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

This review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens ($2,196.95) is by the Romanian photographer and Nikon Ambassador Mircea Bezergheanu (Website | Facebook | Vimeo | YouTube). The original review was published here in Romanian (thanks for the translation Marius; click on images for larger view):

Nikon has always been well represented in the 105mm lens category, but the launch of the Nikon 105/1,4E ED has overcome all expectations of those who love this focal length, because there are photographers who do not find themselves using the 50, 58 or 85mm lenses for portraits. I am one of them, preferring portraits with 105- 135-200mm focal lengths.

The lens is big and heavy, weighing 985 grams, the front element is big and the filter thread has an 85mm diameter which makes it impossible for me to use 77mm filters. I will have to get 85mm filters, which will be evidently more expensive…

The lens is made of plastic and polycarbonate to be more precise - so it comes with one disadvantage and two advantages - it’s less shock resistant, but is lighter and cheaper than if it would have been made out of metal. The lens is expensive and it sells for around $2,200.

Buuuuuut … for this money you get MAGIC!

Portrait? Magic!

Landscape? Magic!

Close-up? Magic!

Bokeh? Magic, magic, magic!

But let’s take it one at a time, dissecting all chapters of the story I entered the moment I lifted the camera and looked through this lens.

Over the time I’ve used a lot of good lenses from different manufacturers but the world transforms when I look through this Nikon 105mm - I’ve never come across this before.

Let’s start with the technical performance.

The focalization - here I was nervous because overall bright lenses move slow and have problems with accuracy and consistency. First frames to evaluate the focus I shoot in the city by night, where I had the most problematic source of light - mercury vapor bulbs, which are used everywhere in public lighting. First frame is a static one, I chose the subject at distance because focus error would be easier to notice. Honestly, the results perfect. I repeated the test 3-4 times. The result? Identical! Perfect focus on a static subject and in mercury vapor lighting. First frame is the original, and the second is a 100% crop:

Let’s get to the second part, same lighting conditions, but the subject is moving towards me with a speed of 60km/h.  Car headlights are more confusing because while moving, the lights suffer dramatic intensity and direction changes:

All tests were taken with 1.4 aperture.

For the next test, I took it outside and photographed a subject that ran sideways with a dynamic and crowded background. The result? Perfect:

I also did some detailed tests on related subjects, making a comparison between the Nikon 105/1,4, Nikon 85/1,4G, Nikon 135/2 DC and Tamron 85/1,5VC lenses. Here are the crops taken with the different lenses:

More tests of a Nikon banner are next.

Nikon 105/1,4E:

Nikon 85/1,4 G:

Nikon 135/2 DC:

Tamron 85/1,8 VC:

Autofocus tests and bokeh compared for portrait photography:

I also add a comparison between the Nikon 105/1,4 at f1,4 and Nikon 105/2,8 VR macro lenses at f2,8:

A difference in shading can be noticed; the macro lens reproducing colors in highly warm tones.

I also did an unusual test in very low light to see the lens behavior and the capability to reproduce details (second picture is a 100% crop):

Test to evaluate chromatic aberration - here I noticed the extremely discreet presence of aberration (did not appear in all situations):

Bokeh test:

Different photos to evaluate the bokeh of the lens:

Another bokeh test at various apertures:

Next, portrait photography starting with some concert pictures where I tested the autofocus in highly dynamic lights in various colors:

focul-viu_005 focul-viu_010
focul-viu_028 focul-viu_035
It was followed by portraits shot in various conditions:

cioban-turcoaia_002 cioban-turcoaia_002-mediu
cioban-turcoaia_002-mic cioban-turcoaia_001
dacfest-2016_247 dacfest-2016_261
mogos-2016_002 nea-niculita_029
maria_089 copii-greci_053
Once again, I have to appreciate the autofocus system, the lens did not require calibration although I attached it on many different cameras: Nikon D600, D810, D500 and D5. I also gave it to other colleagues who used it on D7100, D750 and D5300. Al results were perfect.

For landscape photography, I was pleasantly surprised that the lens has no issues shooting frames with far away subjects while reproducing excellent details. I pushed the edge a little bit by shooting exclusively at 1,4 aperture even for landscape. There were only a few situations in which I stopped down the aperture:

fundatura-10_16_193 tainita-oct-2016_032 dumesti-16_9_16_088 tainita-oct-2016_115 fundatura-10_16_169 apuseni-oct_16_085 apuseni-oct_16_071 dsc_3599 dumesti-16_9_16_072 armina-oct-2016_038 tainita-oct-2016_161 fundatura-10_16_138
Certainly, this lens will produce great satisfactions to users who can understand its qualities. And don't forget: it's not the camera that makes the photography, it is you!

Good light, everybody!

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  • Fly Moon

    A very nice bokeh!

  • Spy Black

    I have to say I’m totally impressed with the Tamron 85mm in these tests. Sharper than the 85mm Nikkor, and bested only by the significantly more expensive 105 Nikkor. The 135 f/2 obviously is showing it’s age, and reminds me of my 135 f/2 Ai, although both these older lenses formulas create the smoothest bokeh.

    • Heywood Jablome

      I agree. That Tamron looks like a winner.

    • Eric Calabros

      135 is clearly soft, but note how softness renders the skin more pleasing.. its cinematic. Maybe because it makes some skin colors mixed or averaged. Or maybe that warm light from the left just fueled my bias 🙂

      • Spy Black

        The softness of the older designs yields the effect you’re seeing, as well as really smooth bokeh. That’s what made the 85mm Samyang so popular, it was a classic formula, not that sharp, but incredible bokeh. Used correctly they give wonderful results.

    • Adam Brown

      I was about to say the same thing. I have the Tamron and it’s spectacular. So about 1/3rd the price of the Nikon 105… sure, it’s not as good as the 105, and DOF won’t be as narrow… but a fantastic value.

      • Eric Calabros

        How is the AF?

        • HF

          There are several reports of strong breathing and inconsistencies. Tamron provides a dock, too, so this should help a little.

        • Adam Brown

          On the positive side, fast and quiet. On the negative side, it can use some careful micro adjustment. Once adjusted, it’s fantastic.

          • Eric Calabros

            so you don’t recommend using it on D5xxx series?

            • Adam Brown

              Hadn’t given it any thought before. Fortunately, Tamron sells the separate tap-in console, so you can micro adjust the lens without a high level body. So I’d be fine using it, but be prepared to buy and use the tap in console.

      • Spy Black

        In all honesty, I don’t think you’re going to miss the DOF difference.

      • fanboy fagz

        the tamron seems nice. heres 2 vids from a reviewer who I

        think is genuine and very thorough imo

        here he reviews the 85 art but compares it to the tamron

    • HF

      How is the Nikkor at f1.8?

      • Spy Black

        Dunno, but who spends $1600 for the Nikkor to shoot at f/1.8?

        • fanboy fagz

          so one buys the 85 1.4 and ONLY shoot at 1.4, correct?

          • Spy Black

            Why, yes…

            • fanboy fagz

              so when I shoot 3 people standing for a picture at a wedding, and I show them the image and theyll ask why 2 out of 3 is out of focus? ill tell the mom “cause spy black said I can only use it at 1.4 and not 4.5 and short dof is the reason why” yes?

            • Spy Black

              Yes, that’s exactly what you tell them…

            • fanboy fagz

              hahaha sir yes sir

            • onthedot

              And when you shoot the three subject in a row, wide open, and the ooh and ahh at the sharpness and bokeh, you can send the check to spy black.

            • fanboy fagz

              Come back when you habe some. Experience shooting. Leople dont stand lined up like in an army. If anything many people stand sideways and part of them are in front of one of them. U have no clue what youre talking about

            • onthedot

              I was joking, but with 51 years experience, several technical books on photography, and shooting portraits everyday with high end Nikon cameras and glass, I think I know what Im talking about… oh, and I know how to spell and respect others enough not piss all over my colleagues.

            • riemann

              i like how people miss your actual point. I don’t know of any lens that gets worse as you stop down (with the exception of excessive stopping til diffraction or whatever)

              if you buy it at 1.4 you’d expect to use it at 1.4 way more often than not. 1.8 will always just be slightly sharper slightly less fall off etc etc.

              if you buy it at 1.4 to use at 1.8 for the option to use at 1.4 in rare circumstances, that is what they call a dummy.

              while generally its true 1.4 stopped to 1.8 is indeed slightly sharper, who is going to spend 3x the cost to get that pixel peeping marginal difference.

          • Adam Brown

            Obviously neither is true. If one buys 1.4, there are times they expect to use it at 1.4. There are also times they stop down. In terms of how often, depends on the style of the photographer and what they’re shooting.
            Additionally, conventional wisdom would dictate that a 1.4 lens will be sharper at 1.8, then a 1.8 lens wide open — thus some do buy it even where they expect to stop down.
            And finally, the 2 reasons for a 1.4 aperture are the shallow Dof and the extra light gathering. As the Tamron has VC, that’s actually even more beneficial in terms of low light.

            Combine it all — there should be many pros for whom the Tamron 1.8 strikes the right balance, and then there are those who truly still benefit for the shallower DOF of 1.4

          • sickheadache

            Oh no…there seems to be some looney logic about that Nikkor 58mm 1.4…some here have said it is not meant to be shot at 1.4….oh my lanta.

        • HF

          Happens more often than one thinks. First, resolution increases (aberrations decrease), and bokeh often is nicer than the lens which is f1.8 natively (look at the 105/1.4 at 2.8 compared to the 105 macro lens. An extreme example, though). The Tamron has very strong cats eye bokeh. The Sigma Art stopped down to f1.8 or f2 gives nearly perfectly round bokey balls (see Dustin Abbot review) and CAs are much smaller. The Sony 85GM at f1.4 gives the nicest rendering at f1.4 in my opinion, of all 85mm lenses. But at f1.6 or f1.7 you get an additional boost in sharpness and even rounder bokeh balls. With an f1.8 lens you can’t obviously do that. So more options besides using it at f1.4.

        • Michiel953

          Why would one use a lens only wide open? Call me oldfashioned (I know I am) but the old rule ‘one stop down’ is still relevant for me, certainly for close up head only portraiture. For larger distances wide open is mainly irrelevant.

          Ok; using my 50/1.2 wide open, 400Tx or similar @800, 1mtr distance, gives great rendering!

        • I wish it were $1,600. If you’re talking about the 105 F1.4E, its $2,196 at B&H.

          • Michiel953

            It’s EUR 2459.00 in Holland. Choke.

          • Spy Black

            I was referring to the 85.

        • onthedot

          Funny. However I always loved my 105mm f/1.8, until I bought a D810 and the purple fringing couldnt cut it.

    • sickheadache

      What about that Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art….Let’s do a redo and let’s see how well Sigma 85mm Art can keep up…also.

      • Spy Black

        Would’ve been nice to see, but I don’t think this fellow was trying to do a shootout, I think he simply had these lenses to compare. It’s just coincidental that the Tamron just decided to shine when it was playing second fiddle to the star of the show.

      • fanboy fagz

        the sigma has no cat eyes from f/2+ less vignetting and ca then the nikon. that phuckin huge focus ring was a bad design though. too many steps in the design. you use it to hold the lens and for sure youll wind up moving it. and with 1.4 your focus will be off a bit here and there. fail design.

      • Mircea Bezergheanu
    • Paul H.

      Really enjoying my Tamron. Tremendous quality and value…

    • George Kalogeris

      Totally impressed by Tamron too.
      Only thing is CatEyes in bokeh… Is this avoidable ?

  • Marc Feldesman

    One error in this review. The filter size is the much more common 82 mm, not 85 mm. This is the same as the new 24-70 E FL ED VRII

  • This lens has quite a personality, to be sure. It’s sharp which is fine; the other lenses are all pretty sharp as well (sure, you could nit pick it if you want to do enough pixel peeping). More importantly, it has beautiful bokeh that slides smoothly and gradually from the focused areas. Nice to see sample images by someone who actually knows what they’re doing with the equipment. This person tells you more in five samples than those jerk-offs at DPReview could tell you in 60 pages. (Sorry to be like that, but they disappoint in so many ways yet they COULD do a good job if they changed a few things).

    • onthedot

      Totally agree. I was thinking how wonderful it is to read a review that isnt by a scientist, but a real world photog. Beautiful images from a beautiful place. I particularly like his highly non technical reference to the lens being magical. I can totally relate to one of those unique Nikkors that makes you feel youve taken better images than you thought possible.

      • …or that make you feel you’ve taken better images than you were capable of. I know that’s happened to me.

  • fanboy fagz

    images look unnatural. like they went through some sharpening. and till there are full rez downloads, I call bogus.

    • Eric Calabros

      ad like report adds a well performing third party lens to the comparison to show its high performance?

      • fanboy fagz

        it doesnt matter. this guy is a nikon ambassador. and this is just like an ad. the guy if fphukin payed by nikon. no shit hell say the lens is the tits. ive used the lens. was not impressed..for the price performance it gives.

        • dabug91

          Ugh. I hope Peter just bans you. You’re just a Ken Wheeler clone and im tired of reading “fagz” every time I come to enjoy articles on this site.

          • FountainHead

            What’s your problem with him giving his opinion?

            • Mike

              Fanboy Homosexual has a problem with the reviewer’s opinion. Which has data to support it.

            • fanboy fagz

              wow, youre so awesome with your name calling. name calling is a tactic when you dont have a good argument. when you dont have intellect to carry a dialog.

            • Michiel953

              You don’t know what “fag” means then? A bit illiterate. Think before you assume an alias.

            • fanboy fagz

              btw, I have the fanboy fags name as well. I just cant remember the login info. but since youre an intellectual who can asses that fagz=fags in outcome-ding ding ding! youre a smart chap. btw dont assume that english is everyones mother tongue. internet is intl. I notice when people have no strong argument back, they want to insult people directly. name calling and such, or saying theyre illiterate. says something about a person carrying a conversation.

            • Michiel953

              I’m not in the insulting business, you should know that by now. It’s just that your alias might be seen as inviting for some.

              I suggest you change it to ‘Fanboi siggiez’ to avoid unnecessary harm.

            • Toecutter

              Or fanboy cigarettes

            • dabug91

              He’s a known troll.

          • fanboy fagz

            get some kleenex wipe your tears and grow a pair. if you get upset from peoples comments on the net, I wonder how you react when things in real life piss you off. btw bug, you can “ignore” by going into my profile.

            you do realize that ken wheeler gets a lot of money form you who gets all flustered and see his tons of videos and post nonstop comments on his channel all pissed off. the more controversy the better for him. and his is correct on the 105 1.4 hes actually a intelligent guy and knows how to push bugs like you.

            go relax have a beer, chill out, piss off.

            • dabug91

              I’m not upset, I just want you banned because you degrade the quality of this site with your ill-informed trolling.

            • fanboy fagz

              cry in the corner and let the men talk who can handle criticisms and hard arguments. if you crash without offering any conversation back besides “WAH! I WANT MY MILK AND BAN HIM PLEASE.” then dude move on. life is tough. you cant to cry over nonsense. what do you do in work when a team member pisses you off all the time? tell your project manager to ban him?

            • onthedot

              He is a caustic troll. No respect for colleagues suggests he is a keyboard photographer… reads but never shoots.

          • valdazis

            he actually is Mr Ken, Theoria Apophasis, Angry Photographer… “the tits! silk sex and sugar!” 😀

          • decentrist

            resorting to personal attacks I see.

          • I agree, this individual seems to be more interested in championing a personal agenda than having a constructive discussion on the merits of a particular camera or lens. The community will be better without them.

        • Thom Hogan

          Your logic is basically this: any remuneration whatsoever makes the message incorrect. That’s simply not true, so you tar Mircea with a very broad brush by assumption only. We have far too much of that in this world.

          Your complaint has absolutely no foundation. You offer no rebuttal of any point he made, you simply try to kill the messenger with a pre-established bias on your part.

          Some of us in the world see through all this Internet crap that gets spread. And in this case, it seems to me that it’s you spreading it, not Mircea.

          No doubt a Nikon Ambassador isn’t going to write anything truly negative about the products of the company he represents—though I’ll point out that Mircea does complain about two things—but he’s presented his case for why he likes that particular product decently.

          You could actually follow the same steps he took and see if you replicated what he found, but you’re too lazy to and simply want to spread ill will. As others have noted, I’m not sure what your contribute here is any more, if any.

          • fanboy fagz

            “Some of us in the world see through all this Internet crap that gets spread.”

            holy shet Thom. I cant BELIEVE you said that. really with the tons of scams and tons of clickbait and anonymity on the net, really? a HUGE portion are influenced by others comments. I can make tons of profiles and just post endless positive comments. im sure many do. im sure there are tons of nikon reps on many sites as a regular shooter. so anything you read on the net shouldnt be taken completely serious. including my comments. and I laugh at the fagz who get all flustered from another persons comment. just fphukin move on.

            “No doubt a Nikon Ambassador isn’t going to write anything truly negative about the products of the company he represents”

            no doubt. thats my point. there are no full rez untouched downloads offered. if there were, at least I can judge the images myself. anyone can post what they want. people are easy to convince. me? I dont give a crap to convince anyone. I post what I see and have no motive for my comment. its as I see it. dont care who gets flustered. dont care who agrees disagrees. I just dont care. I just say it like I see it. americans like to round off the corners. be pc. I couldnt give a rats ass. in your eyes im trolling. im just saying what I think.

            if I say the lens is not impressive for the price. build quality is nothing special and the af is slow, and you know otherwise, good for you. youre not the internet police who needs to go ahead and bring people to court for saying they dont agree with you. no need to gang up on someone who doesnt agree with you. and I would say a select few here have even shot with it to comment. but people are like a herd and follow the same direction.

            • Thom Hogan

              > “youre not the internet police who needs to go ahead and bring people to court for saying they dont agree with you.”

              You do realize the irony of you writing that, don’t you? That’s exactly what you did.

            • I think my favorite point in this argument is when you complain about other people name-calling (when they unpack your user name into LESS offensive terms).

              Well played.

            • fanboy fagz

              Complain? I didnt. I just said that name. Calling people names is a tactic when someone gets frustrated because he cant argue his side.

    • Mike

      I’m not a Nikon ambassador, and I agree with the review 100%. What shocked me the most is how good the Tamron is. But maybe I should be skeptical of the reviewer if he is a Tamron ambassador. (?). Lenses, I find, are like cars. Trying them at a store or a show is not a long enough experience to learn their performance nuances. Yes, you can ascertain their performance quickly, but not their nuances. This reviewer did a great job of describing its nuances. Whether you believe it or not is your problem, but owners of the lens who have used for more than 10 frames will agree with the review. For a long time I was envious of my Canon friends with their 135 f/2. Now they are envious of my 105 f/1.4

      • fanboy fagz

        you are more then welcome to agree with the review. but dont try convincing me.. ive shot with the lens. was not impressed. the people here dont have to agree and it isnt anyones job to convince the others to agree or not. everyone is allowed to their opinion. abd we arent on jury duty that we all have to agree. its ok that we dont.

        a lot of the people here make themselves to believe theyre some professors in photography. just a bunch a dumb asses play it off like theyre wine experts. and theyre not. the majority are not. lets agree to disagree. the lens is not a performer in my eyes and these side by side images are not legit unless full rez images are included for download. otherwise its all hearsay to me.

        • Thom Hogan

          “was not impressed” is a vague dismissal of the lens. So people will now look to the other things you write and how you represent yourself and if you have any authority at all to see if they should put any weight into what you write or not. I’m pretty sure that this will have most just dismiss your dismissal ;~).

          • fanboy fagz

            wait a second…im not writing to convince anyone and if any dumb ass on the net reads my comments and decides not to buy the lens because of my comments, they truly are morons. you dont/ buy a $2200 lens because one random (iyo) “troll” writes “not impressive” you got to be a moron of epic proportions to decide something like that. most people who buy the lens are quite intellectuals and do their research. they dont rely on comments in simple forums to buy or not. they will see reviews. donwload full rez pics and then decide.

            but more troubling is that anyone who says an even remotely negative comment on nikon gear, fanboys galore jump in with “omg, nikon is god and amazing-dafuq are you talking about. nikon is like ooowow the best ever” bs comments. wtf! cant a person just come out boldly and say “I call BS!” the images have been digitally touched. there are no full rez downloads as well. ive tried the lens. the lens is nice. but since most dont have endless cashflow, price performance is critical consideration.

            for the money-feck no does the money perform. even the build is crap. and the af is nothing amazing. and it should be. so for $2200-no. if you said $1400-1600, sure. thats my opinion. everyone is free to say great amazing lens and some will say meh. thats just fine.

            shet, people are their own bosses. I dont even want to know a single person whos an idiot to listen to a persons comment who says not impressed and decide, yes, dont want to buy. whoevers attracted to get this lens will. those who are on the fence, wont take my comments to dissuade or convince them to buy or not. there are more positive reviews for those who own it then negative. but there are suckers in the bulk. how many people read your comments on your sites and say “what a load of garbage”? im sure a few. more positive then negative.

            • Thom Hogan

              Then why are you writing? ;~)

              Again, the irony in your response is amusing.

              The problem here is simple: after a very long, photo-laden article you simply jumped in and said “no it isn’t.” Moreover, you slammed a professional photography by affiliation only.

              Now that you have to defend yourself you quickly say that the lens is overpriced and focuses too slow, and that you didn’t see anything exceptional in the images you took with your borrowed copy (though with no examples). At least you’re starting to respond more on point, but my problem with your original posts was that they were no more than active harassment.

            • fanboy fagz

              because anyone can. why are there forums and comment sections? maybe then write a guideline

              “listen up phuckers. no negative shet about nikon. we worship nikon the god of photos and cant take criticism that some nikon gear is overpriced cheaply made and has slow af. and the IQ is so so for the price” hows that?

              “Now that you have to defend yourself you quickly say that the lens is overpriced and focuses too slow, ”

              QUICKLY? ive said that since the article roger put out. youre senile Thom.

              I said above, the images he did on a personal portfolio level are VERY nice. we all can agree that it might not be our specific styles but you cannot ingnore the skill level. but I call bs on his side comparison images. no full rez images, I call bs. images of the 105 are sharpened.

              btw, I dont need a lot of time to sit and pixel peep for long periods of time to assess a lens. many people need to sit and analyze it. I can tell immediately what it can do. you are the same. you look at the screen for 2-3 seconds and you can see it instantly. ive shot people on dance floor. not blazing fast AF. ive shot a few items at the wedding venue. thats enough. I wasnt impressed that I wanted to shoot it more. most would be impressed by the physical size and wow factor it gives. for me meh.

              btw, his text images (under the 50 1.2 images) of the 85 1.4g is off focus for sure. but like I said, he is a Nikon ambassador. you cant say harsh negative things about nikon. in his eyes, its the best thing since sliced bread. im sure you got some kickback from nikon as well since you purchased some sony gear yourself for video. they are afraid to lose you like they did jason

          • Like several others who post on here regularly, I take FF’s comments with the proverbial grain of salt. I have to say that this current tirade is a particularly amusing one.

            • Thom Hogan

              We seem to be in an era where people are simply not self-aware, but filled with confidence that their opinion is right and must be heard over all others.

            • Sadly that’s how 2016 was totally messed up politically but any way that’s for another board maybe. Time to ignore this man I think.

        • Mike

          I shoot a lot. Many people here shoot a lot. Many are accustomed to what their lenses look like on the back of their LCD. When a new lens makes people go “whoa”, before they even download the pics, it’s something. We’ll agree to disagree. And everyone else is basically disagreeing with your flippant dismissal. If you only drive an Audi at 20km/h, it won’t seem that impressive compared to a Toyota at 20km/h.

        • Drumcrusher

          nobodies trying to convince you. thats the thing. it would be nice to discuss the lens without it turning into this horsesh1t. we get it, you dont like it, and you borrowed one before. good job.

          • fanboy fagz

            so whats the problem? why the bashing if I think the lens isnt impressive. you say yes to it, I say no. lets shake hands and move on. to judge if a person says no to your likes. if I say I dont like the lens. I dont like the lens. most would look at the few samples posted. see the size comparisons and be wowed by the size. it would be impressive visually and the price is so high that of course theyd be impressed. I was not impressed by the price to what the iq offered and the build is not impressive as well. simple. why are you trying to tell me that what I said is not right or tell me the lens is awesome and I should accept what you say. I get it. you like the lens. good for you. the discussion should be this… Im not impressed and dont like the lens. you do like the lens. thats it, discussion over. I said what I wanted and you said what you wanted.

            dont comment on my comment. comment on what you think about the lens. not the fact that Im not impressed by it. thats not a discussion. when youre commenting on my comment of not liking it youre criticizing my decision.

    • HF

      ? No, look very nice. Calling it bogus is typical of you. The images were shown at dpreview forum for quite some time now. The images are beautiful and being an ambassador takes nothing away from them. I think the best would be you doing a full review and posting it here for us all to see your skills and knowledge.

      • fanboy fagz

        let me clear up. the images are great and I have no issue with artistic eye. the problem was the side by side. cut the crap hf with your bs do your own test. ive shot with the lens. its not impressive. add in the price and its no special lens in my eyes. looking at your comments its clear youre a pro nikon fan with nonstop bias for nikon and everything nikon is amazing in your eyes. I dont see nikon that way. no full rez for dowloads is bogus.

        • HF

          No, not pure Nikon fanboy, I shoot Sony, too. We use the Sony for all portrait stuff, Nikon for fast paced stuff. I prefer the Sony 35, 50, 85 1.4 lenses due to the combination of sharpness and rendering. I prefer many Canon lenses (24-70ii, 70-200ii and 35/1.4ii, for example) over Nikon any day, too. But glad, that you think the images to be very nice, too.

        • Thom Hogan

          You seem to be in a very clear and small minority. Everyone I know that’s tried the lens has seen the same thing as Mircea did. Every side-by-side comparison I’ve seen from anyone with credibility says the same thing.

          The more logical hypotheses at this point are: (1) you got a bad sample; (2) you don’t have the shot discipline to distinguish; or (3) you’re playing troll.

          • fanboy fagz

            Thomas, the lens for the price is not impressive. period. am I here telling you and your friends are suckers for liking the lens? no. I dont think the lens for the price is impressive at all. its not my lens I tried. its my work partners lens, and the lens is not a bad copy. thank you for deciding for me though. we are not allowed to agree? am I not allowed to believe the lens is not impressive and any naysayers are punished? no one can say anything bad about what nikon does/produces? I dont think the lens is so great. btw, you get a chance to test the sigma 85mm art?

            • Thom Hogan

              My name is not Thomas. You seem to have learned every Internet arguing tactic that is off point and use them constantly to harass those you are in dialog with. Which makes me suspect your intent. You’re an argumentative person who rarely actually makes a clear or supported point.

              Moreover, you can’t read or argue logically. I wrote “hypotheses,” you replied that “[I] decided for [you].” Sorry, non-sequitor on your part.

              You are absolutely allowed to have an opinion. Your way of stating and defending said opinions leaves a lot to be desired. When you write that you “tried it” that seems to also imply a quick, casual evaluation.

              Finally, you’re taking on the martyr role here, and you ain’t no martyr. I’m also not “punishing you,” I’m responding to your ill-formed and wandering arguments, plus your tone of attacking the messengers.

              We get it. You took a borrowed 105mm out for a shoot, didn’t see anything exceptional in your results, found the focus performance a little slow, and have a dislike of plastic of any kind, and thus you don’t think the lens is worth the price Nikon asks for it. Great. Why not just say that up front and be done with it?

            • fanboy fagz

              I did. I said it very simply. not impressed. what was hard to understand? we had this argument about a week ago. in no way did I feel the lens was worth $2200. not for any moment I held the lens. MOST, will look at the huge size and the big front lens element and say “wow the lens is amazing” but that crap impress me. not the build nor the speed nor the iq. its a great lens, but HELLLLLL nooooo is it worth $2200. if other want to buy please do so. whothefek am I to tell other what they want to buy or not.

              people get annoyed and frustrated and insulted when someone says the product they bought sucks or the product they want to buy sucks. and not specific to photo gear. its with anything. as if they mfr it and they take it personally like someone is insulting them. its a fhukin product. there will not a 100% agreement the items are fantastic. get over it. and dont get all flustered.

              I decided from my point of view the lens is not impressive and thats that. I dont have to prove why, I dont give a rats ass if you agree or not. you like it and thats just fine. were not in north korea. were allowed to disagree and Im not proving anything to anyone. theres no requirement I have to go through a background skill check to say this. im just a person who said what I thought after seeing and using the lens. Im not trying to belittle your comment that the lens is stellar to many people . back the hell up and lets be done with it. dont belittle me and chastise me because so.

            • Pete L.

              Thank you for an amusing read, quite humorous. I think you have convinced me that this lens is indeed worth every penny.

            • fanboy fagz

              a sucker is born-applause to you!!!

            • onthedot

              You realize a competent photog can pay for the lens in one photo shoot? By comparison of my aging Hasselblad H system, $2200 is a bargain. Not every lens Nikon makes is for everyone. I would love to justify the 200mm f/2, but the reality is I have no use for it.

        • Michiel953

          Describe why it’s “not impressive”.

        • Focuspuller

          “looking at your comments its clear youre a pro nikon fan with nonstop bias for nikon and everything nikon is amazing in your eyes.”

          And looking at your screen name it is clear you are a smug troll, and. like all trolls, are all about the emotionally deficient need to be offensive.

    • Max

      So what?

  • ZoetMB

    Very nice review and some beautiful pics. Thanks.

  • jvossphoto

    Can anyone answer how the Nikon 105 G micro compares with these lenses?

    • Mike

      Slower and longer AF travel. Macro. Different micro contrast, stops slower. Variable aperture as you focus closer (macro and near macro). Far better close up performance. VR. Lighter.

    • There is one comparisons in the review: the photos of the girl with the blue shirt.

      • tomherren

        I always found my 105 G micro to be a good portrait lens at f/2.8 or f/3.5. But now when I see those two pictures ….

  • Pierre Lagarde

    Impressive results. No doubt, this lens has sense and style. And of course good hands make it shine even more. Is there anywhere I can see some results with D7200 or D5300. Want to know if it’s worth having for DX cameras (considering the price tag) ?

    • Per Laursen

      The 105/1,4E shines on D500. Having used Nikons best equipment during 40 years, I have never been so pleased with a lens performance – even a tad sharper than my 200/2VR both fully open. Great review and great pictures from Mircea.

      • Pierre Lagarde

        Thank you for your reply. D500 is also a great machine and a big envy 😀 Though, I would specifically like to know more how it behaves with the 24Mpx sensors of D7200/D5300 for instance. As I’m very satisfied with the D7200 for my use and don’t feel the need for the Nikon DX “top gun”. Can look irrelevant, but sometimes a slight difference can change the whole render . And render is all about this lens (and the worth of a 2300 euros buy of course) ;). If I was to own a D750, for instance, this wouldn’t be even a question, the 105 F/1/4 launch price looks quite fair. I’m usually not too picky about DXO but the difference looks significant even between D500 results and D5300/D7100 with this lens, especially regarding transmission. Ok I should buy both FX camera or D500 and this lens 😀 Sorry… you’ll guess it’s too much for me for the moment :D.
        And indeed, I agree with you the beauty of pictures here is stellar. Thank you for your help again anyway.

        • Per Laursen

          Oh yes – NAS is a nasty disease 🙂
          The 21 MP on D500 = 48 MP on Full-frame and the 24 MP on D7200 is only 8% more in linear resolution compared to D500 !. Enjoying the sharp and bokehlicious files from D500 leaves me without doubt, that you will enjoy equaly wonderfull files from D7200. It is pure magic what this lens can create in the right hands. When I buy bright glas I demand great results fully open, and the 105/1,4E delivers in full measure.

          • Pierre Lagarde

            Ok, so I believe you and it’s worth trying 😀 Thank you ( and NAS is more about an expensive disease… not that Nasty … excellent pun btw :D..)

          • CERO

            What the hell is “NAS”? I’ve heard of “GAS”(Gear acquisition syndrome) but not “NAS”

            • Per Laursen

              Nikon acquisition syndrome 🙂

            • CERO

              gotcha lol!

  • Bo Dez

    Perfect for Hobbit Photography and general photos of the Shire.

  • Thomas Beaudoin

    I have just purchased this lens and use it for high school sports. (Basketball so far)
    I love this lens!
    Thank you for your review Mircea!

    • fanboy fagz

      why? a 70-200 is way more useful and more then enough light at 2.8 to freeze motion. you need skill to shoot sports with a 105 1.4 and your composition will be off at least 90% of the time.

      • Not sure why you’d say this. First, it depends on where you are in the arena. Second, I don’t consider myself a sports shooter, but I shot some gymnastics with an 85mm f/1.8 on a DX camera and it worked really well. Compositions were fine. And, I have minimal experience with that kind of photography.

      • Thom Hogan

        No to three things. 70-200mm is generally too much focal length at the long end for most BB shots where you have sideline/end access. f/2.8 is simply not enough aperture in some arenas to keep the shutter up to the speeds you need with even some high school participants.

        And most shooters will tell you that their composition is off 100% of the time, even with zooms. Very few sports photos these days get through uncropped. You simply can’t zoom/change your position fast enough to keep perfect composition. Indeed, many pros will shoot with slightly less focal length simply because the opposite tends to produce way too many unusable shots (you can’t crop outwards ;~).

        A friend of mine and I have been using the 105mm for collegiate hockey with great success. From some locations it’s a better choice than the 70-200mm, even if the rink is well lit.

        • fanboy fagz

          Weird. Sports shooters have a tele a 70-200 and a uwa zoom. Thats from. Those ive seen. No one goes shooting with an 105. I believe u on the crops. I guess anyone can be a pro sportstog then with that technique. Spray and pray and crop after. Nice.

        • Allen_Wentz

          Sorry but _general_ usage of fixed 105 vs. F/2.8 70-200mm for fast action sports has no rationale that I can see.

          • Thom Hogan

            Some day I’ll try to explain it. As I noted, “for some locations…” And most of us are carrying two or three bodies at a time.

      • Thomas Beaudoin

        I have used Nikon 28/70 2.8 lens as I would tend to shoot behind net. I shoot for a small newspaper and let them crop. My composition is never perfect but thats ok per their cropping.
        The gyms I shoot in remind me of the old catholic schools that seem to be lit be candlelite. This is reason for purchasing the 105.

        The 105 is my first prime lens and is teaching me better technique and the reminder that I must move to get the shots I so desire.

        I lock into subject and the shots are what I need to keep freelancing.

        • fanboy fagz

          I have the 28-70 2.8 as well. Great lens. If youre using a zoom now, why wouldnt that plus the 70-200 be enough. If you say no light then thats understandable.

          • Thom Hogan

            In some of these older gyms/arenas, getting above 1/1000 takes ISO 6400+ at f/2.8, and even then you have “dark spots” in areas that aren’t directly under the light.

            Exposure = light filtered by aperture filtered by shutter speed. You have no control over light or shutter speed for most sports, so the variable you look to improve is aperture. Meanwhile, ISO boost = less quality results, which you’re trying to avoid.

            Thus, I’ll often prefer the f/1.4 and f/1.8 primes in some of these low lit places even if it means less focal length flexibility. If the venue is well lit, sure, the f/2.8 zooms come out and get used because of their flexibility.

  • Thom Hogan

    I would dispute one of Mircea’s contentions: “The lens is made of plastic and polycarbonate to be more precise – so…it’s less shock

    Anyone who’s torn apart one of Nikon’s recent primes or looked at Roger Cicala’s teardowns should note that current designs are not at all like older designs. The polycarbonate is really a shell over the inner workings of the lens, not so much a part of the framework of the lens.

    In my long experience with the older designs versus the newer ones, I’ve found the newer ones to be much more impervious to bumps, bangs, and even drops. The notion that polycarbonate is “worse” than metal is one that is far too broad to be applicable. There are polycarbonates that hold and retain shape better than metals, polycarbonates that are stronger than metals, polycarbonates that wear better than metals. And yes, there are some metals that are better than some polycarbonates in all those things, too.

    So it’s not an either/or thing where one is bad and the other is good.

    • Michiel953

      It’s a plastic/polycarbonate cover over metal innards, which form the ‘chassis’ so to speak. Modern high class engineering and manufacturing.

      On identical impacts, metal will permanently deform, possibly causing the lens to be out of kilter, polycarbonates may retain their specced form.

    • Spy Black

      As I’ve said before, I’ll take plastic over metal anytime, even on innards, as long as an appropriate plastic is use for the job needed.

  • saywhatuwill

    I own the 85mm f/1.4G and have wanted the 105mm f/1.4E since it was announced even after all the reviews and critics said that it’s basically the same as the 85mm lens and if you already owned the 85 don’t bother. The 105mm offers one thing that the 85 doesn’t — no magenta cast. If you look at the words “Nikkor” on the lens in one of the tests all the lenses exhibited some magenta color cast except the 105mm. That’s worth the price of the lens. Sometimes I don’t correct for that color cast in Lightroom.

    One thing I haven’t seen in the 105mm examples that people share that the 85mm excels in and that’s cityscapes wide open. The lights near the corners are almost pinpoint with the 85mm. I’m wondering if the 105mm exhibit the same or do we see the usual batwings?

  • Michiel953

    The closeup portrait of the bearded man (great oof greenish background) is to me exemplary of what this lens could do for me. My current 58/1.4G and 85/1.4G are not far off in rendering quality, but would require stopping down a stop more for the same sharpness.

  • Carleton Foxx

    When I was very young reading my brother’s Camera Craft magazines there were always shots of amazing old people; over the years those photos gradually fell out of favor, glad to see you reviving the art.

  • decentrist

    Gifted photographer, I bow to you. The lens is tack sharp wide open and has minimal chromatic aberration, full stop. The subjective attributes are where it fails to impress. as it renders like a zoom lens. The DC has this lens beaten in spades for portraiture. The Tamron VC, which can be had at one third the price is a much better value. Micro lens comparisons for portraiture is a waste of time. I would agree that it’s a better all rounder than the DC/G, but again, the price. I do not see value for dollars spent

    • HF

      I find the subjective attributes quite convincing. Please explain where it fails exactly, why the DC is so much better for portraits and why and how exactly it renders like a zoom. As you state that with big certainty, it should be easy to you to do this convincingly. The price is certainly something one can argue about.

    • Moomin

      Value is the most subjective factor here. The DC’s are probarbly the poorest value these days with it’s nasty CA and soft look on the D8xxs (Unless that’s what you’re after). I’d much rather recommend the Nikon 85/1.8G or Samyang 135/2 for great optical performance on a tighter budget. The 105/1.4 is in a different league, and you have to pay for that. I just don’t see what you see here. What zoom-lens do you think it looks like?

    • Huh, to me the subjective attributes are what this lens has in spades. The price is the price…you pay for the unique pictorial qualities this lens is capable of rendering. Just like the 58mm f/1.4. These are unique lenses that have character that can’t be measured in MTF curves or other numerical means.

      • decentrist

        The price is not simply the price. The market determines the value after the maker puts it in the market. The 58 got the same reception this cheap Chinese lens will receive. Poor value per price. That is to say low production numbers. The uniqueness is sharp wide open. I see flat zoom like rendering.

        • I’ve made a lot of exquisite images with the 58mm. I’d pay twice what I did to have it again. I have three other 50mm lenses from Nikon and none can do what the 58 can. As for the reception of the new 105, so far all I read from people who’ve used it is great things. You would seem to be in the minority.
          When Chuck Close paints a painting, he uses about $300 in materials to create it. His paintings sell for upwards of $4M. By your terms they aren’t good value I suppose.

          • decentrist

            I’m talking about the market, not attacking you, so no need for infantile hyperbole.You guys are in a feedback loop on this new lens…the numbers will tell how the market perceives value. It’s a big,fat,cheap fail…sharp sharp sharp…keep repeating

            • And the ONLY 105 f/1.4 available, so I think it will sell pretty well. But hey, I thought Hillary would win so what the f&ck do I know.

            • decentrist

              I swallowed that narrative too and sweet potato boy ended up winning. I believe everyone should get what they want here, but I also believe sometimes we are set to the truth a bit slowly. Nikon is rubbing some major cheese on our necks with this sharp portrait-howitzer. I also agree with you on the 58, especially the artful rendering aspect after further review. It was flailed online by the sharpness goons. I wish Nikon came out of the box on that one at 2x-ish(999.95) the 1.4G…it would have sold much better.

            • I think with some of these products they price them for the professional market where there is more a feeling of what the equipment can do for their image making and thus how easily they can make a pay-back on it, so Nikon knows they can make a little extra on them. How much more does it really cost to make a D5 vs. a D810? Having worked at Vivitar in the ’70s and watched what went into the design and development of those Series 1lenses, I empathize with all the manufacturers’ struggles with bringing these objects into the world. Sure, the tools are much different now, but so are the expectations. So, it’s all relative. I bought the 58mm after having rented one to shoot a job. The gig paid $2,400 and I’d had some other decent paying jobs over the near term, so I popped for it. And as a note, I got it as a refurb directly from Nikon USA for a healthy discount. I’ve purchased a fair amount of gear that way and have never been disappointed.

              Honestly, most people making photographs wouldn’t have a clue as to how to extract the most (or even just get decent performance) from the 58mm or this 105 or any of a number of expensive lenses they offer. (I spent six hours when I got the 58 rental just to figure out the best setup to use it at f/1.4). Ditto the Otus and some of the Sigma offerings. I read reviews from folks you’d think would know better, who panned the 58mm because they don’t know what it’s for. And they’re making their living in the world of photography. The AVERAGE photographer will put the 58mm on, set it to f/8 and wonder why it costs over seven times as much as the 50mm f/1.8G and isn’t as sharp. Anyway, these kinds of lenses aren’t going to sell in droves no matter what the price, so Nikon will price them accordingly, which is what I meant by “the price is the price”.

            • Michiel953

              Fine-tuning AF was a hassle. I went through three samples of the lens before deciding the first one was the most reliable one. I use the lens mainly for portraits, close (appr 1 meter), f2.8, f4.0. Choosing lighting and background has a lot to do with the final result though.
              The 58 is an amazing lens, well worth the money.

            • I still don’t think you get it. It is not a high volume lens. It will never sell in big numbers and was not intended to.

            • decentrist

              I get it,I got it I just won’t swallow,get it?, This is their “look what I can do lens”. How much better it would be to bring a well built Japanese lens with the same rendering/build quality as the DC lenses, and a bit more sharpness. Instead, here we go…a prime with zoom rendering built to kill it wide open and brought to you by the bastion of robust,built to last build quality…China!! Perhaps they could include a porter to carry the plastic howitzer to dinner parties for display next to the stilton. Look what I bought! Yes, small numbers indeed. If this sharpness thing is the alter everyone here worships, then show me a lower element 105 f/1.8G carrying a sane price tag, and 90 percent of this pig’s performance. Include a ring motor for focus, and there’s no need to bring out the Nikon Ambassadors to convince…good glass priced and built well need no marketing.

            • We get it, the lens is not for you.

            • decentrist

              It’s not about’s about the product. Depersonalize your argument. Stick with attributes and the underlying reasons for the lens attributes.Then you’ll see the truth…not marketing. Marketing melts under inspection unless the truth is being told.

            • Sorry, but you are the one personalizing this discussion. You fail to see that all these issues are personal decisions based on personal preferences. You either do not recognize or value the lens attributes. Many (most people) other people do see it as a great lens. These are personal judgments. You attempt to invalidate the preferences of other and validate your own. Additionally, you believe, based on your personal judgement and value of money that the lens is not worth t the price Nikon is charging for it. Again, this is a personal judgement. Some people value $2,400 more than others. Some may feel this lens is worth twice the price. All this is still personal preference and choice based on the individual’s own situation. All these personal beliefs are as valid as yours.

              For me, the lens is a wonderful lens. I am glad to own one and I consider myself lucky to be able to afford it.

              Please learn to respect others opinions and values.

            • decentrist

              “Learn to respect other opinions”. Respect is earned based upon the logic of the argument. When your opinion is based upon Nikon abandoning quality construction, and incremental improvement to build a object of conspicuous consumption desire, you have not earned any respect according to your assertions. “All these personal beliefs areas valid as yours”. No, they are not if they are based upon rationalizations and tribalist conformity. I’m seeing “It’s sharp wide open”… Anyone buying this lens will generate buying emotion based upon this belief will not be able to defend the purchase with logic beyond “I wanted it”. The pats on the back for this belief are all around here.

            • People will disagree with you if they see the images and like them. If you feel its cheaply built and takes bad images that’s your right to, but doesn’t mean other people are foolish to disagree. Many photogs will use this lens to take amazing shots, that will drive peoples want for this lens. If you hate it so be it, but i don’t see the need for having a go. Tribalist sounds as though you dismiss everyone’s argument and they just jump on the band wagon of fan boys. There are many people that will look at the output of this lens and decide they need it for their work. You don’t like it, others will. How a lens renders is subjective, I might love it someone else might hate it.

            • Sorry, but again we disagree. Respect is something that people extend to each other to promote the sharing of opinion and perspective in a civil and open discussion.

              I wish you would actually study modern manufacturing techniques,methods and materials prior to spreading our continued stream of misinformation.

              As a final comment, if it makes someone feel good to purchase an item simply because they want it, who are you to belittle them?

            • decentrist

              I belittle the decision…if the decision maker becomes defensive, that’s that person’s issue. Enjoy your 105 E. I would never respect a foolish belief built on tribalist loyalty and the swallowing of lies by a corporation’s marketing arm. belief…not personal attack.

            • I feel for you and hope time will heal some of your hate.

            • decentrist

              hate? are you a victim because I did not give you affirmation? I want you to be back here the next time Nikon doubles the price of a prime and gives us a “it’s sharp wide open” Chinese stinker. we can go through the same loop, and you can end up the victim. Logic need not apply.

            • Michiel953

              “Chinese stinker”. Eventually the xenophobia will rear its ugly head.

            • decentrist

              I’m no more a xenophobe than you are coherent. argue the facts, not personal attacks. Chinese manufacture is inferior to Japanese assembly. Nikon is there for the money, not to sell you the best. They lied about the micro motor in this Chinese stinker because a ring motor is superior. It all lines up. Now bend over and take the price too.

            • Michiel953

              Facts? They don’t matter to you, it’s just undiluted prejudice.
              But at least you’re honest about it.

            • decentrist


        • Michiel953

          The 58 is by a stretch the most 3D rendering lens I own. Of course it depends on how you use it.

        • Max

          the close portrait of the girl at the top of the page doesn’t look like zoom-lens rendering.
          Btw I love what the 58 can do and wish I owned one..

        • FountainHead

          I never understood why the market didn’t really tak to the 58. (I have it and like it myself.) Maybe the lens wasn’t presented in the right way, I’m not sure. But I think it does what it was designed to do (low light portraiture) very well.

          We’ll see what the market makes of the 105/1.4. I’m saving up for a 200/2 but I’m hoping to test this, buy it instead, and save a lot of money.

          • I agree about the 58/1.4. I have one and it is a wonderful lens that produces a extremely pleasing image with wonderful bokeh. I use it for a range of things, not only portraits.

            • CERO

              I still wonder, is there really that big difference from your average 50mm prime (1.2 1,4 1.8) vs the 58mm?

            • I owned most of them at one point or the other and shot with even more of them. For me the 58 can perform similar to any of the other 50s, but it can also do a lot that they cannot do. It is in how you use it.

            • Michiel953

              I had the Nikkor 50/1.4G (flat, lifeless rendering), the Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 (nice, but no high flyer, lots of CA), Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2.0 (great great lens) and now the 58/1.4G. That one adds a certain velvety character to images with well chosen lighting and background that the others just can’t do. The Makro-Planar comes close though.

              The 105/1.4E had the same design goal and delivers, adding noticeably more sharpness it seems.

              Please remember that all recent Nikkor 1.4 primes (the 24, 35, 58, 85 and now 105) shared similar design goals; emphasis on rendering rather than outright sharpness, and were (I have all four) quite succesful there.

        • No one has really conclusively proved the whole, more elements means flat rendering thing, as far as i can tell any way. Light, shadow, angle are going to play just as big a part on how much depth you can see, I.e. The nose looks closer then the eyes. But surely most longer focal lengths are going to flatten(due to position of photographer for those nit picks) the image. If anything i would say this lens has 3d pop as the subjects stand out from the back ground. Either way its a subjective argument that everyone will feel differently on, but Mr angry spread this concern like wild fire.

          • Michiel953

            Decentrist doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

            • decentrist

              because? come on,poo flinger

            • Michiel953

              The statement is self-explanatory. Go figure it out; you can do it!

  • osynlig fog

    The Nikkor 105 f1.4 is incredible.

  • President Unpresidented FU

    It’s been several years since I bought my last lens, I just saw my next lens being reviewed. Portrait maker. Pricy, but worth it IMHO.

  • bushkov

    A couple of thoughts… A great photographer gets great pictures using any camera including smartphones. Mostly it has nothing to do with the particular lens 105/1.4 though the quality of bokeh makes pictures look very fine. I suppose this prime is not very useful at shooting landscapes, it’s just too restrictive, I would better use 70-200 anytime. And yes, the presented photographs are great, actually I’ve already seen most of them in dpreview’s forums.

  • An American in Canada

    How can the majority of these non-test images be considered as fair evaluation of a lens? The editing going on is insane. There are also significant changes in lighting conditions throughout the test shots, exemplifying why it is so important to do these kinds of tests in a controlled environment (i.e. a studio). It’s also interesting how the 2.8 macro renders colors, in my opinion at least, so much nicer – showing what some have claimed to be a lack of quality color rendering/saturation with the 1.4.

    I would never deny that this lens isn’t impressively sharp wide open, and the lack of CA is fantastic. Clearly a fantastic photographer with this lens and quality post processing can really create some magic. That said, I too can boost sharpness, saturation, and correct for CA in post with any of these comparable (and much cheaper) lenses… The only thing the 1.4 can do that others can’t is provide that narrow depth-of-field/vanishing blur effect between in-focus and out-of-focus areas from distance – otherwise I can do the same shooting close to subject with my 85 1.4.

    While the lens looks like it can create some great results and I will continue to lust after it, the price remains unjustifiable as far as I am concerned.

    • An American in Canada

      One other comment I would like to add about what I have seen from this lens: it does render flat, especially wide open and especially in tight portraiture. Some may call that a subjective analysis, but the 75mm f3.5 Zeiss Tessar on my Rolleiflex 3,5A blows this thing (and the majority of modern Nikkors) out of the water when it comes to 3D rendering and “pop”. If only it had a digital back…

  • cdstum

    Some gorgeous shots but they are expertly edited too.

    This test clearly shows how good the Tamron 85mm is… I bet that wasn’t the intentions of the photographer/Nikon ambassador.

  • bgbs

    Why are the prices for these new Nikon lenses out of this world? Is Nikon trying to compete with medium format or something?

  • Politics_Nerd

    Me wantie. May just put off D500 purchase and get one of these…

    • KnightPhoto

      D500 is pretty damn nice too… tough call!
      (I went the other way, with 2 x D500 now but yep, want the 105E)

  • onthedot

    Beautiful photos and nice review. Doesnt help me with my cravings to get this lens however. I like the comment about the lens being magical. I have a couple Nikkors I have that same feeling about. I wouldnt be interested in this lens if my 24-70mm f/2.8 had just a little more reach.

  • DouglasGottlieb

    Fantastic collection of images and write up. This lens seems like a great draw to the whole ecosystem.

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