Nikon 105/1.4… for sale?



I must admit I can’t quite figure this out, but I’m not “feeling the love” for the Nikon 105/1.4 despite the overwhelming popularity and critical acclaim of this lens.

It might be because I recently re-acquired the 70-200/2.8E zoom and now the focal length is redundant.  It might be because I genuinely enjoy the flexibility of the zoom.  Or, it might be because the “bokeh thing” is not enough to entice me to stay with another exotic lens.

Either way, I don’t think I want to keep the 105/1.4.

Somebody convince me otherwise.


7 thoughts on “Nikon 105/1.4… for sale?

  1. Believe it or not: the 70-200 shows more character and “feel” and is more flexible than the 105 1.4, so for me go ahead! 🙂

  2. I am not that big on ‘character’ although some lenses have lots of it. Even then, a lot of it is subjective (and I separate character from aberrations as they are very different). Is busy bokeh good? Yes, I think so, but some say no. Is flare resistance good? Well, not necessarily.

    Depth, which some call ‘pop’, is very nice, though. I can’t imagine anyone rejecting depth! The classic 50mm Summicron, from what I have seen, is amazing in this department, more so at f/4 than wide-open.

    I think that fast lenses make no sense. So on that basic opinion I’m surprised anyone would buy the 105/1.4 (or the 85/1.4). This is 2018 (current year), not 1958, which was one year before High Speed Ektachrome was released. Most of my photos are shot at f/3.5 on out-dated cameras. This has never been an issue and my photos wouldn’t be any better if I was shooting at f/2. Actually they might suffer.

    1. The thing about the 105 is that it’s a character lens but it’s also a technically superior lens. It’s like Nikon achieved the mythical perfect balance between art and science with this optic.

      I just haven’t produced an image with it that I can say I am proud of.

  3. OK, I’ll try.

    First of al, You already decided when you traded the D500 instead of the 105/1.4 for the 70-200. It’s two full stops faster if you are shooting in dim (auditorium, let’s say) light. The 58 just doesn’t quite give you the same compression on a portrait (despite it’s otherwise considerable charms). If you want backgrounds of melted butter and a razor thin plane of focus, the 70-200 is second best. Everybody has a 70-200. Zooms make you lazy (so they say). Difference between a saber and an epee. And finally, (for argument sake) the Casablanca rationale: someday you’ll regret it, maybe not now, but someday and soon.

    1. Now we’re talking!

      With regards to the D500, I updated my previous post to say that I have decided to keep it because, well… I still very much like it.

      Going back to the 105, your points are certainly valid. Perhaps your last point that I’ll regret it is the one that makes me hesitate the most, since I haven’t even owned it for a month, and hence, haven’t given it a fair chance.

      Thanks Greg,


  4. Keep it. Learn it. It’s a tough lens to master. Use it for sports, and medium distance, and it will be magical…even better that way than for portraits. By now, you may have made a decision, but I have enjoyed mine. I see that our lens kits are now quite similar. I have the Tamron 70-200, and I really like the 300 PF as well…

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