Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lens Review - Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED IF VR Nano

Nikon Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105 mm f/2.8G ED IF VR Nano


Focal Length : This is a FX format lens, so you can both use them on typical SLR 35 mm cameras and D-SLRs.
Aperture: f/2.8 . Nine-bladed rounded diaphragm stopping down to f/32
Optics: 14 elements in 12 groups. That includes two ED glass elements (shown in yellow) and three aspherical elements shown in blue.

Closest Focus: 31 cm(0r 12 inches)
Macro Ratio: 1:1 (real Micro lens)
Filter size: 62mm
Accesories: Lens rear/front caps, Petal-shapedHB-38 Bayonet Lens Hood . CL-1020 Lens pouch (artificial suede)
Dimensions: 83 mm(3.3") diameter. Extension from lens flange (length excluding rear mount extension) is 116 mm (4.5").
Weight: 790 grams (27.9 oz)
The Micro-Nikkor 105mm VR is extereme sharp and silent lens. Build quality is excellent. Lens glass quality is very high and together with Extra-low Dispertion coating and Nano coating, all flares ang ghosts are successfully eleminated. According to IMATEST results, barrel distortion level is only 0,18% , not negligible in field. Vignetting is almost non-exsist, even at widest aperture setting of f/2.8. MTF Resolution results are over the test limits, which is amazing (at f/4 and f/5.6). Unexpectedly, Chromatic Aberrations are increasing as the apperture slows down. Even though, not field relevant. (it is below 1 pixel limit)

If you are a street candid photographer, 105mm VR is a good lens for dawn hunters (even at night) who doesn't like to carry a tripod with it's wide aperture and almost 4 stop advantage VR.

For portrait photographers, this lens is "the lens" you are looking for.

If you own a 18-200mm VR, it may seem unnecessary to own this lens. Who says so? What about the Micro spec you will have in your pocket? I must say that for micro shooters, do not forget to shut off the VR and auto focus. It is a pleasure to adjust the focus with the sensitive focus ring down to 31 cm. (But my personal suggestion is to buy a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro lens for only-macro-obsessed enthusiasts)

- This lens' weakest point is this: During macro, auto focus and VR do not work in harmony. VR is looking for your hand movements and very shallow depth of field changes furing this movement as the fast SWM focus trys to fast focus on the subject. Not a headache for me, just shot of VR for extreme macros and the problem solved. But this small detail does not suit to Nikon quality.
- Chromatic Aberrations (blue/purple color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are around 1 pixel limit. Increases as the aperture slows down.. Interesting!!!. ED and Nano works here...
- 105mm VR is a "G" type lens and has no aperture ring on the body so old film cameras can not use it. Also Pn-11 owners can not use this extention tube. D40 and D40x owners can use this lens.

VERDICT : It is not a cheap lens but the build quality, sharpness and all other test result are excellent. Only autofocus may be a little problem in micro mode when used together with VR. Highly Recommended (9/10)


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