Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2006

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Julio M. Alperi Gonzalez!


The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D is one of Nikon's classic (full frame) portrait lenses. Unlike its faster cousin, the AF 85mm f/1.4 D it remains relatively affordable at around 480 EUR/US$. Nonetheless it is also comparatively expensive when looking e.g. at the corresponding Canon lens (EF 85mm f/1.8 USM) which sells at around 360 EUR/US$.
As usual we'll have a look how it performs on a modern APS-C DSLR (Nikon D200) where its field-of-view is equivalent to 127mm on classic full-frame cameras. As such it doesn't leave its original scope.

Typical for most medium to high-end Nikkors the build quality is very good. The outer barrel is made of good quality polycarbonate with a sleek finish. The rubberized focus ring operates very smooth and slightly damped. The AF 85mm f/1.8 D is a true IF (internal focusing) design so its length remains constant regardless of the focus setting and the front element does not rotate. Using a polarizer is therefore no problem. The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate degree of noise. However, the AF speed is very fast thanks to a rear-focusing system.

Equiv. focal length127.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 6 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.85 m (max. magnification ratio 1:9.2)
Dimensions72 x 59 mm
Weight380 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HN-23, barrel shaped (screw-in)
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera.

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