Need For Speed: Our Favorite Nikon F1.8 Prime Lenses

Prime lenses are the weapon of choice for a variety of photographers for a variety of reasons, be it size, speed, image quality etc. Nikon photographers have access to a wide variety of prime lenses, and a really solid lineup of fast F1.8 prime lenses that is the focus of our post here today.

When many people think of fast F1.8 prime lenses they think of a nifty fifty, the super cheap 50mm lenses. But not all F1.8 primes are dirt cheap, some are actually on the spendy side, so this post isn’t necessarily a budget friendly one, but with that out of the way, let’s get into it.

Nikon 20mm F1.8

In our review we gave the 20mm F1.8 4 stars and said:

“The 20mm f1.8 is an all star performer in every regard from autofocus, bokeh, and color rendition. The only thing I’m disappointed with at the end of this review is having to send it back to Nikon. It’s also a bit pricey at just under $800 and I would have really liked to see Nikon including more features for the price. Still, at the end of the day this is definitely one lens you should add to your collection.”

[amazon_textlink asin=’B00NI6WH1S’ text=’Nikon 20mm F1.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b344a607-3f0b-11e7-8b7c-33f954ec3c60′] on Amazon: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00NI6WH1S’ text=’Nikon 20mm F1.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’aad3d997-3f0b-11e7-80b1-f798d9d1a5cb’]

Nikon 35mm F1.8

In our review we gave the Nikon 35mm F1.8 an Editors Choice Award and said:

“Nikon’s 35mm f1.8 G ED is a lens that won’t excite those us that always reach for higher hanging fruit, but it will surely satisfy the appetites of those that are looking for a fairly affordable 35mm prime lens. Best of all, this lens is designed for full frame cameras as opposed to the last one which was for APS-C DSLRs. The company’s lens is sharp enough for most uses, has fairly good bokeh, color that can be reworked to be even better due to Nikon’s RAW file versatility, and contains focusing motors that really made it a joy to use all around.”

[amazon_textlink asin=’B00HQ4W4XO’ text=’Nikon 35mm F1.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8219b6ca-3f0c-11e7-9170-c999bdb45dac’] on Amazon: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00HQ4W4XO’ text=’Nikon 35mm F1.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8d30eacc-3f0c-11e7-9faf-1b7557bdce1f’]

Nikon 50mm F1.8

In our review we gave the Nikon 50mm F1.8 good marks and said:

“Easy to use, overall ,this lens is very nice. Feature wise the Nikon 50mm 1.8G does not need much. Thankfully, the changes in this lens were also  not just cosmetic. This lens has been given more utility for DSLRs than its predecessor. It can be used on all FX and DX Nikon cameras.  While its slightly more expensive than its predecessor, it is worth the cost. It’s such a nice lens. It’s a lens that will never let you down.”

[amazon_textlink asin=’B004Y1AYAC’ text=’Nikon 50mm F1.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’68e8f942-3f0e-11e7-b0d5-45d27f309ecc’] on Amazon: [amazon_textlink asin=’B004Y1AYAC’ text=’Nikon 50mm F1.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’60e56ddc-3f0e-11e7-921d-4599537ce550′]

Nikon 85mm F1.8

In our review we gave the Nikon 85mm F1.8 a solid rating and said:

“The Nikon 85mm f1.8 G is a modern update to an old lens, and Nikon indeed did a fantastic job with it. For the price, it is very sharp, fast focusing in most situations, silent, and built extremely well. As a budget level lens, it is really hard to beat except by perhaps Rokinon’s 85mm f1.4; but that doesn’t have autofocus at all.”

[amazon_textlink asin=’B006TAP096′ text=’Nikon 85mm F1.8′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’16c05e8c-3f0d-11e7-9af7-55efd60c4ba7′] on Amazon: [amazon_textlink asin=’B006TAP096′ text=’Nikon 85mm F1.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0c471899-3f0d-11e7-b2b9-edf23d3a49f7′]

Other Nikon F1.8 Primes

Nikon 28mm F1.8 – This is the only current Nikon F1.8 prime lens that we have not reviewed yet, but one we are looking forward to getting our hands on. 28mm is a fun focal length for everything from portraiture to street photography, and the reviews of this lens elsewhere are great. ([amazon_textlink asin=’B007VGGIRK’ text=’Get it on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9e688ad6-3f0f-11e7-955a-4787aaadaa55′])

So there you have it, a quick look at all of Nikon’s current F1.8 prime lenses and our thoughts on each of them. If you are a Nikon shooter looking to pick up some prime lenses, we recommend beginning your search with these lenses. We hope this roundup has been helpful.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.