Information on MF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s Lens


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Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s

I have always believed Nikon has created a great close-up lens in the Micro-Nikkor f/4.0 back in November, 1975. In fact, I think Nikon did find it hard to replicate such a classic and not until 11 years after its first debut that they finally introduced another equivalent Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens which has a full stop faster maximum aperture in April, 1984 with the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s. This lens used to be one of my few rare favourite. It has a straight forward optical construction in 5 elements in 3 groups design which has most likely contributed to its superlative image quality. The lens has gone through three phases of changes but remained unchanged optically; as it was introduced as a Non-Ai lens back around the pre-Ai era, revised with an Ai lens coupling system in 1977 and again being updated as an Ai-S spec in 1981. Well, this lens was eventually being replaced with another Ai-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s version which has a full f-stop lens speed gain three years later in April, 1984 in a continual Nikon lens updating program.

The Ai-Spec series of this 85mm telephoto lens was first Introduced in 1977 while the last series of this manual focus version carries an Ai-S lens spec where it was introduced during late August, 1981. However, there are little difference in lens specifications for both of these series as the Ai-S lens was a direct upgrade from the AI version. Both versions are solidly built and like other Nikkor lenses produced those days, the quality feel is all over. The lens coating of its front lens element has a deeply pinkish cast, it clearly distinguishes itself from the previous AI version which has a greenish lens coating.

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <> from shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
On a personal not, when the faster f/2.8 lens was introduced, I disposed it off cheaply to a friend of mine as I find I have duplicating focal length with another Nikkor classic, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5s and thought since Nikon can create such a fine optic those days, the newer one that has taken so long to emerge should be equally good, if not better, huh ?

The next reason that has influenced my decision making was, I thought since the new lens has a faster aperture close to f/2.5 which should replace both of my prime 105 and the slower close-up lens at one go - a multi-purpose all rounder medium telephoto - somehow that was a mistake but luckily, I still kept my Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens intact safely in my collection. Well, there was nothing wrong with the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s but rather, it is a matter of personal preference as new lens exhibits too high of a image contrast to my liking.

Credit: Image of this Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s lense courtesy of Mr. "Joel Schulman" <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

In fact, over the years, I have been searching for a well maintained Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s to "heal" all the regrets that I have but not successful, primarily partly because used lenses are very expensive now. Whatever it is, I am still keeping the PN-11 auto Extension Tube and thinking one day I will get back what I has lost years ago. It is just a confession - but you can read how much that I treasure and rate this lens personally.

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Is it an ultimate close-up lens for macrophotography ? Not quite. Well, focal length at 105mm may be good for a wider range of photographic applications provides by its extended working distance and a more natural perspective as compared to Nikon close-up lenses at 55mm, but personally - I feel in such kind of specialized field of macrophotography, lenses with focal length of 200mm lens of equivalent properties is even more useful. Besides, the lens by its nature does has some other drawbacks. The slow lens speed was definitely on top of my priority discuss list. Next, naturally as none of the available Micro-Nikkor lenses offered by Nikon at that time was able to go with reproduction ratio of 1:1 you have to carry another accessory PN-11 Auto Extension Tube to achieve that magnification wherever you go and in return, loss some lens speed further when used. lastly, the lens needs some care in handling as the rear section will 'submerge" very deep inwards and dust may easily find a way inside. Lastly, this lens may need periodically cleaning and maintenance.

Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo (37 K Jpeg) Malaysian Internet Resources

However, on the positve aspect, this great macro tele-lens will deliver what you wish for in a top performance Nikkor optic - image quality is simply superb even at settings near its maximum aperture. The lens also provides a good extended minimum aperture of f/32 which is very handy for extreme close-up shots for greater level of depth of field control. Overall, the lens has my top rating it both of its built quality along with its equally impressive optical performance it provides.

Technical Highlights: It is an all round telephoto lens for normal shooting as well as close-ups * Telephoto picture coverage of 23° 20'. * Focuses continuously from infinity down to 1/2 life-size and with the PN-11 auto extension ring, from 1/2 to full life-size. * Provides extra working distance for shooting elusive subjects and/or ones requiring supplementary illumination. * Exceptional sharpness and flatness of field due to its outstanding optical design, plus Nikon Integrated Coating.

* Stops down to f/32 for additional depth of field. * Built-in telescopic lens hood minimizes flare when shooting against the light. * A clamp on the focusing ring keeps it securely in place once tightened. * Takes popular 52 mm filters. * Ideal for close-ups and macrophotography, candids, head-and-shoulder portraits, details in landscapes or architecture, travel photography, etc.

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Credit: A few detailed views of this Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s lense courtesy of George/Christin Frousiakis® <>. Both also operate a popular Ebay store especially on used/new photo gears. Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer(s).

Specifications of Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s:

Focal length/Aperture: 105mm f/4.0
Lens construction: 5 elements in 3 groups
Picture angle: 23 ° 20'; Diaphragm: Automatic
Lens Coupling: Ai-S lens coupling system with secondary ADR scales

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Aperture scale: f/4.0 - f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method with AI cameras; via stop-down method with non-Ai cameras.

Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.47m (1.55ft.) to infinity (OO); With PN-11 ring: from 0.41sm (1.4ft.) to 0.47m (1.55ft.)
Reproduction ratios: Scales provided: 1:10 to 1:2 for lens only 1:2 to 1:1 for lens with PN-11
500g; Dimensions: Dimensions 68.5mm dia. x 104mm long (overall); 96mm extension from lens flange
Filters: 52mm front screw-in; Front lens cap: Snap-On; Lens hood: Built-in telescopic type
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Lens case: Lens only: CL-33S hard leatherette or CP-9 plastic With PN-11: CL-35A hard leatherette or No. 63 soft pouch

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <> Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Usable auto extension ring: Usable auto extension ring PK-11, 12, 13 and dedicated PN-11 for life size reproduction ratio 1:1.; Usable teleconverter: TC-200
*, TC-201, TC-16A*, TC-14A *; Only usable with selective AF bodies such as F-801, F-501 etc. to convert manual lenses into a lens with AF function on those bodies. Focal length of the lens in used will also magnify 1.6 times from original. At aperture of f11 or smaller at high shutter speed, occasional uneven exposure may arise. Note: The serial Number for this Ai-S version may have been started from 232001.

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AF-D Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 | Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s | Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 | Relative: Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0; Nikkor 105mm f/4.5 UV, Nikkor Prime 105mm Telephoto lenses

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.