Nikon 105mm f2.5 questions

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. I have and use the AI-s version of this lens and I cannot praise it highly enough. Although I have had it for over a year, it is only now that I am really starting to enjoy using it and seeing what it can do. I do have some questions about it though - I would appreciate your input.
    The built in hood. My slide hood seems not so good - it tends to 'slump' whan extended and does not grip solidly like the hood on my 200mm f/4 Q.C. I am using the seperate hood for the Ai version at the moment. Is there a fix for the slide hood or are they just a poor design?
    Focus. My lens goes a bit past infinity - I cannot just turn it to the stop for infinity work, but instead I need to just 'back off' and focus on the distant hills. Is this normal for this lens?
    I add a couple of photos I took last week to demonstrate the lens' resolving power. First photo is the full frame, the second is a crop. The colour and sharpness of this lens is first rate, and the bokeh is smooth too. Yes, one lens CAN do it all!
    Yout thoughts and experiences welcomed.
  2. And a crop.
  3. The wiggle in the slide-out hood is normal. I much prefer the earlier versions without the built-in hood, where the HN-8 fits perfectly. You could apply a drop of epoxy glue to solve your hood issue once for all and continue with a decent add-on hood instead.
    This lens should NOT focus past infinity. If it does, it should be serviced to align the internal stops properly.
    By the way, your photos have a strong magenta cast to them. You might look into the w/b or post-processing flow to correct this issue.
  4. Thanks Bjorn. Yes, that slide hood is not so good - and it sounds like a service is on the cards.
    I have twiddled the colour a bit to see if I can remove the cast, but cannot be sure.
  5. The magenta cast is largely gone now.
  6. It was probably caused by the Nikon L1Bc filter I had fitted - that has a slight pink colour.
  7. HS-10 snap in shade will also work. The slide out one can be tightened by replacing the cushion material.
    While it is a pretty good lens, there are other Nikon lenses equally well made, 85 2.0 135 3.5 & 2.8 AIS, 200 4.0 Ais.
  8. "The slide out one can be tightened by replacing the cushion material"
    How do you get the hood off Ronald? I looked, but cannot see any way of detatching it.
    Oh yes, there are other lovely lenses too - the 200mm f4 Q.C I have is of a quality of workmanship not seen this side of $1000 these days.
  9. The 105/2.5 Nikkors are classics. Mine (an AI version with the detachable hood) is easily the sharpest lens I have when used wide open. Stopping down mainly serves to improve contrast, probably by reducing internal flare. But the differences in resolution between f/2.5, f/2.8 and f/4 are very slight.
    My old 180/2.8 Nikkor has the same type of sliding lens hood. The slight wobble doesn't bother me and I like the convenience. The HS-8 hood for the earlier 105/25 AI Nikkor is nifty because it reverses back over the entire lens barrel for storage, so it's somewhat handier than most detachable lens hoods. The downside is that the oddly shaped clip-on lens cap never quite mates properly with the hood. It grips securely, but there's always an odd gap somewhere along one edge or another.
    BTW, the L1Bc filter probably wouldn't contribute significantly to a color shift with color negative films. A good minilab will automatically correct for minor color problems like that in making prints. When we scan our own negatives and slides, *we* become the lab and need to make those corrections ourselves.
  10. Ian;

    Just extend the hood and place either a ring; or 2 or 3 pieces of self stick felt to make the ring stay in place again. The felt on yours is worn out. To remove the hood requires taking the lens apart. the "felt" is whats iss used to prevent china; nick knacks; lamps; bowls from scratching a wooden table; it comes in rolls or cut sheets. In the USA it is an item found sometimes at arts and craft stores; dime stores; Walmart; it can be a tough find sometimes. It has sticky tape on one side; felt on another. It was real common before formica/plastic counters and coffee tables came out. A piece of masking tape will work too; but it tends to get bunched up after awhile.

    Here my two removeable hood types I have here fit my 10.5cm F2.5 Nikkor for Rangefinder usage; or my many 105mm Nikon F variants; they all have a 52mm filter size; even the 1/2 century LTM Nikkor. All the many dozens of 105mm Nikkors I have owned; bought and sold all focus to infinity; and not past infinity.I use to buy 105mm Nikkors for a company who used them on a cine camera as a super telephoto.
    The two removeable hoods here are a Nikon HS-4 and HS-8; both are the same size. The HS-4 is older; it has two chrome buttons for the snap ring; the HS-8 is a newer version; with one plastic button that moves to contact the snap ring. The older version has the lenses its used for on the ring; the newer ones mostly do not. Both are the same length; the chamfer start is different on the spun aluminum turning. I prefer the older HS-4 version.
  11. I was in my local camera shop looking at lenses last weekend and happend across one of these lenses. I slapped it on my 5d and took some test shots. Very sharp and nice color rendition. I tried out a 135 f2.8 as well but liked the focal length and colors on the 105 better. Needless to say I have an AI version of this lens coming in the mail. I can't wait to try it out. I think it should make a very nice portrait lens.
  12. I recently purchased an AI version. I did so because of Bjorn's recommendation about the hood. IMHO you are better off just getting another hood for the lens. It is a very good lens!
  13. I have an AIS lens, and it is one of just a handful of older AIS lenses that didn't have to be replaced to use on my D200 due to purple fringing. What I like is that it is sharp, but not over the top sharp like some of the more modern lenses. The contrast is not over the top either, allowing for accurate, neutral color rendition (if not very slightly on the warm side).
    For the record, I would prefer you guys don't speak so highly of this lens on a public forum, lest it become a "cult classic" and unaffordable in the event I need another one. <g>
  14. The 105/2.5 has been a Nikon classic for decades. However, since the production volume of all versions is huge, it's never going to be a "cult classic" with a price tag to match.
  15. I've been looking at some old threads here on PN about this lens and the 135/2.8 as I hope to buy one or the other soon. Noticed a comment at the bottom of this page that "the reason the built-in hood on the Nikkor 135mm f2.8 is wobbly is because you have to turn it to lock it." Not quite sure what that means or whether it's relevant.
  16. pge


    The extendable hood on my 105 f2.5 snaps into place and then can wiggle a bit but nothing that would really matter. The hood on my 200 f4 just snugs into place. And my 105 definitely stops right at infinity so it sounds like yours has an issue. I mostly use it for studio headshots and find it incredibly sharp.
  17. As well to add, my 105mm 2.5 works remarkably well with the TC-200/01. Shockingly well, leading me to suspect that the teleconverter was made for this lens.
  18. Sloppy hoods - 1-penny solution: I make a little loop of black elasticated 2mm draw-cord (with a small "tail" to grip it by) and wrap this quite tightly round the lens barrel to keep the hood in the extended position. The loop easily slides back/forth and doesn't get in the way unduly.
  19. the hood thing is a non-problem. This lens is so good, you never worry about the hood (I don´t).
  20. I have the same lens and found also that it works very well with the TC-201. Are there any other lenses that match well with the TC=200/201?
  21. Thank you for the input. It is this sort of lens that makes me glad to be a Nikon user.
  22. Here is the rangefinder Nikkor 10.5cm F2.5 on my Leica M3. It has a tripod socket; 52mm filter size. It is the same optical design (Sonnar) as the Nikon F's until about 1971 ; then it went to a Gauss design.The same rangefinder version was also made in a Nikon Rangefinder mount too.
  23. Here is the 1/2 century old lens @ between F2.8 to F4 on a digital Epson Rangefinders camera's shot; camera panned with the Pensacola player Dan_Sullivan: Its shot thru the dirty plexiglass "glass" too. Itds really not all bad as a lens for a digital camera. This same lens has been used on a Bolex 16mm cine camera too; I have a Leitz C mount to LTM adapter.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  24. There's no doubt that, if this is not the best lens ever made by Nikon, it is ONE of the best. I bought this one fairly recently to use on my old Nikon F, Nikkormats, as well as on my Canon EOS cameras. I got the older non-AI lens because it was a lot cheaper, even if it doesn't have quite all the latest tweaks. It is simply fantastic.
  25. AI has nothing to do with optics; its about indexing.
    The 105mm F2.5 -PC that was out just before AI has the exact same optics; same multicoating as an AI lens.
    Only way way later did some Nikkors get a slightly tweaked multicoat. If anything many newer Nikkors were cost reduced; lightened up; less screws; more glues; more rubber stuff.
    The modern Gauss formula came out about 1971; then it was multicoated; then came all this AI and AIS crap that has nothing to do with lens performance on a 105mm F2.5.
    In a way it is a GOOD thing that folks on worship AI and AIS lenses; disinformation creates great values.
    Thus I bought a Nikkormat Ftn with working meter for 47 bucks on Ebay; its lens was a 105mm F2.5 Multicoated lens; a PC variant just before AI. Thus thiss great non-AI is considered garbage; it means the same lens can be bought for a trivial cost; one thats mechanically often better.
  26. "then came all this AI and AIS crap..."
    Whilst I personally do not agree about the way that Nikon employed this system, it is a fact that the act of mounting a non-Ai lens on a body manufactured after the F4 (and many before) will cause damage. Because of this I have F3's and FE's which allow pre-Ai lenses to be fitted when flipping the tab. Dead easy. I use pre-Ai lenses without concern, but I do feel that if the Ai kit is still available it is worthwhile for me to fit it.
  27. Here I started with Nikon's in 1962; so AI and AIS are sort of like unleaded gasoline and seatbelts; newer cars have them; but its not an earthshaking criteria for performance.

    There are also the the pre -AI lens that will fit on any Nikon too; the preset lenses with no fork. Today folks call the fork a prong; or later bunny ears.

    Thus the non-AI/AIS warnings only apply to a subset of Nikkors; ones most folks are familar with the autodiaphram lenses; not preset versions like a 18cm F2.5 Nikkor; or a 10.5cm F4 Nikkor; or the 500mm; or 1000mm; or 2000mm.

    Many of us sent out Nikkors off to Nikon and had them factory AI'd for 35 bucks in the mid to late 1970's. There were some older autodiaphram serial number blocks that kits were never made for.
    The Nikon F came out in the spring/summer of 1959 with an autodiaphram lens; 2 decades later some of us were getting our Nikkors AI'd at Garden City Nikon; so they would work 3 decades later. Nikon is dedicated to the lens line; the system of lenses.
    With Canon their slr came out in the spring of 1959 as a R mount; it got tweaked against in 1962. It went thru FL; FD slight changes; they they dropped the FD system for the EOS line. For some folks they like abandonment; the divorce; the chucking of tools for a new clean sheet; the new woman; the running up of credit cards; the fun of buying new and dumping the old bird; the messing around.
    In pro applications some folks have alot of specialized and expensive lenses that last for many decades; and abandonment requires more capital outlays. Creating lens mounts that are totally bastard and unique is good for selling lenses; ie consumers consume them; they chase the latest camera and mount.
    The 5.8cm F1.4 Nikkor I got used in 1962 is from about 1960; I AI modified myself long ago; it works on modern Nikons too. Whether you agree that "the way Nikon employed this system" that allows lenses to be used 50 years later is up for debate. It goes against dogma of being a consumer instead of a saver or investor.
    Here the AI system and not divorcing 2 decades worth of lenses seems logical; it meant I dint have to chuck out many camera bodies and lenses. At the Time AI came out AI meant indexing; some lenses changed none in the optics; a few did. One many folks use AI as some sacred optical milestone; like all lenses when they got a AI ring got changed.
    With Nikkors; folks in science and medical often use older Nikkors and not Canon FD/FL/R; not because the Canons are bad; its that there wer less made; less adapters; less eyedoctor cameras; less usage by non slr users. Its because Nikon has had a longe commitment to the Nikon F mount; and others change more often. Thus when the Nikon F came out one had Nikon rangefinder long telephotos that worked with either Nikon rangefinder of Nikon F with adapters. Some folks like commitment; others like one night stands and abandonment. Canon FD users all cry like a magical digital camera is going to appear. Canon hand less following; less kids; so chucking the FD mount and divorce was easier.
  28. I recently acquired a 105 F2.5 Ais lens. Very nice. The bokeh is wonderful and I like the built in hood. I think an HN-7 hood would work just fine. I like screw in hoods instead of clipon hoods. The only better lens would be the 105 F2DC, I like the colors better on the DC lens.

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