Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 85mm F/3.5G ED VR

Macro lens • Pro • Digital era

Sample photos

F/4.5
F/4
F/4.2
F/4.2
F/5.6
F/4.5
F/5
F/5
F/5
F/5
F/3.8
F/4.2
F/5
F/4
F/3.8

Abbreviations

AF-S The lens is equipped with Silent Wave Motor.
DX The lens is designed for Nikon APS-C digital cameras only.
MICRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances. Learn more
G The lens does not have an aperture control ring and is intended for use on Nikon digital SLR cameras that allow the lens aperture to be adjusted via the camera's command dial. Relays subject-to-camera distance information to the camera, like a D-type lens.
ED The lens incorporates low dispersion elements.
VR The lens is equipped with Vibration Reduction system.

Production details

Announced:October 2009
Production type:Mass production
Production status: In production
Original name:Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 85mm 1:3.5G ED DX
System:Nikon F APS-C (1999)

Features highlight

APS-C
1
ED
IF
9 blades
Macro 1:1
SWM
MFO
VR
4 stops
VR
NORMAL
WR mount
⌀52
filters

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:85mm
Speed:F/3.5
Maximum format:APS-C
Mount and Flange focal distance:Nikon F [46.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:18.9° (Nikon D APS-C)
Lens construction:14 elements - 10 groups
1 ED
Internal focusing (IF)
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:None; the aperture is controlled from the camera
Number of blades:9 (nine)
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.286m
Closest working distance:0.145m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:1 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Silent Wave Motor
Focus mode selector:M/A - M
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:Yes
Vibration Reduction (VR)
Built-in VR:Yes
VR features:VR NORMAL
VR efficiency:up to 4 stops
Physical characteristics
Weight:355g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀73×98.5mm
Weather sealing:Water-resistant mount
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 52mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type HB-37 (round)
Teleconverters:Not available

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

35mm equivalent focal length and speed

In terms of FoV & DoF
Camera series [Crop factor] Focal length SpeedMax MR Dia. angle of view
Nikon D APS-C [1.53x] 130.1mm F/5.41.54:1 18.9°

Manufacturer description

October 14, 2009

NIKON’S NEW AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5 MICRO NIKKOR LENS ENABLES FURTHER CREATIVITY WITH SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN FOR CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHY

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Nikon Inc., today introduced the new medium telephoto AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens designed specifically for extreme close-up photography, yet perfectly suited for portrait, nature, and general imaging as well. Focusing as close as 0.9 ft., this new 85mm Micro lens allows photographers to capture breathtaking close-up images with life-size reproduction ratios up to 1:1, helping to ensure that even the subtlest of subject detail is reproduced faithfully. The new 85mm Micro NIKKOR lens, in conjunction with Nikon DX-format digital SLR cameras, renders a picture angle equivalent of approximately 127.5mm (in the 35mm or FX-format) providing a natural perspective along with a desirable and practical lens-to-subject working distance.

"Nikon is proud of its strong reputation for designing and producing some of the world's finest close-up lenses, delivering faithful and consistent color reproduction, stunning sharpness and beautifully balanced contrast," said Edward Fasano, general manager for marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon, Inc. "The introduction of the AF-S DX 85mm Micro lens further broadens the Micro NIKKOR family and answers a call from serious nature and portrait photographers, generalists and on-line auction specialists seeking superior close-up shooting performance, affordability and versatility."

The NIKKOR Advantage

Specifically engineered for use with Nikon's assortment of DX-format D-SLRs, the new 85mm Micro NIKKOR lens incorporates a variety of Nikon-exclusive features and technologies including Nikon's Silent Wave Motor technology (SWM) Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass and an Internal Focusing (IF) design. While optimized for DX-format D-SLRs, this lens is also compatible with Nikon FX-format D-SLRs when used in their DX crop mode. In addition, dramatic close-up perspectives can be captured in beautiful High Definition video with digital SLR cameras like the Nikon D5000, D90, and new D300s.

This lens also incorporates the benefit of Vibration Reduction (II) Image Stabilization technology, which gives photographers the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops* slower than would otherwise be possible, while dramatically reducing the image blur caused by camera shake in handheld photography. Nikon VR image stabilization is specifically engineered for each lens into which it is incorporated, ensuring optimum image stabilization benefit. And, unlike camera body-based approaches to image stabilization, Nikon lens-based VR also stabilizes the camera's viewfinder image, making composing and capturing images and movies less fatiguing.

Nikon's Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides fast, quiet and accurate autofocus performance and Nikon's Internal Focusing (IF) design further enhances AF performance, while also allowing photographers to manually focus quickly and smoothly. Additional benefits to Internal Focusing include the elimination of both front lens element rotation and changes in lens length during focusing. A constant lens length improves balance and overall handling, while doing away with front element rotation makes the use of front-mounted accessories such as polarizers or the Nikon Wireless Close-up Speedlight System much more convenient.

Optical construction consists of 14 elements in 10 groups, while the addition of an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element minimizes chromatic aberration, enhancing the lens' ability to deliver stunning, high-contrast images with accurate and well saturated colors. A rounded nine-blade diaphragm opening allows out-of-focus background or foreground scene information to appear more naturally blurred.

From the editor

A versatile short telephoto prime lens - can be used both for portraiture at F/3.5 and macrophotography with magnification ratio of 1:1 (without additional accessory).

Note: The maximum efficiency of optical image stabilizer could be obtained at focusing distance range from 2.6m to infinity. The effects of optical image stabilizer will decrease gradually at focusing distances less than 2.6m.

Typical application

Class:

Slow APS-C-format macro lens • Professional model

Professional model

  • Combination of focal length and closest focusing distance meets professional demands
  • Silent Wave Motor

Missing features (3):

Focusing distance range limiter • Weather sealing • Fluorine coating

Genres or subjects of photography (3):

Macrophotography • Product photography • Travel photography

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/5th of a second (VR ON) • 1/100th of a second (VR OFF)

Lenses with similar focal length

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

Silent Wave Motor

Silent Wave Motor is available in variants with or without a gear system. Nikon never specifies which variant is used in a particular lens, however, in budget models, as a rule, gear-type Silent Wave Motor is used, without manual focus override in autofocus mode. This can be assumed by the presence of the A - M switch on the lens barrel, instead of M/A - M.

M/A - M

M/AAutofocus mode that allows switching to manual focus with virtually no time lag - even during autofocus servo operation and regardless of autofocus mode in use.
MManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Internal focusing (IF)

Conventional lenses employ an all-group shifting system, in which all lens elements shift during focusing. The IF system, however, shifts only part of the optics during focusing. The advantages of the IF system are:

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/3.5 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.

Efficiency of image stabilizer

The efficiency of image stabilizer is measured in stops and each stop corresponds to a two-times increase of shutter speed. For example, if you are shooting at focal length of 80mm and it is known that the efficiency of image stabilizer is 3 stops, it means that during handheld shooting at such focal length you can use shutter speed of 1/10 second which is exactly 23 times longer than the shutter speed 1/80 second needed to obtain sharp image in sufficient lighting conditions.

Hybrid IS

The image stabilizer has Hybrid IS technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. Hybrid IS dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

XY-Shift

The image stabilizer has XY-Shift technology which corrects not only angle but also shift camera shake, which is more pronounced in close-range shooting when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene. XY-Shift dramatically enhances the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

Dynamic IS

The image stabilizer has Dynamic IS technology which especially effective when shooting while walking because it compensates strong camera shake. Dynamic IS activates automatically when the camera is set to movie shooting.

Mode 1

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Mainly effective for shooting still subjects.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction. Corrects horizontal camera shake during following shots in a vertical direction.

Mode 2

Corrects vertical camera shake during following shots in a horizontal direction.

Mode 2 (Intelligent OS)

The lens incorporates Intelligent OS with algorithm capable of panning in all directions. In Mode 2, the movements of subjects can be captured with panning effects even when the camera is moved horizontally, vertically, or diagonally — regardless of the position of the lens.

Mode 3

Corrects camera shake only during exposure. During panning shots, corrects camera shake during exposure only in one direction the same as Mode 2. Effective for following fast and irregulary moving subjects.

Panning Detection

The image stabilizer automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

Tripod Detection

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.

VR NORMAL

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR ACTIVE

Corrects vertical and horizontal camera shake when shooting from a moving vehicle, or some other unstable position. Panning is not detected.

VR SPORT

Allows a continuous shooting frame rate and release time lag similar to those that are possible when image stabilizer is turned off. Automatically detects panning and then corrects camera shake only in one direction.

VR TRIPOD

It is often thought that image blur caused by camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod. Actually, however, even using a tripod may result in image blur because of tripod vibration caused by mirror or shutter movement at the time of exposure. The image stabilizer automatically differentiates the frequency of the vibration from that of camera shake, and changes algorithm to correct image blur caused by slight tripod vibration.