I mentioned in the previous post that there was something different about the portraits I had taken of my daughter. Well, it’s time to reveal the exciting news (at least exciting to me): I’ve just gotten a new lens, a proper portrait lens, no less. Previously, when I’ve been in need of a longer lens, I’ve had to resort to using my 85mm macro lens. Those times are now over, thanks to the Nikon 85mm f1.8G.

I’ve been wanting this lens for a long time now and finally I was in a position to afford it. I haven’t had much time to us it yet but I really like what I’ve sees so far. It seems nice and sharp, even wide open (I expect I might cut myself if I stop it down a bit), which is the most important part for me. Everything else seems quite excellent as well. The only thing I’ve really noticed is some chromatic aberration against bright backgrounds when shooting wide open. You can see that in the shots from the previous post but it’s to be expected from any fast lens. Besides, it’s easily correct in post (though I forgot to do so for the shots just mentioned).

For a long time I planned to get the Samyang 85mm f1.4; it’s cheaper and when I first found out about it this version of Nikon’s lens didn’t exist yet, only the older version without built in focus motor (my camera doesn’t have the motor drive required for older lenses). However, in the end I decided to stay with Nikon since I was worried that I would have trouble getting consistent results with manual focus. The auto focus seems reasonably fast and accurate from what I’ve seen so far.

I won’t write a full review, there are better sources for that, but I can already say that it’s a highly recommended lens.

For the technically minded: the product shot above was taken with the help of a home-made light tent. Basically just a box with the sides cut out and replaced by white paper. The background is a larger sheet of paper inside the box. I used one flash from each side at different angles and also added a bit of fill from a third flash by bouncing it on the paper in front of the subject.

Expect to see more wide open shots from this lens soon, since that really is the main reason I wanted a fast telephoto lens like this.