The headline feature of the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens is, of course, that it’s a macro lens (Nikon uses the term micro instead of macro with their lenses). And a macro at 105mm is an excellent option for things like flower close-ups.
I also owned the previous model, and while both are excellent optically, this newer one is an improvement in several respects. For one, it has much faster and better focusing. For another, this one has built-in vibration reduction; that comes in especially handy for hand-held photography.
I use it a lot for product photos and for flower photography. It works quite well for portrait photography, but Nikon now has a better option for that: their 105mm f/1.4E ED lens. But aside from using it for macro, I’ve found the 105mm f/2.8 to be a surprisingly versatile lens. Being a prime, it’s obviously not going to be ideal or even useful for every kind of photography, especially general walking-around travel photography, but it works remarkably well in a wider variety of situations than I expected.
It has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a minimum of f/32. On the macro end, its minimum focus distance of 1 foot (30.48cm) and its magnification is 1:1. It has 9 rounded blades, uses a 62mm filter, and weight around 1.6 pounds (720 grams). It’s designed for full-frame cameras, but you can put it on a DX camera with an APS-C cropped sensor, which will have the effect using a focal length of 152mm.
So here’s a small selection of photos I’ve shot with this lens to give a sense of how it performs in various shooting situations and at various settings.
Lens Vignetting Test Shots
First, though, here’s a panel of shots taken against a clear sky to illustrate the amount of lens vignetting at various apertures.