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Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Orange Aspen by Towering Monolith

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/13 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 demands f/13 to make the monolith sharp, but the results are visibly degraded by diffraction at f/13, which makes the f/9 dual-frame focus-stacked image included for comparison especially interesting when sandwiched between the f/9 and f/13 single-frame exposures.

Landscape photographers might do well to take note of the possibilities, particularly with a very high performance lens.

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Examples: Aperture Series: Orange Aspen by Towering Monolith

Images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/1.4 - f/11. Four large crops across are included at all apertures, including the focus-stacked frame as well, for a terrific look at what is possible via stopping down versus focus stacking.

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 @ 1/30 sec focus stack 2 frames, ISO 64; 2016-10-02 15:43:15
NIKON D810 + Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

[low-res image for bot]

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