Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-Nikkor

When finding the perfect photography companion, there are only one to two steps involved. The first step will always start with consumer deciding which digital SLR camera to get. Is it important to decide what technologies the camera possesses to make images look better and more lifelike than ever. Nikon DSLR cameras are among the best available since newer ones are coming and older ones are experiencing price drops, but not all the cameras come with a kit lens and the ones that do turn out really basic. While these standard lens are good for all around photography, better portrait images can be shot when dedicated telephoto lenses like the Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-NIKKOR Lens are used instead.


Design & Construction

When it comes to first impressions, the Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC- NIKKOR Lens looks a bit different than both of the 85mm lenses. For the material composition, the metals used to construct the lens is quite similar to the AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF Lens. These metals are also texturized for better gripping. The only plastic components that are built-in to the lens are the defocus control ring which is absent in the 85mm models and the manual focus selector. The lens aperture is also composed of nine blades that are all rounded for a nice finish.

Some of the enhancements that are noticeable with the refined design and construction are the extra lens shell layer that is around 1.5 inches thick along with a lens hood that extends another 1.5 inches to protect it from stray light. The overall design puts some concern to both durability and functionality and with the partial plastic elements, the Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC- NIKKOR Lens weighs just 1.3 pounds which should be enough to use on the midrange cameras without much trouble.

Actual user review:
“This is easily the best portrait lens in production today. It is also the sharpest lens I have ever used. I currently own the 17-35mm, a 70-200mm VR, and other sharp prime glass but this one is hands-down THE best. The DC control is not difficult at all to use. I keep hearing people complaining about how “tricky” it is to use and how it has a high learning curve and bla, bla, bla. I honestly don’t understand their claims. Bottom line is…if you can do simple math; you can use the DC ring. Period. The 85mm f1.4 seems to be more popular but it is NOT better. It is not a portrait lens wide open either due to its shallow DOF. This 105mm is massive and sings on a D700. The built-in hood is very convenient and simple to use. This masterpiece will definitely rock any DX body out there and shows no signs of vignetting on FX (just like my 70-200mm VR should but doesn’t.) It produces almost three dimensional images….really shocking indeed. If you crave cream-cheese bokeh – almost oil-painting like – get this thing. I will take mine to the grave as it will never ever leave my side. Any serious portrait shooter should own this classic. A MUST have.” – O.Gonzalez (Iraq)


Features & Specifications

Sharpness was always a top quality of the best Nikon NIKKOR lens available on small apertures and the Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-NIKKOR Lens continues that tradition where there are no traces of unevenness and sharp results with just 1.5 units on f/2.8. Using the f/2 bumps the blur units up a couple of notches and causes some unevenness, but when spanning across both DX and FX cameras, the sharpness is generally good and is combined with good diffraction limiting.

One of the features that are exclusive to the 105mm f/2.0D and other DC-NIKKOR lenses is the Defocus Image Control feature. This gives portrait photographers additional options to customize their final output by controlling the degree of focus in both the background and foreground areas. Using this control properly can lead to more creative and professional shots no matter what camera is being used. The spherical aberration in both foreground and background elements can be controlled as well to perform even more creative shots.

The Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-NIKKOR Lens does a decent job in controlling the chromatic aberration found on photos even if the camera being used to take the pictures do not have an automatic chromatic aberration reduction built-in. Of course if the photographer happens to have a D3x camera, no signs of chromatic aberration should be present in any of the shots. As for distortion, it is virtually non-existent when used with ordinary cameras like the D200 while D3x users will notice faint amounts of barrel distortion that is found on the corners.

D5000, D40, and D60 users should avoid the Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-NIKKOR Lens because these bodies have screw-less designs rendering the autofocus functions useless. Although it lacks the AF-S technology, the autofocus performance is still pretty fast thanks to the rear focusing.

Bottom Line

The Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-NIKKOR Lens is an excellent lens to get as the price isn’t too heavy and the extra customization features that it comes with are more than worth its value. In addition, image qualities in all major areas are satisfactory build quality is good enough for travelers to take these lenses with them. This lens should only be considered if the defocus control is going to be used as the rest of the features are similar to the other lower-end models of the telephoto lens family.

Average User Rating:

  • “As a pro photographer for many years I have had the chance to try a large amount of lenses. This lens is one of my all time favorites. It is already very sharp even wide open and from 2.8 on it is simply brilliant. The vignetting even at f/2 is less than other lenses in that range. The AF is quick and if used with a a D3 or D700 or D300 or newer camera it is also very quiet. The magic of this lens is the wonderful bokeh (quality of the out of focus areas). My main work is portrait photography and I end up using this lens for the majority of my work. The overall built quality of the lens is excellent and solid. Manual focus is smooth. The built in lens hood is useful and locks in. I have compared this lens to different 105 mm lenses and this one is the best lens in that range you can get. I would highly recommend getting this lens before Nikon decides to discontinue it.” – D.Hoffman
  • “This is an absolutely amazing lens. It takes unbelievable pictures with sharpness and bokeh that will knock your socks off; optically, it’s probably one of the best three Nikon lenses available. The bokeh isn’t just creamy – it looks like an oil painting. If you’re a very serious amateur or pro, you will absolutely love this lens and you will enjoy the process of learning its intricacies. It’s especially nice for portraits, its intended purpose, but of course has the optical quality to do everything well. If you’re an amateur who wants a general purpose lens to take great pictures, this lens will only amplify your shortcomings and bring you frustration, so I recommend you stick with the 85 1.4 if you have this much cash to spend.” – J.Thompson (Fl,USA)


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