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

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# The VRII function minimizes camera shake by offering the equivalent of a shutter speed 4 stops faster at near infinity to 3m (1/30x reproduction ratio) shooting
# The SWM enables fast and quiet autofocusing, and quick switching between autofocus and manual operation
# ED glass element
# Nano Crystal Coat ensures superior optical performance by virtually eliminating internal lens element reflections
# The IF design provides a constant lens length and eliminates rotation of the front lens element, facilitating the use of circular polarizing filters and the Nikon Close-up Speedlight Commander Kit R1C1 and Nikon Close-up Speedlight Remote Kit R1
# 1:1 of maximum reproduction ratio and up to 31cm closest focusing distance
# Up to 154mm working distance (at near 1:1)
# Two focus modes are available — M/A and M
# Nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening


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Registered: Sep 8, 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 8, 2021 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very well built lens!
A hair noisy but not a deal breaker!

A must have lens in your kit! Very sharp and you need to practice for those very clean macro shots. This lens works great as a portrait lens as well! It performs very well and the focus distance is very nice.

Sep 8, 2021
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Registered: Mar 22, 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 448
Review Date: Jan 25, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very fast AF, very effective VR, weather sealing
SIZE, changing aperture

I have somewhat mixed filings about this lens. On one hand it is clear it is a professional grade lens with
- very fast AF
- effective VR and
- weather sealing.
If your priority are function and performance this lens is superb.

On the other hand it is BIG and its aperture is changing the closer you focus. As a result if you want to enjoy the process of using this lens there are drawbacks. I would much rather prefer a smaller lens that was extending for close focus (like the older Tamron or Nikon macro lenses). But this would sacrifice weather sealing. The changing aperture is a puzzle for me since typically this is due to changing length of the lens and this lens has a fixed length. So in low light conditions when used as a portrait lens it gets a little less light then you wold expect.

Bottom line: for professionals this lens should get 10-11, for amature and semi-amatures it should get 8-9.

Jan 25, 2016
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Registered: Nov 18, 2015
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 30, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Contrasty, Fast AF, VR works well, Good build quality, versatile, nice bokeh, good value

Having switched to Nikon from Canon 6 months ago, I've been very disappointed by most of the Nikon lenses I've tried so far. The 50mm and 85mm 1.8G lenses both feature good optics and crappy focussing. The 28mm 1.8G also features good optics and crappy focussing but also comes with a hefty price tag, and the worst build quality I've ever seen in a "pro" lens.

THIS lens however, is everything I could want from a lens. Like many macro lenses, it's very sharp, contrasty and well built. Setting it apart though, it has very fast and accurate AF at regular portrait distances, thanks to the focus limiting switch. Anyone who has used the (excellent) Canon 100mm L Macro lens will find this lens feels and performs similarly.

The VR works extremely well, even at close up range. If you expect VR to give you a sharp handheld shot of an ants eye at 1/2 a second, you're dreaming. More realistically, one can take sharp headshots down to around 1/15 second. (hand-held + FX)

This lens might even replace my 85mm 1.4, as it doubles up as a great portrait lens. Sure, the 85 gives me a bit more bokeh, but lacks stabilisation. Indeed, if times ever get tough and I have to sell some gear, this would be the last lens in my bag to go. I love it.

Nov 30, 2015
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 29, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: This is a very nice lens, excellent sharpness, nice colors, and detail, quick focus
little big, little fat, don't know the reason

This lens has excellent image quality nothing to complain about. The 100mm focal length is good for portraits as well. The autofocus is also quick and precize.

See in more detail at:

May 29, 2014
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Registered: Jun 9, 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharp, quick focus.
Too my liking a little much off focus

I like this lens, its quick, its sharp. Although im experiencing some problems with the focussing lately.

I had a shoot where I shot some bridal picture's with this lens and the lens got too many 'off-shots'. It was just too many times out of focus, there was enough light to focus so Im not sure what the problem was, maybe one of you guys know whats the problem, please let me know through my website I would really really like to know.

Nevertheless its a good lens that I would definitely recommend.

Jul 15, 2013
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the solitaire
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Registered: Jun 22, 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 2752
Review Date: Jun 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, good sharpness and even better color rendition and contrast, always has the same size (true IF).
Focus breathing, less sharp in the edges then itīs predecessor, AF tends to hunt at close distance.

As a fast short telefoto lens this is a really nice package. It has very fast AF, functional VR, a very nice lens hood that does a good job keeping stray light away from the front element and itīs built tough.

Even if itīs a little less sharp at near infinity ranges then it is at close range itīs plenty sharp from corner to corner. It has the same color rendition as other professional Nikon lenses and has very nice contrast.

Out of focus blur is beautiful.

I personally prefer using this as a short telephoto lens with macro abilities over using it as a macro thatīs usable as short tele.

Itīs sharper at close range, but itīs not as sharp along the edges and in the corners as itīs predecessor. The center might be sharper tough.

For macro the bigger issues with this lens are the focus breathing (turn the focus ring and your framing changes. This is bad, but itīs part of the way this lens works)

AF isnīt really usable for macro either. I would have preferred slow but accurate AF over fast but hunting for a pure macro lens.

Due to itīs focal length the working distance is somewhat limited. Since however nothing extends when focusing real close the working distance is still good.

I would give this lens 9 out of 10 points as short telephoto and 7 out of 10 for macro.

Itīs predecessor, the AF 105 f2,8D I would give 6 out of 10 points as short tele but 9 out of 10 for macro.

Jun 23, 2013
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Registered: May 5, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 72
Review Date: May 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: build, bokeh, color rendering
can focus hunt, heavy

Probably my favorite all around lens for my d300s. Cheap enough (particularly used) that it's within range for a budget conscience photog (I was a grad student when I bought this). Plenty of availability used too.

Lens is sharp, colors are rendered perfectly. Works as an outstanding portrait lens with great bokeh (where VR is a plus) and obviously as a dedicated macro lens. This is my favorite lens to "city walk" with (I don't have a prime 50mm or 85mm just yet, so we'll see) where it doubles as decent telephoto, while also allowing for some interesting macro city abstracts.

The only downsides are that it's large and heavy (and ridiculously so with the hood on)--when I travel, I would probably prefer something like the 60mm macro. Also, although it's a fast prime, it tends to focus hunt a great deal in low light (even with the limiter on).

Still, if you can get this lens for a reasonable price, do it.

May 25, 2012
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Registered: Oct 5, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 346
Review Date: Apr 20, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Macro, build quality, VR

Upgraded from Tamron 60 f2.0 to this. Center sharpness is comprable to the Tamron but the edges are like night and day, the Nikon wins hands down. The VR on this lens seems even better than some of my other Nikons. It is frightening how it stops the motion in the view finder. You know the camera is moving around, but the image is rock steady. It is also a little louder than my other VR lenses, but well worth the tradeoff. Very nice piece of glass.
(Ignore the review under the 105 f2.8D, sorry)

Apr 20, 2012
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Registered: May 13, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1549
Review Date: Mar 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $625.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp!

I've looked at this lens for a long time but finally jumped in and bought one, mainly for detail shots of rings, jewellery, flowers and all other details @ weddings.

It's super sharp and fast to focus on both D300 & D700.

I was a little perplexed when I couldn't dial the lens down to f2.8 but realised this is focus distance dependant and Nikon are showing you the real f stop value rather that hiding the fact that it does change (like other manufacturers do).

I wish I'd bought this a long time ago.

Mar 12, 2012
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Registered: Feb 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1160
Review Date: Dec 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $889.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I have had this lens for about three months, excellent IQ, much more than just a macro. Focus speed acceptable, much faster than my Canon 100/2.8 which was was and still is one of my favorite Canon lens. Excellent build quality.

I use it on a D300s, D700 and D3s. As of late I use it more on the D300s as I prefer the crop body for macro. I use both Canon and Nikon although lately Nikon 90% of the time.

When I purchased this lens I hoped it to be on par with the Canon 100 macro, it is and more. A little better than I had hoped. The 100/2.8 did not have VR/IS, but I paid 1/2 as much for it. The new Canon has IS but costs more than the 105 so it is a horse apiece.

The build is very solid, much more solid than my Canon 100 however, the old Canon macro has traveled in my case for 5 years and never failed so I cannot fault it's build quality. I'm sure the 105 micro will perform equally over the next five years. I shoot close ups in 50% of my photography so this is an important piece of equipment for me.

I began using Nikon again about a year ago after using Canon for 20 years. The 105 VR, the 14-24, 70-300, and the 200-400, along with the above mentioned bodies have made the conversion work. I will acquire the 24-70 next and it may end up that the 105 is my only prime w/Nikon.
From Canon L primes to Nikon zooms - go figure.

Dec 28, 2009
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Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Dec 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nikon's best technologies rolled into one fantastic package. Excels at macro, if that's your thing, but where it really shines is as a portrait lens, particularly with the ability to shoot ultra-close or to stand back for more of a flat field. Bokeh is very close to Nikon's best.
Absolutely none.

We all know this lens is great for macro. But I use it for portraits, and this is where it shines. I think it's just a tiny bit behind the DCs, the 85 1.4 and the 70-200 -- in other words, IMO, it's one of Nikon's best portrait lenses, and it's the most flexible and convenient of all of them.

Let me make my case briefly. This lens has the sharpness and lovely bokeh that are needed for portraits (you can always soften skin in post, if you really want to). But there are a few things that set it apart:
1) AF-S is incredibly accurate and fast. I rate it with the 70-200 in focus acquisition and the easy ability to manually tweak without flipping switches.
2) It's flexible. Because it's a macro, you can shoot as close as you like. Images are also wonderful if you want to step back and take advantage of a somewhat flatter field that results from long-lens compression. And though it lacks the low-light capability of the 1.4 or the DC lenses (both f/2), the VRII system really does allow a very slow shutter.
3) It has no problems I can find with CA or flare. I suppose this is due to the Nano-Crystal Coating. While the 85 1.4 and the DC lenses may be just a tiny bit ahead of this lens because of their sort of "magical" qualities, they each have some issues with CA or color fringing. (Greenish skin tones are common with the DC lenses, and purple color fringing is common with the 85, although all are easy enough to correct.)
4. The size is perfect, at least for my hands. It's just big and heavy enough to feel gorgeously balanced on a D700 or D3, but it's not a pain to carry like the 70-200. I think the 105 and 135 DC lenses are equally great, sizewise, but the 85 sometimes feels a tiny bit small to me (I love it anyway) and both versions of the 70-200 are beasts to fit in a camera bag and swing around for hours.
5. For what it does, it's cheap. Best of all, you can find these used on craigslist, typically for about $700. I bet the people who sell them bought them for macro and then got tired of shooting bugs. And because it uses 62mm filters, you may already have one, or you can get a good one without spending the money a 72 or 77mm commands.

Don't get me wrong. I own or have owned all the lenses I referenced above, and they are all fantastic. But if I had to pick just one portrait lens, especially if cost were a big factor, this would be it.

Sorry to write so much, but I get the feeling that lots of folks have this lens for macro and don't realize its true beauty. Hope it helps at least one person!

Dec 12, 2009
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[ X ]

Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 657
Review Date: Dec 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good for both macro and portrait, useful VR, work well with extender
VR has limited help in macro situation. Macro focusing is slow as usual

I am not a Pro, and got this lens just want to play with it, but fell in love with it and will keep it.

1. Portrait use is just wonderful. Good for indoor half body length portait or head shot. Very sharp and good bokeh;
2. Macro use - haven't master it yet, and hard for me to comment. AF is slow for macro, but that could be the way it is;
3. With extender 1.7x - Nikon website state that the lens is NOT competable with extenders, but in real life, it works just as well. I compare the result with 80-200mm 2.8 AF-S, there is no sharpness drop, and color/contrast is close as well;
4. Overall VR is very effective;
5. When use as normal lens, and focal distance is close, the lens is slower than F2.8

Dec 5, 2009
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Registered: Feb 1, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality, sharpness, build, VR
VR noisy

Overall, a real gem.

Nov 22, 2009
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Registered: Jul 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2105
Review Date: Nov 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Built well, Nano Coating, VR
VR not so helpful at 1:1 distances, Can hunt in low light. Some CA wide open.

I've owned the 105mm VR several times since it came out. All copies have essentially been identical. For one reason or another, I bought and sold them (once for a switch to Canon, the other becuase i wanted to purchase something else), but I always regretted not having it after it was gone.

Yes, its big and bulk...kind of like an oversized Heineken can. I find that despite it's shortcoming in regards to Purple Fringing wide open, it's still an excellent lens. I favor this for portraits over larger bulker 70/80-200mm 2.8 zooms. Its really of little use for sports as the AF hunts and if you miss focus, its a long way back....

I don't do true 1:1 macros, but I find that the VR is helpful for extreme close-ups of flowers. I love this lens for shooting flowers in the Spring. It's my favorite (and I have owned alot of recent macro lenses...).

This lens is really sharp stoppped down after f/4. It's kind of ridiculous how sharp it is. Some people new to macro lenses may be confused as to why the camera reports a larger than normal smallest aperture at close focusing distances. This is normal. You might see 3.2 when you're tryign to make it go won't. The camera is reporting the light loss from the close focusing.

Anyway...while it doesn't have the mystique that other Nikkors have...I think that many will find this to be a good jack of all trades in this FL. Its does a nice job for portraits and serves well as a medium telephoto. I like to refer to mine as The Nuge, after Ted Nugent, because even though it likes to hunt, it's all Rock'nRoll baby!

Nov 4, 2009
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Registered: Aug 23, 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 284
Review Date: Oct 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, razorsharp, VR, lens hood included. (Hello Canon!?)

I have had many macro lenses, this is by far the most superior! You can also use it as a portrait lens since it has VR. Overall, a real gem. Forget 60mm, 85mm, save up and get this one. Smile

Oct 24, 2009
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Registered: Apr 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great image quality, sharpness. Great for macros (obviously) and portrait/headshots. No barrel extension.
Hunts for focus in dim lighting, even with focus restriction on.

I borrowed this lens from a friend for a few months. I loved using it, and nearly ended up buying it myself (though I went with the 17-55 as a matter of practicality instead). It's still on my list of lenses to eventually get.

The focus distance is really nice and allows for some super tight frames. Additionally, I also used it during weddings as a short telephoto for portraits and headshots.

The biggest issue I saw is that it hunts a lot in low lighting. There is a focus restriction switch you can use when not shooting macro, but it doesn't go far enough in my opinion.

Oct 23, 2009
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Nikon 105mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 65874 Sep 8, 2021
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $760.67
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating