Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Posted 17 June 2008 - 15:09
Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:50
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Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:05
The fact that it has a fixed physical length is an advantage for this application since the housing port can be optimal (less air space between lens and port). For the attached shot I added a Nikon diopter to get slightly above 1:1 and to reduce the working distance just enough so the port could be submerged in rather shallow water.
Posted 04 March 2010 - 16:01
Posted 04 March 2010 - 16:35
Recently, I retested another 105 VR as part of a bigger test setup of "macro" lenses for a Norwegian magazine (the test comprised Nikkor and Canon lenses, plus Sigma). This sample performed markedly better than the lens I had rejected three years ago. True, the basic issues with some axial CA and a loss of detail in the extreme close-up range still were detectable, and focus breathing is, like the Canon 100 Macro models, a huge problem if you use the lens on a tripod for close-ups. However, the overall sharpness of this copy was at the same level as the new Canon 100 EF L USM and the Sigma 105 EX DG HSM.
I won't purchase another copy of the 105 VR, but my experiences make me wonder about sample variability of this lens as a prime cause of the very different responses people express for this lens. Ensure you test the lens throughly before accepting it and you should be just fine with the 105 VR.
Posted 04 March 2010 - 18:16
If you plan to use it as a macro lens, this lens will do fine. Focus breathing is a bit annoying when aiming for a specific magnification and framing. The VR helps less the nearer you get to your subject. As usual with macro, AF-S makes no different because at serious magnification, you will do manual focus anyway. Sharpness is fine, but does not exceed the competition. Biggest problem is that for the same money or less, you can get the Sigma 150/2.8 which offers you a greater working distance with at least equal image quality. I have owned both, and for macro work, I would go for the Sigma (if one can live with cosmetic faults once the EX finish is exposed to outdoor roughness).
If you ignore Nikons designation of the 105VR as a macro lens and take it as a short tele with increased magnification, you get an awesome piece of glass. Sharpness is good to excellent even wide open, conrast is extremely high, colors are very vivid and bokeh is very creamy. VR works as advertised with a solid 3-stop improvement in handholdable shutter speed. AF-S is very reliable, also in terms of speed absolutly not in the league of Nikons longer AF-S primes, it is fast enough even for sports. Personally, I saw only two major drawbacks with its role as a short tele. First, performance at infinity focus drops a bit. It stays good nevertheless, but misses the bitter sharpness yuo gain when using it at f/4 and medium distances. Second, it is a VR prime lens, granted, but on the other side it features only a maximum aperture of 2.8. You can get a comparable performance with VR in the 70-200, a flexible and long range zoom, if you can live with a higher weight and price.
Nevertheless, this lens is an excellent all-rounder and as this, it is recommandable. If I were an FX shooter, it would be my first buy.
Posted 04 March 2010 - 20:35
The only complaints I have are
(a) some AF mishaps on normal (i.e. non-macro) shots
(b) the Sigma 150/2.8 macro is sharper (but lacks VR)
In the end I believe I'll sell my 105/2.8 VR and keep the Sigma :
See some selected shots with this lens here.
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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:15
Posted 05 April 2010 - 13:07
I've never quite understood the issues people report w this lens, perhaps because my previous 'macro' was an old 135 f2.8 AI lens with a Tiffen 'closeup lens'. My copy is about 12 yrs old now, and I have no sharpness issues. Maybe because Nikon chose to target a wide market segment with AF, VR and more of a general purpose than a pure macro design philosophy. The problems with 'breathing' I thought were normal for the breed, hence the plethoria of macro focus gadgets (some quite nice). There are inherent issues with DOF in macro shooting, and yes, a tripod is required for sharp shots at high mag (tho a flash can do wonders if applied correctly}. The 105's length gives me enough distance for most subjects.
On top of that, I use this lens a lot as a medium telephoto where it works well. It has a home in my bag.
aka 'Joe Photographer' <g>
Posted 30 May 2010 - 17:19
Some AF hunting, indeed, but I mostly use it on static subjects where this does not matter. The weight and size, also, are not very pleasant, nor is the unusual (to me at least) filter thread, 62mm.
Overall, quite a useful and good piece of optics and mechanics.
Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:46
Posted 25 October 2010 - 14:47
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