This review is a work in progress and will be updated
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Price on Used Market: ~$600–700 USD
Value at $650 USD: 4
Before the dawn of the AF-S version of the fast 85mm, I go back a generation in the opposite direction to look at the final MF version.
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AI-S
|Hard Infinity Stop?||Yes|
|Built in Hood?||No|
The 85mm is soft wide open, improves significantly by f/2, superb at f/2.8 great through f/5.6 and surprisingly decent through f/16. Some people take issue with the boke, but I don’t have complaints about it. Flare can be an issue, and I don’t have the HN-20 hood that matches this lens, so I can’t comment as to how much that helps.
Beautifully constructed, the MF ring is smooth and the lens simply feels solid and professional. There’s a big rubbery grip, travelling 1/3 of the way around the lens barrel, merely getting out of your way and behaving as you want it to (unless you want it to autofocus).
This is a beautiful lens, especially the massive front element. The weakness is really performance wide-open, and even then the soft images are actually excellent for portraits. The AF version has superior sharpness at f/1.4, will set you back twice as much, and is worth every penny, but if you want something in this focal range for a manual focus camera, you can’t go wrong with this lens.
More Photos with this Lens
D200 @f/1.4 (the EXIF lies, I had just taken off the 300mm f/4.5 and forgotten to change the lens data)
More Photos of this Lens