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Home » Camera Lens Reviews » Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Review

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

Looking to find more information regarding the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED? Read our latest review to learn more about the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

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

The new Nikon D750 is the world’s first macro lens (with reproduction ratios up to 1:1) with a Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and Vibration Reduction (VR) systems, among other things. Nano Crystal Coat, Extra Low Dispersion glass, and Internal Focusing are all included in the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens for Nikon DX format digital cameras. For use with both Nikon DX format digital and 35mm film SLR cameras.

Stabilized macro lenses are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, but the Nikon AF-S 105 f/2.8 VR was the first of its kind when it was released in 2006. The lens replaced a well-respected, yet somewhat ancient design that included all of the features a new lens should have, such as a silent-wave autofocus drive, Nano Crystal coating, and, of course, optical stabilization technology.

When VR was introduced to a macro lens, it produced a few raised eyebrows. In “real” macro photographs, many asked if this functionality was really necessary. Optical stabilization, on the other hand, allows for slower shutter speeds and/or a stable viewfinder image for simpler framing when used with a macro lens.

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

The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED was first announced on 02/01/2006 with a Nikon F FX mount type. Below is a summary of this len’s specifications: 

Indicative Price: $890

Focal Range: 105mm

Aperture: F/ 2.8

Filter Diameter (millimeters): 62

Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 83

Number Of Lenses: 14

Length (millimeters): 94

AF Motor: SWM

Stabilization: Yes

Zoom Type: /

Tripod Mount: None

Colors Available: Black

Manual Focus: Yes

Weight (grams): 790

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

One of the common issues that arise when evaluating a lens with optical stabilization is how it performs at longer focal lengths. In tests done on Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED review, it was discovered that this camera offered excellent image quality for its class even as you move away from the center of the frame. This condition occurs in much more expensive lenses which makes this product stand apart from its competitors.

Build and Handling Quality

One of the biggest selling points for this product is its build quality. It has a solid, durable design which means you do not need to worry about it slipping or falling apart. This makes it one of the best Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lenses in terms of performance and durability.

The Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) technology allows users to capture images using slower shutter speeds and this implies that there will be less or no instances where pictures are blurry due to camera shake while taking pictures. This feature can also benefit telephoto shooters who want to capture fast action with pinpoint accuracy without increasing ISO settings by increasing the shutter speed which helps eliminate subject movement out of their  photos.

One downside of the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens is that it has a very large diameter and length, but this is common for macro lenses which have to yield great optical designs so as to produce high quality images with impressive magnification ratios.

Autofocus Performance

The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED has the Nikon SWM (Silent Wave Motor) which is important for camera lenses because it eliminates noise when taking pictures or shooting videos. Having this feature allows photographers to capture sharp images of subjects that are not too far away without having any disruptions caused by the autofocus motor.

Sharpness

The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens offers great images because it has the high image quality expected of a macro lens with good sharpness overall even when compared against other products in its category. Even when you zoom in 100% on your monitor, this camera still produces clear images that look impressive enough for any work.

Vignetting

At f/1.4, the fall-off of illumination towards the picture borders is rather severe, with a value of almost 1.4 stops present in this image. As usual, decreasing the aperture solves the problem. Vignetting should no longer be an issue for most subjects after stopping down to f/5.6 or smaller settings (assuming that DOF isn’t excessively shallow).

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberrations (color shadows on the image borders at high contrast changes) range from 1 to nearly 1.5 pixels throughout the image border, slowly increasing with decreasing aperture.

Distortion

The lens shows almost no distortion, but anything else would have been a major letdown for a macro prime.

Image Quality

At the maximum aperture, the lens delivers very good resolution in the image center, which improves to excellent values at smaller apertures. The borders and corners trail somewhat behind with decent sharpness all around except for in the extreme corners where they have some softness.

Diffraction begins to take its toll after f/11 and the achievable resolution decreases. The lens can be stopped down to f/32, but it loses a lot of resolution in this range. This is due to a physical limitation rather than a design fault in the lens. It’s worth noting that when stopping down, there was no focus shift exhibited by the lens.

Bokeh

The main subject from the background is one of the primary function applications for a wide aperture lens. The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) in such an shot is critical. Even in the sometimes difficult transition zone, the lens produces rather smooth background blur very wide open.

Background highlights have a beautiful round form… as long as they are not too distant from the picture center. Vignetting towards the image corners occurs even when slightly stopped down, due to mechanical vignetting, and highlights are cut off near the image edges owing to the small diameter of the front lens.

Handling

Despite its large diameter and significant weight, the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens balances well on even a smaller DSLR bodies such as those from Nikon. It is not necessary to use a tripod for general low contrast shooting but it helps with preventing excessive camera shake during long exposure or telephoto work.

How Does The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

  • Performance and Image Quality: 7.3/10
  • Features: 7.5/10
  • Bokeh: 8/10
  • Build Quality: 8/10
  • AutoFocus Quality: 7.7/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Value: 8.2/10

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • Very well built
  • Fast autofocus
  • Great VR and weather sealing
  • Very sharp, great contrast
  • Good build quality
  • Nice bokeh quality
  • Good value for the price

Cons: 

  • Lens size
  • Changing aperture
  • The VR is somewhat noisy
  • Autofocus hunts at close distances

Our Verdict

The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is  a very nice lens, considering its price and performance. It is an ideal option for anyone looking to buy a macro lens that needs good resolution, fast autofocus with VR, is well built and can focus close enough to be able to produce excellent bokeh quality images. It is a pretty versatile lens and can be used for other applications too.

The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is a great lens, but it does have some disadvantages in the form of its heavy weight, large size and maximum aperture value. It’s not an ideal choice for every photographer but certainly has the features that many would love to have in their camera bag!