Is Nikon 85mm f/1.8G DSLR Lens Worth Buying? (Reviews)


If you are planning to buy a prime lens from Nikon then you have come to the right place where we have tried our best to give a better insight regarding a prime lens, particularly Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Dslr camera lens review.

Here we have compared the Nikon 85 mm f/1.8G lens (review) with the Nikon 85 mm f/1.4G lens which you can find on the performance section of this article.

Review Of Nikon 85mm F/1.8G Lens

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Nikon 85mm f1.8G lens

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G (review) prime lens was launched in the year 2012. Like Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens is also a great lens for low-light photography. This lens can firmly isolate subjects from the background with a better shallow depth of field.

The optical design of the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens consists of 9 elements in groups. One might think that so many optical glasses are involved in the design of this lens, so probably the weight could be higher. But the answer is No and this lens only weighs 350g. 

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens is well compatible with a crop sensor and full-frame camera bodies in particularly DX and FX-format bodies. On the DX-format cameras, this lens gives equal results like 128mm lens offers which is great a sign for portrait and other types of photography.

This lens does not extend outward while taking the shots (which most of the expensive lenses generally extend outward while taking shots)  which implies that the lens is more durable. So you can use the lens quite nicely. It has a silent wave motor(AF-S) for smooth and quiet operation. Like Nikon’s 50mm f/1.8 lens, this is also great for the Nikon D3100 and Nikon D5100. The AF-S feature enables better balance and its auto-focus ability can override the manual focus which is nearly impossible in the case of AF-D type lenses.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens has a super integrated coating that can remove the ghost and flare quite effectively. Besides that, the lens contains a 7-bladed diaphragm. Some of you may not be interested in only 7 bladed diaphragms but the optical construction is so amazing that the 7-bladed diaphragm gives a better bokeh effect over a large aperture.

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  • Focal length : 85mm
  • Mount type : Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Max. aperture : f/1.8
  • Min. aperture : f/16
  • Compatible on cameras like : DX, FX, FX in DX crop mode and  35mm film
  • Max. reproduction ratio : 0.12x
  • Max. angle of view on DX-format : around 19 degree
  • Max. angle of view on FX-format : around 28 degree
  • Optical design : 9 elements in 9 groups
  • Supplied with 7 rounded diaphragm blades
  • Super integrated coating : yes
  • Internal focusing : yes
  • Min. focus distance : 2.62ft
  • Focus mode : Auto, Manual
  • Filter size : 67mm
  • Accepts filter type : Screw-on
  • Weight : 350g

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Design and Handling

Design of Nikon 85mm

Similar to Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G (review) prime lens is great in design with a plastic exterior and a metal mount. This lens is a little smaller and less bulky than the older Nikon 85mm f/1.4G. 

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens is supplied with a rubber gasket in particular near the lens mount which is meant for protection against dust. The rubber gasket is made of great materials which can eliminate dust quite effectively.

The lens contains a big 67mm filter which is great when compared to the older 85mm f/1.8D lens. The front element present inside the lens is out of reach for cleaning dust particles.

So, if you have a filter then there would be no issue with the dust. If your lens does not have such a big filter then there is a maximum chance of gathering dust inside the lens which you don’t want at all. The B+W 67mm MRC clear filter is a great filter that can eliminate the dust significantly and protect your lens from damage. So you can go for that filter which is readily available at Amazon.

Compared with the Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G prime lens is twice lighter which can really fit on DX-format cameras and gives a nice feeling in a photo-shoot just like another professional Dslr gives.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G prime lens (review) is not a weather-sealed lens that you might face difficulties in handling with awful environmental conditions. So, you have to be a little careful in the dusty/windy conditions in particular when mounting or dismounting the lenses.

The focus ring can be controlled with the thumb and index finger in a smoother way. The lens is provided with an HB-62 lens hood which keeps the lens tight, ensuring better handling during photo/video shoot. 

The M/A and M switch present on the side of the lens represents – autofocus of this lens can override manual focus autofocus. The autofocus and manual focus adjustment can be done through the “I” button which is generally found on the Nikon D5100 cameras.

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Nikon 85mm DSLR Lens

The auto-focus performance of Nikon 85mm f/1.8G (review) is almost similar to the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G. The autofocus slowly begins in its operation in the case of the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens compared to the older Nikon 85mm f/1.4D. 

Though the auto-focus ability of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens can outperform other lenses of this type, still the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens gives a decent amount of auto-focus. However, if you are a pro in focusing then you can go for manual choice. This kind of Nikon lenses sometimes shows a few issues in the front/back focus in which Nikon should give more stress for further improvements. If you do not get better focus in daylight your lens might have those front/back focus issues.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is an optically active lens even at large apertures which gives some vivid pictures. This lens has a little bit of focus shift and field of curvature, so the corner appears a little bit weaker when stopped down. However, this is not a big issue for many users.

All the photographers love the bokeh effect immensely. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G prime lens gives a better bokeh effect than the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G at the aperture of f/2.8. The same also goes to the aperture value f/1.4, where the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G(review) can outperform the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G in terms of the bokeh effect.

As the Nikon 85mm, f/1.8G has a 7-bladed diaphragm, it gives the same bokeh effect as Nikon 85mm f/1.4G which is provided with 9 bladed diaphragms. So, there is no difference between the aperture of the two lenses. This is because the diaphragm of modern lenses is rounded and only shows defined edges when stopped down to f/4 to f/5.6.

If you want a better bokeh effect then the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G(review) prime lens would be great in separating the subjects from the background.

It has been seen that most prime lenses show maximum vignette during wide photoshoots. Clearly, Nikon 85mm f/1.8G also belongs to that category and heavily vignettes on wider photo shoots. With the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens at f/2.0, vignettes generally start to disappear. There is no vignette at f/2.8 that is almost invisible. But at f/4, vignettes are completely gone.

The other method to reduce vignettes is that – if you can use lightroom or photoshop camera RAW then there would be no vignettes at all. 

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G prime lens has been designed with extra nano-coatings which can remove the flare and ghost quite effectively. If you use the lens in better lighting positions then it has the great potential to reduce ghost and flare.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens has a slight amount of barrel distortion which is almost negligible. However, the distortion-related issues can be minimized through Adobe as it has a lens correction module so that you can easily take care of the issues with a single click.

Besides all that, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G(review) prime lens has good control over lateral chromatic aberrations even in high contrast situations. The longitudinal chromatic aberration or LoCA which generally occurs due to color fringing in front of and behind the focused area can be seen on the images while using this lens. This LoCA appears generally at large apertures.

So, the LoCA can not be removed easily just like the lateral chromatic aberration. So, you need to be very smart during photo shoot so that the LoCA should be minimum.

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  • Excellent in sharpness
  • Well control over chromatic aberration
  • Minimal distortions
  • Wide aperture
  • Inexpensive


  • Lacks optical stabilization


The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is an excellent performer just like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens (review) and can out-compete Nikon’s older 85mm f/1.4G. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens is a great competitor because it is better in color correction and bokeh effect than the 85mm f/1.4G.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G(review) lens shows an excellent resolution at contrasts at almost all apertures, particularly in a wide opening. Though it has some issues such as focus shift, field curvature, and flare, and ghosting; those things can be minimized by Adobe’s lens correction module.

This lens is light and compact which can be a great companion during your travel. It produces beautiful images with better sharpness which can give you a great feeling. At last, if you are planning to buy a prime lens then this lens would give an extra level in your photography life.


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