105 mm on DX or FX: useful?

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iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 923
105 mm on DX or FX: useful?

The Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 AI-s manual focus micro-NIKKOR macro lens. I just love that lens. It's a work of art, and super sharp to boot.

But shooting manual focus on an effective 160 mm on my D7100 was always a challenge, and that one, unlike my new Z fc, fully supports manual focus non-CPU lenses.

Turns out Nikon has a NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S, which is everything that my 105 mm is, and then some: AF, of course, VR and the reproduction ratio is now 1:1 rather than 1:2. But: not exactly cheap.

So my question:

How useful is a 105 mm lens, on DX (what I currently have) and/or FX (what I may upgrade to at some point).

I already know that 105 mm f/2.8 is great for some types of astrophotography, and 105 mm f/2.8 is going to be the fastest tele I want to / can afford. Because these macro lenses are so ridiculously sharp there's a good amount of leeway for cropping.

Effective 160 mm and to a lesser degree 105 on FX seems a good length for portrait. Or do you really need that 70-200 mm f/2.8 zoom?

I'm assuming it's perfect for macro with that better reproduction ratio and VR (and AF).

So is this this focal length / aperture combination something really useful, or am I just talking myself into buying fairly expensive glass that will go largely unused?

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon Z fc Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
Nikon D7100 Nikon Z fc Nikon Z MC 105mm F2.8 VR S
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