105mm VR macro - are relatively heavy aberrations normal?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by funkag, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. See the example below - some relatively heavy blue fringing, which often appears at reasonably high contrast areas. The photo was taken at f/16, but I'm seeing it at other apertures as well. Lightroom can generally take most of it out, but it seems excessive for a modern design. Does it look in need of adjustment? Thanks.
    00dbtL-559442084.jpg
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Greg, where is the blue fringing you are referring to? I am also curious about how much cropping you have done.
    Generally speaking, purple is a tricky color for a digital camera to handle due to its red and blue components. Some drastic black-to-white transition is a better way to evaluate fringing of a lens.
     
  3. Greg - I don't have any direct knowledge for you, but I respect the opinion of Bjorn Rorslett. He has written about some undesirables with this lens, including CA. You can read some of his discussion of the 105VR in this thread:
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00PJ2I
     
  4. Shun - I'm mostly seeing it along the left-hand edge of the center petal. Th image is not cropped, just resized for photo.net. There is a larger copy of the picture in my portfolio: http://www.photo.net/photo/18053784
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sorry Greg, I still don't see that "heavy blue fringing."
    A few years ago, I discussed this lens with a friend who is a specialist for macros, and she didn't at all share Bjorn Rorslett's negative opinion on this lens. I have since also bought one myself. I don't particularly like the fact that it is a lot heavier than the old 105mm/f2.8 AF that I still have, but optically both lenses are fine.
    I'll see whether I can capture some images for comparison. I will not use a purple subject, though, as purple posts additional challenges.
     
  6. Thanks Shun. I'm actually starting to wonder if it is my monitor more than anything else - I don't see any fringing when the photo is in the lower half of the screen, but it gets heavier as it goes up toward the top. Having the pic in the thread is the first time I've really moved it around the screen. I've going to check it out on my work laptop, too.
    Purple does seem to drive the camera crazy - I really struggle to get life-like colors on the arethusa and some of the purple-fringed (and fringeless) orchids that grow around here.
     
  7. Yep - it's my monitor. I'm not seeing anything on my work laptop. Maybe it's time to retire the old CRT!
    Speaking of retiring, please feel free to retire this thread as well...
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    CRT? Yeah, it is time to get an LCD monitor.
    Speaking of Bjorn Rorslett, check out this old thread on purple: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00HQ8E
     
  9. I bought a new 105VR a few years ago and the purple/green LCA was horrendous. A white flower slightly in front of the focus plain would be rendered as a fuzzy purple mess. I immediately returned it to Nikon and the only thing they did was adjust the focusing slightly and said the chromatic distortion was within spec. I talked to a friend in NPS and she confirmed that some of these lenses were as bad as I was describing. I compared its performance to my 105 D version and a Tamron 90mm which were both far superior in this respect.
    The lens was very sharp and worked well in many situations but it wasn't the general purpose lens I was looking for. I sold it cheap and continue to use my 105 D which overall is a much better lens.
     
  10. I've not owned the 105VR, partly because of the reported LoCA problems - which I've certainly seen in other people's images taken with it. It's by no means horrendous, but it's certainly not perfect. Nor is the older 90mm Tamron (the newer VC one is allegedly better, and apparently the 100mm Tokina may also be better). My solution was a 150mm Sigma macro, which appears to have less LoCA, is not much more expensive than tne 105mm Nikkor, has more working distance, and is better at losing the background if you want a long portrait lens (although it's a little longer than traditional).

    That said, it sounds as though what you're seeing isn't the lens's fault, so I'd avoid looking too closely at your photos until you find something that is. :)
     
  11. Greg, for what its worth, I'm not seeing it either on my monitor (mac).
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In this particular case, Greg's image is not showing any problems, and the original issue is definitely his monitor. However, Greg's flower image is merely a small JPEG that can hide a lot of problems.
    If I have time, I'll capture some images with my 105mm/f2.8 AF (from 1990) and AF-S VR (later, made in China version) and check the differences. I would use some drastic black-to-white transition, probably from some building windows closer to the edge of the frame.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Here are a couple of test images. Unfortunately it is overcast outside so that I don't get the bright-white-to-dark transition, but the drastic red-to-white transition is usually challenging to lenses. For example, my 35mm/f1.4 AI-S and the 35mm/f1.8 DX AF-S have a lot of difficulty with this stop sign.
    I am showing the pixel-level crop from a D800E. I placed the stop sign near the corner of the frame on purpose as chromatic aberration tends to be worst in that area.
    Both are captured at f2.8. These lenses are:
    • 105mm/f2.8 AF, which I bought back in 1990, before the D era
    • 105mm/f2.8 AF-S VR, a newer version after production moved to China. The early samples were made in Japan.
    Can you tell which lens I used for each image?
    00dc2w-559501584.jpg
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Second image
    00dc2x-559501684.jpg
     
  15. pge

    pge

    Here is a discussion that I started about this lens in 2011. Bjorn Rorslett also commented.
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00YqTh
     
  16. I don't know which is which but the 2nd photo has more of a green/blue line on the upper vertical edge of the sign and especially in the background on the railing and balcony and on top of it below the verticals and perhaps some purple also in there. The top photo looks to have maybe a slight purplish fringe on the sign and top of the balcony. But really, these are pretty blown-up. It can't be that big of a deal on a the full photo can it? Since we are having fun, I'll guess that I recall older equip having purple fringing issues and the OP was talking about bluish. So the D lens is the one with purple and the newer VR lens has what I see as blue.
    Hey I have a 50/50 just guessing;)
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Barry, nice try. My point is not really to identify which image is from which lens, which I would have difficulty telling them apart if I weren't the photographer. Instead, I am showing how small the difference is and hence there isn't much to worry about. Even the old 105mm/f2.8 AF (mine is a pre-D version, but optically the AF and AF-D are identical) from the late 1980's is still a fine macro lens today on a 36MP DSLR.
    Although stop signs in the US look essentially identical, this is physically the exact same stop sign in some images I showed back in 2009. See my post on July 14, 2009 showing fairly serious chromatic aberration from two 35mm Nikkor lenses: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Tva8
    I am waiting for a sunny day and hopefully I can take a few more comparison shots under strong sunlight.
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The sun came out for a short while this morning, and I captured the following two images.
    Again, 105mm wide open @ f2.8, ISO 100 on the D800E. Since it was bright, the shutter speed was around 1/3200 sec.
    The order of the two lenses used is the same. I.e. this image was captured with the same lens in my earlier, 11:36am post yesterday. Once again, I am showing pixel-level crops near the far corners from a 36MP sensor. Both 105mm/f2.8 macros show a hint of purple/green chromatic aberration in the white-to-dark transition areas, but I don't understand why anybody would have serious objections about it.
    00dcBx-559554784.jpg
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    And this image was captured with the same lens for the second, 11:37am post yesterday.
    00dcBy-559554884.jpg
     
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Just to recap, the image below shows the two lenses I am comparing:
    • The current 105mm/f2.8 AF-S VR macro
    • The old 105mm/f2.8 AF macro, pre-D. The AF-D version is essentially identical plus the distance info transmitted electronically.
    It should be clear that the AF-S VR lens is much bigger and is also a lot heavier. The old AF lens extends quite a bit when focused to 1:1, as shown. The AF-S VR version doesn't extend, but of course you lose focal length as you focus closer.
    And you should not see much chromatic aberration from either lens.
    Earlier, I captured these two images with the AF-S VR version:
    http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00d/00dc2w-559501584.jpg
    http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00d/00dcBx-559554784.jpg
    00dcGS-559567684.jpg
     
  21. Shun - I wish my copy of the 105 VR had been anywhere near as good as yours. I was not exaggerating about how bad mine was. My real point here is that they have produced some very poor copies of that lens and if one has the misfortune of getting a bad copy, Nikon will not do anything about it. This is what leads folks to order three from Amazon and then send two back. Something i refuse to do.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    John, I have been using Nikon since 1977, so it is approaching 40 years. I rarely have problem with new camera bodies and lenses (including gray market), but I have had terrible experience with Nikon USA refurbished, to the extend that I have returned 2 out of 2 refurbs.
    There is no need to order multiple samples of any new lens. If you indeed get one that is not good, I would exchange it, rather than sending it to Nikon for repair. That was exactly what I did with the refurb 80-400mm AF-S VR a couple of years ago and gave up the opportunity to save $700: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00c0Fc
    The reason was precisely that I didn't want to get into an argument with Nikon repair about whether that lens is "within specs" and risk getting stuck with a lemon. Unfortunately, Adorama no longer had any more refurb units, so I ended up buying a new one instead, but the new one is excellent and that is shown in the thousands of images I have captured with it since then.
    I just checked and I bought my 105mm/f2.8 AF-S VR in March 2011. By then production had already been moved from Japan to China. (Usually Nikon only manufactures a lens model in one country; this lens is one of very few exceptions.) I only have experience with the one sample I own, but every 105mm AF-S VR should be at least as good as mine. If not, I would return it.
    And again, the old AF and AF-D versions are still excellent in today's standards, at a much lower cost.
     

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