Nikon AF-D lens reviews

Thursday February 02 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D | Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D | Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D | Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D mounted on a Nikon D3x

With a DxOMark score of 26, the Nikkor AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D lens is perfectly able to compete with even the most recent lenses.

Strong points Weak points
Good sharpness Susceptible to vignetting
A bright lens (conforming to Nikon’s announced values)  
Zero distortion  
Chromatic aberrations essentially absent  
Affordable (380 USD)  

Comparison: Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D vs Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G, both mounted on a Nikon D3x

With a DxOMark score of 30, the new generation (2010) Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G offers even better performance.

The advantages of the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G:

  • Slightly superior resolution over the field at wide apertures, which explains the difference in DxOMark scores.
  • Very slightly brighter (a gain of only 0.16EV in the center at full aperture).
  • Negligeable distortion.
  • Integrated autofocus motor (SWM).
  • At f/2.0, a complete absence of vignetting over approximately 3/4 of the field — a remarkable difference.

The advantages of the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D:

  • Half the weight of the f/1.4G.
  • Less expensive by about 1740 USD.
  • Negligeable distortion.
  • Aperture control ring.

Just like its cousins (the 20mm, 28mm and 35mm), the 85 mm is a lens for adventurers — light-weight, inexpensive, and very satisfactory optical qualities.

We’re looking forward to the test results for the new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G that should arrive in our lab in mid-March!