Winner: Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8 S
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Winner: Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8 S

Nikon's S-series prime lenses for the Z system have impressed us this year with their performance, not to mention their versatility and value. All sub-$1000 and all relatively small and lightweight, the best of Nikon's new F1.8 options outperform many faster lenses that cost considerably more.

The Z 85mm F1.8 S is a great example. Sharp, virtually aberration-free and still nicely portable, this portrait prime isn't as fast as some of its competitors, or as polished as (say) the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 which takes the runner-up spot, but it's a supremely practical, useful lens. With its smooth bokeh, the Z 85mm F1.8 S is, of course, a fantastic portrait lens for Z6 and Z7 shooters, and a nifty 135mm equivalent on the APS-C Z50. But its size and weight, plus its superb sharpness make it just as useful for landscape and candid work.

Read more about the Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8 S