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105 comparison?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Beezle, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Thinking about several 105s, and wondered if anyone had used both of these and had an opinion as to their relative image quality:

    105mm f/2.5 AIS manual focus
    105mm f/2.0D DC

    And what about the f/1.8 AIS? I see BH carries an import version. Is this an older design?

    I already own the 105 micro. Thinking of selling that one actually as I rarely use it in lieu of the 60 micro. I also have the 55 AIS macro on the way.

    I am also wondering if I shouldn't be considering the 135 DC. Might be a touch long, though I would go for it if it is any better than the 105.


  2. saturnine

    saturnine Guest

    I have the 105 f/2.5 AIS and it has always been amazingly sharp with my old SLR cameras. Haven't done a study yet in terms of color rendition/contrast/etc, as I have been playing with a lot of my AF lenses thus far with my D70. I firmly believe that Nikon's sharpest lenses are their 55mm Micro-Nikkor and the 105mm f/2.5 (and their subsequent AF versions). I can take some more shots with the 105 tomorrow and post some examples if you'd like!

    By the way, if your 105mm micro is the AF version, I'd be totally interested in buying it from you whenever you plan on selling it :D 
  3. Hi Ed,

    105mm is absolutely my favorite focal length for tight headshots. (I sometimes do publicity and portfolio shoots for local actors and actresses.)

    And yes, I own both the 105 DC and the 105/2.5 AIS. In fact, two of the latter.

    My personal assessment is as follows:

    The DC is a superb lens. Very very sharp by f/2.8, and can be shot wide open (especially for portrait work) with pleasing results. Bokeh is fabulous. While I seldom use the defocus feature, occasionally it can be handy to impart a soft focus look.

    As much as I love the DC, though, the 105 AIS is simply something special. It is my #1 choice for indoor shooting with studio lights. Perhaps (in a purely technical sense) not quite as razor sharp as the DC, the AIS nevertheless is as sharp as you could wish for even wide open, and it produces results that have an unmatched humanity and warmth which is difficult to describe. I like to say that it is not as "clinical" as the DC. I have found that you must be a little more careful with WB when using the AIS, but in all other ways (except of course when AF is desirable) I prefer it over the DC. Oh, I should also mention that in its compact size, beautiful build, and utterly smooth MF action, the AIS is a dream to use.

    Bottom line is that you cannot go wrong with either lens if 105mm is a length that's important for you. Obviously, if you want AF the DC is your choice. Otherwise, if were my decision I would go with the AIS.

    Hope some of that is helpful for you.

    Best wishes,

  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. I really appreciate the feedback.

    AF wise, I am currently training myself to manual focus again (well, using these current focusing screens, etc.) and I think I will be building up a foursome of manual lenses. Something short (haven't thought about which yet), the 55, a 105 and something around 180-200.

    Image quality is more important that whether or not the lens has AF, though I would think the manual lenses have a better feel to the focusing ring.

    Paul, I've seen those recent 135 images around here and they are something. But I think I want something a touch shorter. Hard to pin it down, though. When I go back over images I've done with the 70-200, many of them are right around 135-150.

    Any more example images are of course appreciated.

    So far as selling the 105 micro goes, I'll let you know. It is the most recent version of that lens.
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