Nikon 105mm f/1.4E review: Big, fast, and expensive – but simply amazing


posted Monday, October 17, 2016 at 3:09 PM EST


When you're talking about lenses, a focal length between 85mm and 135mm is a go-to range for portraits -- and 105mm is the sweet spot used by many portrait photographers. Historically, Nikon has invested a significant amount of time and effort into lenses designed for portraiture, so it's no suprise that the latest offering from Nikon -- the AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED -- represents a milestone of the company's technical innovation.

At the time this article hits the web, the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E is the fastest lens in its class -- meaning that no other 105mm lens produced can open its aperture all the way to f/1.4. While you can always slow down your shutter speed or increase your ISO setting, letting in more light through the aperture is for many the preferred method to make better photographs, and the resulting out-of-focus areas produced are nothing short of gorgeous.

1/125s / f/1.4 / ISO 2000

This lens is designed for shooting at f/1.4, and it shows: it's tack-sharp when shot wide open, and stopping down only produces minor improvements. For the price tag, you would expect nothing less, and Nikon has clearly gone to great pains not to disappoint. Chromatic aberration is kept very low, corner shading is there but can be handled either in-camera or in post, and distortion is minimal. We fully expect this lens to become one of the classic Nikkor lenses standing head-and-shoulders beside another classic portrait Nikon, the 85mm f/1.4.

For all the details, including our test results, lab sample images and real-world gallery photos, check out our in-depth Nikon 105mm f/1.4E review.

1/500s / f/2.2 / ISO 100

Nikon 105mm f/1.4E Review