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

Nikon AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8G Micro ED Handling and Features

Nikon Nikkor AF S 105mm Micro Lens (4)

Being one of Nikon's 'gold ring' lenses, the build quality is excellent, with a combination of metal an high quality plastics used for much of the lens barrel. For it's size and focal length, this lens feels heavier than you might expect at around 720g, even so it balances well on the Nikon D600 body used for testing. The lens mount is metal and sports a rubber gasket, designed to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture via the lens mount, although Nikon appear to make no claims about the weather resistance of the lens.

A silent wave motor powers autofocus and it obtains focus very quickly at normal distances. Manual adjustments can be applied at any time via the narrow focusing ring closest to the lens mount, which will be especially useful when exploiting the close focusing capabilities of this lens. The manual focusing action is smooth and well damped, which makes fine adjustments easy to apply.

Nikon Nikkor AF S 105mm Micro Lens (3)

Closest focus distance is 31cm, and focusing is performed internally, so the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, which makes this lens ideal for use with graduated filters and polarisers. The maximum aperture of the lens automatically adjusts as the lens focuses closer to ensure accurate flash exposures at close distances. A useful focus limiter switch is provided for using the lens focused at distances of over half  a metre. This improves the speed of focusing as the lens cannot hunt through the entire focus range.

Nikon's Vibration Reduction system promises to allow hand held shooting at shutter speeds slower than the usual rule of thumb for sharp hand-held photos might allow. With care and at normal focusing distances, sharp hand held shots are possible at shutter speeds as low as 1/13sec around half the time, which is around three stops slower than would normally be possible. The effectiveness of the VR system declines as you focus closer though, so there will still be no real substitute for a proper support when shooting macro images.

Nikon Nikkor AF S 105mm Micro Lens (6)

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