All images shot with a Nikon D3
Standard picture control with +6 sharpening.
Large basic JPEG fomat
High ISO noise reduction and Active D-lighting OFF to retain maximum detail and sharpness.
This is a very solid, well built, highly sought after lens which heralded the days of Nikon AF-D lenses. Nikon's newer lenses aren't as well built unfortunately. Weighing 560g, its a heavy prime lens with 9 glass elements in 8 groups. It is powered by a conventional screw drive motor instead of Nikon's latest Silent Wave Motor, hence the lens does make quite some noise when it autofocuses.
Price wise, this lens had a retail value of approximately RM3,800 before it was recently discontinued. On the used market, its usually priced around RM3,000 to RM3,200.
On the periphery of an FX sensor, it doesn't perform as well optically compared to its lighter cousin, the Nikon 85 f/1.8D.Nonetheless, the 'less sharp' edges gives the lens its distinct 'look' which is great for portraits.
This lens has superb circular aperture blades which makes out of focus highlights almost perfectly circular. Its bokeh is pretty shallow and 'buttery' too, especially when mounted on FX sensors. Bokehlicious! :)
Another example of a subject which posed great AF difficulty for this lens - a black cat.
In conclusion, this lens is in a league of its own among Nikon primes. After the release of its AF-S successor, this lens is highly in demand. After all, not everyone would want to pay more than RM 5k for its successor that performs slightly better. If its autofocus performance was dead on accurate all the time, I would have no reservations to acquire one. Its for those who can afford to have work in a more relaxed environment, such as a studio, or a controlled portrait shoot, but not for intense event coverage.
Hope you've found this review useful. Drop me a comment if you have any. Cheers!