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Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro Lens Review

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro Lens Review

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro Lens Review

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Take it up a notch

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The Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 MC Z mount lens is the sharpest 1:1 Macro lens I have EVER owned. It surpasses all of my macro lenses, including the Laowa 100mm and the new Laowa 90mm. The Nikon 105MC has better colors, contrast, corner-to-corner sharpness, 5-axis stabilization, superior weather sealing + full autofocus. The Nikon 105 is better than any macro lens to date.  It is the King of 1:1 Macro. If you want to go beyond 1:1, buy a DCR-250 and enjoy 2x macro with super sharp images.

The venerable Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro lens has a long history in Nikon's lens lineup, and this newest S version has solidified the top spot for capturing top-notch superb Macro photos as well as a very versatile daily portrait lens. Nikon has improved and offers superior Macro and general photographic capabilities in the Nikkor Nikon 105mm f/2.8 MC VR S Macro lens. Exceptional!

I purchased mine direct from NikonUSA. I already have the older legacy 105mm F mount and enjoyed using the older 105  over the years but did not enjoy dealing with the FTZ adapter so, I purchased the Z mount 105mm knowing it will be an awesome lens to go with my Z camera bodies and eventually the replacement of the older 105mm.

One main reason to buy the Nikon 105mm VR S lens over the legacy 105mm F mount lens if you are a Z camera user is the S mounts directly to your Nikon Z camera body so you don't have to deal with the FTZ adapter. The second reason is this Native Macro lens is a superb all-around lens with exceptional and superior image quality.

Cat Eye
Hand-Held Cats Eye f/16 1/60 sec
Build Quality: Mostly plastic feels cheap.  Not on the same high standard as the Legacy 105mm VR Macro from Nikon

Optical Performance: At the end of the day, this is really what matters - it exceeds my expectations, especially when hand-holding using the Nikon Z's built-in Image stabilization.

Focus Performance: Slightly slower in lower light than my legacy 105mm but very snappy outside in the sunlight. On a plus side, this lens has a built-in focus limit switch


  • Produces high-resolution images when used with a Nikon Z7/II.
  • Exceptional sharpness all the way to the corners
  • Lens has very high image quality, excellent color, and contrast.
  • Little or no CA, Very small amount of Vignetting, No Color Fringing
  • Lens VR performance outperforms earlier VR versions, allows for more sharp handheld shots
  • Mounts direct to the Nikon Z mirrorless camera body, no FTZ adapter required.
  • Programmable Function Buttons on Lens Barrel.
  • Focus Limit Switch for macro shooters


  • Slightly larger (longer) than the legacy 105mm F mount lens
  • Expensive 
  • No dedicated on/off VR switch - in camera only.
  • Does not support the Nikon Z Teleconverters, which is a big disappointment!

Summary: This is my long-awaited upgrade to my legacy 105mm F mount lens, and the wait was well worth it. Is it a leap forward? The simple answer is no, but it does not have to be and is an excellent macro lens. If you want to get into Macro with your Z mirrorless camera and don't mind the steep pricing, then this lens deserves consideration.

Use my Amazon Associate Links to get your Nikon Macro.

Z Mount Nikon 105mm Macro S

Z Mount Nikon 50mm Macro

F Mount Nikon 105mm Macro

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KEVIN KAITCHUCK · 1/23/2022 7:01:07 AM

Thanks for the review. I am happy with my lense. And it's nice to know it was worth buying.

TrueToad · 1/23/2022 1:59:53 PM

Kevin, Thanks for stopping by. I am a big fan of Macro Photography and the 105 Z fits in perfectly with my Macro needs + general photography.

Happy to hear you are happy with yours too!

Mike · 7/10/2023 10:04:22 AM

Besides different focusing systems how do you like the IQ and working distance for this compared with the Nikon AF Micro NIKKOR 200mm f/4 D Macro Lens?

TrueToad · 7/12/2023 6:04:41 AM

I would have been delighted with the new Nikkor 105s Macro had it allowed for the addition of a teleconverter. I much rather have the working distance of the excellent 200mm macro, and the IQ of the 200 is remarkable. I hope Nikon releases a Z-mount version.

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