Thom Hogan: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G VR “coming very, very soon now”

Update: the patent for this lens was already covered last year.

Thom Hogan wrote on his site today that the new Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G VR lens is "coming very, very soon now". Yes, this lens will have VR as it was already discussed in the patent for that lens:

"A lens group or a portion of a lens group may be shifted in a direction perpendicular to the optical axis as a vibration reduction lens group for correcting an image blur caused by a camera shake. It is particularly preferable that at least a portion of the second lens group or the third lens group is used as a vibration reduction lens group."

Nikkor AF-S 85/1.4G ED

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G mockup

Image source

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  • heythere

    Why do you not like Thom Hogan?

    • Banned

      Who said?

    • Anonymous

      No one does. He’s not a photographer because he spent more time in front of his computer typing the most boring books and hang out with angry people on DPreview forums.

      • King Of Swaziland

        He seems to have abandoned us angry people on the DPreview forums…

        • Banned

          I know, people over there are acting like he was the second coming or some shit. Now that he’s gone I hear reports of suicides amongst the life-deprived dpreview crowd. Funniest part is I’m sure he got some work from Nikon and he’s under NDA, after having pretended all these years to be some kind of consumer advocate or at least an objective observer. Looks like his commitment was worth about 2 to 3 bucks.

          • I have no work from Nikon. I am not under NDA with Nikon. If that ever changes, I’d immediately disclose it on my site because not to do so would be deceptive to my readership.

          • enesunkie

            His posts usually come across to me as well thought out and derived from fact, unlike a lot of other posts on the web. I’m on the second read of one of his guide books and he does have a lot of technical knowledge to back up his claims.

          • GlobalGuy

            Thom is only sometimes boring — but you must be more boring if you take the time to read it! =P You know, I figured out his way and now I have come to respect it. He does the rumor thing quite a bit copying other guys verbatim without giving them credit, but he also digs around on his own, he does pretty decent reviews, he likes to earn a buck, and he thinks a lot about what interests him — and what interests him is how photography could be made better for a fairly wide niche of photographers. And he updates very regularly. Not bad. I don’t see other sites with the same dedication. That being said, there is a lot of boringness in an uncle like way. Also not bad. Just not presented in a terribly exciting way. Well, his photography is a hell of a lot better than mine and I like his photographs, so anyone trolling the not-a-photographer line is pretty much being an idiot. Thom, like Rockwell and also like NikonRumors has his place.

      • nick

        his photos are all over his website…he’s clearly a skilled photographer…(landscape and wildlife)…

        • Chris P

          Not just a skilled photographer, but also a very decent human being who is nothing like the people who have posted derogatory comments about him. A few months ago I sent him a personal email concerning a topic he had replied to on DP Review asking him a question about the subject being discussed, not really expecting a reply, or at most a reply via DP Review. Within three days I received a personal reply which fully answered my query and also added some additional useful information. I think he has stopped posting on DP Review because he has finally realised that information cannot argue with a closed mind or the wilfully predudiced.

          • GlobalGuy

            He does seem very decent.

            Back to the point of the OP: Its about time! We’ve been hearing about this one forever! Best rumor of the month.

  • Banned

    I guess this is a portrait lens. OK so, please enlighten me. What makes this 85mm II better than the 70-200mm II for portraits?

    • 1.4 as the maximum aperture, giving better bokeh for one thing (at least comparing the current 85/1.4 with the 70-200)

      • Banned

        But what if you push your 70-200 to a longer focal length than the 85, you will achieve shallow DOF as well.

        • Discontinued

          NO, you don’t. At the same distance to subject you get less DOF using a longer focal length (that’s right) but you get a completely different picture and subject size as well.

          However same size of subject shot with 100mm 2.8 leads nearly to identical DOF as taken with 200mm f 2.8 from double distance.

          You need 1.4 if you want DOF really to be shallow. Believe me, 85mm 1.4s get build and bought for 30 years now and that is for a reason or two or three. (low light shooting is another one of them).

          • abret

            “However same size of subject shot with 100mm 2.8 leads nearly to identical DOF as taken with 200mm f 2.8 from double distance.”

            I think you’re wrong. The longer the focal length, the shallower the depth of field.

            For instance, the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 zoom kit lens has a shallower depth of field at 55mm f/5.6 than 18mm f/3.5, same subject size.

          • Discontinued

            I didn’t say anything about wide angles, did I ? ? ? Below 50mm the math becomes different. You are right here and half the focal length below 50mm doesn’t mean twice the field of view either.
            For lenses above 50mm it’s as I said: doubled focal length requires double distance for same size of subject and this again leads to almost identical DOF. Still the impression is different. Doubled focal length makes distant out of focus objects in background appear closer. That leads to an impression of less DOF.
            Just don’t worry too much about it. It’s boring anyway. There are many great photographers without technical background or understanding.

          • Discontinued

            “without technical (…)”

            Don’t get this wrong. No offense. I was trying to say, that intuition is a much more important part to get touching pics anyway. I’m out now of this 85mm-rumor.

      • iamlucky13

        That should read “giving you a shallower depth of focus.”

        There seems to be a frequent mischaracterization of, I might say, amount of bokeh as being the same as quality of bokeh. If you go look at reviews for the 35mm F/1.8G, for example, a lot of people marvel about the great, even “creamy” bokeh. If you look at the shots, however, the bokeh tends to range from neutral to slightly inverted. Pretty good for a low cost lens, but not “creamy.” They simply see how completely out-of-focus the background is and declare the lens great, even though hard edges don’t fade naturally out of definition, but instead form almost a halo.

      • Cadence SF

        70-200 and 85mm are different lens. 85 isn’t that long and heavy, hence easier to handle. Being a fixed lens you have know where to stand to frame your subject. 70-200 is good if you can’t get close to your subject, but it’s heavy to carry around.

    • woble

      Same as what makes 24/1.4 better than 14-24/2.8…. 2 stops faster and also shallower DOF and less heavy.

    • Jesus_sti

      zoom lens have always less sharpness than fixed focal.

      • Anonymous

        Um, no. There are plenty of primes that are less sharp than zooms.

        • Rob

          yeah but they are all older ones. The newer primes even some that are a bit older are sharper then zooms. Just easier to make them better not having to deal with zooming distortion and sharpness at a bunch of different focal lengths. I would buy this lens if I had a full frame but my 50mm 1.4 will do me till then.

          • Anonymous

            14-24 & 24-70 f 2.8 are very very sharp, like the sharpest of industry(16 35 VR also), Distortion fall off is the roblem!!
            not same anonymous ok!! lol

          • Dr SCSI

            @Rob, you don’t need a full frame to benefit from this lens. Your 50mm is like a 75mm, and a 85mm would be like a 128mm at f/1.4 on your cropped sensor camera. This is a great focal length for candid shots at birthdays, weddings, parties, etc, as you can be far enough away to not be a paparazi.. Plus the f1.4 will help you capture people in natrual lighting, without the need for the party killing flash. People will forget you are taking pictures, if they don’t see a flash. You will get some of the best, natural looking smiles this way. My absolute favorite portrature lens is my 135mm DC f/2.0 lens from Nikon.

          • GlobalGuy

            I’ve never used a Teleconverter before — if I was to use a 2 x teleconverter with the 85 /1.4 — I do understand that it would be 2 stops darker.

            But would it still have the same shallow depth of field?

          • Dr SCSI


            If you COULD put the 2x TC on the 85mm, then as you mentioned you would lose two stops of light. Thus your effective focal length becomes 170mm and you get f/2.8 equivalent aperature. You will get an even shallower depth of field at the longer focal length for the same focus distance. The closer you get to the subject, with the limitation being the minimum focusing distance of the lens/TC combo, the shallower your DOF will be.

            85mm f/1.4 @ 6 Meters to subject = 413 mm DOF
            170mm f/2.8 @ 6 Meters to subject = 203mm DOF
            85mm f/1.4 @ 3 Meters to subject = 102mm DOF
            170mm f/2.8 @ 3 Meters to subject = 49mm DOF

            This is why pro fashion photograpers like the 200mm f/2 lens so much. At a distance of 6 meters they get 104mm DOF being able to capture an image 1.08m high by .72m wide when shot vertically on full frame. This is perfect for upper torso shots with emphasis on the face.

            You just have to think about your subject, the distance to your subject, your field of view, etc.

            Also, keep in mind that the TC will steal away your sharpness in the corners.

        • The invisible man

          True (Nikkor AF 20mm f/2.8 for example)

          • Banned

            or 50 1.4

      • Well it was true until the nono coating came up, now, nikon pro zooms are equal to all lenses !

    • Matstar

      Zero distortion – no big deal now that PS5 will now automatically correct both barrel and pincushion lens distortion. It’s still another step you can remove from PP.

      • Banned

        The problem in post is that you lose pixels…

        • Matstar

          Only if you resize the image. It will stay at say 4000×3000 – as taken. All the pixels will still be there, only the pixel color may change in PP.

          • Darren

            That’s the point. Did you think he was saying, ‘hey man, you’re going to like, lose 50 pixels, they will vanish!’ What he was saying is that the information is changing to what photoshop sees fit. Not what should have been recorded in the first place.

          • Banned

            Of course you’re going to crop (and not resize like you said). I don’t think you would publish an uncropped photo that has had its distortion corrected unless you don’t mind the black area around the pic.

      • Acend

        Correcting in PS is great if you have one or two pic’s distorted. But if you have hundreds of pic’s and want a smooth workflow, putting some $$ on a zero-distortion lens is a time saver. Plus no pixel data loss.

      • Anthony

        “Zero distortion – no big deal now that PS5 will now automatically correct both barrel and pincushion lens distortion. It’s still another step you can remove from PP.”

        Will you be sending out $700 checks so that we can purchase PS5?

  • Would be useful if you published a link as well. I took a quick look but couldn’t find any mention of it…..

    • Thom’s site doesn’t have permalinks and I cannot link to that article directly. He did not mention anything else about this lens.

      • Oh, ok, thx, then not really substantiated then 🙂 Let’s hope he knows something…

        • KevinG

          It’s mentioned in the first article on the home page of Thom’s site.

          • If you hurry, that is. He’s been updating his page pretty regularly as of late. It could easily fall off the front page.

          • Articles that were on the front page of my Web site are either made into permanent articles that can be linked, as in Camera Redefined, or fall into the yearly archives. So the article being referenced will fall to Nikon News.htm tomorrow.

          • Peter Mueller

            Thom’s link is not correct. Thry this instead:

    • Shahar

      It’s in the home page. Just do a find for “85mm f/1.4G VR AF-S” … simple as that.

  • Ronnie

    Hopefully Thom will get it right this time 🙂

    • “coming very, very soon now” sounds very, very convincing to me, that’s why I posted it on [NR]. I do not have any info on that lens yet.

      • The invisible man

        He said that the D700 replacement would append in October 2009.

        • Anonymous

          By the way, the D700 is out of stock at Adorama… 😉

          • It has begun! Oh, wait…

          • Steve H

            D700’s are still available. I just received two today. Nikon is still apparently in catch-up mode after shutting down shipping for a few days at the close of their fiscal year (March 31).

      • PHB

        My guess is that Thom was consulting with Nikon on the design of this lens and the 200-400 update and that is the reason the review were delayed so long. So now that the new one is imminent he has been cleared to release his old reviews in advance of the replacements being announced.

        Thom’s comments on Nikon’s priority list are also spot on. Though I note that the 80-400 is a much bigger seller than the 200-400 and thus rather more important upgrade wise.

        Though I do note that he does not seem to hold a high probability that the 80-400 will be replaced 🙁

        My priority if I was a Nikon product manager would be new pro lenses and new lenses aimed at the DX photographer. The pro lenses do not have high volume, but the price allows them to be hand made in batches in the Japanese facility. Taking into account the fact that it is much easier to add VRII to a VRI lens than add AFS or VR to an existing formula or make a completely new design altogether, my priority list would be:

        No brainer upgrades:

        18-105 DX VRII
        200-400 VRII
        200 f/2 VRII

        New lenses or major modification:

        85 f/1.4 AFS
        80-400 AFS replacement
        24mm DX f/1.8
        18-70 DX

        Lower priority but not out of the question

        300 f/4 AFS VRII
        400 f/4 AFS VRII
        60 DX f/1.4 with superlative bokeh

        I would certainly not be prioritizing any of the following:

        FX mid range f/4 zoom (the VA zooms are fine)
        35mm f/1.4 (just released the 24 f/1.4)
        105 DC / 135 DC (less important than 85 f/1.4)

        If I wanted a lens whose sole purpose was to be cutting edge:

        50mm f/1.2 AFS Noctilux

        • szakall

          The 24mm DX f/1.8 would be really nice! It would be a permanent lens on my D300!

        • Dr SCSI

          DX / FX
          Wide Angle / Prime / Zoom / Focal Length / Focal Range
          Standard / Prime / Zoom / Focal Length / Focal Range
          Telephoto / Prime / Zoom / Focal Length / Focal Range
          Super-Telephoto / Prime / Zoom / Focal Length / Focal Range
          Specialty: Close-Up Macro / PC
          f/Stop Capability / Range
          VR / G / N / ED / ETC
          Price Point:
          Use: Landscape / Portraiture / Sports / Macro

          My personnal preferences:
          FX / Super-Telephoto / Zoom / 300-800mm / f/4.0-f/5.6 VR III
          Price Point: Under $7K

          FX / Telephoto / Zoom / 70-200 f/4.0 -f/5.6 Macro with VR III and 1:1 magnification throughout zoom range.
          Price Point: Under $2K

          • Lance

            My choice…
            FX / Wide Angle / Prime / 35mm f1.8
            FX / Wide Angle / Prime / 28mm f1.8
            Use: Photojournalism

            Probably not VR, but smaller and weatherproof like the 50 1.4 G. I don’t need VR or more than 1.8 with a D3S and D700. I certainly don’t want blurred backgrounds very often, and only use available light. The 35 and 28 focal lengths are fantastic, but require the guts to get close to people. The 24 length is a good too but the new one is way too big, heavy, and expensive when compared to the excellent 24 2.8D. I doubt anyone could tell the difference between their output in real world use.

        • Johnny

          You couldn’t afford any of these lenses that you are talking about anyways, so shut up about it.

        • nikkor_2

          “If I wanted a lens whose sole purpose was to be cutting edge:
          50mm f/1.2 AFS Noctilux”


          And how!

          • GlobalGuy

            Make it at least as wide as 40mm and I’m in. Anyone who thinks that 50mm is close to the human eye, doesn’t have eyes. We see much wider and things look about the same through almost 30mm. 35mm gives you a much more human look with the bonus of a slightly more artsy feel. I don’t know why people want nifty 50s. Get some nifty 35mms, Nikon!

      • It’s definitely in the queue. If you read the article I wrote you might start to understand why. The 85mm f/1.4 is sort of in the no man’s land between the 20 percenters and single digit lenses, but closer to the former. Note that the 24mm came out first. According to the survey, this was the right choice by Nikon as it was clearly a more requested lens. I’m not sure I understand that entirely, but I can only report the numbers the way they came out.

        • jsa


          I think there is a lot of pent up demand for top quality glass, now the 24 with all the latest tech is out, every one wants it.

          Most are not buying glass that is long overdue a thorough update.

          I for one am sitting on my wallet waiting for a current tech 85 and 80-400.

          The rumoured 200-400mm would become interesting if the infinity end was fixed.



        • PHB

          The 24 was a completely new design, so it really makes a lot more sense to bring that out first. I don’t understand why folk were so eager for a $2000 lens either, but the fact seems to be that people are buying and liking it. Which is good news for people who are looking to buy other exotics.

          As for the length, well there was a time when people used to say 135mm was the ideal portrait lens, only it really wasn’t. What people are looking for is a lens with ultimate bokeh. That seems to be hard to do with aspherical elements and that in turn tends towards the telephoto end of the scale. I would prefer a $300 DX lens at the 50 ish point, but realistically, I don’t think that is going to happen.

          It is pretty clear that every Nikon autofocus lens that is reasonably considered ‘current’ is going to be upgraded to AFS. While what you say makes sense, I would think that the biggest influence on the choice of which to upgrade next is how many copies of the old one are still sitting in the inventory.

          At this point they are pretty much up to date. There are three AF zooms that don’t have AFS replacements, plus half a dozen primes that people might be interested in.

          I don’t see much chance that the old AF f/2.8 inventory is going to be upgraded with the same in the near future. But I could well imagine seeing each of those lenses being replaced by a $1.2-2K exotic and a $200 DX. The old AF stock will be like the manual stock that Nikon still keeps in the catalog even though it hasn’t upgraded any of them for a quarter century.

          What is going to be interesting is what comes out after the AFS upgrade is complete. If you look at the legendary Nikon exotics, they mostly came out in the mid 70s-80s in a period when Nikon had already done as much as was ever done in the pre-computer era of lens design. We are coming up on what may be a similar golden age of exotics. The only way to get the knowledge to gain a few percent improvement in the bread and butter lenses is going to be to design stuff that is totally crazy and pushes the design limits.

  • Vince

    what’s, Thom’s accuracy when it comes to rumor-mongering? From the looks of the “related posts” here, not so good.
    However, this and an AF-S 35/1.4 would be my next purchases, if they come to fruition, and priced under $1500 each. I can dream, can’t I?

    • > What’s Thom’s accuracy?
      Somewhere between 40-50% short term, higher if you take out dates. I’ve never said that I’m 100% accurate. The 85mm f/1.4 update seems pretty certain, though. The only thing that seems unclear to me is whether this is a May lens or a July lens.

    • frankchn

      Unlikely to be below US$2000. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II costs US$1999 now.

  • Johnny

    This second it will be announced, this lens will be back-ordered for the next three million years.

    • Gary

      Agreed. This lens will sell amazingly well. This will be like a license to print money for Nikon.

    • nikkor_2

      “This second it will be announced, this lens will be back-ordered for the next three million years.”

      Oh, my, oh, my; so true!

      “This lens will sell amazingly well. This will be like a license to print money for Nikon.”

      Agreed; three million years of money would likely be a great source of RD funds for future Nikon and Nikkor products, too!

      • Noodle


  • I just bought myself a AF-D version of this amazing lens.. ah well, I guess I have to live with it 🙂

    • Anthony

      The ancient electromechanical one that actually uses a screw to focus?

      Given that Nikon will likely charge >$2000 US for the f/1.4, what they really need to do is bring the f/1.8 into the 1990’s. Hell, even Rockwell raves about Canon’s 85mm f/1.8 USM.

  • HDZ

    BTW, I want flower shape hood.

  • The invisible child

    Thought it’ll be something like 85/1.2 VR.

    • LGO

      f/1.2 will only make it considerably more expensive and heavier with minimal gain in performance. The extremely shallow DOF when working at this distance limits whatever gains there are in an f/1.2 lens vs an f/1.4.

      I think Nikon acted correctly in keeping the aperture at f/1.4.

      • anonymous

        Oh… Nikon fanboy…

        • PHB

          At ten feet your depth of field is going to be about a foot on an 85 f/1.4

          Go to a f/1.2 and you have six inches, so you if her face is not square to the frame you can decide which one of her eyes you want in focus.

          On the Canon body this lens is even more ridiculous, the Canon can’t autofocus with it wide open so it stops it down to get the focus to hunt and then makes a guess as to where the focus should be. Result is that pretty much every f/1.2 shot I have seen from a canon is out of focus.

          • Discontinued


            1.) 10 feet is not really a close portrait anymore (at least not with FX and a normal sized female).

            2. 85mm DOF at 1.4 is even at your distance still far less than one foot

            3. Doing a close up, I can stop mine down far beyond f4 and still have to decide which eye to go for. If this dosen’t make any difference to you: just use a point and shoot.

            4. your math is completely wrong. You need two f-stops to double (or half) DOF. At 1.2 DOF is just a quarter less than at 1.4. Which of course is a lot when DOF is already next to nothing.

            5. I really like it when people have no clue at all what they are talking about. You must be a teenager or a politician or something of that kind.

          • PHB

            1) If I had the lens I would probably have memorized the DOF chart. As it is worked it out from my undergrad optics which was a quarter century ago. Should have gone to a Web calculator. The reason I don’t have the lens is I am waiting on the AFS version to come out.

            2) Sounds like you must be one of those angry unemployed folk who lives on welfare and goes to anti-government rallies to complain about people getting government handouts.

            3) Still if it makes you feel big throwing gratuitous insults around, I guess thats the sort of guy you are.

            4) Does numbering your points make them more significant?

            5) There is no number five

            6) I have more points than you, so that must mean I win.

          • Discontinued

            Paying more taxes than welfare dependent people get for a living makes angry too. But that’s not the point …

            If you start lecturing others here about DOF (this is a bit arrogant) and blow out uneducated guesses, dressed as knowledge (this is completely ignorant) you simply can’t rely on patience and kindness. Think first, then write and I promise to never offend you again.

    • Fuck, i guess no normal person will be able to buy this thing…

      • Banned

        I don’t think jesus was talking like that

    • santela

      I wish it’ll be 1.2 also. so everyone waiting for such lens will realize there’s no way in hell they can afford it, thus the residual price of my old 85/1.4D will rise.

  • LGO

    I am not surprised that this lens will be released soon. Together with the Nikor AF-S 135mm f2.0G VR, this lens is long overdue.

    The most intriguing question is, with what FX body will this lens be released with?

    • You might wanna look at the article on his website. His conclusion is:
      “Looking at the overall results of the survey, it seems like Nikon has been making reasonably wise decisions about where to put its lens design/redesign focus.”
      And the AF-S 135mm f2.0G VR is not in the “most sold or wanted” category. 😉

      • LGO

        I did. One reason why I believe a new 135mm f/2.0 is due within the year is that this lens has been out of stock for over 6 months now.

        • mnm

          Not true, you have to place an order and it ships once they get it in. I did this at Adorama, and got it in 4 weeks (about Nov last year). I got told the problem is that they dont get enough at a time so all the copies they get go to preorders and it never comes up on the website as ‘in stock’.

          • LGO

            Now I understand why you do not want to hear word about a new 135mm f/2.0 that could possibly be released soon. 🙂

  • longtimenikonshooter

    Just recently sold 85mm 1.4 and 135 2 DC.

  • great. I just bought the 85mm f1.4 this week. It is obviously the old one. for $1200.

    • Apeman

      Still an excellent lens.

    • nick

      dont fret, that lens is a classic

    • Anonymous

      See the bright side: I’m sure the new one will cost like 50% more than the old one; it will not have the very nice crinkle finish of old, and it’s some months away from being in stock.

      The old (current) one isn’t bad although it’s far from perfect. I bought mine used, in pristine condition, for like $750 a couple of years ago. At the time there were already rumors of an update “real soon”, but the deal was too good. If I had payed full-price I wouldn’t feel so happy about it.

      • Good point about the price increase. It’s one of the reasons I don’t feel bad about having bought one last week also.

    • Anonymous

      Stick with it. I love mine, and do not plan on selling it.

    • Matstar

      Relax, it’s still just a rumor! And even if it does arrive, you already have this lens!

    • Matstar

      The current may even have better build quality. Also Nikon are tending not to manufacture in Japan as much anymore. Also VR may surely raise the price.

  • Anonymous

    VR… in a extremely fast lens and cameras capable of ISO 6400? Why?

    • i dont need VR on this….although it would be nice for low light concert photography.

    • Apeman

      Capable of ISO6400 do not mean it is the best quality. With VR and 1.4, you can use ISO800 (assuming 3 stop effectively) instead, much better than the “usable” quality. Of course, this is for still/slow subjects.

    • Mikael

      As always, VR is like a monopod. Perhaps you want to shoot at 1/10s and don’t have a tripod. Perhaps you want to shoot at f/8, even at night. Despite 102.4K and f/1.4 lenses, it can still be dark enough to cause blur due to camera shake.

    • Dr SCSI

      Why? Because, that’s why! Why build cameras to go to 6400 ISO and greater? Because, that’s why! The more collective stops you gain from VR, Aperature, and ISO, the more creative flexibility you are given, and the greater the number of uses a lens can be employed for. That Is Why. You can always put filters on a lens to take light, but you can’t put on a filter to give you more light. Another reason why…I will let others answer that.

  • Anonymous

    What do you think this will cost?

    I’m hopeful that it will be ~$1500, but have a bad feeling it will be closer to $2000.

    • Dr SCSI

      24mm is difficult to make at f/1.4, i.e. expensive, then this cost goes down as the focal lengths goes up. However, as the focal length travels past 50mm, the price starts going up again. Think of the price on a graph, it would be shaped like a bowl with price on the verticle axis and focal length on the horizontal axis. 50mm f/1.8 is the sweet spot on the curve, i.e. the lowest point. Followed by the $400 50mm f/1.4, the $450 85mm f/1.8, the $900 105mm VR Micro, the $1200 85mm f/1.4, the $1200 105mm f/2, the $1300 135mm f/2.0, etc….

      So, take the existing 85mm f/1.4 price point, add 25-50% for VR and newer technology, lens coatings, etc, and this will be close to what Nikon will be asking: ~$1500-$1800 is my guess….

  • Daniyar

    Based on 24/1.4 AF-S price I’d say this will be around $2000. Although I’d love to have this and 35mm F1.4.

  • ArtTwisted

    ouch and i just bought the older 85 1.4. I can seek comfort that this one would have been out of my price range atleast as i was pushing it with the current 85.

    • nick

      Seek comfort in the fact that you own a lens that 90% of us lust after!

      • ArtTwisted

        indeed. It is my child, as soon as it arrived i started trying to book some models, I cant wait to get going into high gear with this lens. Its amazing and the bokeh is the most beautiful ive ever seen on a sub 3k lens. (not all of us can afford 300 2.8’s)

  • Mehmet

    Also, are there any AF-S upgrade of 85mm f/1.8 ?

  • The invisible man

    Made in China or India ?

    • David Haselblaff

      North Korea

      • santela


      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


      • Joe


  • Looks like it’s about time to unload my current 85mm F1.4 before this hits the market. (Which will no doubt cost an arm and a leg on it’s own.)

    I’ve been waiting for this for a long long time. I’m happy to hear it will be a VR lens and will now include ED elements and Nano coatings.

  • Kwartjuh

    i really, REALLY doubt Thom Hogan knows anymore than you and i do.
    Its like this: IF Thom would know, he would probably be told by Nikon. Maybe handed a copy for him to test. That would also mean that Hogan would be under NDA, and these little comments about upcomming gear would get his ass a big lawsuit.

    Now there is another thing here. Thom Hogan might just use his brains, unlike most of the people hanging around DPreview and even here on Nikon Rumors.
    You see, Sooner or later this lens has to get updated, and it might just be on Nikon’s list because…. NikonRumors actually showed us the patent. This does not mean that the patens will become an actual product, but with this top-selling lens it will be. Everybody knows this. Nikon has just released a 24mm 1.4 lens, so it would make sense to continue this trend by releasing an updated 85mm 1.4 with Nanocoat (and VR according to the patent).

    Of course, Thom wouldnt know for sure it will be in the upcomming annoucements, but that is a guess he is willing to take. Every fart he makes gets him a couple of thousands hits from gear-hungry armchair photographers and he sells some books and he makes some more money.

    Smart eh? Not really. It surprises me how much attention people have for this guy. I don’t hate him or anything, i kinda like the way he plays everybody. it is smart and it works. But NikonRumors should know better.

    • nick

      To be fair, he’s not just some manipulative quack. He’s extremely knowledgeable about nikon equipment (down to their construction) and their business practices. He was recently flown to Japan to give a presentation about his ideas for the future of Nikon. It seems even Nikon executive respect his opinion.

      Yes, his predictions are often wrong – but there’s no reason to dismiss his thoughts. If you’re running a website about Nikon rumors, he’s as good a source as any.

      • > He was recently flown to Japan to give a presentation about his ideas for the future of Nikon.
        Let me correct that statement before it starts being circulated. Recently I had a trip scheduled to Japan to do some wildlife shooting. I decided that since I was in Japan I should put MY money where my mouth is and do my best to present the camera concepts and features that I’ve been lobbying for. Thus, at my own expense I stayed extra days in Japan and made a presentation to Nikon. My agenda, not Nikon’s. As is typical with classic Japanese business meetings, we presented each other small gifts at the start of the meeting (because someone here is likely to make a silly comment like “yeah they gave him an 85mm” I’ll point out that they gave me the gift they give a lot of visitors, a small etched (Edo) bowl. I then presented for two hours, gave them copies of my presentation and of several Nikon user surveys I’ve done, answered questions, and went home.

        > It seems even Nikon executive respect his opinion.
        I was pleased that they took the time to listen to me. Whether anything will ever come of that or not I don’t know, but no one can accuse me of saying “Nikon should do X” and not following through. Can all of you reading this say that?

        • ArtTwisted

          Im sure plenty of the folks at nikon keep up with what your writing thom wether you go there or not. Going there just gave them a little prod to listen to you.

        • jsa

          “Can all of you reading this say that?”

          I’ve sent emails and faxes, never here anything in response, must have a shredder sitting ubder the fax, and my email on the junk senders list ;~)


        • nikkor_2

          Thanks, Thom, for the details here; this is quite interesting.

    • I don’t get the impression that he’s working for Nikon. IIRC, he mentioned awhile back that he hasn’t worked for them for some time (feel free to correct me if you’re reading, Thom). He’s stated previously that he has several insider sources. My guess is that the new 85’s been tested enough that he feels confident that he can release the information without jeopardizing his source’s confidentiality.

      • “He’s stated previously that he has several insider sources. My guess is that the new 85’s been tested enough”

        My guess is that the new 85’s been tested enough by different people (ie- it’s hard to pin down any leaks at this point)…

        Wish there was an edit button for these posts.

      • That’s basically correct. This is also how information about the 24mm got out early, too.

    • kenrockwell

      Think about this; Sigma announced their 85 1.4 in a very advanced time, creating internet hype that will continue until its release. It’s free self-sustained advertisements. Let’s say Thom was under an NDA, but this agreement may have proposed a controlled leak situation, to steal some Sigma’s thunder. Very much possible, and such things do happen commonly in all industries.

      • fxed

        Yea right. Like Nikon would have to leak the 85 1.4 to stop the mass of buyers heading to a Sigma 85. Nope, no way.

    • Joe

      This is a Nikon Rumors not nikon news.

  • low

    thom at it again huh?

  • I was just wondering, since Nikon is probably coming up with the 85 in AFS version, if they are also thinking of redoing the 28/1.4? It was a very expensive lenses that has nothing to be ashamed of in digital !
    they will have a serie of lenses from 24 to 85, all f/1.4.
    And why not a 21 like Leica did ?

    • Dr SCSI

      24 to 85 with 21 and 28 in between doesn’t make much sense.

      24 to 35 mm = 45% increase
      35 to 50 mm = 43% increase
      50 to 70 mm = 40% increase (70mm prime is not made)
      50 to 85mm = 70% increase

      Put another way in terms of Field of View:
      21mm 98.1 degrees
      24mm 85.8 degrees
      28mm 73.6 degrees
      35mm 58.9 degrees
      50mm 41.2 degrees
      70mm 29.4 degrees
      85mm 24.2 degrees
      135mm 15.3 degrees

      OK, so now when we compare the FOV, and think about the angles and a 360 degree circle, find your lenses which give you the closest multiples of 30 degrees from the list above. You will notice 24mm, 35mm, 70mm are the closest lens focal lengths to chose for 30 degree multiples. Think about your landscape photographers and the overlap they want when stitching multiple pictures together for a panoramic shot. How much overlap is ideal? The focal lengths are not selected by accident. 21mm and 28mm don’t make sense to me, but neither does a 50mm unless you consider a 50mm lens mounted on a cropped body, giving you a 27.1 degree FOV, very close to 30 degrees.

      But who really knows why lens manufacturers select the focal lengths they do? I am sure economics plays the greatest factor in lens building; thus building a lens that changes your FOV a few degrees (vs. another lens in your line-up) and gives you the same light gathering capabilities, does not make financial sense.

      My two cents….

      • PHB

        There might be some people who would carry all those lenses round. But the range of primes was developed in the 50s and 60s when zooms were not on the scene and people were shooting slide film and framing for the viewfinder.

        Nikon’s attitude until very recently has been that people should buy their zooms. That is probably still their attitude. But oddly enough the superb low light performance of the CMOS sensors creates a demand for even faster lenses so you can take pictures in the dark without flash. So they have thrown out a fast 50 and a 24 and we expect an 85. And we can expect the Canon folk to come over to tell us why the greatest lens in the world is a 35mm f/1.4 when they are done.

      • nikkor_2

        A good read, Dr. SCSI; well done.

  • Mike

    1.4 + VR + N + AF-S = not cheap. I will be very suprised if it’s less than $2300. What ads a bit more credibility to this rumour is the 105 VR manufacturing moving to China…. Clearing the Japanese assembly line for an 85 1.4 VR. I sold my AF-D version to partially fund a 70-200 II. It is a phenominal lens but I miss my 1.4! Good times.

  • burak

    pardon my illiteracy (seriously),

    could anyone please explain the benefits of a 85mm 1.4 prime?
    why not 50 or 105 or any other length?
    who would buy this, for what purpose (and again not another length)

    thanks! weblinks for a reading is also appreciated!

    • Discontinued

      Shoot a portrait at 50mm (FF-body) and you still get a relatively big nose. Also you’ve to get pretty close to your subject and get in the way of light or studio lighting.
      85mm sometimes simply is just ideal. Is that enough explanation?
      There has always been a 85 1.4 and there always will be (hopefully). Some photographers can’t do without one. Me too.

    • Dr SCSI


      Please take a look at Ken Rockwell’s explanation about portraiture lenses.
      Look at the table for the 85mm focal length, and keep in mind how close to your subject you are when shooting and if your camera has an FX or DX sensor.
      I think his explanations are well written and should help you see the big picture – pun intended. 🙂

    • burak

      thank you both!

  • R!

    Somebody know why Nikon is following Canon on doing prime lenses more expnsive than before, my 50 f 1.4 is nough for me I am not going that stupid new age stupid payin thing , no thank you!!!

  • I_want_a_d700x_

    This lens is not going to be cheap.

    Now the 85/1.4D sells for $1300 already. I bet with AF-S, VR and Nano-coating…US$1799-US$1999 perhaps. It can’t be too expensive like 24/1.4 really. Otherwise people will simply buy a 70-200VR II instead. 85/1.4 is probably easier to design and manufacture than the 24/1.4 as well.

    But when…where the F is our D700X/D800/D900?

    • Apeman

      I am pretty sure it will be in $1800 to $2000 range. But f1.4 + VR would be the light king!

      • Dr SCSI

        WELL SAID Apeman!!! – I would even bow down to the King.

    • Discontinued

      “Otherwise people will simply buy a 70-200VR II instead.”

      No way. Different purpose. Both are justified. So “is our D700X/D800/D900”. U are right. Where the F is it ? ? ?

  • f-stop

    oh great …another prime thats going to be 2K+ planning on getting the 85 too..unless this one is just perfect and I bet it won’t I’ll buy the one with the great track record….I’m sticking with the D version..

  • digital media B

    That beautiful prime with VR?!… I don’t think so!

  • litebyte

    Thom is probable right, because it is mentioned by several people on DPreview already some time ago.

  • Davey

    They need to add VR to the 50mm 1.4 lens 🙂 Or even VR and 1.2.

    • Matstar

      Disagree – I don’t have any shake issues with mine.

  • Niklo
    • litebyte

      Yes, “we” know. The administrator of this site mentioned it. (read.)

      • It *is* amazing how many people don’t bother to read the actual words of articles posted on this site.

  • Ceiling Cat

    Ceiling Cat bets a month’s supply of kitty litter that the release order is going to be:


    35/1.4G same day as updated 200-400/4G

    25-125/4.0G and 85-250/4.0G (Same day)

    The 28/1.4 not till next year 🙁

    • Dr SCSI

      @Ceiling Cat – First two, I would agree, 2nd two, I never heard of. Last, I doubt it seriously. Can’t be justifiied.

    • santela

      I’ll bet u anything that u r wrong.

      • Dr SCSI


        Wrong on all acounts, or just about the 28mm f/1.4?
        It would be interesting to hear other points of view. 🙂

  • kenrockwell

    but will it focus on my D40? what’s the compatibility for this lens?

    • mnm

      if its afs, then yes it will.

  • Joe

    Oohhh! I love big primes. I can’t wait to see the mtf charts on this and see how it stacks up with other of the 85mm lenses for dslrs. This is exciting.

  • low

    will this blow away the 85 1.2 from canon? if not, im going canon!

    • ArtTwisted

      it might just cost as much.. seriously.

      • GlobalGuy

        It will cost more. lol

    • Why wait? Go now. The Canon 1.2 is waiting for you.

    • nick

      If there’s a difference in quality, I can almost guarantee that you won’t notice it. In fact, I suspect you wouldn’t be able to notice the difference between the nikon 85mm 1.8 and the new 85mm 1.4G. Gear heads rarely know anything about photography – all they have are memorized test chart statistics.

      • ArtTwisted

        Bokeh, enough said.

        • LGO

          The current Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D is actually sharper than the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D but the f/1.4 has better bokeh and renders more pleasing portrait shots.

    • Apeman

      Canon doesn’t have the VR which opens new opportunities for low light when combine with f1.4.

      • LGO

        Agree … which is why Canon will eventually release a version of the Canon 85mm f/1.2 with IS.

    • T140Rider

      Well, off you go Mr Low. Then perhaps we can see the end of ‘It has begun’?

      Seriously, a 1.2 lens is far more of a wallet draining status symbol than a really useful lens (at the 1.2 end anyway) for portraits as has been demonstrated by other posts on this topic. If you really want that shallow a DOF then just use a bit of Post Gaussian Blur to your shot.
      We are not back in the days of shooting on Slide Film you know when the only thing you could realistically do was get it right in the camera. A little bit of digital darkroom 102 is not that hard, or is it?

  • Anonymous

    That 3D render of the 85mm 1.4G VR seems to cross the line between commenting on and posting a rumour vs implying a physical product that is a reality right now.

    • GlobalGuy

      Since he isn’t taking pre-orders and doesn’t sell anything to you — what is your point. Its a heading picture not a morality lesson. lol

      • Anonymous

        No, he’s not selling anything… he’s providing us rumours that we can take or leave. But sometimes those rumours are backed up by different bits of information included in the posts, proffered to readers who use those corroborating bits and pieces to help them decide a) how much truth there might be to a given rumour b) how far away the materialization of a given product might be c) whether to sell one’s existing gear in anticipation of its imminent replacement model or whether to hold off on buying the current version, etc. Seeing a 3D rendering that looks sufficiently photo-real (as opposed to a patent diagram) that is not actually labelled as such, can make those who read the post think that lens is closer to reality than it is. That’s my point.

        • Perhaps this isn’t an issue for those that bother read the text under such pictures posted on a rumor site.

  • The invisible man

    It may show up next month with the 3S.
    I hope we will also see a D700 with more pixels, a 300mm f/4 VR and also a 20mm f/2.8 AF-S.
    I tried to call Nikon for more informations but they did not pick up the phone 🙁

    • 3S next month?! Looking forward to it if it’s real. Give me a 80-400 too…but sigh, it may be just a dream since they’re updating the 200-400 🙁

  • Rafael

    I just aborted buying the current 85 f1.4, and I am going to wait HARDCORE for the new one…

    • nick

      probably the wrong decision to make. waiting for something from nikon with no solid release date is just a recipe for disaster – especially considering the quality of the current 85 1.4

    • bogbrush

      The current 85 is one of the best lenses in the Nikon Arsenal – waiting for this isn’t going to do you much better than getting VR sometime in 2011 when your spot on the list comes up – think how many pictures you could have taken until then…..

      • Rafael

        very interesting opinions, I thank you both for them, because I am really looking forward for this lens, thank you for sharing with me what you think.

        I would like to wait for the new lens, not for the VR think , not even the Nano Crystal coating, actually what I would love is AFS focusing motor, I shoot fashion and I have rented the current lens and the results are beautiful , but one has to be patient with the focusing speed and precision, a bit to slow for moving models in my opinion.

        I have the 85mm f1.8 now which I use often, thats why I think Im going to wait. But who knows maybe one of these days I´ll just go the store and get it, besides I bet the new one is probably going to cost a lot more dont you think?

        I could save a lot buying the current one, and just been patient with the focusing perhaps 🙂

  • BP

    Is this the same Thom Hogan who had a bet that a D900 would appear by the end of March 2010?

  • I’d prefer this was a f/1.8

    • Speaking of which- any news on an upgrade to the already brilliant f/1.8?

  • Yup, the new AF-S 85/1.4G VR Nikkor is coming together with the updated 200-400/4G VR … I say first half of May, available end of June.

    • Markus

      If the info Thom got is right, there will be more as well. Lets see if others who mention rumours on DPreview have ‘news’ as well.

    • longtimenikonshooter

      It’s going to be released along with a new pro-body.

  • I can almost foresee this new lens having a backlog of at least 6 months 🙁

  • Alexander

    There are too many comments.

    • RumpelHund

      Never ever!

      Look I can still add one, so not filled yet.

      Your turn.

    • The invisible man

      you are right, way too many !

    • The invisible woman

      My husband agree with you, too many comments !

    • The invisible kids

      My dad think you’re right, way too many comments !

  • Oh I can’t wait… (though I hope the AF isn’t slow compared to the screw driven .. like the 50mm debacle)

    • The invisible man

      The AF-S 50mm f1/1.4 does not have internal focusing, so it have to move all the lenses, making the focusing slower.

  • Right. But I don’t care — end result is the new AF-S 50mm focuses slower than the older one.

    I hope this isn’t the case with the 85mm

  • This image is FAKE?????????????????

    • Global Guy

      Everyone knows its fake. It even says so. RUMORS are information. If there was a photo of an actual lens, it wouldnt be a rumor. THink, people.

  • zzddrr

    it is getting pathetic! NR Admin can you shut this down please.

    • LOL! *Getting* pathetic? With all the sour grapes going on around here, one could open a whinery.

  • Rafael

    if you may want to consider this a rumor, I live in Mexico, and we buy our Nikon equipment normally for 30% more than what it costs in the US, why ? taxes they say.. what ever. We are poor and still our equipment costs more.

    the point is: I went to the store yesterday and asked how much was the 85mm f1.4 and it was only 10% more than what this lens costs at B&H, while all the other Nikon equipment is 30% to 35% more! so my thoughts are… mmmmm maybe too many in stock here in Mexico and they made the price good in order for these lenses to be sold before the arrival of the new one?

    I personally do think so.

  • Cadence SF

    AF-S, Nano coating, Sharp with wide open apature = Evolution.
    But G = Degradation.

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