through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
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Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 G review

July 1, 2012

The AF-S 105mm with its great-great-grandfather, the Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4.
Lenses seem to grow over the generations!

Size comparison: AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 (hood is built-in), AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm G with hood, AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D with hood.
Of course, you can save space in your bag if you mount the hood reversed, but that requires additional handling if you swap lenses.

Going closer: in conjunction with the TC-14EII you reach a magnification of 1.5:1. The distance between the front of the lens and the subject remains at 150mm or - as shown here - 75mm with hood.

Going closer: with a 6T close-up lens the max. magnification is about 1.6:1, at that the working distance is 95mm.

Nikon has a long tradition in building Macro lenses with a focal length of 105mm. Beginning in 1970 with the Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4 this lens line consists of five lenses. I have tried four of them, each one delivers a great optical performance.

Discussed here is the youngest 105mm Micro-Nikkor, introduced in 2006. It is a lens with an integrated SWM autofocus drive and with a helpful VR (Vibration Reduction). As a 'G'-lens it lacks an aperture ring. Currently Nikon doesn't offer tubes or a bellows unit that works in conjunction with G-lenses. Thus, if you want to go beyond life-size there are only two possibilities: using an AF-I/AF-S TC or using a close-up lens. My TC-14EII is a great addition to this lens, the optical quality of the combination is still fine and the AF works well. The lens works fine with a 6T, too (it is not necessary to reverse the 6T!).

I use this lens mainly for macro applications. But it is also a very good universal lens. If I have to limit weight, I take this lens as the only medium long telephoto lens along with me.





Sample images:

I took this photograph three years ago, just after I purchased this lens. Today my cat isn't interested in this lens anymore. D700 @ISO 400, F8, 1/125sec.

100% crop of the above image. You can see me photographing...

The AF-S 105mm works fine in conjunction with the TC-14EII! D700 @ISO 800, F8, 1/1000sec.

Cold winter: a big piece of ice is hanging above the river Ems. I captured this image hand-held with the D700 at ISO 800, F5.6, 1/25sec. The VR works fine!

Common lizard. D700 @ISO 400, F8 and 1/100sec.

The AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 G works great in infrared light, too. This little beetle was captured handheld with the D300IR at ISO 200, F8 and 1/100sec. But pay attention: this lens has a significant focus shift in IR.

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