Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G (CX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon CX

Review by Markus Stamm, published March 2013

Introduction

The Nikon 1 system already features a few long tele zooms (including 2 super zooms), but none of those lenses can be called fast. So, given the small CX sensor, their depth-of-field potential is rather limited.

Fortunately, the FT-1 adapter allows you to mount existing fast F-mount lenses like the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8. On a Nikon 1 camera, the Nikon lens behaves like a 230mm f/4.9 lens on a full frame camera. That's still not too exciting in terms of thin DOF, however it's a lot more than what the current native CX lenses offer.

So, let's have a look at how the lens performs on our current CX test camera, the Nikon V1.

The build quality of the lens is very decent thanks to an outer barrel made out of high quality plastics. It's the same material used on most recently released consumer primes, in fact the lens looks and feels like a scaled up variant of an AF-S 50mm.

The rubberized focus ring is nicely damped and operates smoothly. We're glad to report that the focus unit follows the focus ring immediately and without any delay, even when changing the focus direction.

Thanks to an IF (inner focus) design the length remains constant regardless of the focus setting and the front element does not rotate. Using a polarizer is therefore no problem.

A protective pouch as well as a dedicated hood with bayonet mount are included with the lens.

Thanks to the AF-S drive the lens is compatible with the FT-1 adapter and features AF functionality on the Nikon 1 cameras. AF is limited to the center AF field but, as already mentioned, that's a limitation of the adapter and/or camera, not the lens. In addition, the Silent Wave ultrasonic drive allows for a near-silent autofocus and manual override at all times. The AF speed is quite fast for a portrait prime, but still slower than the high-end f/2.8 professional zooms.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length230 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.9 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 9 groups
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.8 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8)
Dimensions80 mm x 73 mm
Weight350 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-62, barrel-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera, Silent Wave AF motor




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