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

Garden Leaves

The Nikon 105mm VR Micro lens is an excellent sharp general purpose lens which excells at macro work.

Some of the lens features are sumarised as follows.

  • The VR function reduces greatly camera any shake which results in shutter speeds 4 stops faster over a distance range of infinity to 3 metres. The lens has Nikons second iteration of VR.
  • The lens has an internal silent wave motor to enable fast and silent focusing.
  • An autofocus/manual switch is provided.
  • The lens has an extra low dispersion ED glass element.
  • A Nano Crystal Coat is provided to ensure superior optical performance by virtually eliminating internal lens element reflections.
  • The IF design provides a constant lens length and eliminates rotation during focussing.
  • Provides a 1:1 reproduction ratio at 31 cm closest focusing distance.
  • A nine blade rounded diaphragm opening is provided.
  • Picture Angle of 23° 20’ with FX format or 15° 20’ with the DX format.
  • Range of f/stops is 2.8 to 32.
  • Closest focusing distance 0.31 metres (1.0 feet)
  • Filter Attachment 62mm
  • Dimensions 83 x 116mm
  • Weight 790 gms
105mm Micro Lens

After quite a few years using this lens I have really grown to like it a lot. I also have the 200mm Micro Nikkor and the 105mm lens is far easier to use, the VR function is wonderful. I have taken images with shutter speeds down to 1/8 econd and obtained extremely sharp images. It is not recomended that the VR feature be used when on a tripod or when using the lens as a macro lens.

The above image was taken at a shutter speed of 1/8 second, hand held.

The lens is quite bulky compared to previous 105mm Micro lenses, however it handles very well on a camera such as the D700 or D300s.

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Using VR

An on/off switch is provided for the VR function.

  • Vibration is reduced at the first pressure of the shutter release button.
  • Wait until the image in the viewfinder stops vibrating before fully depressing the
    shutter release button after you have lightly pressed the shutter release button.
  • If the camera is panned horizontally, only vibration in the vertical direction is reduced.
  • Due to the characteristics of the vibration reduction mechanism, the image in the
    viewfinder may become slightly blurred after releasing the shutter. This is not a
  • Do not turn the camera power OFF or remove the lens from the camera while the
    vibration reduction mode is in operation.
  • Set the vibration reduction to OFF when on a tripod.
  • Set the switch to ON when using a tripod without securing the tripod head or when on a monopod.

Working Distance

When purchasing a Micro lens consider the working distance for close up images. A 60mm mikcro will give a very short working distance and the 200mm micro will give a much longer working distance and is more suitable for small creatures, the 105mm micro falls between these two lenses.

Aperture Settings

When using the 105mm lens you should understand that it has some special features as follows:

  • This  lens is at normal focal length when focussed at infinity, however when focussed close up, at a reproduction ratio of 1:1 the focal length of the lens shortens significantly.
  • The lens will also pass the effective aperture to the camera, not the actual aperture.
  • When focussed at a reproduction ratio of 1:1, the effective aperture passed to the camera will be approximately f/4.8 not the actual aperture of f/2.8.
  • When focussed between infinity and a reproduction ratio of 1:1 the effective aperture will be between f/2.8 and f/4.8.

The 105mm Micro lens is unsuitable for use with bellows such as th PB6 or Nikon extension tubes as it is a G lenses without any manual aperture control on the lens and the bellows or extension tubes have no mechanical or electrical linkage for mechanical aperture control.

There are many other posts on this site with images taken with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens as follows:

Macro Lens Captures A Bearded -Dragon

Flower Power with Flower Photography

Nikkor, Nikon Micro (Macro) Lenses

Flower Photography

Photographing Body Art And Face Painting

Macro Photography