length, it is well suited for taking breathtaking portraits that have a lovely separation between the subject and the background.

Despite the fact that the lens does not have image stabilization built-in, it makes up for it with its quick aperture and high-quality construction. The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens is all things considered, a dependable and highly capable piece of equipment that has the potential to take portrait photography to new heights, allowing photographers to produce images that are arresting and unforgettable.

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G FAQs

Q. Is the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens compatible with both full-frame (FX) and APS-C (DX) format cameras?
A. Yes, the lens is designed to work with Nikon FX-format cameras, as well as APS-C format cameras, providing an equivalent focal length of approximately 128mm on DX-format cameras.
Q. Does the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the lens does not have built-in image stabilization. However, it can benefit from in-body image stabilization (IBIS) if your camera body supports it.
Q. Can I achieve a shallow depth of field with the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens?
A. Absolutely! With its wide maximum aperture of f/1.4, the lens allows you to achieve a shallow depth of field, creating a beautiful background blur and isolating your subject effectively.
Q. Is the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens suitable for low-light photography?
A. Yes, the lens’s fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes it an excellent choice for low-light photography. It allows more light to enter the lens, enabling you to shoot in challenging lighting conditions and achieve faster shutter speeds.
Q. Does the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens have weather sealing?
A. While the lens does not have official weather sealing, it features a solid build quality and is constructed with materials that provide resistance against dust and moisture. However, it is still recommended to take precautions and use protective measures in inclement weather conditions.


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