Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G review

The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G is a top-flight choice for portraiture

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G
(Image: © Nikon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The classic combination of 85mm focal length and fast f/1.4 aperture make this lens a solid choice for portraiture and still life photography. It’s unusually compact for this class of lens and is easily manageable, being little more than half the weight of the directly competing Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. However, the Nikon isn’t as sharp as the Sigma and is considerably more expensive to buy, making it dubious value for money.


  • +

    Fast f/1.4 aperture

  • +

    Quick and quiet autofocus

  • +

    Mostly good image quality


  • -

    Mediocre wide-open sharpness

  • -

    No optical stabilization

  • -

    Expensive to buy

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The Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G represents the reinvention of a classic NIKKOR, this AF-S edition has a redesigned optical path, a fast ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system and, as a G-series lens, omits the aperture control ring that’s superfluous on Nikon DSLRs anyway. It’s also remarkably compact, being much smaller than competing Canon and Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lenses for DSLRs.

Read more:
The best Nikon portrait lenses
The best camera for portraits

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.