Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S). Review from the reader Radozhiva

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 lens review (AI-S) specially for Radozhiva, prepared Sazonov Mikhail Alexandrovich.

Nikkor 85 f / 2 (AI-S) - manual portrait lens from Nikon. The lens is distinguished by good workmanship, average image quality and a custom optical design.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

The first version of the lens was introduced in 1977 as part of updating the product line to AI-type. It was created to replace Nikkor 85 f / 1.8 (K), which was discontinued in the same year. Nikkor 85 f / 2 (AI-S) was produced from approximately 1981 to 1995. On the network you can find many diametrically opposed reviews about the Nikkor 85 f / 2. Some say that this is the worst 85 from Nikon, others consider it to be almost the best. According to my impressions, I can say that this lens does not really give a “standard Nikon picture” and, in general, the image quality does not cause enthusiasm.

Design and controls

Focal length 85 mm
Field of view 280
Guaranteed frame coverage 35 mm (FX)
Diaphragm 2-22
Number of petals 7 non-rounded petals
Filter diameter 52 mm
MDF 0.85 m
Optical design 5 lenses in 5 groups
Lens hood HS-10
Length 61 mm
Diameter 60 mm
The weight November 431, XNUMX
Work with converters TC-201

TC-301

TC-14A (B)

TC-16A

The lens body is made of metal. The focuser and aperture drive rings are separated by a decorative silver ring in the spirit of the Nikkor design of the 70s. The assembly, like all lenses of that time, is very good. Nothing hangs, no backlash. The hood mount is threaded. An old-style cover with side hooks, like a Canon.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

The focusing ring is rubberized, rotates smoothly, focusing is comfortable. The stroke of the ring is about 180 degrees. The lens has a hard stop. When focusing on MDF, the front lens moves forward 1 cm, but does not rotate, the use of filters is not difficult. Focusing is carried out by moving the entire lens block.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

On the lens there is a diaphragm ring with a metal notch and a scale from f / 2 to f / 22. Setting values ​​occurs in increments of one stop. The choice of intermediate values ​​is not provided. Also, the distance scale and color marks of the depth of field scale for f / 8, f / 16 and f / 22 are applied to the lens body. On the side of the focus ring flaunts the inscription “Made in Japan”. Nikkor 85 f / 2 is an AI lens (AI-S) type, i.e. transmits to the camera information about the set aperture value.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

The lens aperture has 7 non-rounded matte blades giving classic nuts in bokeh.

Nikkor 85 f / 2 is made according to an unusual optical scheme for such lenses - 5 lenses in 5 groups. Such a scheme with Nikon was used only in this model and was later replaced by a six-lens one (at the same time, they returned aperture f / 1.8). Lens lenses are multi-coated, no special elements.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Image quality

At an open aperture, the lens does not shine - the picture is clogged with spherical aberrations. Covering the diaphragm corrects the situation. At f / 2.8, spherical aberrations are greatly reduced, at f / 4 the center of the frame is flawless, the corners are a little short, at f / 5.6 the picture is sharp across the entire APS-C frame. The difference in center-edge resolution is negligible at all apertures. There is no distortion. Color rendering is neutral. Longitudinal chromaticity (freing) is strongly expressed. There is a Focus Breathing effect. The Nikkor 85 f / 2 backlight holds up well for a specimen of this age. The contrast does not drop. Mostly glare is annoying. Covering the diaphragm produces bokeh nuts and stars on bright light sources. In general, the picture is soft, the character is more like Canon's (a la 28-70).

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Photo examples

All the above photos are without processing, the development of ViewNX 2. Crop is done on some frames. The shooting was made on Nikon D300spartially with polarizer B + W

Archive with the originals can be downloaded at this link.

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S)

Conclusion

Nikkor 85 f / 2 - the lens is not outstanding and, in general, overrated. I do not see the point of taking for 2/3 the cost of an autofocus analogue. But, if you find it at a good price, it can serve as a budget portrait portrait on Nikon cameras, instead of sawing another poor Jupiter-9.

Thank you for attention.

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Comments: 34, on the topic: Nikon NIkkor 85mm 1: 2 (AI-S). Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • anonym

    why not take portrait portraits for example?

  • anonym

    Picture m, yak i without juice. It is similar to the little one in the world of radiant optics.

  • Alexey de Paris

    Hello, I looked at the pictures in your review and I really liked everything. Question to the author! How long has this glass been with you and what do you take it off? What else are you shooting? What format? Maybe you just did not try it))? thanks

    • Michael

      Hello! I got this glass relatively recently, less than a year ago. I am a fan of taking pictures of landscapes, which can be clearly seen from the examples))) I took this lens to play with high-aperture glass 80-90 mm, and also so as not to constantly carry a large telezoom with me (85 mm is one of my favorite distances). Now I shoot with Nikon D300S and D80, usually in conjunction with Nikkor 35 DX or Nikkor 10.5 DX. Maybe I, of course, didn’t taste it, and I try it on in the wrong place (which is absolutely certain, because the portrait lens and the APS-C camera), but it’s just wildly chromatic, sometimes killing the whole picture. Although, when shooting conditions are greenhouse, the result is interesting (photo 1,2,24, XNUMX, XNUMX).

  • Victor

    Then it’s better to take Samyang 1,4 and not take a steam bath. For the price, as I understand it, the same way. They remove Samyang from 1,4 and everything is fine, but with a dandelion in general, beauty.

    • Michael

      Yes, the same, only f / 1.4, the assembly is worse and the image is even worse. Not only is it creepy terribly, even with a veil it brings everything up to f / 2.8. Better 1.8 AF-D.

      • Victor

        Yes, I shoot normally at 1,4 - 1,8. I can't just put examples here. Samyang is just not convenient, it is without autofocus, and even a very fast analogue from Nikon is very expensive.

  • zengarden

    I think a good portrait; but not for landscapes.
    Found the optical circuit here: https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/85mmnikkor/85mm2.htm - something similar to 105 / 2.5, but the picture is different.
    The price for it is high; I think it is unjustified.

  • DJO

    Angry photographer praised him

    • Michael

      Yes, he is not bad. Just mediocre. If the price were adequate, I also praised)))

  • Alexey

    Judging by the photographs given, the modern whale zoom will give him a head start. But, it becomes clear why, at one time, Soviet optics was quite on the level. Nikon still drove that shnyag.

    • Richard

      Couldn't get past the comment. The examples in the article are bad and inconclusive. Apparently also a bad specimen. This time. Nikon did not drive shnyaga - these are two (Nikon was filmed by Musaelian - the personal photographer of Brezhnev and Steve McCurry and millions of other world-class photographers of that time). Soviet optics were worse - I shot Kaleinar 100 / 2.8 on Olympus - it's unbearable! Soviet optics had a pattern similar to German pre-war optics. Soviet optics were produced with the worst quality, with terrible quality control. A whale zoom, even the Canon L series for 200 thousand will not give him a head start. Read about micro-contrast, 3D-pop and character - MAYBE, AND UNDERSTAND.

      • Rodion

        A normal copy here. Examples, perhaps, pumped up - you don't take pictures very much in winter. But you can see that the five 85/2 lenses do not stretch. There are examples of much more successful lenses in this class released at the same time.

  • Victor

    Guys, how do we love to find fault with the optics of recent times ...! I read the text ... the quality of the picture does not cause delight ... And, excuse me, where does it come from if there is half a bag of dust in the tested copy (see the photo of the gadget!)? Further. What is the author based on, stating: at f / 4, the center of the frame flawlessly, the corners are a little short ... Where is the MIRA you shot, convincing of this? And the last one. That part, which you called the DECORATIVE RING, has its own practical purpose - it is used for GRAPPING when removing and installing on the camera. For Nikon, all the little things have their purpose. NO offense, Victor.

    • Michael

      There is dust, but it does not affect the spherical aberrations and freezing. Its presence can only affect contrast and work in contrast, to which I have no complaints. Speaking of resolution, I am based on my own experience with this lens. There are no technical tests on Radozhiv and therefore I will not post such things here. Twigs and leaves - quite a good world. The decorative ring has 2 more practical functions, in addition to the above-mentioned, but this does not cease to be decorative.
      I don’t care what brand the lens is and when it was released. I care about the convenience, the result and the price. I don’t have a lens, I write as is, my impressions, without making discounts.

  • Aquarius

    Thanks to the author for the review! I planned such a glass for purchase. Now there is something to think about.
    Many thanks to Arkady for the resource!

  • dragon yes not snape

    Chromates ... chromates again. Nikon just has some kind of sickness with them.

    • Michael

      Yeah, many of his fixes suffer greatly from this. The disease is just like Canon with contrast)

  • Ivan

    Thank you Michael for the review!
    There aren’t any photographs for a portrait lens, you need to use the lens for its intended purpose, and not write in conclusion Nikkor 85 f / 2 - the lens is not outstanding and, in general, overrated. It’s hard to put such a conclusion on your photo!
    Regards, Ivan.

    • Michael

      Well for me it’s not portrait, but just 85 mm. But he does not cease to be overrated from this. The photo shows the disadvantages and advantages of the lens, and it does not matter what is in the frame. There are 105 f / 2.5 picture quality is better, but it costs half the price. There is autofocus 85 / 1.8 and the picture is better and autofocus and costs a third more. There is always a question of price. If this lens is like Jupiter, then it costs its money and shoots accordingly. And in the current situation, I see no reason in it. Especially terrible chromatics and the portrait will kill.

    • Valentine

      It’s not clear why you cling to photos. These are just test shots without special staging and without processing. You can understand the strengths and weaknesses of the lens from them, especially if you have experience working with other 85mm lenses. No one promised to look for models or rent locations for filming. Just a review from an amateur. Thank you Michael. If I don’t confuse, then, according to his 10-20 sigma test, I just quite successfully acquired one for myself (it is considered not the best glass, so I could only understand how useful it was when working with the provided raw files).

    • Ivan

      Yes, excellent optics Vanya. Shooting a landscape as a portrait photographer is like shooting the moon in macro. The author of the review burns. Not informative and not interesting. And measuring everything according to cost is the last thing. Who bothers to turn on the head to spend time and find according to the price list. And the reviews of some comrades about Soviet optics in comparison with nikkors are simply beyond the bounds. Comments turn into a cheap booth. Rave

      • Ivan

        And one more thing - the author of the article would like to wish to buy an adapter with focus confirmation - such soap cannot be removed. If the matter is in the object, you need to disassemble, clean and adjust as needed. And not to expose some kind of slag so that the eternally suffering do not write junk such as Kitovsky LLC head and shoulders above this type. Do you guys really?

      • Valentine

        Judging by your words, you have dealt with this lens and know it well. Can add your photos?

      • Alexey

        I judge what I see, what I don't see, I don't judge. There is a portrait in the review and it is not ice, but to argue that a lens that is trash in a landscape will be a candy in a portrait is beyond the bounds. The same Jupiter (for 3,5 thousand rubles. By the way, that's the trouble and the price norms do not need to look for) both in the portrait and on the landscape are much more worthy, although he does not have a luminosity of 1,2 - I admit. And yes, some comrades do not seem to be your comrades in this, but have their own opinion, that's what a “cheap farce”.

        • Ivan

          I bought it for 80 bucks. About rubles from Jupiter, aperture 1.2 and other cheap verbiage I’m keeping silent. I’m taking off your monocle and laying it out for 70-200 L- do you eat it? Is the site the last resort for you? I judge what I have. And such friends, understand where? It looks like the site has outlived itself.

          • Ivan

            And yes, let's finish the discussion. I like Jupiter - shoot it. Here about Nikkor. Buy it, try it and then give it out. Good luck

            • Alexey

              Well, if you have, present us with photos from this decent lens, Valentin has already offered you this. Ignored? And alas, according to your posts, I see a boor who pokes unfamiliar people, indicates what they should discuss or not discuss, what to shoot, groundlessly accuses the author of the review of forgery, not to mention an outright message. Indeed, this site “looks like” is not at all for you.

              • Ivan

                I agree with everything except frank promise and forgery. The object from the review is either faulty or the author is induced somehow wrong. This is his promise). No, I’m not going to fool with the photo exhibitor. I am sincerely not interested in your opinion once and I am not engaged in enlightenment two. And so no offense to good luck with Jupiters take 3)

              • Alexey

                I quote: "I'll take it off on your monocle and put it out for 70-200 L - will you eat it?" - is it about cooking? Or don't you understand what you are writing? Also: “And it’s clear where such friends are?” - is this not a message? Moreover, no one aspires to you as friends. Mikhail Aleksandrovich did a lot of work, presenting a review, arguing, backed up with photographs, expressed his opinion. If you do not agree, having also reasonably backed up with your photos, and not with empty clips, refute it. And if you are not interested in someone else's opinion, then you should not only write, but also read. Good luck to you too.

  • dragon yes not snape

    The lens is tin. Thank you Michael.

  • Alexander

    Mikhail, I’m looking for something inexpensive and light 85-100mm, are you planning to sell yours?

    • Michael

      No, not yet. I shoot them

  • Vladimir

    Weighs 310g, not 431 as indicated. I use it with a mirrorless camera. I like.

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