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First looks at a superb portrait prime from Nikon, and a 12mm rectilinear lens for FX cameras
Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED £2049, $2199 www.nikon.com
Prime portrait lenses simply don’t get any faster than this. With its f/1.4 maximum aperture, the AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED is designed to bring the uncompromising sharpness and bokeh quality of Nikon’s AF-S 85mm f/1.4G to a more portrait-friendly focal length. The larger aperture is great for photographers wanting the shallowest possible depth of field to distinguish a subject, while a nine-blade rounded diaphragm ensures super-smooth out-of-focus areas that enhance atmosphere. A one-metre minimum focussing distance adds extra versatility for portraits, enabling frame-filling head shots.
Low light and night images will benefit from Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat that minimises ghosting and flare. Three Extra-low Dispersion elements are employed to help banish chromatic aberration, plus there’s a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements to resist dust and fingerprints.
Although the 105mm f/1.4E lacks VR, it does feature Nikon’s electromagnetic aperture mechanism, signified by the E in the model name. This utilises an internal motor to produce finer aperture blade control and consequently more consistent auto exposure, even during high-speed burst shooting.
First impressions_ If the 85mm f/1.4G is anything to go by, this 105mm could be another stellar prime, and essential kit for portraiture enthusiasts.