105mm AIS micro focus feel

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sumo_kun, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. I just bought a 105mm AIS micro and I noticed the focus "lock" knob.
    I know it's not supposed to lock fully but it should at least make
    the focussing a bit heavier right? Well, my focus lock knob doesn't
    feel like it does anything. The unlocked knob feeling is very heavy
    though. Can anyone give a comparison with the focus weight of this
    lens compared to say the 50mm AIS f1.4 or something? Is it supposed
    to be heavier or have I got a lemon?
  2. The focusing action of the 105mm AIS micro (I'm assuming you are tallking about the f/2.8) is MUCH stiffer than the 50mm f/1.4 AIS (I have both). The 105mm has a much longer helicoid, which is naturally going to feel heavier when focusing than the 50mm.

    My focus lock knob also does nothing. My understanding is that they came from the factory this way, and you had to take them in for service to "activate" the locking screw. Kinda strange to sell a lens that was "defective" out of the box. ;-)

  3. You have to get them serviced to get a feature that was supposed to be there? Do you have your lens "modified"? Do you think that Nikon will add the feature(?) for free under the warranty? The reason I think they might charge me is because they say in the manual that you aren't supposed to turn the ring when it is locked. Obviously to test to see if the lock works you need to give the ring some sort of twist so maybe that will leave a scratch or something inside which the Nikon ppl will see and then say that I bust the ring from twisting it when it was locked. Is this Nikon's devious plan to make extra money?? I'm really debating about whether I should send it or not.
  4. Does the manual say, do not turn the lens with the knob fastened or they advise you not to do that although it is possible?

    Is it a heavy lens or the focus feels stiff?

    If the lens works as it is supposed (optically), I would not call it a lemon.

    If you do not have a valid warranty, you will be charged for the service.

  5. I bought my 105/2.8 AIS Micro-Nikkor new and the "lock" just added drag. I found it a nuisance and removed it saving it to reinstall later if I ever sell the lens. I covered the opening with Dymo Label Tape. My understanding is that latter 105/2.8 Micros had an improved focus lock.

    "Is this Nikon's devious plan to make extra money??" --Chuk Tang

    I doubt it.

    "I'm really debating about whether I should send it or not." --Chuk Tang

    Your call. I’d consider it a waste of time and money.


    Dave Hartman.
  6. Thanks for the replies!

    The lens was bought new just 2 days ago. The manual says you can turn teh ring when the lock is on but it's better not to. The lens is actually pretty light in weight compared to my usual medium format kit but the focus is real stiff. Usually I hold the lens in my left hand and use my thumb and index finger to turn the ring. I can barely turn the ring of this lens.

    It seems this lens is just not good at locking. I haven't got any photos back yet from the lens so I can't tell if it is optically ok. I'm not really bothered at not having a lock as long as it takes pictures but it would be nice to have a properly functioning lens from the beginning.
  7. If you shoot straight down, or straight up, the lock may be good to have working. If you go into flowers or after bugs (on the level,) the lock could never be there and you would not notice it. The glass is very good with the 105mm Micro-Nikkor.
  8. I thought the whole point of the focus lock knob was really to prevent the focus ring from shifting while the lens is mounted on a copy stand.

    While I don't own this lens, I would think that it would potentially do damage to the inner area of the lens barrel to have the focus lock screw scraping up against it all of the time. It may also hurt resale value if the focus lock action is "dulled" from using the lens in this fashion.

    I imagine that the focus action on the 105mm is probably fairly heavy and stiff already.
  9. Mike has it right - the focus lock doesn't work until you get a Nikon service centre to
    enable it.
    I've had mine for years and never really felt a need for it.
    It is a fabulous lens - enjoy..........
  10. Here is a photo of the focus lock.

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