Nikon have today announced a new superfast 105mm short telephoto lens with a whopping f1.4 maximum aperture. This is claimed to be the fastest full-frame autofocus lens of its focal length. The AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED is said by Nikon to offer ‘unrivalled edge-to-edge sharpness and exquisite bokeh’ thanks to a unique optical design and a 9 blade iris. It has a minimum focus distance of 1m and the usual Nikon Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare.
One thing that is lacking is any in-built image stabilisation system – even though the slower 105mm macro from Nikon has it. Even so, the lens should be a welcome option for Nikon based multimedia shooters.
For video shooters using other systems the newer Nikon lenses are something of a mixed blessing. Lenses with the E designation require power to operate and have no way to set the aperture manually when not on a matching Nikon body. When used on other systems the only possible work around is to use an ‘active’ mount adapter that supplies the lens with power, like the Commlite Nikon to Sony E-mount active adapter.
In addition they still focus in the opposite direction to most cinema lenses when used manually.
The lens should be available in Europe from the 25th of August 2016 and priced at £2049.99 or €2419.
This from Nikon:
“The AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED is a worthy successor to Nikon’s famed NIKKOR 105mm f/2.5 lens. Whether photographers are working with available light or in the studio, the all-new optical construction delivers unrivalled edge-to-edge sharpness and exquisite bokeh. The 105 mm focal length and 1 m shortest focusing distance allow for frame-filling head-shots without the need to crop. Wide-open performance is unbeatable, and subjects are rendered with perfect clarity even when shooting at the widest aperture.”
“In order to ensure optimum performance in portrait mode, Nikon’s engineers have paid special attention to resolution at the outer areas of the frame. As a result, Sagittal coma flare is effectively minimised for superior reproduction of point light sources as fine rounded points, even at the edges of an image. Peripheral light falloff is controlled to retain brightness across the frame, even when shooting at maximum aperture with focus set to infinity. Thanks to the unique optical design, the intensity of image blur transitions smoothly for bokeh with no rough edges. Images are rendered with a depth and dimension that’s truly memorable.”