This lens was made for portraits. Literally- I worked in a camera shop when this lens was new, had replaced the 85/1.8. Some photographers complained that the newer 105/2.5 was "too sharp" and the 85/1.8 was too harsh. The Nikon rep said this lens was the answer for the portrait photographers.
I like it, but also have the 85/1.8 and 105/2.5. This lens is softer used wide-open than the 105/2.5 Planar type. It is under-corrected for spherical aberration, the 85/1.8 is slightly over-corrected. Thus, the 85/2 is smoother.