New Gear

Ex­pert opin­ions on all the lat­est hot kit

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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

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.

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