Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens now shipping

Today Amazon started shipping the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G lens. If you have pre-ordered it, expect delivery early next week. Some related links:

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  • aln

    getting one.


    • Manne

      Already have one (since Thursday) 🙂

  • jay


    Want to see review on how fast this lens tracks moving target.

    • jay


    • JonS

      I just posted a bunch of shots I took of my son today running around the yard, wide open focus tracking was dead on….. you can find them on dpreview and nikon cafe, thread subject is: “85 f/1.4G Wide Open Sharp and Accurate Focus”

      • jay


        You said you got more keepers now .. what does that mean. For example, if you shoot your son running towards you, 10 shots in a row, how many are not dead-on?

        • JonS

          When he was running towards me the focus never failed, only my technique cost me the occasional shot.

  • amien

    The Samyang 85mm 1.4 does an even job, sharper than the leica version & dreamy bokeh. Who will pay 2K more for an AF motor ?

    • jay

      the screw drive versions are too slow, maybe?

    • 2K more? This lens is $1700

    • Samyang will give me $300 when they also give me the lens?

    • Ren Kockwell

      Wow. That lens is total crap. It’s soft everywhere. And it’s 2010—do you honestly think AF is not 1000x better than manual? Give me a break.

      Hope the lens is great so I can scoop up the last generation 85mm for a bargain.

    • Bob

      If I’m going to spend $350-400 on 3rd party crap Samyang with no autofocus, NO resale value, iffy quality control, soft corners, etc., I’ll rather spend a few bucks more and get the old Nikkor 85/1.4 manual focus in the used market. That lens is sharp with dreamy bokeh (if you’re into that stuff).

      And do you actually believe that the Samyang is sharper/better than Leica? What lens box have you been smoking?

  • FYI, that was my order that I sent to NR Admin. Here are the details in CST.

    Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 1:15 AM – Email from Amazon, Order Confirmation. Lens @ $1649. This was ordered a few minutes after it went live and posted to NR

    Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM – Email from Amazon “We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on August 18 2010”

    Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 7:41 PM – Email from Amazon “We thought you’d like to know that we shipped your items, and that this completes your order”

  • John

    I sure wish there was a VR version, for concert photography…

    • You clearly don’t know what VR does.

      VR freezes your lens, not motion of your subject. Not that it matters in this example, but I’m a concert photographer.

      • +1

        VR doesn’t freeze motion. Only thing that does is short shutter speeds, aka large apertures and high ISOs. VR is great for anything you’d use a tripod for, like landscapes of overcoming Parkinsons, or the DTs.

      • goose

        maybe what he meant was the low light situations in concerts

        • …and VR still has no impact.

          Either your shutter speed is slow and you’re capturing too much motion, or it’s faster and VR only marginally assists bad technique.

          Are there situations where VR is nice for concert photography? A couple… and that’s mostly with a long lens (200mm) but for the most part I’m in manual aiming for 1/125th of a second where an 85mm lens should be totally stable no problem.

          Honestly, the only major benefit to VR being on the 85mm would be that VR also stabilizes the autofocus sensors.

          • Bob

            He likes the blurry ghostly look from motion. But the stage will be sharp. That’s gotta be worth something….

            • And that’s fine. I do that sometimes too… but generally wide angle, where you can handhold 1/20 second.

          • Bob

            Or maybe it’s classical music concerts, where everyone is seated.

    • robert

      Yes, I agree. If they put VR on a macro lens then it should be on a portrait lens. With the razor thin DOF and close focusing it would absolutely help. If they put it on a WA zoom (since when does one need VR on a WA? I can take a 1/4 20mm second exposure and get a decent photo) but not a medium telephoto?

      Wierd how everyone who was waiting for NIkon to bring out a replacement wanted VR. Now VR isn’t in the lens and all you hear are people giving excuses why they don’t need it and why Nikon didn’t include it. I’m not paying $500 extra (more actually after I sell mine) for a lens that only has AFS added and IMO not much better performance if any (possibly in the corners, but that’s hearsay) mag. ratio hasn’t changed either.
      But I guess Nikon will sell tons of these..Hey, a sucker is born every 10 seconds.

      Btw, wasn’t the AFD selling for $100 less the last few months. I now see they raised the price..not recently but within the last few months i’m guessing.

      • robert

        If I didn’t have high level of ethics I too would say it’s the best thing since sliced bread if Nikon paid me. Even if inside I truly didn’t believe it. money talks and BS …

  • amien

    Nikon will certainly come out with a 85MM 1.8 VRII for 700$ soon !…
    : offering irevelant & incomplete products aparently allows to sell more due to consumer’s constant insatisfaction (all lenses should incorporate VRII today, even the little consumer 18-50mm has it)

  • Jeff T.

    The UPS truck delivered my new 85mm AF-S at 4:30 p.m. today. I didn’t have a whole lot of time with it but I put it on my D700 and the Bokeh is out of the world. I put the camera in the continuous focusing mode, while holding down the shutter button half way, the focus would snap perfectly in focus at will from object to object and boy is it sharp and just about silent. From what little bit I got too use it today, I can already tell you it will be a definite “keeper” in my bag. The depth of field on this lens is simply amazing. I have the 24-70mm, 135mm F/2 DC, 70-200mm VR2, and the Bokeh was crazy wild.

    I didn’t own the older one, so I have no comparison, but so far I am thoroughly pleased with it. I will try to upload some pictures shortly and post a link on here when I can.

  • I picked up mine on September 3rd and have been shooting it for the past week. It’s my new favorite lens (and I have a 14-24 and 70-200 VRII).

    I’m excited to give its first live concert run-through tomorrow night.

    • Love the pics Sean . . . what software do you use to make your border/watermark?

      • Thank you!

        I use LR/Mogrify 2. I don’t understand how Adobe can’t give you as much control as this plugin does. They added watermark support with LR3, but it’s a far cry from what Mogrify can do.

        • I just started using Mogrify, guess I need to play with it some more to get the look that I want. I always have to make like 3-4 exports to get something descent looking. Thanks, I will try again!

          • That’s just one export. I set a very thin inner border, and then the big black outerborder, and then throw a logo on top in the corner. I have everything ratioed with percentages so it looks the same regardless of my export size.

  • Jason

    We’ve had this lens in stock for a couple weeks. Granted not many of them, but I doubt we will ever hold too many in stock. As well as a few of the 28-300’s and 55-300’s and the new tamron 70-300vc

  • XXL

    ugly bokeh!

    • That’s a joke. It’s the same or better than the old version, and that’s with real-world experience.

      On paper, the only reason it could be less pleasing is because it has the potential to be sharper.

      • StickingZoom

        “…and that’s with real-world experience.”

        Would you mind to share these experiences (=images) with us?

        • I had a photo excursion with a friend. We both have D700s, and she has the D and I have the G. We shot the same subjects and compared them on import. I’ll have to get a hold of her to get her samples.

          The bokeh looked near identical to our eyes aside from the sharpness in the corners, which is somewhere between moderate and substantial… but that’s as a pixel peeper. The corners are generally unimportant or bokehed out… but sometimes I like to do off-frame portraits, and there is a difference when shooting those type of subjects wide open.

          Now, the biggest issue was auto-focus reliability. Either my friend is just bad at focus, I’m just a master of the craft, or the AF-S provides a significantly more accurate and consistent lock. Even at f/1.4 I probably had somewhere around a 95% AF success rate, and they had maybe just over half. Once stopped down to f/2 the difference was small, but up to f/4, the AF-S is BRUTALLY efficient with auto focus… not to mention it won’t scare wildlife or small children with the noise… and you won’t die of old age waiting for the mechanism to move.

          Is the AF-S worth the upgrade if you have a D? Yes, if you shoot in lower light, or wide open, or off center/frame subjects, or in churches, or around wild life, or things that move, or into the sun… Otherwise, nope.

          • XXL

            and… where are the photo??

            or just talk?

            • …uh, I just said I don’t have the D examples since my friend took them. I also said that I would try and get them from her.

              So yes, just talk. Nothing to see here. Move along.

          • StickingZoom

            Thanx for sharing your experiences. What I’ve seen so far the Bokeh of old/new appears very similar to me, although I’ve seen 1 sample so far where the older had better Bokeh IMO:



            Further the corner sharpness seems to be better than the old one but distortion is a little bit higher. CA appears to be strong as with the old one.

            Your report with better AF performance is the first essential argument that I know of for this new lens.

            If it turns out that it’s just a settings thing on the AF-D camera side this lens is a real disappointment for me. Massively increased price for no real value.
            I’m very disappointed that a 1.700$ lens got no proper CA and coma correction via aspherical/ED glass.

          • StickingZoom

            And yes, I’d be very interested to see images of your photo excursion taken with the old and new lens.

            If you can, please post some links here! Thanx in advance!

      • XXL

        picture please !!!

  • I finally made it to Nikonrumors :). The nighttime landscape pictures are mine. There are some more on my photostream:

    • XXL

      look at the first picture on your gallery (“Me and my motorcycle”): very UGLY bokeh!
      I’m sorry but this lens is a shame for bokeh….

      • Roger

        Bokeh is fine. You should see what mess Canon 85/1.2 makes in the night shots with it’s clipped OOF highlights. 😉

        • XXL

          I don’t care about canon, mister Roger…
          If you think the bokeh is fine in this picture then I’m sorry for you…

      • robert

        you say it like see it huh XXL..I like that in a person..bravo!

  • nir.e

    Would you upgrade from the older model?
    somehow I fill it’s not worth it

    • “Is the AF-S worth the upgrade if you have a D? Yes, if you shoot in lower light, or wide open, or off center/frame subjects, or in churches, or around wild life, or things that move, or into the sun… Otherwise, nope.”

  • robert

    can’t say i’m impressed. Comparing it to my AFD I see no difference whatsoever.

    • Because you have to shoot with one, Robert. The image quality, while sharper isn’t worth the upgrade alone. It’s handling is FAR FAR FAR and away improved.

      “Is the AF-S worth the upgrade if you have a D? Yes, if you shoot in lower light, or wide open, or off center/frame subjects, or in churches, or around wild life, or things that move, or into the sun… Otherwise, nope.”

      • XXL

        Sean Molin = Moron

        • robert

          I don’t think it’s nice to say that..cmon…

          • XXL

            sorry robert…

            • robert

              hey it’s all good..I can’t stop laughing.. looking at the face icons.

      • robert

        Why should I really shoot one? I don’t see it being sharper and I for one don’t believe the lens is superior in handling either. The AFD has no issue with handling so i’m not understanding what the point is exactly.
        I was excited to see Nikon upgrading the lens till I saw their sample pics and no VR included. That killed it for me. Please don’t lecture me why Nikon didn’t include VR. I have no problem with AF speed either. it’s lightning quick on my F5’s so I have no issues and no complaints whatsoever.

        I was eying the 24-120. Though from first impressions i’m not so certain. I’d like to see tests from DP and photozone first though. It would be nice to leave the 28-70 at home and take a 24-120 when I need to travel light but I saw the sampled pics and i’m not so impressed. I’m taking into account it’s a 5x lens and an F/4, but I expect it to perform as well as the Canon, and I’m not so sure..I would like to think it will perform at the level the 16-35VR does but I think i’m going to be dissapointed. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Honestly, if you have to ask a bunch of strangers which lens is better or if you should upgrade, then you probably should not buy a new lens and focus on learning more about the lenses you have.
        If the AF-D is good enough for you, then you have your answer.

  • Bart

    Nikon is hurting my wallet ! Just bought D700 with 24-70 , battery pack , CF cards and all the other stuff and now they come up with a great lens like this !
    On my list are :
    -and now this one !
    -D90 replacement (backup and video)

  • Ben
  • marilyn

    the effect is awesome great lens

  • amien

    I “love” how some guys try to promote nikon’ sales via this forum !…

    • robert

      I agree 100%..

    • XXL


  • amien

    for all the fellow money spenders, have a look here :

    Rokinon 85mm 1.4 vs leica 85mm 1.4

    Rokinon own the leica lens in terms of bokeh & shapness. It’s also supassing the New Nikon AFS 85mm 1.4 lens in terms of CA & vignetting !!!
    I bought the Rokinon for its better Style vs the Samyang (same lens) & it looks like a nikon lens & has full manual control thanks to the aperture ring, which is great for video. (CA in video is a pain to correct, so Rokinon wins again !)
    Seriously, unless you’re a pro wedding photographer, their’s absolutely no need to buy the new nikon lens. My bet is that the Sigma 85mm 1.4 HSM version will kick @ss the nikon one !!!

    • Show me a comparison with the Rokinon and the Nikon lens . . .

      And tell your buddies at Rokinon to make it AF and they might actually sell a bit more. I guess in your words, Nikon “owns” Rokinon in terms of AF.

  • amien

    you are very funny : a great 1700$ should maybe have something “more” to give than AF for its price : maybe better CA & vignetting control than a 300$ lens, non speaking of the fuzzy bokeh !!!

    Real shooters are looking for IQ before everything…

  • DFive

    I had my AF-S 85 in my hands on “SEPT 2nd” – was one of the first in Singapore to get it 😉

    • DFive

      This is what I felt – IN THE SHOP with 15 minutes of use ( on 2nd SEPT 2010 ):

      ” Ok – my summary so far after 20 photos:

      – Bigger size – perhaps 5% bigger.
      – Sharper in the corner wide open – slightly.
      – Focus speed the same – nothing great like the older one.
      – Focus distance – perhaps 2-5cm closer.
      – Obv nice and quiet due to AF-S.
      – Slightly Warmer Skin tones – I do like that… this will come from the Nano Coat.
      – Focus ring – smooth and firm to rotate… I like that – sign of high accuracy inner’s.
      – Heavy duty plastic body – like my 24 1.4 Nikkor ( insides metal like the 14-24 / 24-70 ).
      – Hood – Nice and Big!! But the same super crappy thin plastic like the new VR2 70-200. ( I’m buying both of these hoods to sit around as spares ) “

  • Ren Kockwell

    Based on tge reviews so far, the lens seems to shine when stopped down 1-2 stops where it even outperforms the manual Zeiss. But who reaches for this lens to stop it down? At full aperture, it is slightly improved over the old version in terms of corner sharpness. That leaves AF accuracy, speed and noise as the main differentiators, although I wasn’t aware there were problems with the D in this department. These features are totally desired by wedding photographers, who can absorb the substantial price increase. Everyone else, considering CA and coma are not improved much at all, and including those who might like to use their lens on a film camera one day, might be better served with the old D.

  • Mike

    I received mine on the 15th and totally love it! There is no way this thing is going back to amazon! It rocks! I absolutely love the bokeh, and to my eye it is shaper than the D. I’m reading posts on here by people who haven’t even tried it that are whining. Try it, then come back and talk about it. The G is extremely sharp even wide open. I’m amazed! So the lens is sharp and the bokeh is smooth and that’s exactly what I was hoping for. Sean Molin mentioned the auto focus accuracy and that was the other thing that really impressed me about this lens. You’d have to be a screw up not to get the shot, I mean that’s how good the focus is. In a pretty dark room at 1.4 it was dead on consistently.

    My advice: Don’t be scared off by the scary bokeh pictures you may have seen when this was first announced. I have to admit I was a bit scared myself, but having actually tried it, there’s no worries at all. As it gets into the hands of more people and the pics start coming out by capable photographers you’re gonna see this lens is a clear winner.

    Check out:

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