Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G IF ED VR Micro £660, $900
This is as good as it gets for Nikon micro lenses
Nikon’s range-topping FX macro lens has a lot in common with its 85mm DX sibling. It has a fully internal focusing design, ring-type ultrasonic autofocus, VR II stabilisation rated at three stops (based on independent CIPA testing), an ED element and Nano Crystal coating. However, both lenses lack the Tamron’s ‘hybrid’ stabilisation.
Build quality feels better than in the 85mm DX lens and, despite only being a little larger, the 105mm is more than twice as heavy, at 750 grams. The FX lens also features an autofocus range limiter switch but, unlike in the Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses, it can only lock out the short end of the range, closer than 50cm. This makes it useless for close-up shooting.
The 105mm isn’t any sharper than any of the other Nikon lenses on test, but corner sharpness is better than from the Sigma lens. At very close focus distances that equate to 0.3x to full 1.0x magnification, it loses out to the Tamron for sharpness, while defocused areas in images don’t look as smooth.