Nikon AF-S 85MM F1.8 G

Left: Nikon 85mm 1.8G Right: Nikon 85mm 1.8D

For roughly $480 we are very impressed with the Nikon AF-S 85MM F1.8 G.  On the Nikon D810, Nikon’s highest megapixel body, we prefer it to the much more expensive 1.4 G model (because of lateral chromatic aberration issues with the 1.4G).  We also found the 1.8G to be slightly sharper than the 1.4 G model.

The biggest downside we have found is flare; shooting into bright lights is problematic for the 1.8G lens, probably because of the lack of Nano-coating which the 1.4G has.  The 1.4G has better contrast but for shooting people we didn’t find this to be an issue.  You can use the flare from the 1.8G to create a unique look but sometimes you just don’t want it and can’t get rid of it.

Some people like the older 85MM F1.8 D and we still use it from time to time when we want a more dreamy, soft feel to the image, but the auto-focus is not as good and the chromatic abberations are worse.  Since owning the 1.8G we really don’t use the 1.8D much.

For any starting fashion photographer who shoots with Nikon we highly recommend this lens.  It’s truly a professional lens for a value price.  Canon has not updated their 85mm 1.8 lens for a long time.  It’s usable but with the newer, higher-megapixel bodies it’s really starting to show its age.