Nikon Nikkor AF-S 105 mm f/1.4E ED
3. Build quality
In this place you should mention the fact that during last several dozen years telephoto lenses got much more complex. The AI Nikkor 105 mm f/1.8S, presented in September 1981and featuring excellent fastness, consisted of just five elements positioned in five groups. What’s interesting, in 1993 it was replaced by a slower model, the AF DC Nikkor 105 mm f/2D, which had just one element more.
Optical construction of the AI Nikkor 105 mm f/1.8S designed in the second half of the seventies by Teruyoshi Tsunashima.
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In the photo below the Nikkor AF-S 105 mm f/1.4E ED is positioned between the Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro USM IS and the Nikkor AF-S 24–70 mm f/2.8G ED.
The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a rear element which doesn’t move, 30 mm in diameter. The edge of the element and the area around it is very nicely blackened and matted – no problems from this side.
The proper body of the lens starts with a smooth, black ring covered by plastics and getting narrower after a while. On the ring you see a white dot, making the alignment with a camera easier. The ring turns smoothly into a plate with the name and parameters of the lens and a big “N” letter which means nanocrystal coatings were used. Inside the plate, behind a window, there is a distance scale expressed in meters and feet; right below you find not especially useful depth of field marks at f/16.
On the left side you see a focusing mechanism mode switch (M/A-M) and, on the opposite side of the lens, its serial number, information concerning the parameters of the lens and an inscription „Made in China”.
Further on there is a ribbed manual focus ring, as wide as 32 mm. It moves smoothly, is well damped and, what’s important, works without any slack. Running through the whole distance scale needs a turn through an angle of about 140 degrees. It is a quite sensible value for a lens equipped with an autofocus.
At the front of the lens you see an immobile front element, 74 mm in diameter. The element is surrounded by a hood mount and a filter thread which doesn’t rotate and is 82 mm in diameter.
When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with as many as 14 elements positioned in 9 groups. Three elements were made of low dispersion ED glass. Inside there is also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.
Buyers get both caps, a hood and a soft pouch in the box.