Shooting with the Nikon 105mm f/1.4: Incredibly shallow depth of field and rich bokeh for portraits

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posted Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 4:09 PM EST

 
 

Six years after releasing the 85mm f/1.4G lens, Nikon is back with another intriguing proposition for portrait photographers in the 105mm f/1.4E ED AF-S Nikkor. Aimed right at heart of what many consider to be the sweet spot focal length for a portrait prime, this lens is the first at this focal length or longer ever made with an aperture as bright as f/1.4.

And the depth of field potential and bokeh quality? That's what I sat out to uncover on a weekend of photographic fun when mated up with the popular Nikon D800E. That weekend turned into two due to a lens alignment issue, as you'll see in my write-up, but the lens was such a treat to shoot with that I didn't mind adding a "round 2" to the whole experience (not to mention learning all I ever needed to know about microadjustments).

Wanting to keep this piece focused primarily on portraits and therefore the subject-to-background isolation possible, I kept the lens between f/1.4 and f/2.8 for the most part, and trained it on as many varying subjects as I could convince to pose for me. I came away entranced by the capabilities of the lens and the sure desire to someday own one for myself.

 
1/160s / f/1.4 / ISO 1400

 
 
1/200s / f/1.4 / ISO 100

 
 
1/125s / f/1.4 / ISO 2000

Head to our Nikon 105mm f/1.4E Review for all the details and a variety of images from this incredible lens!

Shooting with the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED