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Nikon 105mm VR Review


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#21 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:39 AM

I don't own a TC but I tried one in the store on some macro subjects. I tried the new Nikon AFS 1.7x TC and could not get it to lock on. It works but AF is very difficult at macro distances I think mainly because of the combined effects of the reduced aperture from the TC and close focus variable aperture which makes it something like an F5.6 lens with very small DOF. It racked in and out and never locked on.

The trouble with using this lens UW with a TC I think is ports. Does anyone make a port wide enough to MF this beast? If so I think TCs would be a possibility. A wider port shouldn't physically be a problem I just think that the tooling is all set up for around 3" max diameter in longer or shorter lengths. No one has thought about how to make a 4-5" diameter port yet.

Alternately you could just set this for MF at a fixed magnification and focus with your body the entire dive. Your 12 MP D2x should give you lots of leeway for cropping for composition.

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#22 seagrant

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:13 PM

I've been away from this form for a few days, but in case you all don't know, Subal will have the new port for the 105VR lens out after DEMA, well I hear they should have a prototype at DEMA. It will have manual focusing capabilities. Mine is on order.

Best, Carol

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#23 TomR1

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:18 PM

Ok, I am certainly no expert but my experience with the AF-105-Vr is definitely positive. I find that the lens only hunts when a very significent change in focus is required. For small changes it seems very accurate.

#24 StephenFrink

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 12:23 PM

Harald Hordosch of Seacam (Austria) apparently saw something in the Wetpixel forums somewhere that must have made him think it was suggested that Seacam did not support MF functionality on the new 105mm VR lens? Ring a bell with anyone? I could not find the specific reference ... probably something in a DEMA report.

Anyway, he asked me to post his thoughts on the matter:

"I also have seen an article that SEACAM does not have a possibility to change AF-MF on the new NIKON 105VR lens?! Its not needed, because if you add a focus lens gear you can focus manually AND by auto focus.

We have this gear since many months, used by many happy customers."

I told him to quit reading Wetpixel and go make us more housings :guiness: But, of course he is correct. The new VR lens does not need an AF/MF switch like the old 105 Micro-Nikkor.
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#25 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 02:49 PM

Its in the DEMA coverage under Subal

User was not familiar with the new lens and finally realized that M/A mode on this lens allows manual focusing so there is no need to switch the MF switch.


Now if only Ikelite would come up with a larger diameter port to allow manual focusing of this lens through the zoom collar I'd be set. A custom version of the 8" dome system would be perfect. Whether Ike likes it or not I think the 8" dome system is the wave of the future for Iklelite. :guiness:

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#26 seagrant

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:58 PM

Yes, Stephen, tell Harald to go make housings!!

You will see I posted a reply and you will note that it was your own Liz at the DEMA booth who, unfortunately, told me point blank that your 105vr lens port could not be switched from Auto to Manual underwater. I am sure of this statement.

Now it didn't help at all that I had a misunderstanding of the importance or not-so-importance of changing the M/A to M underwater, or visa versa. But someone who knew the product could have sensed I had a misunderstanding, corrected my misunderstanding, and given me correct information on the lens so I could make an educated buying decision.

None the less I was very impressed with Seacam's product line, displays and the reputation of your housing and products is stellar. :guiness:

Thanks, Carol


Harald Hordosch of Seacam (Austria) apparently saw something in the Wetpixel forums somewhere that must have made him think it was suggested that Seacam did not support MF functionality on the new 105mm VR lens? Ring a bell with anyone? I could not find the specific reference ... probably something in a DEMA report.

Anyway, he asked me to post his thoughts on the matter:

"I also have seen an article that SEACAM does not have a possibility to change AF-MF on the new NIKON 105VR lens?! Its not needed, because if you add a focus lens gear you can focus manually AND by auto focus.

We have this gear since many months, used by many happy customers."

I told him to quit reading Wetpixel and go make us more housings ;) But, of course he is correct. The new VR lens does not need an AF/MF switch like the old 105 Micro-Nikkor.


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#27 seagrant

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 04:44 PM

I'd just like to add one more thing to this thread and it has to do with manufacturers and salespeople really listening to customers' questions...

Now of course it is most important for the consumer to be well informed on the products, but I don't think every consumer totally understands completely some of the vital questions to be asked when shopping for an underwater system. Sometimes that said customer might even ask some sort of "stupid" :) ; question because of a misunderstanding of a term or an element of a lens or camera, etc. (Wonder if I know anyone who has done that...? :guiness: )

There is so much to learn and so much to know and it is sooo expensive with big $$$ penalities if you choose the wrong system, etc.

All I'm saying is be patient and understanding and try to listen to the customer who might not have their facts or relative importances quite right. Looking back on my questions I asked at DEMA on if the different manufacturers had the feature of being able to switch the 105vr lens from auto to manual underwater I see now that only Rolf from Subal and the guys from Light and Motion even remotely picked up that I didn't have a full understanding of the M/A - M switch on the 105vr. Rolf tried to communicate to me about his port and that switch, but language got in the way. The guys at Light and Motion went back and forth (......this is what she is talking about, the lens doesn't spin, so....) and almost cleared things up for me but I still left in a fog. As above Liz at Seacam gave me wrong information about their 105vr port. And Mauricio from Aquatica seemed impatient with my question and cut me off with the reply of why would I ever use that lens in anything but manual anyway, thus missing yet another opportunity to clear things up for me?

(I should probably add also that I asked the same 105vr port focus ?s to Sea and Sea and the Nexus guys, Andy from Sea and Sea was a bit short with me and said "no" to the Sea and Sea 105vr port being able to be switched from auto to manual during the dive I think; and by the time I got to the Nexus guys I asked them something but I was so confused that I don't remember their answer but it was not informative about the 105vr)

See what gets perpetuated? All from a misunderstood term on a switch. When I posted on WetPixel news about Subal's port and the features I was trying to be nice and thought I was being nice, but ended up blundering for sure. ;)

But with some careful listening from the distributors at DEMA this could have been cleared up and everyone's product represented exactly as it is.

I'm glad that as I understand it now EVERYONE that is making a port for the 105vr will include the necessary parts (as Ryan Canon stated) to use the Manual/Auto override feature of the lens. Or I guess like Mauricio you can just set the switch to M topside, and have fun all dive without any "auto" ruining your day.... :D

Thanks for being patient with me all, someday I'll get through all the stresses and hurdles of buying a new system, learning a new system, etc and just be able to snap away and smile back at the manatees like I want to!! ;) Carol

Edited by seagrant, 15 November 2006 - 08:33 PM.

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#28 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:18 AM

I'm glad that as I understand it now EVERYONE that is making a port for the 105vr will include the necessary parts (as Ryan Canon stated) to use the Manual/Auto override feature of the lens.


Well not quite everyone. Ikelite has a port for this lens but still has yet to find a system for focusing with this very wide diameter lens. I've got the lens. I'm happy with my housing choice. Now all I need is the proper port.

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#29 LChan

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:36 AM

I just recently shot the 105VR with the Ikelite port in Lembeh.
Auto only, but with a little playing with the manual servo control, and me moving back and forth, I had "manual focusing"

it wasn't ideal, but the lens is SHARP!
i'm definitely glad i bought the lens.
Nikon D200 - Subal housing - 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 17-35mm, 60mm, 105mmVR - Dual Ikelite DS-125 - ULCS arms.
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#30 Rocha

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:54 AM

Just an update to let everyone know that Subal now sells a dedicated port to this lens with a manual focus knob. Also, both TC14 and 17 work well with it. I am considering ordering this lens soon...

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#31 jcclink

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:51 PM

Just got the 105VR for my Nexus D70. Here's what I've found out so far:

Nexus lists a 105VR port & 60-5V2 (modified for 105VR) port (according to Anthis webpage)

60-5 port requires a 20mm extension ring for proper length, but the OD of the lens gear sleeve will not fit thru the 60-5 port (hence the 60-5V2). 60-5 port will work using a 40mm ring (this also gives you space for a diopter)

The focus gear diameter for 105VR is larger than for others lens (at least the ones I have). The focus drive gear mounted inside the housing must be replaced with a smaller diameter gear to accommodate the larger lens gear. A new drive gear is also shown on Anthis webpage. (I have one on order thru MCD.)

Very difficult to change camera battery without removing the lens/focus gear assembly. (I've done this but without the new drive gear installed in the housing.) The hang up is between the lens release lever & lens focus gear.

Most Nexus owners should only need a new drive gear to make it all go together (we already have the 60-5 & 40mm ring).

Set lens on AF/M. Press shutter release 1/2 way for AF as usual. Manual focus if required, still keeping shutter release pressed 1/2 way. Camera will take pic with or without subject in focus if using manual override feature.

Edited by jcclink, 02 January 2007 - 01:59 PM.

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#32 erika

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:44 PM

"The focus drive gear mounted inside the housing must be replaced with a smaller diameter gear to accommodate the larger lens gear. A new drive gear is also shown on Anthis webpage."

Does anyone know whether this is also true for the Nexus D200 housing?
Will I need to change the focus drive gear inside the Housing to accommodate the larger lens gear for the 105 VR lens?

Erika.

"The focus drive gear mounted inside the housing must be replaced with a smaller diameter gear to accommodate the larger lens gear. A new drive gear is also shown on Anthis webpage."



#33 jcclink

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:00 AM

A smaller gear should also be needed for the D200 housing. Since the distance between the centerline of the lens & center point of the housing mounted drive gear is fixed, as lens gear diameter increases, the drive gear diameter must decrease.

Edited by jcclink, 31 July 2007 - 07:03 AM.

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#34 Sven

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 04:51 AM

I use Subal's dedicated port on the D200 housing, but the MF knob is slipping more than it is working. The gear should fit directly on the lens, but I keeps slipping, however I try to fix the camera perfectly into the housing.
Anybody had the same problem and found the solution ?
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#35 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 10:40 AM

Alex, and all:

Harold Merklinger's article entitled A Technical View of Bokeh explains this subject nicely; and is recommended reading for all photographers.

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Alex,

Thanks for posting a fantastic and comprehensive review. I especially appreciate the comments about the bokeh.

Cheers
James


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