Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 Lens

First Impressions

Ever since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been striving to reach a more minimalist lifestyle, in all its aspects, including photo and lighting gear. Hence, I’ve been revisiting my gear and gear options and needs, selling and trading in old gear for a new one, with a minimalist idea in mind.

Why? There are several reasons why:

  • space, which is limited
  • unused gear (because of COVID) collecting dust
  • reconsidering what I REALLY need and what REALLY makes sense for me, as gear, right now

Hence, this past December I decided to revisit my photo gear yet again (I know!), eliminate redundant gear, and replace it/trade it in for new gear.

Here’s what I did and where I am as of right now, regarding photo gear:

  • I went fully mirrorless; that is, I sold all my DSLR gear and replaced it with mirrorless, Nikon mirrorless gear
  • I ended up with an everyday lens, a Nikon Z 24-200mm kit lens, and a portrait lens, Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 portrait lens

In this post, I’ll focus on the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 lens

First impressions:

Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 is:

  • a portrait lens

  • prime lens; that means, you have to zoom in/out with your feet

  • mirrorless, Z-mount, lens for Nikon mirrorless cameras

  • lightweight!

  • aperture range: f/1.8 – f/16

  • AF/MF

  • It takes a 67mm (UV) filter, which came with the lens, in my case; also, I bought the lens on sale, at the end of the year

  • It performs beautifully in low-light conditions

  • Bokeh is super nice, too; not like the Sigma ART 105mm f/1.4, but a nice bokeh; also, nice chance to play with the depth of field (DOF).

Here are only a few test shots, testing DOF and low-light conditions:

As you can see above, I ran a quick test playing with depth of field and also color temperature of light sources available in the room, while shooting wide open at f/1.8:

  • top left: warm color temp; foreground (light) in focus; both camera and yours truly out of focus
  • right: cool color temp; foreground (lens and reflections in the lens) in focus; photographer and background out of focus
  • bottom left: cool color temp; photographer in focus; both foreground (camera/lens) and background out of focus
Test shoot – DOF & low light – w/ Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8. ©Alina Oswald.

In addition, here’s a product test photo captured at f/1.8 in low light:

I’m working on more test shoots and will share images here, very soon.

Until then and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Alina Oswald

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