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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You Need to Get This Nikkor Lens NOW

I can almost hear your heart racing reading this catchy title. No worries, I know it all too well - if an article says "do this now", or "here's what you need to do in order to [insert requirement]", or even "have you always done [insert basic everyday activity] wrong?" then it's usually the first sign that the article is worthless.

Bare with me for just a while, and you'll see where this title comes from  and why I honestly believe you need to act on it (assuming you're the target group described in this article). Because this is a Nikon Nikkor lens - nay, a Nikon technology - that, as it seems, will not be produced again.

First things first; let's start with the news. As you might already know - I had reported on this myself on AmateurNikon's Facebook page some time ago, Nikon has released a new prime lens, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4 ED lens. Now, it goes without saying that this is offered as an absolutely top-of-the-line kind of lens for portrait photography.



This sets a new precedent. Sure, we still have the venerable Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 lens, but the 105mm is a traditionally unique focal length for Nikon. The key word here being "traditionally".

If you think the title of this article refers to the new AF-S 105mm f/1.4, you're wrong. It does refer to the lens this new AF-S Nikkor replaces.




And what that lens might be? But of course the Nikon Nikkor AF 105mm f/2 DC. You see, another piece of news we've had this week is that this lens is listed as "discontinued" on several places. In other words - and let me use my big ugly bold font to communicate this:
This is almost certainly your last chance to buy new a lens featuring a technology - defocus control - that, apparently, Nikon decided to give up on.
I can't be more direct about it, I can't stress it enough. I don't know how many lenses remain in stock. If you click on the photo below or the link above, you'll see that Amazon has only 3 pieces left in stock. Although they do claim "more on the way", I wouldn't trust it; it's something they quasi-automatically report when they're low on stock. There might indeed be some quantities left in the main Nikon warehouses, but they will inevitably run out.


You might wonder at this point, why on earth should you be interested in getting this lens anyway. You must be thinking "hang on, the new lens is AF-S, and a full stop faster". Yeah, and it doesn't have defocus control (or bokeh control, as it's otherwise known). If you're serious about portrait photography, bokeh is far more important than maximum aperture (especially when the comparison is between f/1.4 and f/2).

In terms of investment, I expect the prices of the Nikkor AF 105mm f/2 DC (as well as the AF 135mm f/2 DC eventually) to skyrocket. This is what happens with superb lenses Nikon stops producing - like the Nikkor AF-D 28mm f/1.4, which used to sell new for 1/3 of the price it now sells used.

Bokeh can be more important than sharpness

I suspect it'll be even more with the defocus control lenses, because we're sadly seeing an entire line of technology disappearing. In other words, if you now get one new and don't use it (or use it carefully and lightly), expect to see your investment multiplying in the future.

I already have a 105mm f/2, but I'll think I'll buy another one purely for investment purposes. Trust me, it's worth it!


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