I found a used Nikkor 105mm AF-S f/1.4E ED for sale and I wondered if I should add it to my collection.
Even second hand the 105mm f1.4 is really expensive. There is no way I can justify having this lens and still keep the 105mm AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor f/2.8G IF-ED or the 135mm AF DC-Nikkor f/2D. I’m going to have to part exchange one or both to make the 105mm f1.4 more affordable.
For me, the 135mm DC hasn’t really found a way to my heart. The defocus effect isn’t to my taste. The ability to Vaseline your lens without the Vaseline is a nice trick that might flatter your subject in portraits but to me, just seems cheesy. I have only taken test pictures with this effect turned on but never on a real shoot. I’m about the reality in my pictures and the softening up of the image is the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve.
The other downside is that the extra length means standing a bit too far away from my subjects to talk to them without having to raise my voice too much. Looking back on my last shoot in which I used both the 105mm and the 135mm, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two lenses. The locations I’m using at the moment also are quite small so having a longer lens has no benefit.
So, giving up the 135mm DC is an easy choice. But what about the 105mm VR?
The downside of the 105mm VR is that even though it is a f2.8 it is not constant. Depending on the focus distance the aperture changes. And this is really annoying at times. But having a close up lens is really handy. You might not need it often but when you do need it there is no option.
So the 105mm VR stays, bye bye to the 135mm DC and welcome to the 105mm f1.4.