Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro AF

Check availablity: Adorama, eBay.

Nikon's CRC (Close Range Correction) with range-correcting floating elements design gives Nikon's macro lenses a very even image quality over their entire focising range, from the macro region to infinity. This also the case with this lens. It is good wide open at f/2.8, but peak sharpness occurs at f/5.6 and f/8. Sharpness deteriorates beyond f/16 due to diffracton.

Optically, the lens is similar to its AI-S predecessor, but performance at f/2.8 has been improved, and it is also more resistant to flare and ghosting. Unlike the AI-S version, this takes you to 1:1. Adding a PN-11 (52.5 mm) extension ring takes you to 1.6x life size. Due to the CRC design, the focal length is 60 mm at 1:1.

However, the bad news is that the shortening of the focal length-trick in the macro region that makes this lens go to 1:1 also means than when working in the macro region (i.e. between 1:2 and 1:1), re-focusing the lens also results in changing magnification. This means that framing the subject becomes difficult if the camera is on a tripod. You cannot adjust focus ever so slightly without altering the framing of the subject in a major way. Because of this, I prefer the manual AI-S version over this one for macro work.

Rating: Ed: -, User: - (normalized, 0=useless, 50=average, 100=excellent).

Mount: Nikon F.
Format: FX/135.
Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/32.
Close focus distance (CFD): 31.4 cm / 1.03 ft (from sensor plane).
CFD magnification: 1:1 / 1X.
Focus: AF (requires in-body focus motor).
Groups/elements: 8/9.
Filter diameter: 52 mm.
L x D, W: 84 x 67 mm, 562 g.
IR: Poor IR performance.
Approximate street price: USD 700 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 1990-1993, replaced by: Nikon 105mm f/2.8 G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro.

Company Profile

Key info

Established: 1917
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, EU, US, man

Nikon is a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan specializing in optics and imaging. Its products include cameras, lenses, flash units, scanners, binoculars, microscopes, measurement instruments, and steppers (used in semiconductor fabrication). The company was founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Japan Optical Industries Corporation), and renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon Corporation is one of the companies of the Mitsubishi Group.

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