In the past decade, exotic telephotos aside, Nikon has focused primarily on updating its zoom lenses. Admittedly, with the quality of modern zooms, the advantages primes once had have largely been erased (unless you want extremely narrow depth of field).
However this does mean that some current Nikon DSLR's that lack an autofocus motor (like the D40 and D60) can only uses these lenses as manual focus. Even on other bodies, the slower AF system can't compete with modern AF-S lenses.
In 2008, Nikon finally updated its 50mm f1.4D AF lens to a 50mm f1.4G AF-S, so it follows that the legendary 85mm f1.4D AF would most likely be next in line, replaced with a 85mm f1.4G AF-S.
Below are a list of rumors regarding the Nikon 85mm f1.4 AF-S, newest first. Please rate how credible you believe these to be, and feel free to add your own comments/thoughts. If you have any more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click Rumors Wanted. We'll continue to add new rumors to this page as we come across them.
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According to an April 14th posting from Thom, the 85mm f1.4 AF-S is coming "very, very soon now".
No explanation was given as to why he believed that, this lens has been rumored as "imminent" for years now, although Nikon has been slowly rolling out new f1.4 lenses over the past year or so (50mm and 24mm f1.4's so far - 35mm and 85mm f1.4's are the next logical candidates).
A user on a Czech forum (here via NikonRumors.com) has posted what he claims may be from a 37 page Nikon document outlining Nikons product release roadmap for 2009-2010.
Here is what it says about the Nikon 85mm f1.4 Update:
Released October 15th
AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.4G:
top portrait lens with SWM focus and Nano Crystal
Coat, enhance contrast-detect AF-S mode
Would be nice... we've heard nothing credible to say this lens is this close though.
The full translation (translated using Google Translate) of the original post can be found in our forums - see the source link below.
Update:The same poster posted this further down the thread when someone asked him to produce the document, basically saying he found out it was a 'little joke' after spending 3 hours translating it (via Google Translate):
The answer came to me by mail:
I idiot when I disclose
It's little joke allegedly staff with responsibilities for their beloved colleagues and supervisors with shipper from the center
So it's supposedly fancy, but had to give mad work was concerned about his colleagues were extremely happy and very creative. And from me therefore I did laugh and I to 3 hours to translate.
After the recent and likely fictional Nikon Roadmap Leak (see Nikon Roadmap in our forums for the full translation), Thom Hogan has put together his speculated "Possible Nikon Roadmap".
Note Thom does have good sources, and a pretty good track record when it comes to predicting Nikon products, so his version of the roadmap is probably best described as "educated speculation". He has hinted recently that he is aware of a few lenses currently in development, although he stresses in his roadmap that lenses are much harder to predict.
That said, Thom speculates that we "want" to see a AF-S 85mm f1.4 with the D700x release in September/October 2009.
His full roadmap with a lot more background info and explanation can be found by clicking the source link below.