NikonGear

Reviews => Ramblings of the Fierce Bear of the North => Lens portraits with the Nikon Df => Topic started by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 29, 2015, 16:33:02

Title: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 29, 2015, 16:33:02
[ Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:15 Edited and reposted by agreement ]

The choice of 105 mm focal length set Nikon apart from other systems in the older days where offerings typically were either 85 mm or 135 mm. The intermediate 105 mm class  aims to cover a lot of ground and really can be considered being a general-purpose lens. The better then that the various 105 Nikkors belong to the some of best lenses ever made by the Mothership.

The 105 mm Nikkor range comprises fast (f/1.8, f/2), medium fast (f/2.5, f/2.8 ), and slow (f/4, f/4.5) lenses. I'll walk through them in turn. Here are the extremes in terms of external appearance: the fast and fat 105/1.8 and the skinny 105/4 Nikkor-T. Both are manual lenses and the tiny f/4 has a preset aperture ring. The 105/4 T quickly disappeared from the product list while the f/1.8 persisted longer, but then reborne as the specialised AF-D 105 mm f/2 DC.

(http://www.fotozones.com/live/uploads/monthly_01_2014/post-15-0-90912400-1389352236.jpg)

Both of them have CPU for improved handling and metering. The little 'T' has a "G" CPU whilst the f/1.8 being an ordinary AIS design employs an ordinary "P" chip. The f1.8 has the wobbly slide-out hood Nikon designers were fond of in the late '80s and takes 62 mm filters, whilst the 'T' uses equally tiny 34.5 mm filters and have a cute little snap-on hood to match.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 30, 2015, 02:16:43
Posted 12 January 2014 - 21:51

Today's shooting occurred at taxing winter temperatures, around -13 C with strong wind. Quite unpleasant but still better than the grey pea-soup thick fog that had engulfed us here for over one month. A dusting of fresh snow and a few hours worth of a pale winter sun made the views more than enjoyable than the ambient temperature would indicate.
 
I used the Df the entire day with gloved hands and had no problems in operating the camera. Battery held out as well.

I'll post some more  images later. For now, just snap of an industrial facade enveloped  in that very soft, almost warm blue Nordic light occurring right after sunset. In the deep winter this light lasts for a short time, perhaps 20 minutes, while later in spring the period extends to hours and in summer lasts almost through the entire night, if you are south of the Polar Circle (otherwise there is the Midnight Sun).

This capture shows the extremely delicate light gradients the Df can capture, with a great dynamic range. I used 105 mm f/1.8 Nikkor AIS for this picture.

(http://www.fotozones.com/live/uploads/monthly_01_2014/post-15-0-37182300-1389563486.jpg)
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Tristin on November 30, 2015, 23:19:17
The "sunstar" in that image is stunning!   :o  I am getting a 105mm as soon as funds are available and am torn between the 1.8 and 2.5.  Would you provide some input?  I understand the 2.5 is more highly regarded and the 52mm filter size sure is convenient, but I would also like the option to use it for shows where I typically am at f/2 just to get iso 8-10,000 so f/2.5 worries me.  How do they compare at equivalent aperatures, and does the 2.5 produce sunstars as stunning as the 1.8?  Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on November 30, 2015, 23:39:03
The picture was captured at f/11, thus many lenses would make a similar starburst provided strong point light sources are present.

From f/5.6 onwards, there isn't much practical difference between the 105 mm f/1.8 and f/2.5.  Obviously, at wider apertures than f/2.5 the faster lens "wins" :D

I use tripods so not too concerned about high ISO. In fact, this shot was with the Df set to ISO 200.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Akira on December 01, 2015, 00:55:32
IIRC, the f2.5 (except for the earliest version) has seven aperture baldes and f1.8, nine, so the f1.8 offers more streaks to the sunstar...
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on December 01, 2015, 01:31:56
A valid point in favour of the faster f/1.8 model - at least for starbursts ....

However, the influence of the increased number of aperture blades on bokeh is less obvious.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Tristin on December 01, 2015, 01:36:50
Definitely a plus for the 1.8.  I'm mostly impressed by how sharp and contained the rays are with the 1.8, my 50mm 1.2 makes 18 points as well, but some of the rays don't stay as focused as your 105mm 1.8 produces.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on December 01, 2015, 01:49:53
The 105 mm f/1.8, while not as ubiquitous as the slower f/2.5, is quite easy to get on the second-hand marked. However, it tends to be priced rather expensive, sometimes even going for more than the AFD 105 mm f/2 DC Nikkor.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Akira on December 01, 2015, 01:50:15
Aside from the very first version with nine rounded aperture blades, the bokeh pattern when stopped down by 1-2 stops looks the smoothest on Nikkor P C or Ai versions of 105/2.5.  The aperture blades of Ais makes a gear-like or harsh septagon.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on December 01, 2015, 01:54:12
Akira: the very reason I favour my early AI 105/2.5.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Akira on December 01, 2015, 01:57:23
I like the same versions, too.  Plus the focus throw is longer on these lenses, which makes noticeable difference when focusing on live view or on mirrorless cameras.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Tristin on December 01, 2015, 02:10:11
I think when I have the funds, I will get a copy of either and do some extensive testing to see how they compare myself.  Thanks for the insights, I will make sure to get the earlier versions that both of you prefer.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Akira on December 01, 2015, 02:14:50
I think when I have the funds, I will get a copy of either and do some extensive testing to see how they compare myself.  Thanks for the insights, I will make sure to get the earlier versions that both of you prefer.

Good luck.  Any multi-coated versions, either with the rubberized or metal focusing rings are essentially the same as the versions we like.  Just avoid the Ais version.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Olivier on December 06, 2015, 10:21:32
While revisiting this page, I recognized the place where you shot this picture (second post). I remember an IR shot with a yellow chair, right?
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on December 06, 2015, 11:02:58
That is correct. This is a place I drive by many times a year.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Mongo on December 06, 2015, 11:13:16
Tirstin, Mongo is another vote for the 105 f2.5. Mongo’s is a “K” version (1974 -1977). Goes to f32 , has a rubber ring, multi coated blue/green glass, only 7 blades. Quickly converted the mount to AI. Fantastic piece of older glass and wonderful to use.

The f1.8 version is a fabulous lens without doubt if not “the” 105mm to have. However, it is bigger, heavier, harder to find, usually many many times more expensive (especially for one in condition worth owning).  In the end, the difference may not be worth the much bigger effort - but there is a small difference.

the ability to quickly try both f1.8 and f2.5 versions before choosing would be ideal if circumstances permit. You will not be disappointed whichever you choose.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 1
Post by: Tristin on December 14, 2015, 02:25:54
I have a 1.8 and an Ai 2.5 on their way.  I will do plenty of testing with them and give a full report. ☺