NIKKOR Z 85MM F/1.8 S: a fast lens for documentaries, interviews and B-roll

Nikon introduced a new lens to the Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S, presented as a lens great for documentaries, interviews and more.

NIKKOR Z 85MM F/1.8 S: a fast lens for documentaries, interviews and B-roll footage

A fast prime with a classic medium telephoto focal length, the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is crafted to cater to the needs of videographers as well as image-makers.

A 85mm focal length lens is immediately associated with portrait, and that’s an area where the new lens from Nikon will fit adequately. It’s a a fast, flattering portrait lens for Z series creators. Designed to take full advantage of the wider, brighter and faster Z mount, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is ideal for headshots, fashion, wedding/event photography… and tight video shots.

Yes, the lens is designed with videographers in mind (photographers too, don’t be afraid) featuring a control ring that can be used  for quiet aperture control, and is ideal for smooth iris transitions during video recording. Needeless to say, it can also be used by photographers in situations where complete silence is critical. The customizable control ring can also be used for exposure compensation.

The video-centric features do not stop at the control ring.  As with all NIKKOR Z S-Line lenses, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is crafted, says Nikon, “to cater to the needs of videographers as well as image-makers. The lens features ultra-quiet focus motors, minimized focus breathing, a customizable control ring for smooth adjustment of aperture or exposure compensation, and full compatibility with the in-body 5-axis VR found in the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras.”

From interviews to B-roll footage

The natural perspective offered by the classic medium telephoto focal length,  the quiet autofocus and smooth aperture control of the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S make it, says Nikon, “outstanding for video work in documentaries, interviews, B-roll footage and anywhere you want to isolate your subject from the background.” Nikon Z series photographers and videographers who want to bring striking clarity to a subject’s eyes or who demand shallow depth of field and beautiful, natural bokeh will find the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S a welcome addition to their kit.

“The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens is so sharp, yet the background blur is so natural; the incredible detail captured with this lens is nothing short of striking,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “For fashion and portrait photographers, to wedding shooters and all types of videographers, now is the time to discover why the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 will be an indispensable asset for those creatives who are familiar with the outstanding performance of the Nikon Z series.”

NIKKOR Z 85MM F/1.8 S: a fast lens for documentaries, interviews and B-roll footage

Shallow DoF and natural bokeh

The latest lens to join the NIKKOR S-Line, representing pinnacle in optical superiority and construction, the NIKKOR Z 85mm’s fast f/1.8 maximum aperture allows users to confidently shoot in low light and capture gorgeous, shallow depth of field that adds dimensionality and character to high-resolution images and 4K video footage alike. Helping to provide a natural look is a lens diaphragm consisting of nine rounded blades, which produce smooth, natural bokeh that gently leads the viewer’s eye to the subject of the frame. With the addition of Eye-Detection autofocus included in the recent release of Firmware 2.0, the Nikon Z series cameras and NIKKOR Z lenses offer even more control and capabilities when capturing stunning portraits and candids.

This lens uses an all-new optical design of 12 elements in 8 groups and features the industry-leading lens technology consumers have come to expect from NIKKOR glass. Two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements help ensure minimal aberration, while Nikon’s patented Nano Crystal Coating offers superior control of ghosting and flare. Additionally, the high-speed Multi-Focus System realizes superior resolving power at minimum focus distance. These cutting-edge features are protected from the elements by Nikon’s professional-grade dust and drip resistance.

The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S will be available in September 2019 at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $799.95.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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