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Quick test of the Nikkor 105 f/2.5 Ai...

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by JPS, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. While my AF-S 28-70 is at Nikon Switzerland for resetting a severe back-focus: ONE INCH at 28 mm. f/2.8, shooting distance .55 m. (30 inches), i took out my old Nikkor 105 f/2.5 Ai and gave it a quick test...!

    I sat the camera at 45 degrees on my tripod, at 1.40 m. (55 inches) away, focussed manually, turned the aperture ring at the minimum (f/2.5) and SHOT !

    Not only am i amazed to see that there was absolutely NO front nor back-focus at all, but the sharpness of this glass is killing me..... WOW !

    For a lens that's 27 years old (i checked the s/n at http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html#105), i wonder why Nikon can't do better now, with all the sophisticated materials and techniques that they've got ?!?!?

    First image: full image, no PP at all, totally out_of_the_box, only resized to 900x600 pixels.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Second image: a 900x600 pixels crop of the original (4256x2848 *.JPG Fuji S2 Pro file).
    View attachment 101366

    Any of you also loving this lens ? All it would need to be my FIRST and BEST lens would be auto-focussing..... (ain't we getting lazy ?!?)

  2. Given a similar design assignment, Nikon definitely can do as well if not better. Try any Nikon prime of recent design - for example, the 105VR or the 200/f2 VR, just to name two.

    Zooms have compromises built in to accommodate the (sometimes conflicting) requirements of multiple focal lengtha and possibly (likely) multiple applicatiinos.
  3. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Nikon used to build their low(er) end lenses just as well as their high end stuff. Not the case anymore. Plastic is always going to be cheaper than metal. Perhaps some folks here can compare what lenses cost back then to what they cost now. I have a feeling that even adjusted for inflation that lenses were not quite so expensive in the non AF, non VR days.
  4. One of my all time favorite lenses - that simple.
  5. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    I've got the ais version and love it! Very beautiful rendering imho. Plus the workmanship is awesome.
  6. Amazed that a manual focus lens has no front or back focus? That's a little silly.

    Yes the 105/2.5 is good. Compact, well-made, great optics, and good feel. It's my favorite and spends its time on my FG when it's not on my F3. Excellent results both in b&w and color.
  7. Wondered about the same thing :biggrin:

    Anyway, I got mine only recently and I second everything about its good reputation.
    Sometimes I put on my MF glass just for the pure joy of touching such superbly crafted items.

  8. I don't think the word "silly" is justified, as, as i said, i had to send my new "professionnal", Nikkor AF-S 28-70 f/2.8 back to Nikon because of a severe back-focus ! ...i was only making a comparison between an old lens -of wich i don't know the price, when new- and one of the most "recognized" and "professionnal" lens, so i guess it's quite normal to wonder, isnt' it ?!?

  9. I think that the point is that if a manual focus lens is "back focusing," you have to blame the photographer and not the lens. I hang out in the manual focus forums over on Nikonians partly for the reason that I never hear "my XXX is back focusing."
  10. Lowolf


    Jan 26, 2006
    The 105 2.5 was one of Nikons best lens made had one myself and used it all the time wishing now still had the lens.
  11. Dennyd80

    Dennyd80 Guest

    I love AI/AIS lenses. They just don't make glass like it any longer and that is a shame. A lot of younger photography buffs won't use use these terrific lenses because they are manual focus. If they only knew what they're missing in terms of image quality and sharpness.

    I use my 105/2.5 AIS and 180/2.8 AIS on all my Nikon bodies and get great results.
  12. I've my 105 f/2.5 AIS for over 25years now. I still marvell at the images it can produce. It's one lens that is just to hard to put down.
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