5 things to try with the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Team 90-Second NIKKOR26 jan 20243 min za čitanje

There’s more than stunning portraits to this pro-level fast prime lens

Pro portrait and wedding photographers are rarely without an 85mm prime in their bag, but the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is no one-trick pony. Read on to discover the breadth of possibilities with this super-sharp, super creative S-line lens.


1. It’s all in the details

The optical quality of the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is even better than previous NIKKOR f/1.4 lenses, so you can be sure of incredible detail in your images. Try a few still life set-ups with different subjects: organic, such as flowers or food, and man-made objects with sharper edges. The minimum focus distance of 80cm allows you to get in close and create scenes full of interest.

Nikon Team
What’s in our kitbag?
Donna Crous' Christmas Images for Nikon Magazine 'How to shoot Christmas food this festive season'. For Nikon magazine only.
Donna Crous' Christmas Images for Nikon Magazine 'How to shoot Christmas food this festive season'. For Nikon magazine only.
Stills: Donna Crous
2. Portraits that move

Portraits aren’t just stills. As a lens that creates beautiful images of human faces, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is also perfect for video portraits and interviews. With manual focus and wide aperture (to create good background separation), try a ‘focus racking’ effect, slowly changing the focus from the subject to something in the background that’s relevant to what they are talking about.


3. Stay silent

The customisable control ring on the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S can operate various functions. It’s particularly useful for aperture control where you need complete operating silence, such as at a wedding. You can use it to adapt to lighting situations when closing down aperture a little might be necessary, but it can also be a creative tool, changing the depth of field within a scene for storytelling purposes.

Stills: Chloé Lapeyssonnie
4. Candid portraits 

There are many ways to take a portrait and the reportage style of candid images is one of the best ways to test your skills (which is often why great wedding photographers are so sought after). The twin-motor autofocus of the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is your friend here, allowing you to keep track of your subject’s eye as they move around. Practise your candid images with people you know in their own surroundings, as they’ll be more comfortable. And if you’re in public, be polite and ask permission to take pictures of them.


Read more: How to shoot wedding reportage.

5. Up your bokeh game

The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S creates beautiful bokeh, smoothly graded to the edge of the frame. To really enhance the effect, look for backgrounds that will give you the most points of light. Try an evening session in a city with lots of lights in the background (rooftops are great for this, or on a hill overlooking a city). Restaurant windows are often good places to place a subject in front of at night, as often they have a lot of small lights coming from tables. And when Christmas comes, fairy lights will be everywhere, so make good use of them!


The key stats: NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S 

Type: Nikon Z mount

Format: FX

Focal length: 85mm

Maximum aperture: f/1.8

Minimum aperture: f/16

No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded aperture opening)

Minimum focus distance: 0.8m (2.62ft) from focal plane

Weight: approx. 470g


Want to see it in action? Check out our 90-Second NIKKOR video below.


90-Second NIKKOR: NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S in action

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Opcije deljenja

Celebrating 90 years of NIKKOR

Introducing a new video series from Nikon Europe. In each episode, we'll take a NIKKOR Z mirrorless lens and tell you everything you need to know in 90 seconds


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