I acquired this lens in a two for one swap for my Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Macro lens. In return, I got the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and a new 50mm f/1.8 ... and since I already had an older copy of the 50mm, I was able to sell that one for an $85 net return. So the Tamron effectively sold for an 85mm f/1.8 in new condition and $85 cash. That's just about exactly the right price.
The Tammy was an awesome macro lens, to be sure. But I found that I was shooting models all summer and really enjoyed that aspect too. So the trade was worth it to me to get a nice mid-range portrait lens that is very compatible with the D700 I ordered from the proceeds of my fredmiranda.com fire sale of everything I had acquired over 4 years and was no longer using.
So, to test my copy of the lens, I thought I'd do an aperture ladder from 1.8 through 11. Anything above 11 on my D300's APS-C sensor is a waste of time, as it will begin to be affected by diffraction, which softens details.
Looking over the review of this lens on photozone.de, an excellent private test site, I must say that I was expecting great things. Some loss of contrast at 1.8, which is generally unavoidable in such a moderately priced lens, but rapidly improving contrast through the range. Here is the chart ...
And I was *not* disappointed. Wow ... the lens is usable at 1.8 for sure, but at 4 and upwards it blew my mind. Such acuity ...
Here are the 100% crops ... remember to click on the image to see the full-sized version.
And a couple of the full-sized images processed ...
Such a delicate lens. Awesome.