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Nikon outs new AF-S 85mm f/1.4G Nikkor

Rumoured for ages, Nikon has finally answered requests for an update to the AF-D 85mm f/1.4. But there's no VR and Nikon didn't use the opportunity to match rival Canon and offer an f/1.2 maximum aperture. The new lens will be available from the 2nd September at a retail price of $1699 / £1499.99 / 1776 Euros.

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Press release:

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 19 August 2010 – Nikon Europe today announces a new fast aperture medium-telephoto lens – the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G. This lens supersedes the highly acclaimed AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF with a totally new optical design, Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and Nano Crystal Coat, making it the essential choice for today’s portrait and fashion photographer. This lens continues the rich legacy of NIKKOR 85mm optics and reflects Nikon’s continuing dedication to optical innovation.

Zurab Kiknadze, Product Manager Lenses, Accessories & Software, Nikon Europe says: “The new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G takes portraiture to another level. Lenses like this encapsulate what the NIKKOR brand stands for: amazing contrast and resolution, with unique bokeh qualities.” He added: “We think it will set a new benchmark for stills photographers as well as the growing army of videographers using D-SLRs like the D3S.”

Bokeh Master

The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is designed to be the ultimate optic for professional portraiture. The fast f/1.4 aperture provides excellent subject-background separation, whilst the rounded nine-blade diaphragm renders stunning bokeh with smooth out of focus areas.

Leading Light

The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G features a newly-developed optical system with 10 elements in 9 groups and incorporates Nikon’s exclusive anti-reflection Nano Crystal coat, drastically reducing ghosting and flare to deliver rich, high contrast images even under the most testing lighting conditions.

Smooth Operator

The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G features a dedicated Silent Wave Motor (SWM) to ensure quiet and accurate focusing. The gearing mechanism has been refined to offer extremely smooth operation when using Manual focus.

Tough Customer

As you would expect, the lens has the tough NIKKOR magnesium body and sealing against moisture and dust to continue working in the toughest of shooting conditions. Weighing in at 595g, it balances well on Nikon’s advanced and professional D-SLRs like the D700 and D3 series cameras.

The lens is supplied with a hood HB-55 and a soft pouch.

 

Sample images

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Nikon D3x, 85mm at f/1.4, ISO640 courtesy of Nikon

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Crop of same. Note the smooth areas of differential focus, or, what's becoming a more frequently used term, 'bokeh'. I reckon there's a hint of CA, too.

Lens construction

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MTF

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