The Nikon Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G scores very high at DXO Mark: If you can live its one downside, the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G is a cracking piece of glass for portraits and low-light photography.

"With an Overall DxO Mark Lens Metric Score of 35 the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G is the best 85mm lens in the DxOMark database and well exceeds the average DxO Mark Overall Score of 28 for this type of lens. Costing $500, a whooping $1149 cheaper than the Nikon f/1.4 version at $1649, it also represents excellent value for money if you can live without the f/1.4 maximum aperture. In terms of sharpness the Nikon AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G finishes 3rd on the podium out of all 14 85mm primes lenses we’ve tested and again surpasses the average score for this category of 15 P-Mpix. Its best characteristic is homogenous sharpness with no edge softness even with the aperture wide open at f/1.8. It

holds its own in our other Lens Metric Scores too with the notable exception of vignetting, which is where the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G falls down. Heavy corner shading that requires correction in post-production is evident at f/1.8 and the problem isn’t totally eradicated until the aperture is stopped down to f/4.

Achieving an Overall DxO Mark Score of 35 the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G prime lens is the best 85mm lens we’ve tested on the Nikon D3x DSLR. Scoring 17P-Mpix for sharpness, which is above the average of 15 P-Mpix on our database for 85mm primes, with a good 1.9TStop Transmission score and virtually no distortion, optically this is a very good lens. At just 4um Chromatic Aberration is well controlled too, although the weakest aspect of the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G is vignetting, which is strong when shooting at the maximum aperture of f/1.8. 

That DxO Mark Lens Metric Score for Sharpness of 17P-Mpix places the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G 3rd out of the 14 85mm prime lenses on our database (Full Frame mount for Canon, Nikon and Sony camera). This is just behind the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G with a score of 19 P-Mpix and the Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon also with 17 P-Mpix.

If you can live with the one downside however the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G is a cracking piece of glass for portraits and low-light photography. Nikon shooters into portraiture get the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G towards the top of your camera gear ‘wish-list’."

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