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105mm DC vs. 105mm micro

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Uncle Frank, May 24, 2005.

  1. My kit consits of the 20mm/2.8D, 60mm micro, 28-70/2.8 and 80-200/2.8. I'm more than pleased with it, except it's quite a load to cram into my backpack. Also, the 60mm doesn't get much play, because the 28-70 is excellent in its own right for closeup work.

    I'm thinking of trading the 60mm for a 105 micro. That would result in a lighter, more versatile kit, as I'd leave the 80-200 at home unless I was specifically going for a nature shoot, and the 105 would give me the reach for shots where the 28-70 was a little too short.

    I'm trying to figure out if the 105 micro would be a good general purpose lens. I haven't seen many samples of portraiture with it, and very few evaluations of its bokeh. The 105DC is rated very highly, and Bjorn lists it as one of his favorite lenses on the d1x. But its minimum focus distance is 3 feet, so it wouldn't replace the 60mm for macros.

    Any opinions?
  2. Hi UF!
    I have shot the 105 Micro only once - I borrowed it from a colleague at work. It's a nice lens. However, I have no own photos to offer as I have stored those on my office PC.
    Look at this gallery to get an idea of the bokeh:

    The 105 DC is an outstanding lens for sure. I would like to have it for portrait work. Wait a moment - I have to go for my anti-LLD pill immediately :shock:

    See you later
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. Bingo!

    Thanks for the suggestion. It's a great lens, but imo better suited for a macro specialist. Due to its aperture range, the opportunites for selective focus would be too limited for my style of portrature.

    Thanks for your insights into the 105 micro and 105 DC. I'm not sure either will suit at this point.
  5. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  6. Good idea, but as much as they shift, it wouldn't do any good :roll:.
  7. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    105, 105, what 105 ???

    Frank :

    Travelling right now for work without all my photo files, but I can offer some thoughts.

    I have both lenses. Both are excellent lens for different tasks. Having said that...

    The 105mm DC f/2 is without question an incredible lens. The bokeh without using the detent is wonderous, and the effects of the detent are incredible. Bjørn Rørslett's review convinced me to buy this lens, and if anything, I've found his comments almost restrained in what a fine lens this is. When I want to shoot people with a bit of distance available, this is every bit as much fun as the famed 85mm f/1.4 (although quite different obviously).

    The 105mm Micro is a nice lens. I really enjoy using for macro work (although most of my shooting with this lens has been for incident investigation, not fun insects or flowers). But... I can't say that I fire shots with the 105mm Micro with the excitement of the 105mm DC. It's an extremely good lens, but just not in the class of shooting with the 105mm DC.


    John P.
  8. DC is a specialist's lens...A jewel... I see it fit on your cam, UF!
  9. obelix


    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA

    All I can say about the 105 micro nikkor is this. The talk about its not so great bokeh is well, talk.


    The bokeh may not be as good as the 85 f/1.4 or the DC lenses, but it is as good as it gets otherwise.

    You are making a bigger compromise here. The 105mm micro nikkor focuses very slow, by design. [That is why the new canon EF-S macro sounds very interesting HSM in a macro lens].

    I have tried to walk around with the 105mm, but it can take a while to lock focus and for general walk around, the subject might have moved by then.

  10. Tamron 90?

    Thanks to all for taking the time to respond in such detail. Based on your inputs, I don't think my plan to replace my 60mm micro with a 105 micro for a lightweight travel kit is workable. Anand's comment about focusing speed was the final straw.

    As far as the 105DC is concerned, if I decide to invest in a specialty portrait lens, I'll give it consideration along with the 85/1.4, but that's a project for another day... when I have extra cash, or some pay jobs that would justify it.

    As for a macro that will also serve as a general purpose tele, the other lens I should probably consider is the Tamron 90. But I've read that it renders pictures with a yellowish color cast, just as the Tamron 28-75 does, and that was one of my biggest issues with the 28-75.
  11. obelix


    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Good choice, UF.

    As much as I hate to admit it (denial), I think one eventually needs a 85 f/1.4 for portraits [seen the MTF charts for this lens? It is less sharp than f/1.8 and that is one of the reasons it is popular :) ]

    The 70-200 VR is all good and dandy, but when I look at my pattern of photography, more than 80% happens when I walk around with family. And between my 14 month old and the 70-200, I can carry only one and that is a very obvious choice :) 

    Lastly, consider the 180mm ;) , that may be your answer for a walk around tele lens. [Again, I am in denial here]
  12. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    UF the previous poster is right - look at the 180/2.8. It has many of the characteristics of the 80-200 and is probably even sharper, especially at that length. Beautiful boke, but a bit slow on the autofocus. But check out its size and weight - would really suit you for length and quality. Does lovely portraits as well.
  13. It's a terrific lens, Patrick, but it's too long to be a solution for my lightweight kit. The 85/2.8 - 180/2.8 combo was an alternative I considered when I bought the 80-200, but I decided a zoom was more practical, and AF speed was an important consideration as well.

    I think my best solution might be to stand pat with my current kit, and buy a slightly larger backpack. Much more affordable, too 8).
  14. My most lusted-for lens is still the 135DC as a walkaround candid lens. As much as I love the 70-200 is still seems to attract attention. Last night I was shooting my 8th grade daughter at a party with my 70-200 they'd stare at me, while my 85.1.4 and D2X set on HSC gave me a "virtual 127mm" f1.4 and no one glared at it. A 135DC would give me, similarly, a "virtual" 200 f2?
    I'm gonna get one but, at I type, my AMEX bill for the D2X is on my desk. Ouch.

    I'm going to my daughter's graduation tonight and you've inspired me to shoot some shots of the grads with my 105-f2.8 micro. I'll let you know how it does. I've read it's not that great at distance.

    micro-bokeh? 105mm 1/90th f18
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  15. Unlce Frank said, "My kit consits of the 20mm/2.8D, 60mm micro, 28-70/2.8 and 80-200/2.8. I'm more than pleased with it, except it's quite a load to cram into my backpack. Also, the 60mm doesn't get much play, because the 28-70 is excellent in its own right for closeup work."

    Uncle Frank, don't give up on the 70-180 micro lens. Even though it is not a super fast lens, it has some great versatility. This photo of my daughter is probably not my best shot, but it is a good one that I took early on with my D100. The D2x gives it new life. The second shot is simply a snap with the D2x that I took in the spur of the moment. I had been using the lens for table top photos of another lens I was selling on ebay (for which it is very good) when I saw the critter outdoors trying to get into my house.

    It is almost fast enough to chase birds with..and I easily give it the quality of the 180mm f/2.8 on the long end. I think Nikon discontinued it because they didn't want to compete with their own AFS 70-200 VR. So now it is 'secret' power and lightness.


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