NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

The elegant spiral of a fiddleneck flower. Capturing handheld allowed me to refine the framing of the flower to my liking from an angle I wouldn’t have been in a position to obtain simply on a tripod. Single body seize. Publicity: 1/800 sec., ƒ/20, ISO 2000.

Nikon’s increasing lens assortment for its mirrorless Z system now consists of two macro choices, the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S and the NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8. The 50mm is gentle and compact, can focus as shut as 0.53 ft, and, with its wider focal size, is a good possibility as an on a regular basis lens with macro capabilities.

Image of the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

Test the worth and availability of the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

The NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S is the system’s professional telephoto macro, bigger and heavier however with the longer focal size that many macro professionals desire as a result of it means that you can shoot at a higher distance out of your topic. (Wider lenses just like the 50mm require you to be actually shut to realize most magnification, rising the possibilities that you simply’ll scare off stay topics.) The 105mm can be an “S-Line” lens, Nikon’s designation for its premium optics, which contributes to its dimension and weight, in addition to its worth. It options intensive climate sealing, refined coatings to cut back reflections and ghosting, and a fluorine coat on the entrance ingredient to repel mud and water, which is especially useful if you’re getting so near your topics.

Image of a coppertone stonecrop flower

The swish symmetry of this Coppertone stonecrop sedum bloom jogs my memory of a floral bouquet. Single body seize, handheld. Publicity: 1/4000 sec., ƒ/9, ISO 1800.

The beauty of macro images is that you simply don’t have to go far to seek out topics. Training the artwork of macro—a difficult ability to excellent—is one thing you are able to do nearly wherever. Our sometimes delicate, sunny local weather in California means there’s virtually at all times one thing in bloom within the backyard, permitting me to check out the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S with quite a lot of topics.

The lens feels substantial however not heavy. It’s truly about 12 % lighter than its DSLR sibling, the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, although an inch longer. Like many NIKKOR Z lenses, it consists of programmable controls that weren’t obtainable on DSLR lenses. There’s the L-Fn button, which may be custom-made as a shortcut to a favourite setting, and a Management Ring that may be set to regulate aperture, ISO or publicity compensation with out taking your eye from the viewfinder. The Management Ring has a texture and dimension which can be distinct from the focusing ring, making them straightforward to tell apart by really feel.

Image of a honeybee on a jade flower

Honeybee on jade flower. Utilizing the Z 6’s subject-tracking AF with the lens’ focus limiter enabled, I used to be in a position to rapidly lock and preserve concentrate on the bee because it moved about gathering pollen. Single body seize, handheld, cropped to point out element. Publicity: 1/2500 sec., ƒ/9, ISO 1000.

Further controls on the lens barrel are an AF/handbook focus swap and an AF focus limiter that, when enabled, constrains the AF system to a spread from its minimal focusing distance (about 11.5 inches) to simply underneath 20 inches. Utilizing this setting for macro work will assist cut back the chance of the AF system attempting to find focus.

One other noteworthy function on the barrel is the Lens Data Panel, a mini LCD that may be toggled to show copy ratio, focus distance and aperture setting. Its placement on the high of the barrel makes it particularly helpful when taking pictures on a tripod, along with your composition locked in, as you experiment with the consequences of fine-tuning focus or adjusting depth of discipline.

I shot primarily handheld with the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S and my Nikon Z 6. It’s a private desire, however I usually desire working handheld as I discover a tripod to be an anchor after I’m taking part in with composition. That’s simpler to get away with when taking pictures wide-angle landscapes however extra of a problem with macro topics the place even tiny digital camera actions are magnified. Although I did use a tripod for focus-stacked composites, I discovered that the lens’ 4.5 stops of Vibration Discount, mixed with a quick shutter pace, eradicated the necessity for a tripod for single-shot pictures in first rate gentle.

Macro photo of sweet alyssum bloom

Candy alyssum flower grows wild round my house and for a number of months every year shows these white puffball flowers. Nearer inspection reveals the intense yellow anther of its stamen. The sharpness of this focus-stacked composite is spectacular, regardless of the persistent breeze that hardly ever left the flower stationary. 100 focus-stacked frames, shot from a tripod. Publicity: 1/4000 sec., ƒ/4, ISO 140.

Talking of focus stacking, it’s an excellent method for overcoming the very shallow depth of discipline inherent to macro work. Nikon Z cameras can robotically shoot a collection of frames, barely shifting focus for every, which might then be mixed in Photoshop or specialty focus-stacking software program. Although the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S may be stopped right down to apertures as small as ƒ/32 to maximise depth of discipline in a single body, that may end in sharp particulars in areas of the body the place you don’t need them. By taking pictures at bigger apertures together with focus stacking, you may obtain sharpness the place you need it within the composition whereas background components have a dreamy bokeh.

I’m accustomed to focusing manually with focus peaking turned on for stationary topics, however that’s a tougher method for transferring topics like honeybees. As an alternative, I discovered the AF efficiency of the lens and digital camera combo to be very quick and exact with topic monitoring enabled whereas utilizing the lens’ focus limiter perform.

Macro detail of a Canary Island date palm leaf

Leaf element, Canary Island date palm. Don’t restrict your macro images to literal documentary. Experiment with summary compositions that spotlight varieties and features. Even a secular leaf can reveal magnificence in the precise gentle. Single body seize, handheld. Publicity: 1/320 sec., ƒ/32, ISO 12800.

I had loads of enjoyable working with this lens, exploring my backyard from a very new perspective, and working towards my macro method for the subsequent time I’m additional afield. The most effective gear handles easily and virtually disappears, permitting you to focus in your images, and that’s been my expertise with Nikon’s Z system, together with the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S. The lens is impressively sharp from edge-to-edge, reveals minimal vignetting and is fairly priced, relative to its efficiency, at $999. And although I used it solely for macro images, that is additionally an excellent focal size for portraiture, including to the worth of the funding.

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