Macro Lenses

I’m writing this on my birthday after only having a few moments to play with my new present.  I never really have a list of potential presents for birthdays or Christmas – if I feel like I want something during the year, I generally save for it and buy it when I want/need it.  This means I’m close to impossible to buy presents for (Jas reckons). What do you get the man who has everything, right? 

This year, I got a new lens – the Nikon 105mm 2.8 AF-S VR ED – and I love it. I waited at home all day for FedEx to arrive – by the time they knocked on the door, I had partially forgotten what I was even waiting for.  The lens came well packaged and protected – but I was still keen to quickly check it for defects and functioning.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot to shoot, but Jas was making lunch, so I shot our lunch, naturally. 

After shooting lunch, I asked Jas to stand in front of the window for me.  With my back to the window, I shot her eye – this was a quick test for contrast, colour, clarity, focus and sharpness.  The lens passed with flying colours. You can clearly see the neighbours house in the window reflection. I can’t wait to test this in the studio.

Before putting my camera down (for now) and getting back into study, I tested the vibration reduction (VR) and took a quick shot of Jas’ eye again while she was relaxing on the couch.  This is a 100% crop and was shot at 1/8th of a second.  For a 100mm lens, that is an insanely slow speed to hand-hold – nothing I’d be confident in doing without mechanical assistance.  Clearly, VR makes it quite possible with this lens. I also shot a 1:1 macro of my new running hat wide-open – check out that depth of field (or lack thereof).

From my initial testing, this lens shoots extremely well.  It’s sharp, has great contrast and colour renditioning, slightly vingettes – but in a nice way – is easy to hand-hold and feels great in my hands, focusses extremely quickly (especially considering the range of focus) and is an absolute joy to use.  I’ll post more thoughts from using this lens when I can.  For now, all I can say is Happy Birthday me – and thank you Jas!  You know me too well!

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