Summary: This is quite clearly a great lens. I bought it to be used with my D7100. The combination is perfect. The lens is sharp and focuses really quickly. I have not used it a lot since it's a new acquisition, but I have made some images that convinced me this lens is really good. It's not as bright as the 105mm 2.8, but it's also much cheaper. So for the price I was willing to compromise on the stop of light difference.
Excerpt: I've been using this macro lens for about 6 months now and it's a very good macro lens. I've gotten some awesome shots and when used with extension tubes you get amazing detail in your focus stacks. I love having the extra working distance this lens provides as well. Buy it.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easily Interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh
Excerpt: Very good macro lens. The 85 mm focal length gets the lens far enough from the subject that it is less likely to cast a shadow on the subject. Fair warning: the lens makes the camera a little front-heavy, so plan on using a tripod for most macro shots. I also like it for a medium-tele prime lens. I use the lens on my Nikon D3100.
Summary: My Canon 100mm/f4 FD Macro lens was my favorite 35mm film lens for nature close-ups. It's still on one of my T60 bodies in my bag... in a closet - awaiting a call that won't come. Canon abandoned the FD lens mount, rendering my gear obsolete, as far as a digital save was concerned. Nikon kept their F mount - and I gave in last fall and bought a D7000 and 35/f1.8 - adding a 50/f1.8 because it was a 'deal'. The 35/f1.8 is a great 'normal' lens - just not a macro lens.
Excerpt: I wanted a macro lens for taking shots of insects and flowers. I looked at the various ranges and decided on the 85mm and I'm very happy with it. I get nice sharp shots; I have used it on a D90, D7000, and D7100 and they all work great. All of these were shot hand held so the VR is nice. The f3.5 was fine to get low depth of field for flowers, just need to watch that on insects. Very pleased and would recommend this for this use.
Pros: Fast / accurate auto-focus, Lightweight, Nice Bokeh