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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:40 pm 
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Well, one important issue is still open: The efficiency of VR on this lens.
I've shot a few hundert test shots already but that was the easy part. Now I need to classify each shot for sharpness according to my 5-star rating system (see the thread "Shake, Baby! Shake!")
But this is very, very tedious work unless you can use some software to calculate the "blur-index".
So, sorry: I've not yet good statistics to prove my point. But let me give you a first impression on the efficiency of the micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 VR-system:
I was just looking at shots at 1/60 sec and 1/30 sec which should according to common sens be just 1 or 2 shutter-stops below minimum. What did I see? Well with all necessary caution it seems that the VR of this lens doubles your good shots (4+5 stars) at 1/60 sec and more than quadruples your good shots at 1/30 sec. This sounds very positive, but again: without good and thoroughly reviewed statistics I'm not in a position to say "the VR on this lens is as effective as 2 (or 3) stops".

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:32 pm 
I am saving to buy true macro lens for D80 and have a generic question related to macro lens, as I never seen/used one. There are many options like Nikkor 105mm VR (735$), Nikkor 60mm F2.8G (449$), Tamron 90mm F/2.8 (390$) etc. When these lens says 60mm, does this means that I always have to be at distance from subject which is equivalent to 60mm focal length? Specification on 60mm says that closest focus distance is 18.5cm. So I would imagine, I can really get close to subject to get finer detail, but I dont see zoom ring on any of these lens either. So how does these lens exactly work? Also 2nd question - I dont have money to get Nikkor's 105mm, but if I was to choose between Nikkor 60mm and Tamron 90mm, which one would you suggest?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:03 pm 
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ABHIJIT, I've answered your question here. Please continue there if you want to discuss different macro-lenses in general.

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 Post subject: Tokina Lens
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:13 am 
Thomas - thank you for all your great posts. I read a lot of your reviews before purchasing a D80 some time ago. I am delighted with it!

I recently purchased a Macro lens for it - I was researching the Nikor 105mm (too expensive for me at $990) the Sigma 105mm and the Tamaron 90mm.

It seemed as if the Tamron maybe had the best glass - but was the least well made and autofocus seemed to pack up on a high percentage of reviewers. And the Sigma was going to be my choice. . . then I stumbled on some reviews for Tokina 100mm AT-X pro D ... it had good reviews and was said to be very well made. Comparable to Nikor.

SO - I have purchased one and I am very pleased... so far. Limited chance to use it in the last 2 days, but it seems to be taking good crisp images with nice bokeh - and its built like a tank.

My question .... as a self confessed Nikon fan boy - have you used Tokina glass? Have you done any reviews? Have you seen their new 100m macro? Would love to hear your take.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:52 am 
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Hello mgh888, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
Other than the micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 VR I've only tested (and bought) the Sigma 150/2.8 macro lens, of which you can see a review here. So I can say nothing about the lenses you inquired.
I had a brief encounter with a Tokina AT-XD 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 (reviewed there). Optical quality didn't convince me. But macros are quite easy to design optically so I'd assume that you have much fun with your new acquisition.
I'd love to see some remarks on and images from your new lens. Please post them in the Other cameras and lenses section.

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 Post subject: Tokina Images
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:04 am 
Thomas - I will past some images once I have had a chance to shoot. I have only played with some images around the house and garden so far. Thanks - Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:14 am 
I've had a Nikkor 55mm f2.8 since 1985. I also have the 60mm AF-S version of the Nikkor micro. The 105mm f2.8 Micro gets me further away from shy subjects, and even more so when I tack on the TC-17eII converter.

When I am at the ranch the 105mm Nikkor Micro is what is on my D90.

I was able to catch a running coyote the morning in focus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Hello Mark, and welcome dhale to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
Good to hear that you are loving this lens too.
If you have shots to show off the quality of this lens feel free to post them at the Lens Gallery here.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:16 pm 
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I noticed that I didn't test for longitudinal CAs so went out today to repeat the test shots that led to the shocking example that you can see in the linked thread above. Btw. that example was shot with the AF Nikkor 180/2.8D.

Well, what can I say: I only saw a slight hint of greenish tint in oof areas behind the focal plane. No need to post a picture and nothing to worry about.
But again the Sigma 150/2.8 APO macro is still a little better than the Nikkor.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:01 pm 
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I know that issue too well. The 105 VR is has so much CA that it's sometimes difficult to process. Especially highlighted circles of confusion can look really weird.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Ernie wrote:
I know that issue too well. The 105 VR is has so much CA that it's sometimes difficult to process. Especially highlighted circles of confusion can look really weird.


Thomas just said, that it didnt have much, or did I miss something? :shock:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:30 am 
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The lens has some purple fringing in specular highlights. No as much as it bothers me.
But purple fringing is different from longitudinal CA (short loCA), where the oof color changes from a dark purplish hue in the foreground to a greenish tint/halo in the background.
This is what I referred to in my test and it is very faint with my micro-Nikkor.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Here is a new series of test-shots comparable to the review of the new Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII zoom I'm currently writing. The second row shows a close competitor to this lens from Sigma.

micro-Nikkor AF-S VR 105mm 2.8G IF-ED:
Image

Sigma AF 150mm 2.8 EX DG APO HSM IF macro:
Image

Developed in CaptureNX with standard settings plus exposure compensation to bring all images to a comparable level of brightness. These shots were taken with hand-optimized focus in Camera Control pro 2. This 100% crop was taken 12mm off center which is equivalent to the wider DX border or approx. 60% of the FX-diagonal.
The results again look very good but the Sigma just is a little better at f/2.8.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:07 am 
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Just got the following PM:
Quote:
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.

Hello and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
As to your question regarding the use of the AF-S VR 105/2.8 on a D5000 for

Macro-work: 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

Portraiture:
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.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:25 pm 
Okay .. that gives me something to think about. I also have a 70 - 300mm and of course the 18-55mm kit lens. Would either of those be a good portrait lens. What in your opinion is a good portrait lens? Money is a consideration so I need to stretch it but I also want to have quality lenses. I am very interested in macro photography do you think the 105 mm is the best for my camera? Thanks for your help :D


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