The Nikon AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED brings the benefits of vibration reduction (VR) to the domain of Macro photography. It offers high-resolution, high-optical performance for both digital and 35mm film format SLR cameras. When used with digital cameras, equivalent focal length in 35mm terms is 157.5mm.
This lens incorporates Nikon’s second-generation vibration reduction system (VR II) that allows flexible hand-held shooting by stabilizing the image to the equivalent stability of a shutter speed that is 4 stops faster when compared with a conventional lens. This in effect eliminates image blur caused by camera shake, particularly when shooting in low-light conditions.
- An ED glass element minimizes chromatic aberration. Nano Crystal Coat drastically reduces flare ensuring finely detailed, clear images.
- Vibration Reduction (VR) minimizes image blur caused by camera shake (cancelable)
- Internal Focusing (IF) design for smoother focusing and better body balance
- Built-in M/A switch enables instant switching from autofocus to manual focus
- Silent Wave Motor for ultra-fast, ultra-quiet AF
- The rounded diaphragm (9 blades) makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural
- VR degrades with focus distance. If you were expecting VR hand holding at 1:1 you’ll be disappointed.
- Limited Focus Range Option. You can keep the lens from going into close focus, but you can’t keep the lens from looking for long focus distances.
- Nice performance overall. Personally, I find the lens everything I need at this focal length. The tiny bit of softness in the corners disappears quickly as you stop down, and isn’t an issue for me to begin with. But no real distortion, chromatic aberration, or vignetting make up for what little shortcoming it does have. Fast AF response.
- Solid build. Hefty without being troublesome. Big, excellent hood. Great focus ring and markings.
There is not a lot I can criticise about this lens considering the optical performance along side the build quality and features. I think it will find a lot of friends amongst both professionals and keen amateurs alike. The only downside to the lens is the price, which is a bit steep for a type of lens that many will already have in their kit. Is it worth an upgrade? If you suffer from camera shake, yes!
Test by Ian Andrews www.wildaboutkent.com
In terms of sheer performance the AF-S 105mm f/2.8G was able to beat its already very good predecessor by a small margin. The resolution is excellent straight from the max. aperture setting and the peak performance is reached between f/4 and f/5.6. Typical for a macro lens the Nikkor is virtually free of distortions and vignetting is usually nothing to worry about. CAs are low at large aperture settings but increase to comparatively high levels at and beyond f/8 – in absolute terms CAs remain moderate though. The mechanical quality of the lens is very good. The best news is probably that Nikon resisted the temptation to increase the price tag despite all the new features. At around 750-850€/US$ the lens is still not exactly cheap but definitely worth it.