REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
 
4.8

(based on 808 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (687)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (115)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (605)
  • Strong construction (530)
  • Consistent output (501)
  • Durable (424)
  • Easily interchangeable (394)

Cons

  • Heavy (260)
  • Slow focus (66)
  • Lens creep (7)
  • Pricey / poor value (7)
  • Tough to attach (6)

Best Uses

  • Macro photography (532)
  • Low light (185)
  • Weddings (164)
  • Wildlife photos (137)
  • Portraits (129)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (269), Semi-pro photographer (177), Enthusiast (91), Pro photographer (83), Semi-professional (61)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (451), Yes (24)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

An excellent macro or portrait lens

This is an excellent lens for both macrophotography and portraiture. I wish it was a bit less expensive, but the build quality and optical design is superb.The fast f/2.8 aperture makes focusing quite...Read complete review

This is an excellent lens for both macrophotography and portraiture. I wish it was a bit less expensive, but the build quality and optical design is superb.The fast f/2.8 aperture makes focusing quite fast. I know there are some reviewers who say it's a slow-focusing lens, but my experience has been quite the opposite. It focuses quite fast provided you give it a resonably high-contrast subject. Knowing when to use the focus limit switch helps a lot in this regard -- if you're shooting portraits or wildlife (or anytyhing further than 3 feet away), there's no reason to enable the full focus range. The fast aperture also makes precision manual focusing much easier. For portraits, it means that you can throw the background completely out of focus and isolate your subject.Like all the Micro-Nikkors, the sharpness of this lens is as good as it gets. On my D800 it reveals an awe-inspiring amount of detail in subjects large and small. While performance is quite good at f/2.8, this lens really shines between f/4 and f/11. At f/16, diffraction is noticeable, and at f/22 and beyond the resolution is certainly reduced somewhat. That said, the lens is still useable up to it's maximum f-stop (the max. f-stop changes depending on the focusing distance). While I certainly notice the diffraction softness while pixel-peeping, it's still possible to make beautiful 8x10 and even 11x14 prints from shots taken at f/32.The 105mm focal length is great for macro because it lets you get close to the subject without having to be right on top of it. On full frame cameras, it affords a comfortable distance for head+shoulders portraits, while still keeping the background soft and out-of-focus. On DX cameras, the effective focal length of ~150mm works well as a medium telephoto (and it's still sharp as a tack), though for portraits on DX I'd still prefer the 85mm/1.8G or 50mm/1.4G.The bokeh ranges from good to excellent, depending on the focusing distance. At focusing distances between 3 and 30 feet, and apertures at or below f/4, the bokeh reminds me of my Rolleiflex f/2.8 when shot wide open (which I happen to love). At macro distances, it's soft and even. At 30 feet and beyond the bokeh is still quite nice, but not as soft it is close up.The VR functionality is nice for portraits and handheld documentary work. For macro work, it's always wise to use a tripod, VR or no.If you're looking for FX glass that can do exceptional portrait and macro work, you really can't do any better than this lens.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Slow auto focus, HUNTS continually

I rented this lens (TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!) because I thought I wanted it. After using it for a week, I know I don't.

Aside from macro,...Read complete review

I rented this lens (TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!) because I thought I wanted it. After using it for a week, I know I don't.

Aside from macro, this lens is inferior to the 135 f2 DC and the 70-200 f2.8 VRII in just about every way. The focus (modern silent wave) hunted badly under both low light and good light conditions, up close and at normal working distances. The 135 and 70-200 don't have that issue. Focus on both the 135 and 70-200, under the same conditions and settings (point focus, focus point on something with lots of contrast) was fast and accurate even on the 135 using the body focus motor. They never hunted, even under low light.

Not sure what the issue was with the 105, but I can't use a lens that won't quickly come to focus. I might as well buy and old AI lens (for an 1/8 the cost) and just use that because I basically used this lens in manual to get any shots. It is deal breaker. I can't use a lens that I can't get to focus quickly...

Otherwise, macro was sharp and workable and the focus breathing didn't bother me. Images were sharp and contrasty, assuming whatever I was taking a picture of didn't get bored and wonder off in the week it took to get focus.

Reviewed by 808 customers

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5.0

Close-Up Auto Focus Photography

By Hornet Driver

from California

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Macro Photography
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

    Close-Up, Macro Photography.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Early Opinion

    By Fred Stevens

    from Portales, New Mexico

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro Photography
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

      These review requests occur a bit soon after purchase, but we'll tell what we think for now. This lens was purchased to replace/update our previous Nikkor micro 105mm D-series lens. We bought it with D7100 camera body. The VR feature will give some freedom of movement in conditions where a tripod might be inconvenient. Thus far, we have used it for some candid "people pictures" and have found the images to be sharp and without movement blur in relatively low light conditions. The lens focuses quickly and quietly and seems in perfect working order.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Super sharp lens

      By Lens

      from Port Saint Lucie, FL

      Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

      This lens is super sharp and produces great pictures.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      I take my best pictures with this lens

      By sdubois

      from New York, New York

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro Photography
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

      Fantastic quality, amazing optics, by far my best purchase this year.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A good thing in a macro package.

      By Bro

      from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Macro Photography
        • Night Photography
        • Sports/Action
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

        Before I begin my review, let me qualify myself. I have been a photography enthusiast for 43 years now, and a Nikon owner for all but the first 2. I bought the original 105mm f4 macro lens back in 1976, along with a cheap ring light and used it for years to photograph flowers and bugs. The original lens focused to 1:2, and to get to 1:1 you had to attach the PN-1 extension ring. With the extension ring attached, the lens was nearly 2 inches over the length of the new one, and even heavier. Anyone complaining about the bulk or weight of this new miracle is a sissy. That was the number 1 complaint in the review summary at the top of this page. How much do you think glass weighs, anyway? It ain't like aluminum. Or maybe they were hoping for something out of star trek: transparent aluminum. The second highest complaint was slow focus/hunting. Although I haven't been able to get out and give this lens the working over it deserves, I, too have found that it does hunt a lot at close distances. Not a problem, though. At the micro distances this lens was meant to work at, depth of field is non-existant, and the lens keeps looking for the best focus point because it doesn't know what you have in mind. Anyway. The hunting problem is mostly caused by the camera not sure of it's focusing point. Set on single point, single focus, mounted on a tripod, this lens will not hunt. From using my first lens, I can tell you that manual focus for macro is the way to go anyway. In addition to that, anyone that uses macro lenses without some kind of flash is asking for blurry pictures. You just can't get the shutter speed, let alone the depth of field one needs at such close distances without it. At the time I bought this new lens, I also bought the compatible nikon 4804 R1 ring light flash system. Although more than I initially wanted to spend, I'm glad I did. MUCH more comprehensive and complete than I thought it would be, even after reading all the info about it. Along with the commander mode on my camera (D90 currently), this will be all I ever need in the way of closeup flash equipment. (As an aside, the flashes supplied could be used with ANY lens for close-in photography. Your imagination is the limit). This lens is wonderfully sharp. Even with the limited use I've put it through I can tell that it will produce many dreamy macro pictures for me. Nikon has made a great piece of glass, and hopefully I will be worthy of making the most of it. Don't be afraid to buy this lens. Other than unforseen quality/mechanical issues, you won't be sorry. If you don't like it after using it for awhile, it will still fetch a good price in the used market. About 8 months ago I walked into my local camera store, money in hand to buy a used one for $, but it was gone about 2 weeks after I first saw it. I hope this review helps you. Cheers !!!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Everything I thought it'd be...and more!

        By CMPhoto

        from Charlotte, NC

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Macro Photography
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

        I am a portrait photographer who shoots mainly high school seniors. However, I am also an occasional second-shooter for weddings and I want to dive into newborn photography as well. I thought this lens would work great as both a macro AND a portrait lens. What I found was an absolutely amazing lens. The build quality is solid and heavy. As someone mentioned earlier, I like the weight...because it helps me get a more steady shot. But the weight of this lens may be a "con" to some. The focusing even at close distances is rather fast. I was surprised. The only macro lenses I have ever played with were Tamron. It's not too noisy...so it should be quiet enough for newborns. It doesn't search forever to focus. One way to help this is to focus from about a foot and a half away, and then get closer. It won't search as much. The focusing ring is VERY smooth, allowing for those fine adjustments...and there is no play when reversing direction (as mentioned in another review).Overall, I couldn't be happier with this lens. It's definitely worth every penny.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very good product

        By Norman

        from Stockton, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Macro Photography

        Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

        Macro

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Super lens

        By Al

        from Boca Raton, FL

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Macro Photography
          • Night Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

          I used to have the venerable 105 f/2.5 (non-macro) from my slide-shooting days. Unfortunately, over the years of storage (while I quit photography) it developed some fungus problems, and it was time to replace it. When I got back into photography, I bought the 105 f/2.8 macro. It is every bit as good as the old 105 lens. It's razor sharp, has wonderful color and contrast, and a flat field of view. It's great for both macro work, and portraiture, and as a general purpose short telephoto. Absolutely worth the price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          another exceptional Nikon lens

          By SLL

          from St. Thomas, VI

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Reasonably fast lens
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Macro Photography

            Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

            I use this lens both inside and outside (nature) for Macro photography, and have found nothing so far to complain about.My primary camera is a Nikon D-810 and have seen no edge blurring either inside or outside.I live in a very bright tropical environment and have take some great floral pictures the past couple of weeks using this lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            crisp image

            By Ernie

            from Michigan

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Macro Photography
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

              Great must have lens!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Even Better Than Expected

              By SevereWX

              from Live Oak, FL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Macro Photography
                • Portraiture
                • Video
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                I bought this lens to use on D610 with both macro photography and portraiture in mind. The build quality is everything I expected from a Nikon lens. It is a precision instrument and it shows. The focus ring is silky smooth with the perfect amount of tension, and no play when reversing directions. I'm fairly certain the lens barrel is made of metal, because this lens is fairly hefty. I tend to like the weight, it seems to make hold it steadier feel easier than with some lighter weight lenses. Optically, the lens is sharper than I imagined possible, from macro distances all the way out to infinity focusing distances. If there is any corner softness or distortion, I have yet to see it. There is a very slight amount of vignetting wide open, but is gone when stopped down to 5.6 or better. Colors are crisp and have a good contrast, noticeably better than my non-nano coated lenses. Bokeh? I can't tell you how thrilled I am with the bokeh. This lens is a bokeh monster! Only the Nikkor DC lens can out bokeh this beast. The autofocus is fast, accurate, and exceptionally quiet. VR makes more noise than the focusing motor does. I've found I need to use the lens hood with this lens more often than I do with most of my other lenses. Thankfully the tulip shape of the hood doesn't interfere with putting the lens cap on or taking it off.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing Lens

                By Ty

                from Boston, MA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Macro Photography

                Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                Macro shot on this lens is absolutely sharp. VR is a little noisy but worth having for hand held shots.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Macro Lens

                By Hpeff

                from Opelousas, La

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Macro Photography

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                  Fantastic for just about everything. I use it for newborns. But it can be used for portraits as well. Super clear and precise.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Sharp, Tight Focus

                  By Maria Grace

                  from Hampton, VA

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Macro Photography

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                  I love this lens for detail shots. The focus is sharp and precise, and the lens compression is incredible. I would highly recommend this lens.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Happy Shooter

                  By keystone

                  from Los Angeles, CA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Macro Photography

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                    Got this used. Excellent condition. Really pleased that I am able to explore macro with fantastic results. Zoom with my feet for other shots.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Best price

                    By Federico

                    from Highland in

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                    Exelent item for the best price on market!

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                    5.0

                    Must Have Macro

                    By Ken

                    from Bellingham, WA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Macro Photography

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                      Was doing macro work with a 55mm macro, but this 105mm is more versatile and sharper. The VR works well for hand held shots when a tripod can't be used.

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Must Have Macro

                      By Ken

                      from Bellingham, WA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Macro Photography

                        Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                        I got this lens to do macro work and have not been disappointed. I had been shooting with a micro 55mm which gave me very sharp images, but the 105 mm is much more versatile and a little sharper. The VR is just what is needed for hand-held close-ups when using a tripod is too awkward to get the shot.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent Micro

                        By dch

                        from Florida

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • Macro Photography

                        Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                        I have been very impressed with this lens. Pictures are very sharp.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Check one off my "wish list"

                        By Gregg

                        from East Coast, USA

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Macro Photography

                          Comments about Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens:

                          I rec'd this lens just about two weeks ago and have used it only a couple of times since. I'm still learning but so far it's everything I expected. Tack sharp as expected. The up-close focus takes a little getting used to if you want 1:1 shots where even a tiny movement can put things out of focus, but that's no fault of the lens just my learning curve. This lens will be great next spring when the wild flowers begin to bloom once again. Over the winter I'll get some more practice and probably try out it's portrait capabilities.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes

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