Nikon Nikkor 85mm f2 AIS Lens Review

Small handy like an 50mm lens. Very well built professional lens like all Nikkor AIS. In my opinion ideal to use for portraits , not very sharp at wide open , but not soft at all. Excellent choice for portrait photography to make smooth skin tone.Some people has strong criticism about this lens , they said optical quality is not reach the highest level like 85mm Nikkor-H 1.8 have. I have both lens, I  don't think so this lens weaker this is an excellent lens from every point of view.If you want ultimate sharpness take Nikkor 105mm f2.5 AIS instead of this lens. Quiet large f/2 maximum aperture is  helpful in shooting indoor or in low light environment. Subtle blurring of the background for beautifully natural and evocative picture.Works perfect with any DSLR camera what can adopt Nikkor lenses and film cameras.I tested this lens with Olympus-E1 and Nikon FA.

Bjørn Rørslett

Fact Sheet

Vendor name Type Product year
Focal Min(mm) Focal Max(mm) Focus Min(cm)
Aperture Max Aperture Min. Barrel length(mm)
Elements In Group Diaphragm action Weight (g)
5 in 5
auto 310
Filter Size (mm) Push on diameter (mm) Angular field
Quality Rate Rarity Rate
DSLR compatible

User Comments

The replacement for the venerable f/1.8 lens was much smaller and very compact, but unfortunately the optical quality is nowhere in the league of its predecessor. In particular I found pictures taken with the 85/2 to be dull and life-less, and images took on a greyish cast as well. I'm aware of reports claiming this lens is an excellent perfomer and am at a loss to explain this discrepancy in opinions (I've tried several 85/2's and they all behaved in a similar manner).

(Bjørn Rørslett


Comments (4)
One of those hidden gems
4Sunday, 30 September 2012 19:51
Bought one of these for $60 used and love the contrast and color on d700/d800 and the small size is an added bonus. Bokeh is very pleasant as well.

Have the 85 1.8AFD as well but end up grabbing this one more often then not.
Great everywhere but f/2
3Monday, 13 February 2012 07:54
Similar experience -- wonderful lens but there is a striking difference between f/2 and f/2.8 photos in terms of sharpness. Far less sharp wide open and a much bigger difference than, say, a Nikkor 50mm wide open vs stopped down 1.
Nikkor 85mm F2 AIS
2Tuesday, 06 December 2011 18:02
I agree with almost all of Bjorn Rorslett's ratings of Nikkor lenses. EXCEPT this one. I haven't found in my copy what he has found in several copies of what he has tested. I love fast telephotos(and normals & wide angles for that matter). The more light the more shutter speed for handheld! I shoot this lens either at 5.6 or F8. Seems to be the sweet spot for both the corners and the center image. And it's light. Can't really say I have any complaints about this lens..
Nikkor 85mm f/2 Ais
1Thursday, 30 September 2010 07:09
The Nikon 85mm f/2 is a magnificent lens. It's sharp, compact, fast and extremely well made.
It's sharp and contrasty all over, and has the best performance I've seen with any lens at f/2!
Forget the earlier 85mm f/1.8 which is an inferior lens, even if earlier folklore suggested otherwise.
Ai/AiS Nikkor 85mm f/2.0
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 23:35
I tested 4 samples and all samples were plainly disappointing. A very dull and greyish pictorial outcome from f/2.0 till f/4.0.

The 85/1.8 is miles ahead of this lens.

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