Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review of the Nikon micro-Nikkor AF 105mm f/2.8

Last week I was telling you how I happened to have come across a copy of a Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm lens and, realizing I hadn't reviewed it yet, I thought to do it now. I also found another great lens that's even older and which I also haven't reviewed yet. Today we'll take a look at the Nikon micro-Nikkor AF-D 105mm f/2.8

Plenty sharp, like every self-respecting micro-Nikkor

+ stunning optical quality, no flaws to speak of
+ good construction quality, I'd trust it to take some abuse
+ focus limiter and handy MF/AF switch

- requires a focus motor
- slightly expensive, even used (look here for some good offers). Still, cheaper than the VR version
- although the MF/AF switch is handy, it's not an immediate override

The focus limiter is very handy. It works on both ends
(i.e. in macro, from 1:1 until about 1:3, and from 1:3 until infinity)

Intended Users
Great for:
  • if you're looking for a great macro lens but you're budget-conscious
  • portraiture
  • any kind of photography requiring tack-sharp resolution (e.g. landscapes, textured subjects, etc.)

Not for:
  • general-purpose, particularly if you have an entry-level camera, which means no autofocus.
  • if you plan to use it exclusively for macro (and especially if your camera can meter AIs lenses), you'd be probably better served by the older, AI-s version.
  • sports or fast action. I think the AF is a tad too slow for that.

Final Verdict
The Nikon micro-Nikkor AF-D 105mm f/2.8 is a pretty interesting solution for those not wanting to spend a fortune on the more expensive model. There are many other options in the same price bracket, such as the older, non-VC Tamron 90mm and several Sigma models. They're all pretty great (it's rather easy to make a competent 105mm macro lens), so it boils down to personal preferences. I liked the micro-Nikkor AF-D because of its superior construction quality, but ultimately you can't go wrong. Search for good used models here and here.

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