This Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Lens is a DX-formatted medium telephoto Micro lens. It is ideal for extreme close-up and general photography including portraits. The lens will autofocus from infinity to 10.8″ producing a life-size (1:1) image.
The lens also features Nikon’s VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization. This allows handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper images. This is ideal for macro close-up work.
Compact, DX-Format Micro Nikkor Close-Up Lens
An ideal choice for close-up, nature, portrait and general photography
Close Focusing to 10.8″
Extends versatility with focusing from infinity to 10.8″ producing a life-size image (1:1 reproduction ratio)
Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
Vibration Reduction, engineered specifically for each VR Nikkor lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper images
Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element
Offers superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at wide aperture settings
Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
Enhances light transmission and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare.
Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
For fast, accurate and quiet autofocus
Internal Focus (IF)
Provides fast and quiet autofocusing without changing the length of the lens, retaining subject working distance throughout the focus range
Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
Renders more natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements
M/A Focus Mode Switch
Enables quick response to changing situations between manual and autofocus operation
All this comes with the added bonus of Nikon’s VR II optical stabilization. VR won’t really be of much use at life size macro shots but it’s a long way from infinity to the minimum focus distance and for most of that scale the VR is a surely welcome and useful feature.
Optically, the lens only has one issue, which is surprisingly high vignetting wide open.
If you value size, weight, working distance and VR, get this lens only if you only plan to use DX cameras for quite some time.
For better optical performance, but lacking VR, the Tokina 100/2.8 is superior, and does work on 35mm and FX.
For serious macro work, I shoot the 200mm AF Micro every day in my studio because it lets me stand far enough away to get a proper perspective. Sadly, the 200mm Micro is far more expensive.
AF and VR aren’t helpful for serious macro, where we shoot with action-stopping strobes and focus manually.