Nikon Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 NON-AI

One of the legendary performers, Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8. A very usable focal length in most situation with fast aperture , perfect combination. Fast, sharp lens even at wide open, perfect built and sexy looking lens. If you have a chance to grab it don't hesitate. Works perfect on all kind of DSLR bodies with suitable adapters.

Fact Sheet

Vendor name Type Product year
Nikon Nikkor  
Focal Min(mm) Focal Max(mm) Focus Min(cm)
85 85 100
Aperture Max Aperture Min. Barrel length(mm)
1.8 22 72
Elements In Group Diaphragm action Weight (g)
6 in 4 Auto 420
Filter Size (mm) Push on diameter (mm) Angular field
52 70 62

User Comments

This fast short telephoto was a favourite for Nikon users in the early days, and stayed basically unchanged in the lens line for nearly 15 years. People will recognise this lens as the one featured in the famous classic movie, "Blow-Up". It rendered sharp images with just a trace of detail roundness (that's currently called 'bokeh') and a pleasing colour saturation. The latest multi-coated version (designated H·C along the lens front) was the best of all. Acceptably sharp even wide open, it got really into its stride around f/4 and exhibited excellent image quality and contrast up to f/8 or so. Due to its high speed it flared quite easily. It was replaced by the much softer 85 mm f/2 in 1977.

(Bjorn Roslett,

I have used both and own the 85mm f/1.4. Both lenses are sharp, have no distortion, and focus accurately and quickly on my F4. They both have nine-bladed diaphrams. The f/1.8 is sharp even wide open. The f/1.4 is just a little bit soft in the corners, and there's about 1/5 stop light falloff in the corners as well. Softness and falloff disappear at f1.8. But the bokeh on the 1.4 is wonderful, whereas the bokeh on the 1.8s I've tried were less than desirable. On two different samples the edges of out-of-focus highlights were pretty sharp, looking like doughnuts. The bokeh on my f/1.4 remains circular (doesn't start to look polygonal) until f/5.6 or /f6.7 and the specular highlights fall off from center to edge. I didn't keep any of the f/1.8's long enough to see if they exhibit the same behaviour with respect to the diaphram.


Attention to Nikon DSLR owners!

Below Nikon D200 (D50,D70,D80,D100)

On Nikon DSLR bodies every non-AI lens has a limitation , you must set the aperture to the right position before mount the lens.On the mounted lens you can't rotate aperture ring.

On D40 works perfect withoutn any problem.

D200 and above

Don't use them! Non-AI lenses can make serious damage on your camera mount!




Comments (2)
Nikon non-Ai 85mm f1.8 lens modification
2Tuesday, 10 April 2012 22:04
You can mount the non-Ai lens to all Nikon DSLR as long as you modified the adapter ring of the lens, grind the inner side of the skirt to 45 degree, also grinded down the skirt between f11 & f8 to approx. one inch after f1.8. Then you have a Ai lens, can work with any Nikon DSLR camera
Nikkor-H 85mm F1.8 Non-AI
1Tuesday, 06 December 2011 18:08
I have the newer AF 85mm F1.8D Not crazy about the plastic around it and the focus feels sloppy. Sometimes the aperture ring is slightly tough to turn. Not sure why that is. IMHO this older 85 F1.8 non-Ai is better. Or even the 85mm F2 AIS (great build).

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