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Pure LLD: 105/f2.5 AIS or 105/f1.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by blw777, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. This is entirely LLD :biggrin:, I don't need either of these. I've already got a 90/f2.8 macro and a 135/f2 - and four zooms that cover the range in question. I don't even particularly have any type of shot in mind!

    Still, looking at Lisa's thread on the 105/f2.5 AIS, I want one, just because it produces such great results. But then I got to thinking about the 105/f1.8, which would go nicely with the 135/f2 and the other MF f/1.4s I have...

    Which would you get and why?

    (I'm not considering the 105/f2 AFD DC, since the 135/f2 is about to be upgraded to the 135/f2 AFD DC.)

    One of the attractive things about the 105/f2.5 is that there are SO MANY of them around that they can be had for ridiculous prices (< $200 in mint condition, < $100 in great usable condition)...
  2. I went with the 105/2.5 because it's more compact and uses 52mm filters, but the 105/1.8 is a good lens too.
  3. Have both, the 1.8 is better

    I'm actually surprised at the hype the 2.5 version gets: the 105mm f1.8 is better in a number of ways.

    Bokeh? I really think the edge might go to the 1.8; at wider than 2.5 it's a no contest :biggrin:

    I even think the 1.8 is sharper then the 2.5 aperture for aperture.....

    I have to do a side-by-side one day; it's one of hose little (trivial?) projects I just can't make time for at the "moment".
    ("moment" = past 2.5 years.....:eek: )
  4. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    I have both and did a side by side test at some point. I don't remember the exact results, but my conclusion was that they were both very sharp and the differences were negligible. I reach for the 105/2.5 when I need to stay compact. When I need the "special effects" of f/1.8 or when I carry a bag of lenses, I reach for the 105/1.8. I mostly reach for the 105/1.8.

  5. Interesting - I wouldn't have thought that there would be that big a difference in DOF between f/2.5 and f/1.8. How's the bokeh on each?
  6. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Brian, being a owner of the 105 2.5 lens, it only makes me want to try that 105 1.8 now. If it's better than the 2.5, I'm in for a real treat!
    I do like my 2.5 lens for sure (only had it one day as you may know).

  7. See... pure LDD! :biggrin::biggrin:

    And my LDD (at least about these 105's) is your fault, too! If you hadn't have posted the nice ones from the f2.5, I wouldn't have even thought about it! :wink::wink:
  8. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Well, at around $225 and under for a 105 2.5 lens, I don't feel too badly spurring on some LLD. :biggrin:

  9. Yeah, not like those evil people over in the 200/f2 thread! (Groans)
  10. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Here's two examples of the odd bokeh I get with the 105mm in sunny conditions at f/1.8:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 102081
  11. Cool pix, especially the second one - I actually like that one due to the odd bokeh. I guess it seems impressionistic to me, and I like that.

    But which one of the 105's is this?
  12. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Thanks, Brian. Those were taken with the 105/1.8 AIS at f/1.8.

  13. Have you tried adding a soft-focus filter or layer on these? That first one seems like it could easily end up looking like a Monet...
  14. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    I bought my 105/2.5 ais based off someone posting some pics online. If you're going to buy a lens for any reason, I think the pictures they produce should be at the top. So when I found out I could get a mint one for $250, I just bought one without much question. When I get a D200 it will be a lot more fun, but it's a great looking and well-made lens that produces great colors imho. It's not the sharpest, nor does it have amazing bokeh, but I really like the sort of 'hard' bokeh it does have. And the colors look awesome to me.
  15. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I was in the same situation as jcovert. I really liked the pics that someone posted online, and it's not often that someone in my income bracket can run and grab a "legendary" Nikon lens. I actually found mine on craigslist in great condition for $100. It will be more fun when I have a D200 or S5, but 'til then, I'm learning a lot about exposure, so that's valuable too.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2007
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Well, count me as one of those who considers that the 105mm f/2.5 has qualities that aren't as easily measured as one might like, but, like the 28-70mm, there is just something about the 105mm f/2.5 that's special and wonderful.

    None of that means that the f/2.5 is per se "better" than the f/1.8, just that it has its own very specific character.

    YMMV, of course.

    John P.
  17. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    What do you mean by this?

  18. billg71


    May 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    If you need the speed, go for the 1.8 version. I have both and I prefer the 2.5 for it's weight and especially the handling. It may have a slight edge in sharpness at 2.5, but it's hard to tell. The 1.8 has a fairly large difference in diameters between the body and the aperture ring and, for me, it makes it a little clumsy to use with my fat fingers.

    The 1.8 is a lot more expensive and harder to find than the 2.5 if that makes a difference to you.

    Either version is a great lens. You pays your money and takes your choice...

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