This is why I love the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G , it’s worth every penny you’ll pay for it and not a penny more or less. The lens is cheap enough that you aren’t going to feel reluctant to drop it into your bag for any and every situation that comes up. Not that $500 is “cheap” but in relation to the quality of lens you’re getting combined with the small, light aspect of the lens I’d say it’s a steal.
The lens is fast enough (in regards to its ability to achieve a wide aperture of f/1.8) that you can use it handheld in incredibly low light. If you own a camera that handles high ISO shooting well, you can shoot as late into the evening as you want with very little light.
Handheld, ISO 3200, f/1.8, 1/125 sec..
The lens is small and light enough that you can use it on just about any camera in any situation without giving it two thoughts. I use the Nikon Df , which isn’t a large camera, and the lens feels well-balanced and lighter than my lightest zoom lens (the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G lens). If you are planning on doing a lot of handheld shooting then I’d highly recommend this over its bigger, more expensive, f/1.4G brother.
The 85mm lens is tack sharp and renders backgrounds a pleasant blur.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G has easily displaced my 50mm lens as my favorite prime lens. The lens produces professional quality images without breaking the bank. The image quality is so good that had I bought the f/1.4G version I’d consider selling it, buying this lens, and using the difference to buy another lens.
Normally you might associate the 85mm focal length with portraiture… You’d be missing out if you thought that’s all this lens is good for. The 85mm focal length is one of the best focal lengths for street photography, still life photography, and photographing wizards.
The size and weight of this lens is a huge selling point (unless you’re planning on leaving it attached to a tripod mounted camera) in a world where consumers want smaller and smaller cameras. From a travel and street photography perspective, the small size and weight of this lens are just about perfect.