AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D
I bought this lens in September 2001, as usual...2nd hand from a seller in Singapore
I have considered deeply before I bought this lens...do I really want this lens? My dream lens is the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D (New)...and I feel not so good overlapping my lens focal length. If I were to get this 105 micro lens, then I might not be able to own or afford the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D (New). I have been looking for the 80-200mm lens in the 2nd hand market for a long time...but still haven bought one yet. Then...I saw this lens. Selling at a good price (in a buyer shoe), thus I decide to give it a try...it will be if I like it, then I will forget about the 80-200mm lens.
The front element of the lens is deep, retracts deep enough during normal shooting, thus for me, a filter or lens hood is not really necessary. However, during macro mode, the length of the lens extends, and the front element comes out. Still, it is considered normal compare to other Nikkors. In macro mode, if you mount a hood onto the lens, then the lens becomes quite long...and the hood might scare those shy subjects away. Thus...I prefer not to waste my money on a hood since I am not going to use it.
The rear element of the lens is quite deep. In fact, there is a gap between the rear element and the inner part of the lens. Thus, when you want to clean the lens, BE CAREFUL! Don't blow the rear element using a blower or compressed air, as those dust and particles might GO INTO the lens instead of blowing them out. I think I have accidentally blow some dust or particle into the lens...because when I bought it, I didn't see the distracting particle. Some suggest using a air sucker, but I don't know much about this. My suggestion is...keep the lens clean (always change your lens in a clean and "dust free" environment)...no need to clean it if there are some minor dust on it. You might find the lens more annoying when there are some dust or particles inside the lens which you can't have accessed to.
AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D
Medium telephoto Micro lens for close-up and candid photography
- Versatile medium telephoto lens for photomicrography
- Close-up to approx. 31cm/12.4 in.
- Close-Range Correction (CRC) system provides high performance at both near and far focusing distances
9 elements in 8 groups
Filter attachment size:
The condition of my sample is not as perfect as described by the seller. The paint on the front ring is off...but after cleaning it (rub off all the paint on the front ring), it is hard to notice the difference from original one. The focus ring is not as smooth as my Nikkor AF 60 f/2.8D micro, but I heard this is normal for the AF 105 f/2.8D micro. I have actually tested a few AF 105 f/2.8D micro lens, and all of them behave the same. After checking the optic of the lens, which is the most important part, I find little dust inside...which is acceptable to me. Thus...with little negotiation, I finally decide to go for the lens.
On the Field
Now...bringing back a not as perfect lens...honestly, I don't really feel great. However, I knew I can easily sell off this lens at the same amount of money I spent...or perhaps even higher. Thus, I decide to go shooting later.
I made an appointment with my girlfriend, and we have decided to go shooting on Saturday. She will be my model, as I want to test out how good is this lens is for portrait photography.
In field, I find this lens easy to hold, but I am a bit uncomfortable with its focal length. I find myself have to stand quite a distance from my girlfriend, to shoot head to waist photo. Ha...I think I am too use to the 60 micro lens which I have owned and used quite often for ALL PURPOSE photography. I coupled the 105 micro lens to my F60D, and use only Aperture Priority mode, with manual focus all the time. I like to use manual focus because most of the time my subject is not in the center, and I can control the sharp focus mark easier. Although the 105 micro is not as smooth or damped in focusing as my 60 micro, I still find it acceptable, and can use it comfortably.
The results...when I got my film and prints back, I found not all photos are sharp. In fact, I can only find few that are sharp or acceptable. This is only in 3R (3 x 5 inch) size. Those few sharp photos, when blow to 5R (5 x 7 inch) becomes not so sharp then. Ha...I guess this is due to my handshake...or perhaps wrong focus (manual focus...?). I am quite disappointed with the results...but I know it is my fault, not the lens.
I didn't go testing the lens again...and I find myself preferring the 60 micro more compare to the 105 micro. When shooting wild life (bird), I find the 105 micro too short...and when shooting macro, I find myself have to be quite a distance with the subject. For insects or shy subject, this is good, but for flowers...plants, I find myself using 60 micro more. For stationary subject (when I want to capture photos of my cameras, lenses, etc.), I prefer the 60 micro. Ha...I am just giving myself excuses to sell away this lens...actually, I need this lens...for in some cases (in church), I like the longer focal length compare to my one and only 60mm, so that I don't have to go too near to the speaker/subject and grab too much attention.
Fate of the lens...
Now...I finally bought the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D (New) lens, and I have decided to sell off my AFD 105 micro lens. Why? I just can't afford to overlap the focal length. The Darkie I bought is "expensive"...so I have to get myself back some money. In future, if I am rich enough, then I might get this 105 micro again...but before that...I am going to try some other lens first...ha...I like to test and try Nikons...Nikkors...by the time I am editing this articles, I have managed to change the lens into cash... ;-)