Just got the following PM:
Just found this forum.
Love the pics using the 105mm. I have the D5000 and am thinking of getting the 105mm. How do you think it will perform with my camera? Looking to do some macro pics and need a nice portrait lens. Thanks for your input.
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As to your question regarding the use of the AF-S VR 105/2.8 on a D5000 for
: It's the only lens for Nikon-mount that gives you
(1) real 1:1 macro capabilities unlike some zooms that go only to 1:2.7 magnification or thereabouts
(2) image stabilization: very handy for handheld close-ups (but still you need a very steady hand when beyond 1:3 magnification)
(3) large f/2.8 aperture for nice subject isolation
(4) could also be used on an FX body (unlike the Nikon AF-S VR DX 85/3.5) should you ever upgrade in your photographic career
(5) has great image quality
(6) has 105mm focal length - unlike the only other contender that could fit 1-5: the new Sigma 150/2.8 OS. Now with macro work you normally would go for the longest lens you can get, because in nature there are many critters the shy away from the large lookimg front lens as soon as you come too close. And longer focal length means longer shooting distance. So normally that would make the new Sigma "king of the hill".
But longer focal lengths also has its draw-backs and that leads us to
I used the 105/2.8 myself on a DX body for occasional portraiture and it works quite well. The f/2.8 gives quite some background blur and the stabilization comes in handy when you shoot indoors handheld without fully rigged studio lighting.
But you have to take into account that 105mm focal length on a DX-body makes for pretty tight head-shots if you don't have enough space to distance yourself from the subject. Outdoors that's not the problem (e.g. for street photography), but indoors you might find yourself with the back to a wall (literally) too often.
That's why pros swear that a 85/1.4 in an FX body is ideal for portraiture, which would translate to a 57mm lens on a cropped/DX-body. So a 105mm is almost 1.9x longer than that!
On top of that a f/2.8 lens on a DX body gives you much less subject-isolation than a f/1.4 lens on a FX body. So background-blur (and bokeh) will be less satisfying than with a larger aperture lens. That is not so critical for macro work as you normally fight for more dof through stopping down anyway when magnnifications goes beyond 1:3.
To sum it all up
: The 105/2.8 VR is a very nice lens for macro work, but only a compromise for portraiture.
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
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