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Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5

  
 
grantgoodes
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


My NAS disease has been tingling of late, specifically around the potential purchase of another Nikkor 105mm lens. My very first lens was a used 105/2.5 Ai-s (along with an AI'd NC 24/2.8), but I "upgraded" it later for a Micro Nikkor 105.2.8. Alas, I never really bonded with the Micro Nikkor as much as I did with the 105/2.5, and came to regret that I'd traded it in. When I bought my Df, and was acquiring some used AF-D lenses to go with it, I came across a minty-but-cheap ($150) 105/2.5 Ai-s which I grabbed, and reacquainted myself with this really great street-photography lens.

However, I then started considering the 105/2 DC lens, but I found the prices are still high, and it seems to be a bit of a duplicate performer with my 85/1.4D for the portraiture use-case. Then I remembered the 105/1.8 which when it was still sold was out of my budget, but seems pretty reasonable now. Weight-wise, the 105/1.8 is intermediate between the 105/2.5 and the 105/2DC, and it is rumoured to perform well, even wide-open, very similar at other apertures to the slower lens.

I was wondering what opinions/experience people have with this classic fast medium telephoto lens, especially compared to the 105/2.5 Ai-S (I must admit, I prefer the shorter focus throw and built-in hood vs. the Ai version, even though I know the curved aperture blades on the Ai are superiour). I'm also interested in the possibility that the 105/1.8 would have been manufactured with the improved SIC coating, since like the 105/2.5 it was made until 2005, and it is known that serial numbers from 1043xxx on the 105/2.5 moved to SIC from NIC. I've seen no mention of SIC for the 105.1.8, but it can be detected visually by the slightly greenish tinge to the coating vs. the purplish tinge of the NIC lenses.

Anyways, help me decide if I should just stick with the 105/2.5, or if the weight increase and added f-stop of the 105/1.8 should tempt me.



Aug 29, 2023 at 01:05 PM
Joseph.
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


Have you seen this thread? https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/929565
It's a very active thread and you will get a lot more answers there.

I would never consider the 105 2.8 Micro as a 105 2.5 replacement - they are totally different purpose lenses. I've had the 105 1.8 very briefly, but found that the bigger size and weight didn't justify the extra cost and slightly faster aperture. I did replace it with the 105 2.5 Ai, and to me it's a perfect lens. Very sharp and much easier to focus on the Df.

If you're itching to buy a vintage long lens, I'd suggest the 135 f/2 AIS or the 180 2.8 ED AIS. Had a lot of fun shooting those.



Aug 29, 2023 at 02:09 PM
grantgoodes
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


Joseph. wrote:
Have you seen this thread? https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/929565
It's a very active thread and you will get a lot more answers there.

I will check into that thread for sure: Looks interesting!


I would never consider the 105 2.8 Micro as a 105 2.5 replacement - they are totally different purpose lenses. I've had the 105 1.8 very briefly, but found that the bigger size and weight didn't justify the extra cost and slightly faster aperture. I did replace it with the 105 2.5 Ai, and to me it's a perfect lens. Very sharp and much easier to focus on the Df.

Yes, the Micro was indeed not a good replacement for the 105.2.5: Heavier, and not great at infinity or wide-open. Lesson learned!


If you're itching to buy a vintage long lens, I'd suggest the 135 f/2 AIS or the 180 2.8 ED AIS. Had a lot of fun shooting those.

Long lenses have never been my forte, and 135mm in particular doesn't resonate with me. I do have the 180/2.8 in both ED Ai-S and the AF-IF-D versions. Honestly only seem to use the 180mm at concerts (where these lenses excel), and 105mm is my "long" lens (compared to 18mm & 24mm, which are my favourites).



Aug 29, 2023 at 02:51 PM
Ripolini
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


I've used both the 105/2.5 and the 105/1.8. I opted finally for the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar; it's in another league.


Aug 29, 2023 at 03:23 PM
grantgoodes
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


Ripolini wrote:
I've used both the 105/2.5 and the 105/1.8. I opted finally for the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar; it's in another league.


I have the Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO Lanthar for my macro-photography (and if I dare take such a rare lens on a trip, for landscape as well). Also not looking to spend Zeiss (or Voigtlander) money, but I will spend some time researching/lusting over the 100/2 Makro-Planar.



Aug 29, 2023 at 03:42 PM
 


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James Markus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


I own both, and I like both lenses. Fact is, I even own more 105mm lenses, and duplicates at other focal lengths - it is a problem I have. 🤣 However, your post has made me feel guilty about not using the f2.5 ais in quite a bit. I really like the f1.8 ais, and it is like the 85mm f1.4 in having a very pleasing bokeh. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone that didn't like the f2.5 - seems you can't lose no matter what you choose.


Aug 29, 2023 at 04:10 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


1.8 was the one to get, at least that's what people said. I suppose a lot of it is if you need 1.8 though, or at least <2.5, since the 2.5 isn't supposed to be any slouch. It looks like a cool lens to get, you had to suggest or mention lenses I don't need, didn't you

I haven't used these but have other nikkors in the 105 to 135 range. On OM zuiko film lenses I'm skeptical MC is a big deal. I used to think so , sensor flare probably the issue, it turned out, and I have the excellent 100 2.8, like nikon the faster 100/2 is supposed to be better. Teles often shaded depending on your subjects anyway. The 105 1.8 is kinda new, might rather have 10.5cm



Aug 30, 2023 at 12:58 AM
Ripolini
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


grantgoodes wrote:
I have the Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO Lanthar for my macro-photography (and if I dare take such a rare lens on a trip, for landscape as well).


Well, I see no reason why you could not use the 125/2.5 Apo Lanthar for portraiture too.
https://nikongear.net/revival/index.php?topic=14.0
The Apo Lanthar is a wonderful lens, with similar size and weight as the 100/2 Makro-Planar, and with negligible longitudinal chromatic aberration (LoCA). I have never used it, so I can't comment on bokeh and out-of-focus rendition.

grantgoodes wrote:
... Also not looking to spend Zeiss (or Voigtlander) money, but I will spend some time researching/lusting over the 100/2 Makro-Planar.


I would suggest the "classic" (i.e., not Milvus) version. I have the unchipped ZF version, not the ZF.2; it works like a Nikkor AI lens, and could be found at a slightly lower price on the second hand market.



Aug 30, 2023 at 02:00 AM
grantgoodes
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikkor 105/1.8 Ai-S vs. 105/2.5


Just to conclude this thread: I ended up buying a very nice, late (serial number 221xxx) 105/1.8 on "that auction site" for a quite reasonable sum, and received it yesterday. No evidence of SIC coating (it has the purplish tinge that matches my NIC 105.2.5). I'm starting to doubt that the 105/1.8 ever came out in SIC form as in The Thousand and One Nights No.59 the lifetime of the lens is listed as 1981 to 1993 (explicitly 12 years), ending with the introduction of the AF-Nikkor 105/2 DC. It makes some sense that a lower production MF lens that had a viable AF replacement would be discontinued while the very popular 105/2.5 would continue to be manufactured into the 2000's, and would actually be released in SIC form.

What a beauty of a lens! It is even more impressive mechanically and ergonomically than my 85/1.4 AiS. I do find the rendition wide-open a bit soft, with veiling flare as reported by others, but time will tell if it will replace my 105/2.5 on my DF. I may still be tempted to the dark-side of NAS if I ever see a 105/2 DC for a really good price, but for now I will try to enjoy (and use!) what I already own.



Sep 19, 2023 at 07:09 AM







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