Micro Nikkor 105mm f/4 AI

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pete_s., Jan 17, 2010.

  1. I have just bought this lens because I don't have any macro lens in that range, only a 55mm.
    It hasn't arrived yet and I was wondering if there are any "features" or good use of this lens that are worth exploring? For instance I have a PK13 and as wondering how much use that would be on the 105/4 lens?
    Also I read somewhere about this lens is that it has a rather good working distance. Better than the newer models, is that the case?
  2. The PK-13 will give you an additional 27.5mm of extension, for a total of 80mm with the lens at minimum focus. That should increase your maximum reproduction ratio from 1:2 to approximately 1:1.3.
    If you can find a PN-11 tube, that will take you to 1:1, and give you the added bonus of a built-in tripod mount collar on the extension tube for a better balanced outfit.
    And yes, the Micro 105/4 has the best working distance of any of the 105mm Micro's.
  3. It's a good lens. Mine is a little bit beat up on the outside, but the glass is good. I believe that it doesn't shorten it's focal length when focused close.
  4. Nice sharp lens. Good working distance - I wouldn't know if it's better than the other 105's since I've never used and other mico 105. Very good bokeh.
  5. I have owned this lens for several years, and have greatly enjoyed shooting with it, mainly wild flowers. I also have the PN-11 extension tube, and use this setup on my F4 with very good results. The focus is very smooth and accurate, and I appreciate the working distance compared to the 55mm micro. I would like to add a focusing rail, particularly when using the PN-11, (and shooting straight down) as I did when shooting this burned log. I have used it with my D80, and look forward to my next DX body so I can meter with an AI lens.
  6. Thanks guys. I'll see if I can find a PN-11 somewhere.
    How about recommendations for a focusing rail?
    Is this one any good?
  7. This is a very good rail, but expensive: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/379019-REG/Novoflex_CASTEL_Q_Castel_Q_Focusing_Rack.html
  8. In thinking about a focusing rail, do you use a quick release system? I use quick release systems from Really Right Stuff, so I want to make sure a focusing rail integrates with an RRS system. It also makes sense to me to have rail movement laterally, as well as fore-aft. RRS has a good discussion of macro photography on their web site. Check ebay for a PN-11.
  9. I have the RC2 quick connect on my bodies but I got that for its speed - for instance when shooting weddings or documentary work and switching between tripod, monopod and handheld. I think the RC2 may have too much slop for precision work on a tripod.
  10. Hopefully you can do some more investigating on quick release compatibilities. I always have an L-bracket on my camera bodies, so any clamp needs to be Arca-Swiss compatible. Adorama offers their own brand of focusing rail.
  11. Hello, lots of good advice on this good lens, I also have one. I might add that I always keep at hand a couple of high quality closeup filters (nikon 3T and 4T). They give surprisingly good results with this lens, and at the same reproduction ratio you manage to have a brighter image to focus in your viewfinder compared to using the PN11. Focal length is reduced though so you loose some working distance. Have fun, Marco
  12. Basically it all depends on what you want to shoot and how close you want to go. Bear in mind that the 105/4 is not the best lens for greater than 1:1 magnification. If you want to shoot butterflies in flight, you don't need tripod accessories. But if you want to shoot on a tripod, you probably want to consider eventually moving to an Arca-based quick release system, since then you can get good L-brackets and a wide variety of accessories and plates. Bear in mind though that a good tripod head costs around $400, an L-bracket will put you back over $100, you probably will need some small plate too for the PN-11 and the high quality focusing rail doesn't come cheap, so plan your step carefully.
  13. Regarding L-brackets: I own 2 Really Right Stuff Universal L-plates. I have used them on my Nikon N8008s (with a shim) FM, F4, D80, and Canon G2, G6. Some day I'll buy a dedicated L-bracket (plate) when I settle into a long-term DSLR body.
  14. Marco, thanks for the suggestion on the Nikon 3T and 4T on the 105 micro. When reducing weight and bulk, they would be easy to pack along.
  15. I have two of them and they are among my crispest macros. When I shoot the same scene with both 35mm and digital, I use the 105/4 + Tamron SP AF 1.4x on my D200 and the 200/4 AF Micro on my FM3A. Roughly the same frame filling capability and working distance for rither rig helps me not have to move my tripod, just adjust the focusing rail a little bit. Sharpness for either lens/combo is absolutely comparable.
    Try to be around f8-f11 for best results
  16. Arnab, another great piece of information. I just happen to have a Tamron SP AF 1.4x. I look forward to trying on my 105/4 to tighten the composition.
  17. Thanks guys for good info. I have the lens now and the increase in working distance compared to the 55/3.5 was really substantial.

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