Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED review

With VR and internal focusing

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Nikon af s vr micro nikkor 105mm f 2 8g if ed

The lens moves quietly enough while focusing, not quite as silently as Sigma's new 105mm EX DG OS HSM macro lens, but not far behind it either. 

More importantly, it focuses swiftly and comfortably to the standard expected from its price tag. When hunting against low-contrast detail, it quickly runs back and forth until focus is found, and when it's found it's confirmed without hesitation.

This will, of course, vary between different camera bodies, because higher end DSLRs will be equipped with superior focusing systems to those further down in the range.

Because the lens isn't particularly small, it's a pity that its focusing window should be. The three lines of information – distance in metres, feet and magnification ratio – are closely bunched up together, and the size of the window provides a poor viewing angle. To see the bottom line, you essentially need to be looking down from directly above the lens, which isn't particularly convenient.

Still, that this minor grievance is the only one worth mentioning should make it clear that there's very little to fault with - and plenty to like about - the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED's operation.

At its maximum aperture, the Nikkor lens does a stellar job to record sharp and detailed images, with just a slight drop towards the edges of the frame. When stopped down to around f/8, results are just as impressive, but sadly it can't keep it up for long, and by f/16 diffraction causes its results to fall behind some of its rivals.

Sadly, its control over both distortion and chromatic aberrations, while not bad, is also bettered by even cheaper macro optics.

The Vibration Reduction system is effective, though, not always providing its claimed four-stop advantage but safely having the benefit of a couple of stops.


In short, for its wide-mid aperture results, the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED's a corker, and with its VR system on board it's a great choice for non-macro work such as portraiture.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Fixed Focal Length105 mm
Maximum Aperture Fixed2.8
Brand NameNikon
Filter Attachment Diameter62 mm
Lens TypeMacro
Depth116 mm

Nikon Digital & 35mm Film SLR Cameras

ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelJAA630DA
Product Name105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens
Product LineNikkor
Manufacturer Part NumberJAA630DA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The AF-S VR 105 f/2.8G IF-ED brings the benefits of vibration reduction (VR) to the domain of Macro photography. It offers high-resolution, high-optical performance for both digital and 35mm film format SLR cameras. This lens incorporates Nikon's second-generation vibration reduction system (VR II) that allows flexible hand-held shooting by stabilizing the image to the equivalent stability of a shutter speed that is 4 stops faster when compared with a conventional lens (as determined by Nikon performance test). The SWM (Silent Wave Motor) and IF (Internal Focusing) ensure quiet autofocusing with quick and convenient switching between autofocus and manual operation. Optical performance is enhanced by an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element that minimizes chromatic aberration, and Nano Crystal Coat which drastically reduces flare, enabling finely defined, clear images.

Package Contents
  • 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens
  • Lens Cap LF-1
Weight (Approximate)720 g