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Thread: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

  1. #1
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Does anyone have this lens and if so, what is your experience with it?
    I can buy one at a reasonable price, but am not totally sure yet.

    My main use would be macro and apparently VR doesn't work at 1:1 and the added value of AFS at those distances is questionable of course.
    Apart from that the lens is F/2.8, so that isn't bad if I want to use it as a normal tele. It would be quite fast in fact.
    I use it on a D7000 by the way, so DX. I'll have a (approximately) 150-160mm lens with these specifications.

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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Most probably, Dave (Our mod) has it. He must not be online as of now. He surely will get back to you soon..

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Hi Peter,

    Yes, I have it and I like it.

    I am not aware of the VR "not working at 1:1", mine seems to, I just put the lens on and confirmed it

    I wouldn't want to be without AF either (and AF-S is the only type that works on a D5000), I can confirm that works at 1:1 too.


    Really poorly shot; minimal attempt to get parallel to the subject, handheld (but with on camera flash), AF and VR on, uncropped, unsharpened ...
    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Well they prove it does 1:1 (sensor size is 23.6 x 15.8mm according to the book and these are mm we are looking at), but not much more.

    I was surprised to see some CA on the right of the horizontal shot, but I had over-nuked the exposure and had to bring it down nearly a stop in PP and still there's a blown reflection on the bevel of the cheap plastic ruler I grabbed from the drawer

    Dunno if that's useful,

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    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    The VR does work at 1:1 only it is less effective than it is at infinity - about 1 stop of correction instead on 4 stops.

    Is there a specific problem with your Kiron 105 that you want to correct or do you just fancy a new toy? The Nikon lens will be 'technically' better but in real life situations and in normal use may not show any improvement over what you have.

  5. #5
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Yes, I have it and I like it.

    I am not aware of the VR "not working at 1:1", mine seems to, I just put the lens on and confirmed it

    I wouldn't want to be without AF either (and AF-S is the only type that works on a D5000), I can confirm that works at 1:1 too.


    Really poorly shot; minimal attempt to get parallel to the subject, handheld (but with on camera flash), AF and VR on, uncropped, unsharpened ...
    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Well they prove it does 1:1 (sensor size is 23.6 x 15.8mm according to the book and these are mm we are looking at), but not much more.

    I was surprised to see some CA on the right of the horizontal shot, but I had over-nuked the exposure and had to bring it down nearly a stop in PP and still there's a blown reflection on the bevel of the cheap plastic ruler I grabbed from the drawer

    Dunno if that's useful,
    It is useful, thanks. And @ Black Pearl: of course I fancy a new toy
    My reason for looking at this lens is that apart from doing macro work on still objects I like macro work in the garden as well. To catch some insects though, I need the camera handheld and my feeling is that the 105mm VR with AF-S would work for that purpose. The Kiron can't really do that. Focusing isn't fast in macro-mode and on top of that the lens is heavy, so VR is welcome.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post
    To catch some insects though, I need the camera handheld and my feeling is that the 105mm VR with AF-S would work for that purpose. The Kiron can't really do that. Focusing isn't fast in macro-mode and on top of that the lens is heavy, so VR is welcome.
    The 105/2.8 isn't what I would call light - but then I haven't compared to the weight of a Kiron.

    Even with the VR and being in the garden, you'll very likely end up with high iso to be able to use a narrow enough aperture to ensure sufficient depth of field (DoF) and try to avoid camera shake.

    For macro work, the "one over focal length" (times crop factor) rule of thumb is inappropriate to apply and this is probably what affects the apparent VR issue, the VR still works, but you should be counting the stops improvement from 3 stops further up the shutter speed scale from normal/infinity usage.

    In other words, as far as camera shake is concerned, it isn't 1/105s, crop factor makes it 1/160s, now factor in magnification and I'd suggest 1/500s minimum handheld, so 4 stops of IS on that gets you back down to 1/60s, one stop lower than the focal length. OK, enough hypothetical bs, who have I convinced?

    Hence I use flash whenever I can, although on a sunny day, there is sufficient ambient light that overpowers/equals the on camera (puny) flash and still might give some blur.

    Not a brilliant shot, but a garden with flash on a dim evening. Click to see bigger.
    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 8th February 2011 at 12:32 PM.

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    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Just received it today. Funny, after reading a lot of reviews it seems there are people who like it a lot and some dedicated macro shooters who don't, because of its breathing.
    So far I am impressed. Very fast focus, sharper than most other lenses it seems and macro (or almost macro) is very easy to achieve, even handheld.

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Playtime

  8. #8
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Today I tried out the macro on a tripod. I must say that it works pretty good. Manual focus (I didn't try AF-S for these macro shots) worked very accurately and my first impression is that it is easier to use than my old Kiron.
    VR turned off of course and I used on camera flash (as commander) with an SB-700 on the side.

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    And a handheld shot, taken this morning outdoors

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Hi, Dave.

    A while back you wrote
    "For macro work, the "one over focal length" (times crop factor) rule of thumb is inappropriate to apply and this is probably what affects the apparent VR issue, the VR still works, but you should be counting the stops improvement from 3 stops further up the shutter speed scale from normal/infinity usage.

    In other words, as far as camera shake is concerned, it isn't 1/105s, crop factor makes it 1/160s, now factor in magnification and I'd suggest 1/500s minimum handheld, so 4 stops of IS on that gets you back down to 1/60s, one stop lower than the focal length. OK, enough hypothetical bs, who have I convinced?"
    Would you mind elaborating a bit on the second paragraph. I follow you up to the 1/500s part, but lose track after that. What is "4 stops of IS", and so on. I just purchased a used Nikkor 105 mm lens (the one you're discussing) and want to make the most of it when it arrives.

    Thanks, Bruce

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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Yes, I have it and I like it.

    I am not aware of the VR "not working at 1:1", mine seems to, I just put the lens on and confirmed it

    I wouldn't want to be without AF either (and AF-S is the only type that works on a D5000), I can confirm that works at 1:1 too.


    Really poorly shot; minimal attempt to get parallel to the subject, handheld (but with on camera flash), AF and VR on, uncropped, unsharpened ...
    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Well they prove it does 1:1 (sensor size is 23.6 x 15.8mm according to the book and these are mm we are looking at), but not much more.

    I was surprised to see some CA on the right of the horizontal shot, but I had over-nuked the exposure and had to bring it down nearly a stop in PP and still there's a blown reflection on the bevel of the cheap plastic ruler I grabbed from the drawer

    Dunno if that's useful,
    I'm glad some one else thinks that the "don't work" aspect isn't that straight forwards.

    I find minimum shutter speed also depends on posture when the shot is taken. Can't comment on that aspect on Nikon but suspect that will be a factor for many people. Main thing is to relax and not strain. I usually forget about camera shake after a couple of shots and things get better.

    John
    -

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Quote Originally Posted by brucehughw View Post
    Would you mind elaborating a bit on the second paragraph. I follow you up to the 1/500s part, but lose track after that. What is "4 stops of IS", and so on. I just purchased a used Nikkor 105 mm lens (the one you're discussing) and want to make the most of it when it arrives.
    Hi Bruce,

    Sure, that statement was referring to the way lens manufacturers sometimes specify their VR/IS capability - in terms of the number of stops improvement it gives over a non-VR/IS lens for reducing camera shake. Early VR/IS systems gave 2-3 stops improvement, most recent versions often claim 4 stops. Apologies my shorthand reference to it confused.

    So, having got to 1/500s, I imagined that using VR/IS would allow me to use four stops less shutter speed - while maintaining exposure with a narrower aperture (for better DoF) and/or lower ISO (for better noise). However, as Robin notes, those figures should not be relied upon at very close distances, so it always pays, especially if not using flash (which will help freezing camera shake), to shoot at as high a shutter speed as possible.

    Cheers, Dave
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 13th December 2014 at 05:42 PM. Reason: added to end

  12. #12
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on Nikkor 105mm macro VR

    Bruce,

    I'll throw in another aspect to this.

    Having owned and used the 105VR macro for years and taking many 1:1 shots handheld there is one area that is hardly ever mentioned with respect to the effectiveness/use of the VR and that is its aid to focussing.

    The additional stability it gives to the image as seen through the viewfinder vastly enhances the ability for me to accurately adjust my focusing (predominately by moving the camera) on something such as a bugs eye.

    This in many situations is as significant as any 'speed' advantage you may get.

    Grahame

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