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Nikon 105mm f/1.4E: How a TINY Change in Focus Alters Performance

Get Nikon 105mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo.

The Nikon 105mm f/1.4E is a very fine lens, but like other lenses, it has sample variation. But it is much more complicated than that.

Depending on a tiny fraction of a millimeter rotation of the focusing ring, either these two images could result. The core issue is that this sample is not symmetric, That, and there is virtually no focus “throw” available at infinity with autofocus lenses. Perhaps this lens sample is in spec, but those specifications need tightening: this sample is unacceptable compared to the first excellent sample I first used in September 2016, particularly on the 45-megapixel Nikon D850. The point of showing these two frames is both caveat and warning: “quick tests” are horseshit. It is why I have long said that comparing a lens to itself is hard.

What is shown here applies to ALL lenses.

Zeiss Nikon 105mm f/1.4E: How a TINY Change in Focus Alters Performance (Nikon D850)

Includes images up to Nikon D850 45-megapixel resolution.

Note that focus stacking can overcome such lens problems.

Conness Creek Drainage towards Saddlebag Lake
f1.4 @ 1/5000 sec, ISO 31; 2017-10-26 12:18:31
NIKON D850 + Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

[low-res image for bot]

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