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Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Lundy Canyon Meadow at Dawn

Get the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo and see my Nikon wish list and other wish lists at B&H Photo.

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 shows the remarkable subject separation potential at f/1.4 at 105mm along with the progression in depth of field with stopping down. The subject matter also precisely reveals sharpness and field curvature characteristics across the frame by virtue of the fine grasses.

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Examples: Aperture Series: Lundy Canyon Meadow, Pre-Dawn

Images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/1.4 - f/11. Three full-resolution crops across the entire frame are included at all apertures, at top, center and bottom of the frame, so that insight into the performance can be fully appreciated. In addition to the aperture series, a 2-frame focus stacked image at f/9 is included for comparison with f/8 and /f11.

I shot the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED extensively in the field on my last trip. In an acronym: OMG. That is, it’s the first Nikon lens I’ve actually wanted to buy in quite a few years now. If the 105/1.4E hints at Nikon optical efforts going forward, we are going to need an 80 megapixel Nikon D900, and hopefully a new optical competition between Nikon and Sigma and Canon and Zeiss. But why has it taken this many years to jolt Nikon out of its stupor of mediocrity with f/1.4 lenses? Maybe Sigma deserves some credit with its Art series.

The Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E is surely the best-corrected f/1.4 lens that Nikon has ever produced. If Leica produced this lens, everyone would rave about it and pay 3.5X the price—but it’s a stop faster than anything Leica has in this range and it puts any Leica M telephoto to shame. Indeed, we can properly classify the Nikon 105/1.4E as in the same league as Zeiss Otus, perhaps a little less good in some respects, but actually better in one area, as noted in my coverage. And bottom line for some: it is autofocus for a far higher hit rate than trying to focus via an optical viewfinder on a moving subject. At about $2196 it represents an outstanding value.

f9 @ 1.6 sec focus stack 2 frames, ISO 64; 2016-09-29 06:52:47
NIKON D810 + Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

[low-res image for bot]

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