The Nikon 105 f2.0 DC lens is one of the most interesting lenses that I’ve ever tried. I just tested one from The Camera Store. This lens is super-solidly constructed, mostly of metal, and feels great both in your hand and on the camera. It has a built in lens hood which I found convenient but the highlight of this lens is the defocus control which brings its coolness factor to eleven. What’s cool about this DC (Defocus Control) lens, is that you can defocus the foreground or the background to accentuate the bokeh (zone of blurriness/creaminess/dreaminess) in the foreground or the background. It takes a little bit of play and the results are subtle, but if you are into this type of subtlety and you are prepared to pay more than a grand, you won’t be disappointed. This lens is in a class all by itself.
Let me say immediately that this specialty lens is not for everyone. It is made in my estimation for portrait, landscape or fine art photographers that love to play with selective focus and who want to be in supreme control of their bokeh. If this last sentence was confusing then you are probably not ready for this lens. But if you already love bokeh and want to play in the bokeh-olympics, this might be the finest tool available.
But Doesn’t Nikon Have Another 105mm Lens That Also Does Macro?
Yes they do and that lens is another fabulous portrait lens that does true macro. The Nikon AF-S 105 mm F2.8 Micro is a lens that I’ve owned for a number of years and it’s about 300. cheaper than the DC lens. It’s razor sharp, has Vibration Reduction (VR) and does true 1:1 Macro. If you like to do portraits as well as Macro work, get this lens instead.
But if you don’t do that much Macro and want a fabulously unique tool that is great for portraits and bokeh-play, the DC may be the better choice for an experienced photographer. The DC lens is also an f/2 lens. The f/2 is brighter in the viewfinder and always delivers more bokeh than f/2.8 all things being equal.
In terms of head to head sharpness and autofocus speed, I found the autofocus a bit faster on the Micro (Macro — Nikon calls their Macro lenses Micro just to be special) lens and I found the sharpness to be a hint sharper. The 105 DC lens is also razor sharp (but has no VR) and has very fast autofocus, but head to head with the 105 Micro, it loses by the smallest of margins to my eye. Please be aware that I only tested this lens on 2 shoots in coldish Montreal weather which unfortunately limited my play.
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