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any lust for 105 VR?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by big_jon, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. big_jon


    Jul 14, 2007
    Is there any lust for 105VR? looking at getting one but am considering many things... let me fill you guys in on my lengthy story of lens lust...

    bought a tamron sp90 from my local shop.... used it for a week, loved it. great for potraits and maco, affordable as well.

    one thing that bugged me apart from being a third party lens (i dont want to sound like a lens snob, but out here in malaysia, third party lens warranties are like the wild west), was that it didnt have internal focus.

    went back to the shop and was thinking about either an 85mm 1.8 or an ultra wide angle. i already have an 50 1.8 and a 18-200 vr so i decided to test the 3 ultra wides in my price range. tokina 12-24, sigma 10-20 and the 10.5 fisheye.
    liked the fisheye, but didnt like that i couldnt put a filter on for protection.... after some testing, topped up $$$ and walked out with a good copy of sigma 10-20.

    using it for 2 weeks and happy... alas, the third party thing keeps crawling back in my mind... getting paranoid of what would happen if the lens needed to be repaired... in malaysia only nikon and canon have proven track records.

    so, have decided to take the lens back and try to get change it... heres what im looking at:

    1. 105 vr
    2. 10.5 fisheye
    3. 35 f2 + 85 f1.8

    those 3 are in my price range are about the same price, i would just have to top up a bit after returning the sigma....

    i am intrigued about the 105 vr, it has afs and vr.... would like to ask if the vr would be as useful as the 18-200's...

    the fisheye is interesting, but utility is limited and that front lens element seems very prone to disaster.

    i will probably get the 35 f2 sometime in the future, but i have to get something else as the shop will not refund the leftover from the sigma 10-20.
    not so sure about the 85...

    thank you to all who actually made it to the end of my long winded rant...

    Please can you guys tell me
    1. why i should/should not buy the 105vr
    2. why i should/should not take the chance of my current sigma failing on me in the next 2 years.

    LENS LUST IS SOOOOOOOO FUN!!! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
  2. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    it is truly amazing, this lens was as hot as a bottle of tabasco sauce last year, and cooled to the icey blue color temperature of a frozen tundra. For the life of me, I don't understand it, it's just such an amazing lens.



    The 105 will double for a nice general purpose landscape lens, as well as being a portrait lens. With VR, how can you go wrong!!!
  3. rondd5


    Jun 12, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    You should tell us what you'll be shooting. I have a 105VR it's a macro and very sharp...I do not get a sense from your post that you want a macro..It can also be used as a mid range telephoto, (this is where the VR helps) I do not use VR for Macro shots, nor do I use the auto focus for them.
  4. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    I did and I got one for myself. :)  However, it has been sitting in my drawer since the first day. I prefer 85/1.4 better. :) 
  5. Go for the 85/1.8 + 35/f2, my reasons are .... I love the 85 focal lenght - I have an 85mm on my camera 97% of the time and the 35 is great for low light photography and when there is light it is just a great focal lenght as well.
  6. lamk

    lamk Guest

    Get both the 105VR and Sigma 10-20

    I have both and will not give up one for the other. The autofocus and VR gets less effective as one gets closer but not totally useless. The following is a quick snap from my wife's small garden in front of the house handheld f/16 1/40 at iso1600 with a d200 and 105mmVR.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Here's a image with the 10-20, I bet you can't do this with the 105VR
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Ultimately it should boils down to what you want to shoot and not just because you want to lust for a new lens, which I do understand however because I also suffered from a severe case of lens lust/NAS.:biggrin:
  7. Butchdog


    May 29, 2007
    I bought the 105VR in May. I sold off a couple lens that weren't getting much attention. I certainly don't regret spending the money for the Nikon. I took my brother's wedding pictures in a little 100 year old church in NE AZ. I was using my 35-70 and decided to give the 105 a shot. Very impressive!
    I also love macro and find this lens to very nice. I think it's one I'll keep for a long time.
  8. big_jon


    Jul 14, 2007
    hhhmmm, very true.... i would like a macro "sometimes", but i love the idea of using this as a mid range telephoto/portrait with VR + great minimum focus distance... i definately will not be using it for landscapes.

    Okay to make things more clear, i like taking candid portrait shots and have a really shaky grip.
  9. lamk

    lamk Guest

    I have use it for handheld headshot of my kids using available light inside the house(tryiing to avoid flash) with excellent reults at 1/30 f2.8. So if you like available light portrait and you don't like to crowd your subject(remember it's a 150mm 35mm film equivalent) than it's perfect, especially if you have a shaky hand. One is suppose to use 1/150 minimum when shooting at 105 with a dSLR. You gain at least 2 stop or more with the VR in my experience.
  10. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    Ken, I have 105VR and I tried it for headshots. The result is not as pleasant as I expected. Either my 50/1.8 or 85/1.8 does better with high ISO. At least they look better in my eyes. As I said previously, my 105VR has been collecting dust due to this very reason...
  11. big_jon


    Jul 14, 2007
    ^interesting brian, how would you rate the bokeh/sharpness between the 50/80/105?
  12. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    Personally, I prefer the bokeh of 85mm. There is a reason why it's considered a "portrait" lens.
  13. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    It's not my "go to" lens for portraits, but it does *work* for them. This was just a snapshot of my youngest sitting on the kitchen counter:

    handheld / 1/6sec / iso 100 / f3.0
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  14. TVayos

    TVayos Guest

    I purchased the 35 f2 and find it to be far superior to my 18-70 nikkor. I have used other lens in the past and this small lens has improved my pictures.

    Recently I have been looking at either the 85 1.8 and 105 vr. I would try them on your camera and see if the focal length is too long for you, if the extra weight is a problem. I am considering the 85 because it is light weight and seems to fall in that "just right" area for what I shoot. 105 is still in a consideration for me.

    I have seen amazing shots with both lens. I have heard from many posters that the 105 has a nicer Bokeh and better skin tones over the 85 1.8, but in weights twice as much, is twice the size and maybe too long for my work. Don't know if I want to lug it around all day.

    Good Luck
  15. big_jon


    Jul 14, 2007
    WOW! great bokeh + great sharpness at such a low shutter speed! is that a crop or a resize BTW?

    And how is the focusing? kenrockwell seems to complain about all the units that he has apparently held for five minutes. Does it really hunt a lot? one of the irritating things about the tamron sp90 i had, was the constant hunting and the lens going back and forth like not tomorrow.
  16. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Jon, It focuses relatively fast, but yes.....compared to other lenses I own it does hunt a bit. I've never found it annoying, but it can be noticeable; ironically I only notice this when using it for macro. Fortunately macro wasn't the reason I bought it.

    I think it has amazing bokeh that rivals that of the 85 f1.4.

    I purchased this lens after a Café friend of mine.....Eric (4Labs) posted a portrait that in sized-for-web, jpeg form I thought had been taken with the ultra expensive 200mm f2.0vr lens....a bokeh king if ever there was one......and 40 times as expensive as the 105vr

    I actually prefer it to the 85 for low light portraits because the VR is more useful than the large aperture of the 85. Try getting both eyes sharp at 1.4 with an 85mm lens. It can happen, but you have to really be lucky, the subject has to be facing you dead on *and* you need a steady hand.

    With VR at low shutter speed as with 1.4 at *any* shutter speed your subject has to hold very still to get the intended focal point in focus, but with VR you can use a smaller aperture which for me means both eyes in focus.

    Non of this means that I think it's a better lens than the 85, but it is a great lens and I use it all the time....one of my most used pieces of glass.

    The shot posted is not a crop, but it was resized for web and went through my usual PP which includes some *minor* sharpening (70% at .3 pixels) in photoshop.
  17. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    What to add

    I'm not sure I can add to what others have already said but I am very impressed with the 105 VR. The macro capability speaks for itself and you have seen some examples of that; however, the real additional value is the mid-range telephoto capability it provides - VR plus f2.8 is a tough act to beat. I love mine.
  18. Love mine- I use it quite a bit. Great for lots fun of stuff-

    Portraits- Macros- Roaming around the city at night- :rolleyes: 



  19. big_jon


    Jul 14, 2007
    woah, im starting to regret jumping into this part of the forum....

    i just came back from a shoot and realised how useful the 10-20 is....

    but the lust for the 105vr is too much.....

    gonna ask around about how bad/good the local service is for sigma, return or not, the 105vr is in my viewfinder...

    focus is locked...

    when im going to press the shutter?

  20. Just sold mine. Didnt care for the FL. Besides i dont shoot alot of macro.

    I was set on to get the zeiss 50mm/2, but for my food photography and product shots im not sure it will be long enough.

    Im opting for the 85mm/PC micro. Meanwhile if i feel the need for a macro lens ill just get tamron or even the 60mm/2,8 Micro.

    I owned the 105/2,8 VR for 8 months before i sold it. Iv taken roughly around 600 shots with it. In all its well made peice of glass. Apart from its odd looking form.

    But for pure macro work the tamron would fit the bill just aswell optically. and the manual zoom on the tamron is much smoother.

    CA is quite strong with it, i was suprised.

    If the FL will suit your style and your after a lens that you can do more then just macros, well then i wouldnt really hesitate.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2007
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