Uninspiring performance of Nikon 105mm VR micro

Started Jun 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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kiirokurisu
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Uninspiring performance of Nikon 105mm VR micro
Jun 17, 2013

A while back I sold my 85mm 1.8G in favour of a 105mm VR micro. My thinking was that I could go from a lens that was used almost exclusively for portraits, to one which would be good at that but also allow me to do macro/closeups. I am now beginning to regret this decision, as I am finding that although the 105 is an excellent macro lens, it is much less sharp at portrait distances. Both my former 85 1.8G and my current 70-200 f4 are clearly far sharper wide open than the 105 VR. I have done AF fine tune as well as a centering check on the 105 VR and found no issues. My results seem to agree with e.g. Nasim Mansurov's review of the 85 1.8G, i.e. that it outperforms the 105 VR.

I am now contemplating two possible courses of action:

  1. Sell the 105 VR and re-buy the 85 1.8G, pocket the difference
  2. Sell both the 105 VR and my Sigma 50 1.4, and buy the Nikon 85 1.4G

The reason I am considering option 2 is that I love shooting with available light indoors, and I find the 50mm just too wide in most situations and almost always end up cropping my shots taken with this lens after the fact.

Of course either of these options leaves me without a macro capability, but I'm thinking that the 85mm (especially the 1.8) has a sufficient minimum reproduction ratio to cope with most types of closeups I tend to do (leaves, flowers etc).

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