Any reason not to buy 105mm Micro Nikkor?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #1
    Just finished the taxes and I want to do my part in stimulating the economy. It's time to pull the trigger on the macro lens. I'm 99% sure that the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor is the lens for me. Any reason I should doubt my choice?

    Any rumors of an upgrade?

    I'm on a D90 right not but I will be picking up an FF body eventually. I'm not sure I see any reason to get the 85mm Micro DX. It is half price and on a DX body has more effective reach than the 105 on a FF body but it would be "useless" on a FF body. I'm thinking that I will not be buying anymore DX lens from here on out.

    Are there any quirks with this lens on a DX body for now? Does it change it's ability to produce an image at 1:1 being on a DX body? I guess it doesn't really matter as I will get a FF at some point but there is no need to purchase the lense now if it will be hampered performance wise by putting it on DX body. From everything I have read there should be no reason not to put it on my D90.

    Thanks for any advice:)
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
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    #2
    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikk...-af-s-105mm-f28g-if-ed-vr-review--test-report

    It gets very high marks in the above review. I have not used the lens. The lens was recently released and I would say the odds of another refresh are low.

    Working distance is probably short for use with an FX sensor. Nikon is rumored to be working on a refresh of the 200/4 micro lens. That lens will probably not be cheap - somewhere close to $2000 would be my guess.
     
  3. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #3
    I have this lens. It is one of my favorite portrait lens'. The bokeh is beautiful. The build is solid and a bit bulky for handheld use. The weight is a bit on the heavy side. But definitely lighter than my 17-55mm.

    When doing macro, use a tripod and turn off VR. Low light is tricky. Even at 2.8 the lens tends to hunt. But it is one the sharpest lens I own at f8. Only my 17-55mm is sharper.

    Your portraits will be the best portraits you'll ever make with lens. I used to use the 18-200mm @ 135mm to emulate this lens, which was actually very decent for slow lens. But you can't beat 2.8 bokeh.

    This is a very good lens. You will be happy. On a side note: the D90 is a small camera compared to the D300, and this lens is as I stated before, bulky. On the D90, it will feel like all lens.
     
  4. AML225 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #4
    Never used this lens but always wanted one. I have never read a bad review about it.
     
  5. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #5
    had one..sold it.. regretted it.

    2 things you have to know about it.
    1. on macro photography, it zoom breathes. That means that the focus plane actually shifts and you have to re-adjust. To be honest if you go down to 1:1 macro, I would not use AF on ANY lens at that close range. Always prefocus and then adjust your movement.
    2. the VR is absolutely useless on macro and Nikon tells you so in the manual as well (don't use on tripod etc.). However as soon as you go away a few feet and do portrait shots it shines.


    On a side note, next to the 24-70G this is the sharpest lens I have used..
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    What do you intend to shoot?

    A 200 will give you more working distance. The Tamron 90mm SP Di is cheaper around the same FL, but doesn't have VR- not that VR is all that useful in a macro. Personally, I'd probably wait to see if a new 200 comes out this year- the extra working distance is good for live subjects- I have an AI 200mm, but it only goes to 1:1.5. I'd also look at Sigma, who has a stabilized 150mm and unstabilized 180mm (as well as a 105mm, 70mm and 50mms.) The 150 gets great reviews.

    The 105mm in its various incantations is highly regarded in Nikon circles, and you'll get great images with it inside the limits typical of a macro lens (they tend to not be so sharp at infinity focus in non-macro mode for instance.)

    I own the 60mm Micro and have shot quite a bit with the Tamron 90mm, and I'd be perfectly happy with the 105VR, but would probably get the Sigma 150mm for the extra working distance, or if a new 200mm comes out I'd look very seriously at that depending on the MFD.

    Paul
     
  7. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the info everyone. Paul, I am seriously interested in getting better at true macro photography but I'm just at the very beggining of it. I want a quality macro lens and the fact that the 105 (and the 200 it seems) work well in protraiture is a bonus but I do not shoot alot of it. The 200 seems like an amazing lens as well but at $1k more in price is out of my budget at this time. The extra working distance would be great but I don't think I can justify the expense at this point. Especially with the quality images that the 105mm apparently puts out. It seems to be in my zone right now. I like the thought of f/2.8 as well. All good points to ponder and thanks for the input.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    But is your "true macro" photography mostly inanimate objects and plants, or does it include insects? Because IMO, that's the determining factor between the 105mm (or Tamron 90) and the Sigma 150- moving things aren't going to be as spooked by the longer working distance. If you're going to keep a DX body, 150mm is a nice telephoto, but you may not have the distance for portraits.

    Thom's review of both the 105 (and at the bottom Tamron 90mm) are spot on IMO.

    http://www.bythom.com/105AFSlens.htm

    Ultimately though, my advice is that if you're mostly shooting static subjects and won't want another macro, get the 105mm, if you're shooting moving subjects get the Sigma 150 and if you're going to play around and you think a second macro lens is in your future, then get the Tamron- it's only slightly more inconvenient than the Nikon for focusing extension and the IQ is at least as good, if not slightly better and it's cheaper, leaving your room to get that manual focus 14mm Samyang/Rokinon you've never wanted!

    Paul
     
  9. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #9

    LOL. I'd say plants and insects most likely. You bring up great points. I'm not sure if another macro would be in my future but I'm not one to part with gear, especially if it is a lens I like, so maybe. Even when I move into FF I plan on keeping the DX as well...as long as it's taking good shots. I still have my old Minolta Dimage7i. (is digital "old" yet?) I also don't mind the challenge of trying to get the insect shot. Laying in wait if you will. I grew up a hunter and that's probably why I'm interested in macro insect shots. I've done okay with the lens I have (not macro of course) but I'd like to step it up. Thanks for the link, I will take a good look at the Sigma, and the Tamron.

    Jeff
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    The problem (IMO) is that you'll see the butterfly perched at *exactly* the right angle on the flower for a perfect composition, then you'll move in and it flies off. You really can't sit that close to a flower and expect a butterfly to land in front of your lens (if this is your first go at Macro, you'll be surprised at how close you are to things- generally inches away.) Crawling insects can often be pre-set for, but flying insects simply don't cooperate too often and by the time you've moved in slowly, they're off again. I really do think 50% more working distance is a win in almost every situation with live subjects- especially snakes!

    You can set up the tripod and back off, but focus is so critical when you're dealing with the minuscule depth of field that macro gives you that it's often not workable to use a remote release from a distance away.

    You'll also have less issues with shadowing the subject if you're further away. One of the cheapo eBay TTL ring flashes can also help in that regard, though I wish the units had some flash compensation on them- but they're still better than the Ray flash things.

    Current B&H prices look like this:

    105VR $889.95
    90mm SP Di $459.9
    Non-OS 150mm $729.00

    lensrentals has both the Sigma and Nikon for rent, but a week is about $80 + shipping for both.

    Paul
     
  11. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #12
    Thanks for the review G.T. Horrid, what he did to that D90.

    Paul, thanks for continuing the discussion. You have officially put the Sigma 150 in the running. I've had decent success getting butterflies and other insects to come in for me. That's kind of the fun part in a way. It's way more of a challenge than snapping an inanimate object. Honestly with my 18-200 I'm probably sitting out a bit further than I would have to with the 105 so my success as a butterfly whisper might decrease.

    The reviews and the images from the Sigma are impressive. Here's what I am gathering so far:

    Sigma 150
    Pros
    $100 bucks cheaper
    Excellent IQ
    More reach

    Cons
    No image stabilization so not so hot with portraits
    Nikon mount has no aperture ring (but I'm not sure how this will effect my D90...anyone care to explain?)
    The experts of the interwebs seem to slightly whine about the finish

    Nikon 105
    Pros
    Excellent IQ
    VR gives it usefulness as a portrait lens
    Excellent build quality
    Having owned only Nikkor lenses I trust Nikon (perhaps blindly)

    Cons
    $100 extra bucks
    Less reach

    I'd love to get my hands on both but not going to spend the cash on renting them. In reality I'm positive that I would be absolutely pleased with either one. I have a few weeks of deliberating before I actually make a purchase so this is all excellent food for thought. The Nikkor 200 is simply out of my price range and the Tamron 90 is not a player either. It will be the Sigma 150 and the Nikkor 105 down to the wire. I need to understand what effect, if any, the Sigma not having an aperture ring will have on my D90. Does this mean I'll have to control the aperture on the lens and not with the camera?

    :rolleyes: I just caught on to something you (Paul) wrote earlier. There is an OS version of the Sigma 150 now. Looks like it has not been released yet. I couldn't find any rumors on release date or price. Guess I'll have to keep an eye on that as well.
     
  12. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #13
    It means you will NOT be able to control the aperture on the lens, just on the camera. That matters when you are using a camera that is not able to control the aperture directly (very old film cameras) or when you don't mount the lens directly onto the camera mount (using bellows, extension tubes, reverse mounting, etc.).
     
  13. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #14
    Neither lens has an aperture ring - the G in Nikon lens naming nomenclature indicates this. It's not relevant unless at some point you decide to buy an older film body such as an F4 or an FM2 or the like.
     
  14. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS VR

    This is a good lens and is my standard lens in the clinic. The VR doesn't mean much when being used for macro work. I prefer it to the previous 105 F2.8 which I knocked off a table during a busy day. Will hunt slightly if not good illumination and its pretty heavy.

    The focus ring does not have the solid/stiff feel of the earlier manual focus lenses when used on a copy stand.

    HTH
     
  15. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #16
    Thanks Cliff3 and GND. I incorrectly assumed that it was something about the mount itself in that it was missing some connection with a Nikon camera that would allow the D90 to control the aperture with a camera selection wheel. Not being able to change aperture manually on the lens itself would not be that big of a deal. Except as GND explains in the case of using an extension tube. I thought I have read of tubes that do make all the connections but I'll have to look into it.

    Obviously, my 18-200 that I'm decently fond of does not have an aperture ring on the lens but my 50 1.8 does.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me!
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #17
    I find I get much, much better results with a telephoto or with the 200 micro than I do with my 35-70 or 60mm micro.

    I don't think stabilization is all that necessary for portraits- it may depend on how you shoot- but about the only lens I haven't used with any regularity for portraits is my 80-400VR (because it mostly sucks and stays lent out.)

    B&H has the price on their site, but no stocking date. Given it was announced in November, I'd expect to see it soon.

    Kenko tubes are wired.

    Paul
     
  17. luminosity, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #18
    The Sigma 150/2.8 is one of the best lenses available for anything. As I always say, I'd own one if I didn't already have the 180. I might get one anyway at some point so that I have a bona fide macro lens. Either that or a Tokina 100/2.8.
     
  18. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #19
    Okay. So I'm just posting my thoughts and what I read about the Sigma 150 and Nikkor 105 just in case anyone is interested.

    It seems based on internet reviews:

    There is no discernible difference in Distortion between the two lenses.

    Both produce just about the same minor level of Vignetting.

    Resolution wise they are both fantastic with the Nikkor 105 perhaps having a slightly larger sweet spot. Both are capable of knocking it off the chart at f/5.6. In it's sweet spot the Nikkor 105 might have slightly better resolution on the borders.

    In regards to Chromatic Aberrations the nod goes to the Sigma 150 at just about all aperture settings (according to the charts). The Nikkor is still excellent but the Sigma looks like excellent +1.

    It's hard to look at sample images on the internet and make any kind of judgement. The Nikkor images look a little deeper and more saturated but who knows. The truth is as far as resolution and CA are concerned I would probably never be able to tell the difference between the two lenses. The Sigma has reach and cost on the Nikkor. (on my D90 that's 157mm for the Nikkor and 225mm for the Sigma) I'm starting to think about dipping a toe outside of the Nikon pool.

    Thanks for listening...
     
  19. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    If the Sigma 150 belonged to Nikon or Canon, it would be double the price (referring to the original 150, not the new OS version).
     

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