Micro-Nikkor 105mm/2.8G VR

 

Dedicated Macro

After agonizing over the weight and bulk of the Sigma 150mm/2.8 OS for many months, I eventually replaced that beautiful lens with this smaller, lighter, shorter alternative.  All things considered, it was the right choice.  

I've found this lens to be bitingly sharp at close focal distances but substantially softer at longer distances, including typical portrait distances.  I know that many people like to use this lens for both macro and portrait purposes, but I think I'd be more happy with something a bit shorter, sharper, and wider for portraits... like an 85/1.8G or similar.  In any case, the 105/2.8's VR, deep hood, nano-coating, and other features all seem to come together to make this a great lens for floral closeups, insects, and similar uses.  It's still a bit heavy for such a purpose-built instrument, though, and I've found that I rarely take truly macro (i.e. 1:1 or close to it) images with this lens.  As a result, I'm eager to try out some other non-macro options with reproduction ratios adequate for close flower shots while also serving double-duty for portraits.  

I still regret selling the Sigma 150/2.8, though.  There was something very special about the rendering from that lens (its apochromatic design likely helped) that this Nikon just doesn't have.  But the Nikon is nearly a full pound lighter, so I'm able to carry and use it in more places where it counts:  out on hikes.