Summary: There are lots of reviews on the sharpness and performance of this lens and comparing it to other 85mm lenses. I'll let them argue the details of sharpness, bokeh, etc. For me, the ability to override autofocus without mucking about with switches is very nice to have. That makes the 1.8D less attractive. And I haven't used my F3 in a very long time, so I don't miss the aperture ring. The difference in exposure between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is minimal.
Excerpt: I use this lens on my Nikon D5100 for natural light portraits and grandkids volleyball & basketball photos. Focus speed is good in qym lighting. Although I haven't completely tested it, some reviews show best sharpness & quality at f4 to f8. Very pleased with results so far. This lens came as a kit with a tripod, camera bag, filter kit for lens and a cleaning kit. Tripod was a little cheap, but overall, great accessories for the price.
Nice upgrade from 1.8D and nice alternative to 1.4G or 1.4D
Sir Coogs A Lot, Amazon
10 February 2013
Summary: I was debating between getting this lens or a used 85mm 1.4D but am confident I made the right choice. Picture quality is very nice and unlike my old 1.8D, the background is blurred in a circular fashion and less mechanical. The 1.8D was a great lens and is still a great bargin if you're on a budget mind you but the new version does offer sharper pictures with more contrast, more pleasing background blur, and the AF-S motor makes it compatible with more cameras.
Summary: I got his lens as used. The quality of lens is very good. Back grounds are very smooth, pro's say it's as good as expensive 85mm 1.4 lens. I did not use 1.4, but this lens quite better than other prime lens 35mm 1.8g. 35mm is good for indoors and landscapes. I prefer to keep both. Pros: Excellent for portraits, street photography and landscape photography.
Summary: I started using this lens for taking portraits and was pleasantly surprised to see that they all came out sharp. The only drawback is you have to stand a little farther if you are taking half body shots, but I knew that going in. Perfect for tight head shots. Could not afford the 85mm, 1.4 but this one certainly fits my budget and the images it produces are excellent. Some people complain about it being a little slow but in the studio environment, it's a non-issue.
Summary: First off, most of the other reviews list the differences between this lens and the older D version. For me, the biggest two differences are: 1) This version is quite a bit larger 2) The D version focuses faster, especially on the D300 Am I glad I upgraded? Yes in every way. I can still shoot sports with the new lens, so ever though the focus speed is slower it is still adequate. I have no problems tracking a baseball player running towards me to first base.
Summary: I have tested this lens and although i have not bought it, the lens is really good. That is why i gave it 4 stars, because it is what it is, a very good lens, and minus one star because i dont like the consummer grade construction. The reason why i decided to post this comment is for people to understand that this lens is not "better" than the 1.8D. Is it sharper? Yes it is. Does it have a built in motor vs. the 1.8D? Yes it does. BUT, Should you get this lens??
Summary: An excellent portrait lens, whether formal, studio style portraits or informal shots of children or pets around the house and garden.This lens is very sharp even wide open. The only downside is a degree of colour fringing in high contrast situations when wide open, but this is easily corrected in post processing and is unlikely to be a problem in normal use.