Testing the 105mm Lens

In June, Nikon began releasing its new 105mm macro lens for its Z-mount mirrorless cameras. The lens was touted as being sharper and as good a lens as Nikon has ever made. As a photographer who likes shooting close-ups, I was eager to get my hands on one as a replacement for my F-mount 105mm lens. But not so fast! Although Nikon issued the lens in late June, supplies were very short due to limited computer chips needed for the lens. And, demand for the new lens was very high. As a result, the few that were available were sold out quickly, with no more on the near term horizon.

I went to my usual supplier and was told the lens was “coming.” I contacted a number of other suppliers to get on their waiting lists. Finally, in a desperation move, I checked the Best Buy website. Bingo! Not only did they list a lens in stock, but they had a second one for my friend, who was also looking to buy one. Three days later, they arrived at my local store!

Naturally, I’m eager to give the lens a tryout. I haven’t had much chance to do close-up photography with it, but the lens is also good for general shooting and portraits. What follows here, then is a set of early images–grab shots from my travels–that show some things I found interesting, all made with the new Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Z-mount lens and a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera.

All of these photos were made hand held. I’m impressed with both the speed and the sharpness of this lens. I plan to make a lot of good use of it.

A simple shot of a mundane subject, a garden hose, but the bright color and the circular forms attracted my eye. 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400.
A metal park bench in Bellingham, Washington, whose structure I found appealing. 1/8000 sec., f/4.0, ISO 400.
A ball of brightly colored yard in an antiques shop. 1/60 sec., f/3.0, ISO 400.
Ready for a game of hopscotch. 1/125 sec., f/8.0, ISO 400.
A glass of water at lunch. 1/60 sec., f/3.0, ISO 400.
I thought this scene of a woman hauling a large fiddle was amusing. 1/125 sec., f/8.0, ISO 400.
The iron ring on an old hitching post. 1/400 sec., f/3.5, ISO 400.
The bumblebee feeding on a flower was cropped from a larger image but still shows good sharpness. 1/125 sec., f/7.1, ISO 400.

Published by Norman Reid

I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 27 years in the field of rural community and economic development. I retired a few years ago and have been devoting my time to photography and writing. I've been a semi-pro photographer for more than 25 years and sell my work on the Web. I live in rural Virginia not far from the Shenandoah Valley.

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