Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor

First published on: Saturday, 7 February 2009

This is the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF-S ED-IF VR Micro-NIKKOR lens:

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR

The Nikon 105mm VR macro lens was introduced on 21-February-2006.

The VR in the lens designation stands for vibration reduction.

I had a blast using the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED macro lens for a few months before selling it for a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 HSM Macro for reasons I’ll list a bit later.

One big plus the 105mm VR lens has over the Sigma 150mm macro is I can get sharp results with the Nikon even at f/22 (at closest focusing distance). Photos with Sigma lens start exhibiting diffraction effects (in other words, they start looking softer) at apertures smaller than f/10.

In this post, I’ll share a bit about my experiences using this lens, as well as summarize links to other Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 reviews, sample photos and image galleries and other resources.

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR reviews

Review by Thom Hogan
Thom’s review was the final push for me to buy this lens. About the only area I disagree is his comment on the bokeh of this lens. The 105mm VR’s bokeh was something I didn’t find too appealing. I guess it’s a personal (and subjective) area, but I wouldn’t advise getting this lens if you think you’d want to shoot portraits with attractively-blurred backgrounds.

Sample Photos

Recently added

In a forum post, “kungfusion” posted three photos as examples of what you can photograph with the 105mm VR lens — an action photo of a dog chasing a tennis ball, a squirrel “portrait” and a nice landscape image featuring a lighthouse.

Three Nikon 105mm VR photos by kungfusion

“kungfusion” also said the following of the Nikkor 105mm VR lens:

… it is great for walk around, and for sports IF 105mm is the focal length you need.

J. Dennis Thomas is the author of Nikon D90 Digital Field Guide and has shared one photo of a boa constrictor that was photographed with the 105mm f2.8 VR on a Nikon D90, and an SB-800 Speedlight flash.

Nikon D90 plus Nikkor 105mm VR macro photo of a boa constrictor, by J. Dennis Thomas
(credit: J. Dennis Thomas — click to view the larger photo and related photo tips)

105VR at the fair

JKR421 shared some nice people shots in this post. All images were shot with a Nikon D40.

My Samples

Here is one of a grasshopper, taken with my Nikon D300 and an SB-800 flash. Click the photo to get the full-sized version, and don’t mind the dust spot.
Nikon 105mm VR full-sized sample of a grasshopper DSC_6136
(ISO 200, 1/250 sec, f/22)

Here’s the 100% crop. A little bit of USM (unsharp masking) was applied in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to sharpen it a bit.
Crop of grasshopper head

Below are a couple more of my shots with the 105mm VR macro lens and Nikon D300. Click on them to view a larger version and to read some details behind the images:

Light-painted cactus DSC_6964 A Tortoise Beetle, Aspidimorpha miliaris -- looks like a bug with a raincoat Painted Web-spider (Leucauge granulata) waiting for prey Meadowhawk dragonfly in obelisk position DSC_6285 Unidentified hopper on leaf Oxyopes birmaniscus lynx spiders -- the victor and the vanquished Unidentified spider on CD DSC_7007 Unidentified butterfly [probably a Ciliate Blue (Anthene emolus)] enjoying a visit to some flowers All dried up, and nowhere to go Mating bugs DSC_6142 Spores Bokeh and the Teapot Unidentified flowers in the garden -- DSC_1884 Leaf Back DSC_3610 Jumping Spider Portrait DSC_4059

Nikon 105mm VR flower photos by Thomas

Thomas of shared these excellent flower photo samples taken with a Nikon D3 plus Nikkor 105mm VR lens.

Nikon 105mm VR flower photos

View the larger pictures here and read Thomas’ comments about how he thinks that this camera and lens is a nice combination.

Other Nikon 105mm VR features Thomas liked is the weather sealing anf the fact that it can double up as a short telephoto lens.

The AF-S and VR (vibration reduction) features aren’t useful for macro or close-up photography.

In terms of focusing speed, the Nikkor 105mm VR is not as fast as the Nikon 70-200mm VR lens.

Random images from user galleries on

Don’t forget to hit the refresh button on your browser to serve up another set of random pictures. You’ll also find user reviews there.

Here’s my photo of a Lynx spider devouring its own kind. The 105mm VR lens really excels at shooting insect and bug macros.

The vibration reduction capabilities of this lens will come in handy if you’re shooting handheld in low light situations where flash can’t be used. This James and Gareths Q & A gallery is one such example.


Official Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR Micro-NIKKOR page at Nikon USA and Nikon Imaging.

Product manual – Click here to download the PDF document, and the errata.


Nikon lenses — Main page.

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