scopedude's reviews

  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AIS Micro-Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp from f/2.8, long focus throw for critical focusing, excellent build quality, compact
    only 1:2, multicoating not up to current standard

    I've had this lens for 14 years. It gives me super sharp pictures all the time. On digital sensor, its coating is the only drawback versus modern lenses. It will suffer from low contrast when facing high contrast lighting. No big deal, though, it's not like I will shoot against large soft box everyday.

    However, please compare this lens with the latest 105 VR and you will understand why AI-S Nikkors are still highly rated even today. My friend was a new owner of 105 VR when he borrowed my old 105 AIS for a comparison. At f/2.8, the AIS really blew the VR out of the water. You will not want to use the AIS for portraits as it will render *everything* on the face sharp. It is that good at normal distance (including infinity). For macro, however, the VR has the edge but not by much (better corners). So I like the 105 AIS as a multi purpose tele lens. I don't need 1:1, and again it's very, very sharp. I can use it for product shoots at f/22 on full frame without being soft.

    I don't need to say anything about build quality. The AIS is clearly better than its AF counterpart.

    reviewed August 5th, 2011 (purchased for $590)