Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

According provided by Nikon AF-S lens Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G SWM IF SWM many thanks Sergey Svirida и Dmitry Glotte.

Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

In total, Nikon has 6 such lenses:

It is believed that the lenses of this series are well suited for some types of portrait shooting - they have rather weak distortion, and a similar combination of focal length and aperture makes it easy to control the depth of field. In 2012, the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G replaced the very popular Nikon 85mm F / 1.8D.

There is another 85-aperture light from a third-party manufacturer - Sigma EX 85mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM.

Example photo on Nikon 85mm F1.8G

Example photo on Nikon 85mm F1.8G

Main technical characteristics of Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM:

Review Instance Name Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM 265565 (inscription near the front lens - Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1.8G)
Basic properties
Front Filter Diameter 67 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 85 mm, the EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 127.5 mm
Zoom ratio 1 X (this is a fixed lens without the ability to change the focal length)
Designed by for digital cameras Nikon FX
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
Labels focusing distance in meters and feet, depth of field scale for F / 16, bayonet mount mark, hood mount mark
Diaphragm from f / 1.8 to f / 16. The lens does not have an aperture ring (G - lens type)
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.8 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 8.1
The weight 350 g
Optical design 9 elements in 9 groups. The lens does not use special optical elements. Optical design of the Nikon 85 1.8G lens
Lens hood HB-62
Period from January 2012 to our time
Manufacturer country Made in China
Instructions See

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1.8G IF SWM was introduced in early 2012 and became a replacement for the popular Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor. I was immediately surprised by the size of the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G, compared to 85mm f / 1.8D the new lens is noticeably 'thicker' and only slightly lighter.

The figure below shows all three generations of Nikon Nikkor 85 / 1.8 class autofocus lenses:

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8 and Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8 и Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Bad news - the new Nikon 85mm f / 1.8G now focuses slower than its big brother. I just can't understand why it was necessary to upgrade 85mm f / 1.8D to the AF-S SWM version and, at the same time, get a lens that focuses more slowly at the output? The same situation with 85mm F / 1.4GNwhich focuses much slower non-motorized old version 85mm f / 1.4D... What is Nikon doing? It's too bad that new motorized lenses focus more slowly than their predecessors. I also want to note that Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G is very much behind in focusing speed and its analog from Canon - Canon EF 85mm F / 1.8 USM. It turns out that the old Canon EF 85mm F / 1.8 USM wins in focus speed on all 85-current Nikon.

Example on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Example on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G is made only in China. The lens has a plastic case, to the touch is no different from the new Nikon fix lenses: Nikon 50mm F / 1.8G, Nikon DX 35mm F / 1.8G. Unlike 85mm f / 1.8DThe G-version lost the metal thread for the light filter, and the 9-blade aperture, but retained the metal mount and acquired the mode M / AM. Old 85mm f / 1.8D still made better than the new G-version.

This is what the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM looks like from different angles, on the Nikon AF camera N8008S, with a Nikon HB-62 blend and compared to Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII):

The Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G comes with an HB-62 bayonet hood that can be mounted backwards and taken with you anywhere. The hood is not screwed into the light filter, but is put on using special slots on the lens. If you put the hood in transport mode, you completely lose access to the focusing ring. Front filter diameter - 67mm. The lens is nice, looks good on the camera.

The good news - Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G has high optical performance. The lens is very sharp, sharper 85mm f / 1.8D, and with very good bokeh.

Differences Autofocus 85-current Nikon

Differences autofocus 85-current Nikon. Nevertheless, version 85 1,8G received the most points from me.


Nikon 85mm f / 1.8G focuses very quietly thanks to 'SWM'to the motor (Silent Wbird Motor - quiet wave / ultrasonic motor) and refers to the lens'AF-S'type (with built-in motor focusing), and therefore it will automatically focus on any Nikon digital SLR camera. On cameras Nikon D80, D700, D750 и Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro I had no complaints about the accuracy and tenacity of auto focus. Only the focusing speed left an unpleasant residue.

During focusing, the front and rear lenses remain stationary, as the lens uses internal focusthat is indicated on the case by the letters'IF'-'Internal Focus' - 'Inner Focus'.

On the lens housing you can find focus switch 'M / A - M'. In the 'M / A' position, auto focus works with constant manual focus priority. The 'M / A' mode is very convenient and useful - for manual focusing or focus correction, you do not need to additionally switch the lens to the 'M' mode.

In manual focus mode, the ring rotates 120 degrees, when it reaches the extreme positions it does not rest, but continues to slide, without affecting the focus. Focusing by hand is nice and easy. During auto focus, the focus ring remains stationary.

The minimum focusing distance is 80 cm, while you can get a maximum magnification of 1: 8. The lens has a window with a scale of distances in meters and feet, as well as a depth of field scale for the F / 16 value and a mark for working in the infrared spectrum.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Example photo on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Information on choosing a portrait lens can be found in the 'Portrait Fixed Lenses for FX Cameras', the optical schemes of all 85-ok can be found in the section'Nikon Fix Lens Schemes'. What do the designations in the lens name (AF-S, SWM, IF, G) mean in the article 'Types of Nikon Lenses'. How to achieve maximum blurring of the background with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G SWM IF is described in section 'Blurred background'. On Nikon DX cameras the EGF of the lens will correspond to 127,5mm due to crop factor.

Example on Nikon 85 1.8G

Example on Nikon 85 1.8G

Sample photos on Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G

The lens is sharp. Like many fast lenses, the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G suffers from chromatic aberration, and the fringing is especially pronounced (the color of the blur zone is purple and green). Distortion is minimal, vignetting on FX cameras disappears at F / 2.8. I was very pleased that the lens practically does not respond to side and backlight, it is very difficult to catch glare. The bokeh of the lens deserves special attention. Many sites write that the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G produces super-bokeh, yes, the bokeh is really good, but still 85mm F / 1.4GN does not reach.

You can download RAW source files at this link (60 files in .'NEF 'format, 330 MB). All photos were shot using protective filter Hoya HMC 67mm UV (0).

Supplement: You can see more examples of photos on cropped cameras of the Nikon DX series in the reviews Nikon D40x, Nikon D50 и Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Example photo on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Differences between Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D (1.8D) and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM (1.8G)

  1. Version 1.8D older than 1.8G. Version 1.8D was introduced in March 1994, and 1.8G in January 2012. Thus, the difference in technology is 18 years.
  2. Version 1.8D It does not have a built-in focusing motor, and therefore it will be difficult to work with on younger Nikon cameras. In turn, 1.8G is equipped with a SWM motor and will work well on any Nikon digital SLR cameras.
  3. Because the 1.8D uses a camera motor (a so-called “screwdriver”), the lens makes a lot of noise during focusing. The 1.8G version works almost silently.
  4. Version 1.8D focuses faster.
  5. Version 1.8D does not have a focus mode switch. 1.8G has a wonderful switch M / AM.
  6. During auto focus, the focus ring 1.8D rotates and cannot be touched. During auto focus on 1.8G, the focus ring does not rotate.
  7. Version 1.8D Uses an internal focusing type Rear Focusing System (RFS), a rear focusing system that moves the rear elements to focus. In turn, the 1.8G uses fully internal focusing, during which neither the front nor the rear elements move.
  8. Version 1.8G has a longer stroke of the focus ring (120 degrees, versus 90 degrees for 1.8D).
  9. Version 1.8D has a hard stop for instantly focusing on infinity (hard infinity-focus stop). In the case of 1.8G, accurate aiming at infinity is carried out using automatic focusing (all due to temperature limitations of the material).
  10. Version 1.8D It has an aperture control ring, which can be very useful for working on some film cameras, as well as while working on cameras of other systems. For example, some photographers buy 1.8D to shoot video using Canon or Sony cameras, where the iris can be controlled using the iris ring. Version 1.8G lacks such a ring, and aperture control is possible only with the help of camera controls.
  11. Version 1.8D a little harder.
  12. The 1.8G has a rubber seal near the lens mount to protect the lens and camera from dust and moisture.
  13. Version 1.8D smaller in size, in particular, it uses filters of a smaller diameter.
  14. Version 1.8D uses metal thread for light filters, and 1.8G uses plastic thread.
  15. Version 1.8D It has 9 aperture blades, versus 7 1.8L blades.
  16. Version 1.8D uses a metal hood that is screwed into the thread of the front filter and cannot be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. Version 1.8G uses a plastic bayonet hood with the ability to install the reverse side.
  17. У 1.8D the minimum focusing distance is 85 cm, versus 80 cm for the 1.8G (less is better).
  18. Part of the lenses 1.8D made in Japan, and part in Thailand. All 1.8G lenses are made in China.
  19. У 1.8D There is a label for working in the infrared spectrum.
  20. У 1.8D there are two marks of the depth of field scale - for F / 11 and F / 16. The 1.8G has a notch for F / 16 only.
  21. Touch version 1.8D assembled much more reliable than 1.8G.
  22. Optically 1.8G is better than 1.8D, First of all, the difference is noticeable during operation on the f / 1.8 aperture.

As you can see, at least 1.8G is 18 years newer than the old man 1.8D, but the latter, in some nuances, is better than the newer model. Overview Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D You can view here.

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

My use experience

I shot on the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G at several weddings, the difference between the F / 1.8G version and F / 1.8d quite noticeable, especially in sharpness at f / 1.8. Despite some flaws, the Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G is by far the best price / quality ratio among the rest of the Nikon 85s. because i recommend it as an inexpensive and good fast-fix for shooting portraits both in crop and in full frame. Nikon 85mm F / 1.8G does almost everything the same as Nikon 85mm F / 1.4G, while its price is many times lower :).

Example photo on Nikon 85mm F1.8G

Example photo on Nikon 85mm F1.8G

Lens prices

Real prices for Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM lens can be viewed here, or in the price block below:

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Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8 and Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

Three generations of Nikkor 85 / 1.8 class lenses: Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8 и Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

All autofocus 85s

Choosing a good portrait lens with a focal length of 85 mm is very important for a large number of photographers. I pay a lot of attention to this issue, because I prepared this list of all such autofocus lenses for full-frame cameras:

Nikon (F, Z mounts)

  1. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor
  2. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (Thailand or Japan)
  3. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8G AF-S IF SWM Nikkor
  4. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.4D AF Nikkor
  5. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.4GN AF-S Nikkor SWM IF Nano Crystal Coat
  6. Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm 1: 1.8 S

Canon (EF, RF mounts)

  1. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1: 1.8 USM
  2. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1: 1.2 L USM
  3. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1: 1.2 L II USM
  4. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1: 1.4 L IS USM
  5. Canon lens RF 85mm F1.2 L USM
  6. Canon lens RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS (DEFOCUS SMOOTHING)

Yongnuo (different mounts)

  1. Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8 (YN85mm F1.8) [Canon EF, February 2017]
  2. Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8 (YN85mm F1.8N) [Nikon F, May 2019]
  3. Yongnuo Ynlens YN85mm F1.8S DF DSM (YN85mm F1.8S) [Sony E, Aug 2020]

Meike (Canon EF, Nikon F)

  1. MEIKE 85mm AF 1: 1.8 (Canon EF)
  2. MEIKE 85mm AF 1: 1.8 (Nikon F)

Samyang / Rokinon (different mounts)

  1. Samyang AF 75 / 1.8 FE (for Sony E)
  2. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 [EF or F] (for Canon EF, Nikon F, diagram 9/7)
  3. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 FE (for Sony E, Canon RF, diagram 11/8)

Tamron (different mounts)

  1. Tamron SP 85mm F / 1.8 Di VC USD Model F016 (for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A [no VC function])

Tokina (Sony E / FE mount)

  1. Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE (for Sony E)

Sigma (different mounts)

  1. Sigma EX 85mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM (two sub-versions with different body coatings, for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K)
  2. Sigma 85mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM | A [Art] (for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma SA, Sony E, Leica L)
  3. Sigma 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN | A [Art] (for Sony E, Leica L)

Sony / Minolta (A or E mounts)

  1. E: Sony FE 1.4 / 85 GM (SEL-85Z)
  2. E: Sony FE 1.8 / 85 (SEL-85F18)
  3. E: Zeiss Sonnar 1.8 / 85 T * (Batis 1.8 / 85)
  4. A: Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZA T * (Sony SAL85F14Z)
  5. A: Minolta AF 85mm 1: 1.4 (22) (AF lens 85) she is Minolta Maxxum, as well as Dynax, as well as G and G / RS and a few more subversion

Pentax (K mount)

  1. SMC Pentax-FA * 1: 1.4 85mm IF AUTO FOCUS PENTAX 85
  2. HD PENTAX-D FA * 85mm 1: 1.4 ED SDM AW

Contax (Contax N mount)

  1. Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 T * (Contax)

Viltrox (different mounts)

  1. Viltrox PFU RBMH 85mm F1.8 STM (Fujifilm X, Sony E / FE)
  2. Viltrox AF 85 / 1.8 II XF STM ED IF (Fujifilm X, Sony E / FE, July 2020)
  3. Viltrox AF 85 / 1.8 Z STM ED IF (Nikon Z, Dec 2020)

Leica / Panasonic (L mount)

  2. Panasonic LUMIX S 1: 1.8 / 85mm

In addition to this review, I recommend a look at the section on portrait lenses for Nikon.


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G SWM IF - great lensGood for portraiture. I recommend.

Update: there was a review of an inexpensive alternative to this lens in the face YONGNUO 100 / 2.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

Add a comment:



Comments: 216, on the topic: Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8G IF SWM

  • Maria

    Thanks for the review, a lot.
    In many respects, because of them, although it is difficult for me to evaluate technical informativeness, I chose lenses for my tasks. I am a green newbie. Probably an artist by nature, I do not pursue the universality of skills, I photograph for my pleasure. In fact, she took up this matter mainly because of her son’s photos. Surprisingly, of all that I managed to try the 85th I liked the most for what kind of facial (sometimes even half-face) portraits on it going out. The effect of the movie in the frame.
    And at 1.8-2 aperture, with good diffused light, it is interesting to photograph vegetation, it turns out somehow fantastically interesting.

  • Maria

    By the way, in the piggy bank of comparisons. if it is important for someone to understand whether to have this lens and fifty dollars at the same time, then, rather, from the experience of viewing other people's photographs, I can say that fifty dollars somehow suppresses the natural look of the picture, mutes naturalness, this is not bad, this is his originality, the photos he took are self-sufficient. 85th on the contrary, more realistically conveys tones and sunlight, IMHO, of course

  • Maria

    I tried to shoot animals, portraits and nature from 800d.
    Double sensation.
    Detailing and other points are, of course, better.
    But something elusive that was in conjunction with the d90 is missing.
    This full-frame gives some kind of plasticity to faces, or something, as if they were retouched.
    Maybe it’s about the settings, but as I usually shoot in the afternoon, I don’t apply any special additional settings.
    But nature and animals are both easier and more enjoyable to film.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe the plasticity of the lack of resolution, the lens is washing the texture.

    • Pokemon

      It seems that AF did not hold out.
      It’s not clear where the AF went, on f / 2.5 if the AF module worked correctly, this could be determined.
      There is also a feeling that the subject was moving during the shooting ...

      • Maria

        Pokemon, Vitali, Anonymous - Thanks for the tips. The object was moving. Yes, the picture is closer to 50, although I thought that there was a connection only in the viewing angle, but not in the nature of the picture, but not. it turns out that the "drawing" of the lens is highly dependent on the matrix. I have no experience in focusing, all summer I have been dealing with static, so I try to learn it manually first.

        • Pokemon

          And when shooting, AF-C mode was set?
          Maria, don’t worry and try on static.
          If it is possible to borrow or rent Nikkor 85 / 1.4D - see how it will work for you.
          The D800 has a pretty good AF module, it's a matter of practice, and everything will turn out.

          • Maria

            AF-S, but I shot in manual mode.
            Thank you)

            • Pokemon

              Moving / unpredictable objects are better on AF-C :-)
              Oddly enough, even when shooting static AF-C gives a more accurate result than AF-S. But apparently it depends on the camera and lens (or rather, on a combination of them, especially if the lens is non-native).

              • Alex

                In general, fixes in AF speed are inferior to reportable zooms; therefore, the tracking mode if the object moves fast will help little on fix optics.

      • Maria

        In AF, I’m even shooting with lamps now, and of course, everything is sharp. I am extreme, apparently.

    • Pokemon

      Try to test on static objects in even light.
      For example - take a vase of flowers and see how the AF works. At 2,5 on this glass, sharpness at 800 should be sufficient (at least in the place where the AF hit).

    • Denis

      for the first time I see a photo of a bird when the head is in focus, and everything else is blurry)))
      usually the whole bird is in focus and it’s entirely in the frame
      In general, here the whale is more appropriate than the portrait IMHO

      • Michael

        Strange that for the first time) This is easily achieved by the open aperture of the dark 70-300 at the long end. A dove-crow without cover no longer breaks

        • Maria

          Yes, I still have such pigeons in the collection, shot at 300 mm in poor lighting in St. Petersburg.
          It's just that the birds are more common in profile.
          And here, in general, an unsuccessful shot in itself, and framing is natural creepy. There was no telephoto, and the birds were not allowed close.

        • Denis

          Now I don't see where the photo of the birds was and I don't remember…. I had 70-300, I can imagine how it will be blurry there - everything is not so strong. and the further you shoot, the greater the depth of field (as opposed to macro)

  • Vitaly N

    Increasing the matrix subjectively reduces the depth of field. And, as it were, "the volume increases." If you want shots similar to the D90, lower the aperture. Well, considering the perspective, from 85 to D800 the photos will look more like 50s from D90.

  • Maria

    For some reason, autofocus does not work with the D800 (there is a car everywhere, on the camera and on the lens ...

  • Maria

    Doesn't work on any carcass, I checked other lenses right after him - it works everywhere. Either a rare disease or tambourines

  • Maria

    It is necessary to destroy the makings of a blonde.
    How my grief was resolved.
    The fact is that the zoom (with which I compared) is old and was set by a simple turn of the thread in the socket.

    And 85mm - turns all the way, then until it clicks a couple of mm in the opposite direction.
    If you do not make this elegant movement, then the lens is literally inaccessible to the camera, it does not see the chip. Although, surprisingly, shooting is available.

    • vadim

      no wonder

  • Nicholas

    Should I buy 85mm on the D7500? What could be the nuances of except?

    • Michael

      None. If 85 mm is needed, buy it

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It will be like 85mm on the crop. The glider will be a good combination.

    • us6ibd

      There is only one Newans - it is necessary to move further from the subject than when using FF.

  • Nicholas

    On crop

  • Natalia

    Who has experience, tell me. Is it possible to use this lens with kenko macro rings on a crop camera for shooting macro objects ???

    • B. R. P.

      Why not? Crop is not a crop, it doesn't matter. The macro rings must support electronics, otherwise there will be no aperture control, as well as exposure metering on the younger Nikons. If the rings are for a screwdriver, af will be on the corresponding cameras.

      • B. R. P.

        Sorry, mistake. There will be no af on screwdriver rings with this lens.

  • y.perov

    The dilemma of the last month - 85 1.4d or 85 1.8g ...

    • B. R. P.

      From af, the 85d current in 1.4d is the most beautiful drawing, in my opinion.

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