Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC Nikkor

Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Lab tested
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105mm $1,197
average price
image of Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC Nikkor
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Nikon 105mm f/2D AF DC Nikkor User Reviews

9.6/10 average of 11 review(s) Build Quality 9.9/10 Image Quality 9.8/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by BoomerBruce (1 reviews)
    Creative Control, Boke, Sharpness, Color Rendition, Micro-contrast, Build Quality,
    Chromatic Aberration, Fringing, Autofocus Accuracy, Lens Flare

    I am new to digital photography with limited technical background. This is my first prime lens. I added it because I love portrait photography. I'm also not afraid of a challenge. This lens feels like the most special of relationships. If you love Boke, this lens is something special.

    Wide open (f/2 with Defocus Control set to R2), this lens produces a display of conjoined edge-softened color that is both stunning and artistic. The "Melt-in-Your-Mouth" Boke has earned my images rave comments from reviewing public that include; "Wow", "Professional", "Magazine Quality" or "I love this image". More importantly: I love these images.

    At f/2, sharpness is a thin plane that can be difficult on Autofocus (especially with DC engaged). Stopped down even a bit, edge to edge sharpness improvement is immediate. Stopped down further, (i.e. f/4 or f/5.6) image sharpness is excellent. However, if you appreciate the beauty great Boke will add to some of your photos, then you won't mind using the lens opened up to f/2 with DC R2. Sharpness is overrated! ;-)


    I love the way this lens feels in my hands. It feels "old school" and reminds me of phrases like "back in the day" we made things that last!.

    AUTOFOCUS (Speed/Accuracy):
    Fast enough. The lens is actually fairly fast to focus. For most of my portraiture, speed is not an issue. Autofocusing accuracy is another issue (see below). I have not tried to track moving objects with this lens and so will leave informative comments to those that do.

    This lens IS NOT for the faint of heart. It took A LOT of reading, experimenting, on-line videos, and informative sites like this for me to begin understanding "how" the lens works. I would think after all this time, that Nikon would construct a more useful "Users Guide" for this and the 135mm DC lenses.

    As a beginner, focusing this lens routinely eats my lunch! Autofocus (with DC engaged, especially at f/2) is challenging. With Defocus Control engaged, AUTOFOCUS misses, even after refocusing, are frequent. I usually obtain the best and most consistent results in Manual Mode "Live View" with Focus Peaking turned on (D850).

    In bright light, high contrast areas, I get more Chromatic Aberration and Fringing than I like. This can be present from f/2 through f/4. I'm sure there is a way to adjust for this. That's my next adventure.

    As mentioned in the article, this has occurred with small angles to the camera plane.

    Some in the corners at f/2 and less at f/2.8.

    Non-existent on this lens.

    I hope you find this review helpful. I wanted to provide some personal 'real world' experiences for others like myself. I LOVE THIS LENS despite the trials and tribulations that come with it. Reviews and use both simultaneously attracted me, and repelled me, from keeping this lens. Truth be told, I almost returned it. Patience, however, is a virtue not to be undervalued. With practice, this lens continues to produced some of the most visually enjoyable images I have taken.

    reviewed December 23rd, 2017 (purchased for $1,100)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Airy (16 reviews)
    Sharpness, IQ
    Purple fringing wide open

    I tested it thoroughly before buying... well, a Zeiss 135/2 and a 105/2.5 AIS.

    This lens seems to have no weakness, except some CA and purple fringing wide open. Here the Zeiss is vastly superior, especially in handling bright light sources. And of course it is sharper.

    Apart from that, IQ and sharpness were convincing, at least from f/2.8. The defocus control actually works and is a delight for 'slow' and/or technically interested photographers (if you like tilt & shift, you know what I mean). If money were not limited, I'd definitely buy one.

    AF (screwdriver-powered) is slow but accurate, so I do not care.

    reviewed April 26th, 2015
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by ioshertz (6 reviews)

    definitely my favourite lens!
    very sharp, the blur is great, the image that is creating is very, very good!

    I made some tests if someone is interested -

    reviewed January 18th, 2015 (purchased for $900)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Kdavis (4 reviews)
    Focal Length, build, image quality

    One of my favorite. I love the focal length, even on my D7000. The defocus control seems pretty subtle, but it makes the lens special and I hope to hang on to this one for a life time.

    I often wonder how the price will be affected for used copies once the lens is no longer in production. Guess I'll find out soon enough.

    reviewed August 22nd, 2014
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by wolfbreath (1 reviews)
    Sharp. Creamy bokeh. Excellent color rendition and contrasts. Literally perfect portrait lens. Built like a tank. Built in lens hood.
    Sometimes get CAs. Required a little AF fine tuning. Heavy. So sharp it gets diffraction pretty easily after f5.6. Clunky built in lens hood. Pricey.

    Hands down the best portrait lens ever. Colors, contrasts, sharpness, DOF blurry bits are literally perfect.

    On DX it was a bit tight but the perfect length on FX in my opinion. Distortion free. It costs near 1000 bucks but it performs well. Great results.

    I would never part with this lens. Its like a loved one in the family. Cherished. Highly recommended for portrait shoots. Once in awhile the lens hood catches so gotta be aware of that. Metal construction. Feels strong but heavy. Other than that, cant praise it enough.

    reviewed April 2nd, 2012 (purchased for $800)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by colinjames (8 reviews)
    sharp, bokeh, price, hood, rear element, recessed front element, build

    Superb IQ - FAST, Nice size, contrasty, built in hood a huge plus. I have owned several of Nikon's fastest lenses (85 1.4, all the 50mm's, 80-200, etc) This lens is special. You could do a photoshoot in a landfill and not take a bad picture. 105mm on full frame gives you more freedom than 135mm by far, and has better repro ratio and sharper wide open than 85mm as well. 1.4 is a hot mess for headshots - you always have an eye out of focus - heaven forbid you get the tip of the nose in focus oh jebus. Blows away 105mm VR.

    reviewed August 7th, 2011 (purchased for $775)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by maskinmoller (6 reviews)
    Sharpness, contrast, bokeh, build quality,

    This lens LOVES people and people loves, what this lens does to them.

    reviewed March 16th, 2011
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by andre_ (31 reviews)
    bokeh, definition, shadows and highlights rendition, no CA....

    This lens is simply perfect.
    It's the well definited lens at f2 I've ever seen.
    I've actually never use the DC, and never over f5.6.

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $900)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by italy74 (8 reviews)
    Great sharpness, bokeh and versatility

    Surely the sharpest lens I have, it's able of a very fine detail even if it's not a macro lens. I'm enjoying also the DC feature for some kind of flou effect both on digital and film SLR. Definitely a must!

    reviewed April 23rd, 2007 (purchased for $1,588)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Iyhel (6 reviews)
    Sharpness at any aperture, bokeh
    A little heavy ?

    Pin sharp all over its aperture range, especially from f/2 to f/5.6.

    The "natural" bokeh is great and Defocus Control is just a little more fun.

    Built solid and resilient. Manual focus ring is perfectly smooth.

    It's heavy for a prime, but not so much, especially considering the f/2 aperture.

    It doesn't get 10/10 just because there is a recurrent frontfocus problem in some series (mine... easily fixed by Nikon under warranty however) and at this price point, it's a pity that they don't control it and fix it at manufacture. So just don't get it second hand if you cannot test it and get any problem fixed under warranty.

    Probably my favourite lens along with the 180/2.8. Since I have it, I have been considering changing my DSLR (currently D50) to get a better viewer as it is sometimes hard to use manually with such a shallow depth of field !

    I put some samples to show the DC effect there : (sorry, that's in French only for now).

    reviewed March 13th, 2007 (purchased for $900)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by julioalperi (15 reviews)
    Contrction and optical quality.
    Not found. Some would want faster AF.

    10+10+10. Farther explanatios not needed. Price is OK for what you get.

    reviewed November 16th, 2006 (purchased for $806)

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