Sunday, 3 October 2010

Nikkor 105mm f2.8D Micro lens for Portraits

Having run my 'new' Nikkor 105mm Macro lens through its paces in the 1:1 macro magnification (see last post), I also wanted to see how it would perform as a 'portrait' telephoto lens.

I grabbed my usual model (my gorgeous daughter Emily) and took her outside on a warm spring evening to use the 105mm wide open - as I would for a bride on her wedding day.

My Nikon D300 was set to ISO 200, opened the aperture to f2.8, changed the lens to autofocus, and set the limit switch on the telephoto so it wouldn't focus through the whole macro range.

My early initial impressions of the autofocus was confirmed with my first few photos - quick, quiet and sure focus locked on easily with the D300 (using the central focus point). In fact, it locked on so quick that I had to re-check my focusing to make sure that I hadn't left it on manual focus! Nice.

And the results when the images were downloaded and checked on the computer in Aperture afterwards? Just fantastic. Very, very pleased with the results wide open. I will definitely be using it for my wedding work.

And what about the bokeh from the lens (the quality of the out-of-focus background)? Well, I'd have to be honest and say it isn't as creamy or as smooth as the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 I used to have - but then again it isn't completely horrible either.

On a scale of 10, I'd give it a 7 - probably on a par with the Nikkor 50mm f1.8. You can see for yourself the slightly hexagonal and blurry highlights you get from lit areas in the background - and you can also see the incredible sharpness you get from the actual subject (the side of Emily's hair) at f2.8.

I wouldn't hesitate at all to use this as a fast telephoto portrait lens wide-open, and stopped down a little for bride and groom 'couples' shots.

So am I please with the Nikkor 105mm f2.8D micro lens? Absolutely. An incredibly sharp macro lens, and a great wide-open telephoto prime for portraits. Who could ask for anything more?


  1. Thanks a lot. nice pictures too.
    what do u think about Nikkor 200mm f4 macro?

  2. Haven't had any experience with the 200mm. have tried the 50mm macro though and for me, the 100mm macro is the best compromise of all of them. Gives a good working distance - not too close and not too far.
    I'm sure the 200mm f4 is a stunning optic though.


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