Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED review and comparison with the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens

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This Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens review is by Bojan Stepančič (website: foto-info.si) and it was originally published here. The post contains also some comparisons with the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens. Additional coverage on the new 105mm f/1.4E lens can be found here. The lens is currently in stock at AmazonB&H and Adorama:

First, I would like to say, that the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED is the best portrait lens, that Nikon has made. I had the opportunity to test it together with the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G.

The lens, compared to the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is very big and almost twice as heavy and it weighs one kilogram. The difference between the two lenses can be seen in the optical construction. Nikon AF-S 105mm f1.4E ED has 14 lenses in 9 groups, the Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.4 has 10 lenses in 9 groups. On the pictures below you can see a comparison in size between the two lenses.

Build quality and ergonomics

Despite the fact that the Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED is made in China, this does not affect the quality of workmanship and materials. Manufacturing quality is at the level with Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G. In combination with larger DSLR cameras, it is well balanced.

Autofocus - AF

AF compared to the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G the 105mm f/1.4E it is slightly slower, possibly because of the heavy lenses and lens dimensions. However, it is sufficiently fast for photographing moderately fast motifs. Given that this is primarily a portrait lens, it is important that it is accurate in focusing. During the entire test, I had very few photos where the AF missed.

Chromatic aberration - CA

04-ca
05-ca
Lenses with a fast maximum aperture are known for being able to have a more chromatic aberration. Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G has in some cases visible chromatic aberration but I can say that Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED is better in this area. On the pictures below you can see, the comparison of chromatic aberration between Nikon AF-S 105mm and Nikon AF-S 85mm.

Vignetting and distortion

07-vignetting

As can be seen from the photo below, Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED has a bright spot in picture center and visible vignetting at the edges, but this almost completely disappears when the aperture is closed for one or two stops. Image distortion is perfectly controlled, on the photo below we can see that in this it performs better than the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G.

Flare

06-flare
When shooting in direct light some flare may occur, which is normal for such fast lenses.

Bokeh -  quality of the blur

01-bokeh
02-bokeh
03-bokeh
Bokeh is the quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image. This is where the portrait lenses truly show off their attributes.  Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4 gives very pleasant blur, both in the background and foreground of the photo. As can be seen from the photos below the bokeh is very similar to that given by the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G, which has until now been one of the best lenses in this area.

In certain photos, we can see the specific shape of bright spots in the form of a cat's eye. This specificity is also seen in the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G and is common with fast prime lenses at open aperture.

The difference between the 105mm and 85mm focal length

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boj_2345
boj_3156
boj_3156-100-2
Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G is considered one of the best portrait lenses. Many photographers who use Nikon equipment swear to this lens when shooting portraits. However, what it is essentially the difference between the focal length 105mm and 85mm for portraits?

Seemingly 20mm does not mean much. For some photographers that extra meter of working space, that the 105mm brings, means a lot in the creative sense. Slightly narrower angle of view by the Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED vs. Nikon 85mm f/1.4G means that we can shoot a little further away from the subject, in some cases, this is welcomed. In particular, It narrows the viewing angle, and further compresses the perspective, thereby helping to ease the isolation of the motif from the background. It means the little difference for the main motif, but when we talk about perspective, the effect can be significant.

The photos below illustrate the difference between background at focal length 105mm and 85mm. At 105mm focal length, perspective is more compressed. The background appears bigger, this could be seen on the blurred entrance in the building, while the main motif is equally big.

On bellow photo, we could see that Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED is sharper then Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

Sharpness comparison between Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

f/1.4 center

f/1.4 center

f/1.4 corner

f/1.4 corner

f/2 center

f/2 center

f/2 corner

f/2 corner

f/2.8 center

f/2.8 center

f/2.8 corner

f/2.8 corner

f/4 center

f/4 center

f/4 corner

f/4 corner

f/8 center

f/8 center

f/8 corner

f/8 corner

In the end the most technical part of the test. On the pictures below we can see the difference between the both lenses in sharpness and contrast at the center of the image and in the far corner at different apertures.

From these pictures, you can clearly see what I spoke about at the beginning of the article. Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED is sharper and has a little better contrast than Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G at all settings. It is very sharp from f1.4 and further. Corners are just a little less sharp at f1.4.

Final thought

According to the cost of the lens, we would expect an excellent lens, and this also is the case, despite the fact that it is made in China. Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G is considered one of the best portrait lenses, that can be bought. From now on Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED, will take over this role, it has a sharper image, gives better contrast has fewer CA, practically no optical image distortion and provides excellent bokeh. However, I believe that many photographers who have an 85mm portrait lens are more likely to remain with the 85mm lens. Focal length 105mm really shines when we have some more space around, namely, the difference is not large but it can be crucial with shooting indoors, where 85 mm in some cases would be more appropriate. Also, the sheer weight of the 105mm will not be suitable for some photographers, and finally it is a very expensive lens.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens gallery:

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  • Eric Calabros

    Its not simply sharper. Its “class of its own” sharper. Its Katana.
    and background compression is very different, even more than I expected.

    • Proto

      Very detailed and useful comparison. Am staying with 85 1.4G

      if one does not have the 85, this can help decide if 105 is worth spending the 600 extra

  • Morris

    until the 85 1.4e arrives

    • Taz Ali

      Educated guess, but I reckon the 50mm 1.4, and 35mm are next in line to get “e” treatment.

      • milkod2001

        yeap and with triple the cost of current ones

    • sickheadache

      Let me introduce you to this “Hoot” Otus.

  • decentrist

    sharper,less chromatic aberration,China manufacture,cat’s eye bokeh,renders like a Sunbeam iron. $2200.00…step right up and help kickstart Bejing’s economy.

    • Philip Jacob

      I agree with you. for plastic made in China, cannot say it is worth it.

      • Eric Calabros

        its not made for those who care more about barrel than glasses inside.

        • decentrist

          in 20 years, most of these lenses will be gone with the cheap construction and played out af-s motors, unlike the DC

          • HF

            I don’t care, because in 20 years a new concept like the LIGHT camera will very likely provide what we need, or I just buy one of the old 20year old manual lenses.

            • decentrist

              cool, just like your DSLR right…disposable Chinese shite for Japan prices.

            • HF

              Nice thing is, they work well and are paid of several times already.

          • fanboy fagz

            BRAVO! $2200 for cheap plastic slow af made in china. for shame nikon, nikons level is down.

            those were the days. when they made the DC duo, the 85 1.4D 180 2.8d 200mm f4 and even the ai/ais lenses that are bulletproof.

            I see so many canon/sony videographers use these at weddings and I ask them why nikon?
            cause theyre built like tanks and the focus was so smooth.

            now theyre just over bloated ugly crap plastic. plastic filter threads, cheap hoods that lose their detent lock for the hood quickly.

            they make the best cameras out of magnesium and the nikon fanboys come up with that dumb comment of plastic bending over the metal.come back with something better,

            that cheap ass plastic and crap af mechanism will wear out way before the metal of ai/ais lenses. even that cheap ass $100 105 2.5 ai/ais

            some naive idiots.

            • Bob Thane

              Look, I love a nice metal build and a smooth focusing ring as much as the next guy, but a lens that lasts 50 years is completely pointless if the optics are obsolete at that point. The truth is, a working pro cannot use those old ais lenses today – they just don’t provide the quality that people expect in an image. If you’re shooting for fun, then go for the old lenses. But if you need to feed a family, you can’t coast by on old technology.

            • fanboy fagz

              nice try. my point is theyre current lenses are built nowhere to spec of their older lenses and thats quite clear to see. even their afd is faster then their new afs lenses. put the new optics and a properly built lens. simple.

            • Proto

              yup, how much do they really save by using a plastic tube versus metal? for the higher price they should continue the robust metal build than plastic (even if it causes minor increase in lens weight).

            • fanboy fagz

              first time I held the 85 1.8g (and even the 1.4g) I laughed so hard. it makes an impression its some high end lens. you hold and feel it and it screams cheap. the D version is twice as fast. you can clearly see the plastic in that lens is a cheaper plastic to the parts of the barrel in a 70-200 vr1/vr2, for instance. you clearly see and feel it. hold a 85mm 1.4d you will be impressed. they should have built the heavy duty build of the D with optics of the G

              a lot of blind fanboys (and nikon spys here) here. I used to be like them. stand up to anyone criticizing nikon. walked around proudly with nikon lapel pins. felt awesome using F5’s in weddings. but the last 5 years, theyre downhill. and it shows. in the prices, in the product quality, in their pocket.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ataDgMph_wI

              I couldnt be happier sigma and tamron are pushing hard, forcing (trying to anyhow) nikon to wake up. tokina is still asleep.

              and how the hell you make your double the cost lenses twice as slow as your cheaper lens? clowns.
              I think this how nikon makes their decisions
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaimQu8Ukl4

              now the 70-200E with reversed rings and $2800.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz-PtEJEaqY

            • Morris

              nikon (and i guess canon and co.) are all owned by shareholders = banks, insurances
              if they can sell you poisoned air for big bucks, they will

            • fanboy fagz

              they can try. have you seen their stock recently? shows their tactics arent working. people have more options today. theyre presurred from every side from 3rd party mfr. grips flashes lenses batteries.

            • Morris

              we might agree, what then ? either we accept the plastic age either we find another ‘hobby’ where plastic is not involved

            • fanboy fagz

              looking at sigma art lenses at the moment. not going to pay such high prices for just IQ. build is important just as much. sigma delivers on both. waiting for the 85 art reviews with raw files and the tamron 15-30 to replace my older UWA and im done. I have the 70-200 vr1. could buy a vr2 for peanuts from a friend. bad focus breathing. now this E. what a fail. waiting to see their quarterly report

            • Matt

              Sigma Art lenses are amazing when it comes to build and optics, I really love 50mm, but when compared to my 50mm 1.4D, Sigma is SO LARGE and heavy. Often I just put 50mm D on my body, just for the ease of use [I also have grip, trigger, and flash on body], and running 10h+ with such a set-up is just tiring. I do use it for photo sessions, where I can just rest for a sec, then continue. I don’t complain, but it is damn heavy, that you could kill someone with it.

            • decentrist

              outcome based thinking can also be a juicy rationalization

            • Espen4u

              Besides 50 year old lenses have other problems like fungus on the glass, aperture blades that sticks (not uniform), not made for digital sensors and the lubricants inside is mostly gone by then.

            • harvey

              if you don’t like Nikon products, don’t use Nikon products.

            • fanboy fagz

              thats all you can come up with? move to canon dont buy, no ones forcing you to buy. same feeble comments. go back to the drawing board.

            • HF

              Nonsense comment. I like plastics. It is not per se worse than metal. All metal lenses I had soon had scratches or dents. How do you know how all metal lenses are constructed on the inside? Unless you are buying manual lenses without electronics you will someday get problems, too. And I don’t need lenses to last 20 years. In 20 years I have a new camera and new lenses being constructed with all the new research being used to make them fit for whatever technology is there.

            • fanboy fagz

              your comments are nonsense and make no sense.

              you like plastics. like your blow up doll? jk.

              thats you. all my metal lenses, held up well. very well. theyre built to last. problem is not the older lenses. problem is the crap plastic lenses they make today that are not as the older tank lenses.

              and you think the nikon lenses are made of metal inside? some parts yes, but mainly no. how is the 85 1.8G larger but lighter then the D ? plastics. my old 85 1.4 AIS was all metal.

              there are many who do want their lenses to last as long as they need. and to ask of such overpriced lenses to last even 15 years is not asking so much. my 180 2.8d is built better than any of the g primes today. how many grandpas and uncles weve seen who held on to their old fe cameras and 50 ai lenses that lasted past their death? MANY. those were the days nikon made gear to last. many want their gear to last. the people on these boards are not the average joe who buys simple gear who wants it to last. we are the gear nerds looking for the newest news on anything. I know a photog who shoots with a 35-70 2.8 an 80-200 afd 2.8 and an 85 1.8g and she has (had actually) a lot of weddings. she has 2 young girls and has changed profession since last year to be with them. both those lenses are at least 20 years old.

              stop making excuses for nikons incompetence. theyre making gear that wont hold as well as their older gear. look at reviews. “CHEAP plastics and slow af” their level of lenses (not bodies) has gone down the shits.

            • Debaltique

              Plastic does not necessary mean “poor quality”.

              (i) Some plastics (e.g. composite materials) are more resistant than metals and are better for shock absorption. (ii) Metals are heavier. It will add more stress on your camera body and … shoulders. (iii) Metals have a higher thermal conductivity. If you shoot in extreme conditions (e.g. very hot or cold weather), your fingers would prefer plastic lenses. (iii) Plastics do not corrode.

              The aerospace & defense industry is now using composite materials instead of metals because in many cases, composite materials have superior performances / are more adapted to the situation.

              Today, more electronic components are used in lenses (VR, AF, etc.) and that is the main reason why today’s lenses may not be as robust as old lenses.

              From an aesthetic point of view, I can understand that some people prefer metal lenses. However, it does not mean that they are better quality lenses.

            • fanboy fagz

              nice excuses. keep your science info to yourself. look at reviews..what do they say..? cheap feeling plastics. no one says “wow, amazing build quality” dont make excuses for nikon cutting corners. its more expensive to make metal lenses and nikon skimps to recoup factory flood losses

              composite plastics my ass. these arent composite plastics. just some cheap ass plastic. hold the hood of the primes and see for yourself. even from the 105VR when they first started with the plastics years back and to these current 1.8 primes, there is a CLEAR difference in quality. hold them side by side and see. some cheap ass stuff. when fuji and olympus and sigma are upping to metal, nikon does low quality plastics.

              “Today, more electronic components are used in lenses (VR, AF, etc.)
              and that is the main reason why today’s lenses may not be as robust as
              old lenses.”

              dude, there you go. you just said it. they arent. cheap plastic build. composite my ass.

              “From an aesthetic point of view, I can understand that
              some people prefer metal lenses. However, it does not mean that they
              are better quality lenses.” I prefer it because it tried and true. these nikon primes wont hold half as long as the D/ai/ais lenses. better iq but they skimped on build. and lets not forget the af speed which is horribly (pathetically) slow. whats your science excuse for that?

            • Michiel953

              “keep your science info to yourself”.

              How ignorant can one be.

            • fanboy fagz

              you call me ignorant, I say youre in denial trying to downplay what is a very clear case of nikon skimping on quality. I know what a good plastic is and what a bad quality plastic is. I ride a 400cc majesty scooter. my brother has a 250cc chinese scooter. you can clearly see the difference. just by sight. and im talking about non painted plastic. you can clearly see a huge differnce between the plastic body of a 70-200vr1/2 (yes theyre plastic) vs any of the recent primes. just very cheap plastic.

              now, should we get into other specifics of their crap QC as of late?

            • Michiel953

              Why not admit you’re on an endless, boring, sino-fobic rant?

            • fanboy fagz

              why ,cause you think so douchiel?

            • Michiel953

              Ahh, name calling. Once again, you show what material you’re made of.

            • fanboy fagz

              said the one throwing the offending comments, right douchiel? dont start and then expect the person wont return the favor.

            • Michiel953

              The name sayst it all. Sad really.

            • fanboy fagz

              I guess you never heard of paparazzi who drive on motorcycles and scooters to get to locations quickly. While youre sitting in bumber to bumber traffic im flying in the side lane getting to the location snd getting the shot. You couldnt be a pj if you didnt ride a 2 wheeler. You obviously lack experience in the pro photography world

            • Michiel953

              I certainly don’t lack experience in the two wheel world, and I wouldn’t want to be seen dead on a scooter; let alone a 400cc one.

            • fanboy fagz

              Yea it clearly shows.

            • Michiel953

              Well at least we agree on that.

            • CBJ

              70-200 VR 1/2 are metal… Some bits are plastic but most of it are metal. 105 VR is also mostly metal (the older made in japan ones at least).

            • fanboy fagz

              inside yes, the outside barrel parts between focus and zoom are plastic. front area is metal where filter is.

            • HF

              Again it shows you have no clue. Visit some lectures in material science.

            • fanboy fagz

              thats fine. dont reply to me and I wont to you. we dont see eye to eye on nikon. everything they do the last 5 years are killing them into the ground and youre just in denial by trying to paint a pretty picture. im pointing out all their flaws.

            • peter w

              In my n=1 test, the AF version failed long before the AF-S 85 F1,8 did. The AF took up dirt, I found out to late it had entered the lens and the af-mechanism got sandpapered. The AF-S will not take up dirt this way, any AF or AF-D lens would have.
              I don’t buy lenses for my grandchildren. For me it is very pleasant that the lens is light. If hate the weight of SIgma’s 35. (Which will not take up dirt eighter, thought it formally isn’t wheater sealed).
              Indeed, the 85 AF-S is not well balanced on a B800 with grip. If that would be a dominant factor, I would choose the F1,4 version.

            • koenshaku

              I’m amazed how many people are entertaining this troll. Firstly AF-D lens are not faster than AF-S lens. Secondly his logic applies to everything in existence. Things are not made the way they’re used to that is true, but are you going to drive around a 1970s car forever talking about you aren’t going to new cars because they’re while running to the gas station and fueling up faster than anyone else on the road? Well you be left behind riding an aluminum bike while everyone passes you on a carbon fiber one? Will you simply not buy a new kitchen appliance because the old one that was no doubt better constructed than newer models, but are not longer serviced?

              The fact of the matter is newer lenses are constructed for newer cameras to produce excellent results for professionals. I for one don’t care too much what the lens looks like as long as it produces results and doing it while it is lighter is even better because my gear is attached to me like a body part when I am on vacations. To each their own. No need to disrespect the views of others because you like old stuff.

            • Maybe he should buy and use a iPhone 7 plus. All made of Aloy and Glas. And “amazig” Bokeh with the two lenses…(irony off) And saves a lot of money that he can use for his growing family…

            • dabug91

              Please ban this trolling asshat. He degrades the quality of this site.

            • Um, those particular wedding photographers use them because they are cheap af and good quality. But those people have never used an N lens. If they had, they’d own up to it. Yes, the ancient MF lenses are much better for focusing, but times have changed and i never use MF anymore, especially wide open. Too slow and inaccurate.

      • Rich

        Just wondering why ‘made in China’ is considered a by-word for poor quality? China is on the cutting edge of manufacturing technology.

        If I wanted to make lots of a high quality product, China is where I’d start.

        • Bob Thane

          Agreed. No other country has the same level of advanced equipment that China has. If you need something done with precision, in bulk, China’s the place to do it.

          • decentrist

            That’s an untrue,sweeping generalization. China leads with it’s massive amount of cheap labor first.

            • fanboy fagz

              china make good copies of things but the fine detail & QC is problematic. good products. not elite products.

              all these fanboys (and nikon pr spies and retailers) trying to downplay nikon making cheap slow af lenses that are overpriced. simple as that.

              you get good value for the money.I buy a lot from sellers in asia from ebay but hell no do I want to have my $2200 lens or $2800 70-200E made in china. no way. uh uh. feck that. make it japanes and strict QC. and since nikons sucks with QC, it shows they need to start making their things in japan.

        • decentrist

          and you would be there first because of labor costs. Today’s China, tomorrow’s Vietnam…then maybe Africa. It’s a race to the bottom.

          • fanboy fagz

            the QC is crap and the reason is money. less money spent there for labor, more in the pocket and god know nikon lost a lot of money with the 2 floods in the factories. nothing like a precision “cutting edge” lens made in japan. nothing.

            seeing the gold JCII on camera gear years back meant high standards. today we get shit plastics and slow af with an overpriced sticker even though the yen is down to the dollar.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a535890326295bdfdd0c98719275a9ce638bed84293dda50e320f48f12229dea.jpg

            • Rich

              It’s just a sticker. Looking at the review above, I suggest this new lens might be, optically, the best 105mm ever made. I have a cheap plastic AF-D 50MM F1.8 and it’s lasted five years without a hitch.

              ‘Made in Japan’ used to be stigamatised for been cheap and nasty too. A lot of people have forgotten that.

            • fanboy fagz

              were not arguing that the lens doesnt produce excellent images. the argument is the $2200 ripoff price vs the build vs getting a chinese lens. and yes, everyone knows japanese made gear is held to a higher standard. its fact. theyre whole life and mindset is commitment 110% to the company. not the same with the chinese. when the japanese guy calls in sick he feels he lets his whole team down. the chines care about sending some money to their family to survive. no discussion regarding chinese vs japanese made gear.

            • peter w

              It might be you are talking 1980’s China. This country is so big. And it is moving as fast as Japan has been moving in the 60’s. Not all 1.000.000.000 people fit their stereotype.
              Considering the rip-off price, one could also argue that quality comes at a price, regardless of the country where you build it.

            • fanboy fagz

              you know what, you may be somewhat right. the chinese flashes from shanny yongnuo and godox are fantastic as well as grips and batteries, but when you hold it vs an sb910 you feel a difference. its very slight but its there. when youre paying $2200 for a lens or even $2800 for the new 70-200E those fuckers should be built in japan. their work ethics is a higher level.

              weird..on slrlounge you clearly see they push US products to help with the economy. when I tell them you can buy counterfeit spider holster pro for $27 shipped they talk nonstop trash about chinese products. others are for it. im for them. not $2000+ lenses.

            • peter w

              Thanks.
              I wouldn’t consider Yougnuo as top end quality, like this 105mm Nikkor should and will probably prove to be. More like very good value for monney, and copy work instead of own developpement.

            • fanboy fagz

              you know what? if it comes out to be as good as performance of the 105 AFD macro I think ill get it. just for the hell of it. I sold my 105 VR as I was only using it for the ring shot and very closeup makeup shots and nothing else. been using my 85 1.8d and extension tubes for those now. but for the hell of it.

              btw, ive since sold all 4 nikon flashes I had. I now use 8 chinese flash. theyre workhorses. $80. they fail, I throw them out. my SB900 bulb had to be replaced twice.

              when you need a workhorse, the asians deliver. family formals, dance floor, ceremony. they work. 2 hit the floor and still work. theres a reason why theyre very successful. they deliver.

            • fanboy fagz
    • HF

      Cat’s eye bokeh is very common. Look at Marianne Oelunds comparison with other portrait lenses (including 200/2): https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58467649 .

      • decentrist

        personal preference no doubt..I believe it’s ugly

        • HF

          I don’t mind that much. Interestingly, most lenses show it, look at the link, e.g. 200/2, 105/2DC, Zeiss 135/2APO. Stopped down a bit, e.g. f2, it is almost gone.

    • MB

      Everything is made in China these days …
      It is not Chinese fault that they are the best workers in the world and that the rest of the world lacks skills, is too expensive or have just become too lazy to compete …

      • NicP

        Best workers with the best skills are Germans because they produce quality products with in legal age to work and their products are deserved to be expensive, also they are definitely not lazy to compete. Im not German 🙂

        • MB

          Of course they are, that is why they make everything in China

  • bertbopper

    85mm PCE is Nikon’s best portrait lens bar none. It eats the 85 1.4 for breakfast, and if I look at this review, the 105 will be a heavy lunch, but not too much.

  • SiestaKey1

    Looks awesome…but not enough for me to drop my 85mm 1.4 lens.

    • harvey

      if you already have the 85/1.4 and it is producing images that work for you, there is not really much reason to get a 105.

      • Certainly not much reason. But why keeping everything the same if you can afford to gain a bit more of something?

  • Max

    whoa, the wide open corners on the 105 are sharp!

  • sickheadache

    Can’t wait to test it out in Feb…along with Sigma’s 85mm Art.

    • fanboy fagz

      dying to see raw files of the sigma art.

      from fat graingers images, it looks very promising.

      http://www.mattgranger.com/sigma85

      • sickheadache

        I think Matt….has said he loves Kangaroo Pie.

        • fanboy fagz

          I like mako shark steak..so?

  • T.I.M

    The AF-S 200mm f/2G VR is still the portraits king.
    Yes it cost $6000 but it worth every penny !

    • Just Me

      YMMV

    • catinhat

      180/2.8 is an excellent portrait lens and can be had in superb condition for about 10% of the price of 200/2. In addition it won’t break your back.

      • T.I.M

        Yes, the 180mm f/2.8 is a very good lens, I owned one for many years.
        But you have to try the 200mm f/2 to feel the difference, the 200mm f/2 is perfect, even at f/2, with NO CA !!!
        I believe it is still the only Nikon lens designed with a super ED element.
        That lens is incredibly sharp and the bokeh is beautiful.
        The weight is not that bad, I can hand hold it with no pain (and I’m not a football player).
        The 200mm f/2 is big. it will not fit in a regular camera bag.

        • jarmatic

          Yes, we all know you have the 200mm f/2.

  • This is a useful and detailed review! Blown away by how sharp it is even wide open in comparison to the 85, which I’d always considered a my sharpest Nikon lens. I switched to Fuji so won’t be buying it, but certainly impressive.

  • Albert Yang

    Look at the headshot of the lady; the 105 is incredibly flat; almost 2D. The entire left side of her face looks like this image was a pic of a photo taken of a magazine; not of a woman. Everybody is all about the sharpness; when it presses your model into a 2D magazine with absolutely no isolation; it’s a horrible lens.

    • Eric Calabros

      Define the 3D. Our recent experience in forums shows that majority of people who talk about 3D pop in photos, actually don’t know what they are talking about

      • Neopulse

        In my experience, good lighting is what helps create the 3-D.

    • HF

      You want continue the debate at Dpreview? Such a ridiculous comment of a TAP fanboy.

  • Vivendran Nissalini Rajandran

    Lot of negative comments regarding this lens made in China and plastic material. Definitely these guys all don’t know engineering and production definition.
    Made in China is issue? Stop using iPhone, the biggest bank balance company. It is made in China. Made in China might be true less quality, but it is not if big company control it. Big company like Apple and Nikon open factory in China to cut cost, not cut quality. Incase you want same product to made in Japan or America, ready to pay 4 times higher price.
    Plastic material is issue? Do you think the plastic they using in lenses is same like plastic bag you use to carry things? Do you know metal can be rusted and damaged after long time but plastic remains until end? Do you know aeroplane using plastic as one of outer body for lighter and stronger?
    Please get your fact before comment. Real photographer will concentrate on lens quality, weight, optical sharpness, and prices. They won’t care made in China or Moon. I am sure this lens will cost double if made in Japan.

    • NicP

      So your telling me if a new 200 f2 was made in China it would be the half price? That would be great, seems Im liking those Chinese products now, more than German or Japanese …………….

      • Vivendran Nissalini Rajandran

        Lenses higher prices then 5k usd mostly they won’t transfer to China. China good for mass production or big quantity selling. Nikon need to produce some lenses in Japan since thier R&D is there. By the way I would happy too if they produce costly lens in China for cost reduction.

  • Thomas Paris

    Sharper != better, for portraits. I still love the 105 f2 DC and wish Nikon would still make lenses like this one, that is optimised for something else than sheer sharpness. Oh well, my 105 DC still works perfectly, so I guess Nikon’s just telling me not to spend another buck on their products, which should help me get along with my bank.

  • Toai

    Any things MADE IN CHINA should be 1/2 price. They only cost less than 1/4 to make than original country, that why most of companies move to CHINA for more profit.

  • Captain Megaton

    Bravo. That was one of the most level-headed, fair, and clear comparative write-ups I have ever read.

    Not only does it demonstrate that the 105mm is the better lens, it shows exactly why and by what degree. Anyone considering a purchase is left in no doubt what they get for their money.

  • Albert Yang

    I bought the Tamron 45mm F1.8; love it compared to my Nikkor 50mm F1.8G. Both are sharp but the Tamron is much smoother and more pleasing; I don’t know which is sharper in absolute terms; but know 9 out of 10 pick the Tamron image when side by side. The Tamron is also metal vs the Nikkor; a picked up my camera bag and the lens wasn’t all the way in and a buckle hit it and now the Tamron has a ding; so I’m not necessarily a fan of metal vs plastic.
    So Not against it being plastic; and everything is made in China nowadays; and so you have good construction and bad construction; Japan and Germany make good stuff and also crap stuff; so point of origin is not that important to me.

    I own the 105mm F2 DC; and it is without a doubt the best portrait lens ever made. The images from it are very pleasing to the eye and the portraits from it are legendary. I prefer the 105mm focal length to the 135mm to the 85mm. I’m use to it. So if there is a newer, faster 105mm from Nikon; I’m all for it and super excited.

    But the reality of it is; it’s not a great lens. People keep asking about the “3D” ness .. like it’s something “we” made up. I didn’t even look at which lens was what; I judge images based purely on the image; I have no pre-text to it. I bought every single lens I own that way; I went to flickr; looked at 1000+ images; and bought the lenses that generate the most pleasing images to me. The 105mm F2 DC and the 180mm F2.8D being what I feel is the two superior portrait lenses to all other lenses.

    So now let’s do a “3D’ness” test… very simple:

    https://nikonrumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/BOJ_2848.jpg

    Open that image set; side by side. Find someone who is NOT a photographer; has no clue what the debate is; doesn’t know what lens or camera; and DON’T tell them. Tell them THiS:

    “Both of these images were taken with the same lens; however one was taken of the actual person; and the other was taken of a picture in a magazine, which is which?”

    See; when you say that; then they think it’s the same lens; and so that removes the “lens” bias out of the equation right away. They think it’s the same lens; and so they will now look for “2D’ness” of an image; which one looks like a magazine AKA which image looks like a 2D reproduction.

    If they think both look similar; then you can totally disregard the concept of 2D vs 3D in your photography because yourself and your friends/family/customers can’t tell the difference. Buy whatever the hell you want then. But I highly suspect that everybody without context bias is going to see exactly what I see; the image on the left looks extremely flat. The left side of her face and her right ear look very very flat. The front part of her hair; and her right shoulder. Try it; let me know.

  • jojo

    Thom Hogan: “Highly Recommended”

    Fanboy fagz: “just garbage”

    Yes, “look at reviews”. You’ll likely find some facts, some opinions in each. Most treat you as an intelligent reader. You reads your reviews and you makes your choice….

  • Michiel953

    For all those that complain about or comment on the apparent flatness of the 105/1.4 images (as compared to the 85/1.4): that’s just focal length, distance, compression.

  • Matt_XVI

    I’m willing to bet most the people who complain about these being made in China are A) old B) out of touch C) ignorant. Most of you complaining about these being manufactured in China are complaining that it’s mostly plastic. How the HELL is that China’s fault? They were designed in Japan and they are building what Nikon told them to build. You haters do realize that most quality goods are either built in China or have parts built in China right? China produces the whole spectrum of goods, from cheap, disposable copies to ultra high-end quality products. For thousands of years things made in China was synonymous with an unparalleled level of quality and craftsmanship. You ignorant hillbillies who think all China produces is low end crap are focused on a small blip in their history which for a long while now has moved to also include creating some of the highest-end precision and luxury items on the planet.

  • Mike

    “Bokeh is the quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image.”

    False. ‘Bokeh’ is Japanese for ‘blur.’ Everything else is just people trying to sound smarter than they are.

    • Matt

      It’s a language thing. You are right, it means ‘blur’. Nothing else. But the term is used to describe the out of focus areas. The meaning of the word changed, because we use it in a different way. It’s only fair to say, that bokeh is a good term to use when talking about oof parts of image.

    • Ngoc Nguyen

      It was you who tried to be smarter but failed.

  • Nimloth

    People used to laugh about the stuff Made in Japan. Now who’s laughing?

  • Roberto Solari

    Lens Rentals have test this and here’s the summary!

    “The optical bench confirms very nicely what the early reviews have said: this is an exceptionally sharp lens edge-to-edge. Optically, it’s probably the best thing Nikon has put out in several years; it’s a genuinely world-class optic. It’s not inexpensive, but it is less expensive than a lot of other lenses that have optical quality like this.”

    Read it for your self !! https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/11/nikon-105mm-f1-4-e-mtf-bench-tests/

  • Michael

    Am I the only one that thinks that the bokeh unnecessarily steals the attention away from the subject?

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