Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G
As I write this, I am still suffering from a mysterious, late spring, flu bug, so if it comes off as slightly crazy, well, then I blame it on being sick. In any case, every photographer has at least one lens that they just know to go to for certain types of photos; a lens that reaches this level of confidence for the photographer because it has characteristics that go unmatched anywhere else in his/her arsenal. For me, the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G lens is my obvious choice for macro work, product photography (evidenced by most of my camera and lens reviews), and portraiture. Granted, some photogs don’t like to use the 105 for portraits because of its extreme sharpness, but I disagree (after all, you can always edit out sharpness, but seldom edit it in). When I am shooting weddings, I generally have this lens on at least one of my camera bodies (it operates superbly with my Nikon N80), and this is because it gives me flexibility in low-light, a nice working distance for candids, and wonderful bokeh (the best of all my lenses).
If you have been considering purchasing this lens, it definitely gets my endorsement. In terms of weaknesses, I can only speak of its tendency to “search” for focus in low-light (has to do a bit with its macro capability). However, this can be gotten around by manually correcting the focus. And in all fairness, it is usually a non-issue, anyway. Nonetheless, this lens has a nice hefty weight that balances out most camera bodies, is solidly constructed, features excellent optical performance, and focuses completely internally (that’s why I don’t have any pics of it, below, in different focus positions).
All Nikon D300 with Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 AT-x PRO lens.
More photos and stats after the jump–>
Full Name: Nikon 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED AS-S VR Micro Nikkor
Max/Min. Aperture: 2.8/32
Diaphragm Blades: 9 Rounded
Lens Configuration: 14 Elements in 12 Groups, including 1 ED Glass Element and 1 Nano Crystal Coat Element
Filter Size: 62mm
Magnification Ratio: 1:1
Focuses Beyond: 12″
If you are looking to buy one lens to do all things, this is probably not it. In all honesty, this is the lens that allows you to do certain things much, much better than your do-it-all lens. I know when to reach for this lens, and it hasn’t let me down yet.
And here’s a little something from someone who knows a bit more about product photography than yours truly: