Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI review

For the opportunity review of the legendary Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI Many thanks to Nikolai.

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 review

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 AI review

There are several versions of Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor, the first lenses Non AI Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor appeared back in 1959. Versions available - Nikon 105mm f / 2.5 P, K and PC types. In 1977, the Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor lens saw the light AI version, then Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor was implemented AI-S. Different versions vary in different enlightenment, the presence of a lens hood and the transmission ring of the diaphragm.

Lens view Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI

Lens view Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI

TTX Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI
Focal length: 105mm
Diaphragm: F / 2.5-f / 22
Optical design: 5 elements in 4 groups
Number of aperture blades: 7 pieces
The weight: approximately 430g
MDF:
Front Filter Diameter: 52mm

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI is a short fixed telephoto lens that acts as an excellent porter, however, on Nikon DX cameras EGF lens will be 157,5mm. On cropped cameras, the lens gives a narrow field of view, but working with it is very pleasant.

Lens view Nikon 105mm f 2.5 Nikkor AI

Lens view Nikon 105mm f 2.5 Nikkor AI

The lens comes with a lens hood HS-8but I got a lens without a lens hood. The focus ring rotates exactly 180 degrees. The focus ring is rubberized. When focusing, the trunk of the lens lengthens by about 1 cm, while the front lens does not rotate, but the focus ring also moves slightly forward.

Excellent sharpness Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Sample photo on Nikon 105 2.5 AI

The DOF for the lens is indicated by multi-colored stripes that correspond to the color indicated by the numbers F on the aperture ring. The diaphragm petals are matte, do not reflect light.

View of the Nikon 105mm f 2.5 Nikkor AI lens on a modern camera

View of the Nikon 105mm f 2.5 Nikkor AI lens on a modern camera

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI can be used without any problems on any Nikon central control valve. You can read about some limitations and subtleties when working with old manual Nikon optics in the section AI-S. By the way, recently a new camera Nikon D5200, because, Nikon cameras genealogy updated.

Photo on Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Photo at Nikon 105 2.5 AI. Bokeh lens.

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI is a true professional lens of the old days. The lens is small, but you can feel a piece of metal and glass in your hands. Due to the good build, these lenses still retain the mechanical parts very well. Optically, the lens also remains flawless. Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI is still in high demand in the aftermarket.

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI sample photo

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI sample photo

Image quality

Excellent sharpness over the entire field of the frame at any aperture, though at F / 22 diffraction makes itself felt. No vignetting on DX cameras, no distortion, good color rendering. Contrast falls in back and side light. In the backlight, the lens can catch very strong glare, the lens hood eliminates glare, I slightly covered the lens with my hand to remove this strong 'rainbow'. The bokeh of the lens is amazing, with smooth tone transitions and other charms.

Photo on Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Photo on Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Sample photos on Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI

All photos taken on camera. Nikon D80, photo without processing, size reduced to 2MP and data from EXIF. The designation F / 2.5-8.0 means that I did not record the exact aperture value at the time of shooting, and it fluctuates between F / 2.5 and F / 8. Basically, everything was filmed on an open aperture.

All photos taken on camera. Nikon D80, photo without processing, size reduced to 3MP and data from EXIFhowever, in the photos, instead of 'AI', 'AI-S' is imprinted.

Personal experience

Personally, I liked the Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI much more than Nikon 100mm F / 2.8 Series E... The 'E' version plays out strongly by 105 \ 2.5 in the drawing, and 1.25 times in the aperture. It's a pity that now there is no similar autofocus lens, there are only expensive special purpose lenses - Nikon AF DC-NIKKOR 105mm f / 2D, Nikon 105mm f / 2.8 AF Micro and Nikon AF-S 105mm f / 2.8 VR Micro. A good alternative to Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI is the Nikkor 105mm f / 1.8 AI. I have seen reviews that the Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI gives a soft, not sharp picture, but my copy did show excellent sharpness across the entire frame.

Excellent sharpness Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Excellent sharpness Nikon 105 2.5 AI

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Conclusions:

Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI - great portraitLightweight, reliable with good image quality. I recommend for FX and DX cameras.

Have a look also at the review from the reader of Radozhiva on the version Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 131, on the topic: Review of Nikon 105mm 1: 2.5 Nikkor AI

  • Michael

    Judging by what they managed to unearth, the early versions 105 / 2.5 (pre-ai) have a Zonnar scheme, and the later ones (ai and ai-s) have a double Gauss (xenotar). The picture is different; argue that at later color reproduction is brighter, aberrations are corrected and coma and glass are sharper at close distances. In Gauss, there is a very clear transition from the zone of sharpness to blur, in contrast to the gradually smooth zonar. Subjectively, I like the picture from the Zonnar version more.

    • Dmitriy

      A difficult question, of course, which is better - a gauss or a xenotar. Old Nikon glasses are sometimes, indeed, more interesting than newer ones. But what is always worse for them is enlightenment: the color rendering (in digital it is not tragic, but it catches the eye right away) is worse, and they glare much stronger. Also, keep in mind, Gauss always soft on the open, Xenotar - no. But with aperture, the sharpness does not increase too much, so, say, at f8, Gauss will start to win in resolution. But which lens has more bokeh, then the question is purely debatable.

      • Rodion

        You seem to be confused about the terminology regarding schema names. Xenotar-biometar is a five-lens double-gauss, the AI ​​version of the lens belongs to this type. Pre-AI is a Sonnar-like lens.
        As far as resolution is concerned, the preAI version has good low and mid frequencies, but not highs. this is what is called “sharp but soft”. There is no desire to rub your eyes, but the lens clearly conceals, for example, skin details. Along the edge, preAI really gives up a little, especially on ff.
        AI has not personally tested, but, as you can see, it transfers better (in comparison with preAI) high frequencies. The rest of its benefits are controversial. Perhaps the MC gives it better light transmission and color rendering, but the contrast in normal conditions is even very good and the old zoner-like version. For example, I once compared the backlit behavior of MC Pancolar 80 / 1.8 and CMZ Jupiter-9. Jupiter won because it has fewer air-glass boundaries. MC was not saved by Pankolar ...

    • Chebe

      Most of the zonnars were produced with a 6-blade diaphragm, which kills all its charm if the background is colorful. At 105mm, it is not comme il faut to shoot only on the open.
      It is easy to distinguish the lenses, the rear lens of the Zonnars is small.
      But all 105 (I had 5 different versions) in the right hands give gorgeous photos. The famous “Afghan Girl” by Steve McCurry was shot for the National Geographic with 105 2.5 nikkor.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sharbat_Gula.jpg

  • Vitaly N

    Here's more info on them https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/6070nikkor/telephoto/105mm.htm.
    My just Zonar.

    • Michael

      Great, my link to the serial numbers was blocked by the spam cutter. With S / N 407301 go Gauss, before that - Zonnars ...

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Already started.

  • Oleg

    Arkady, what is better in picture quality, or Jupiter 37a? or is there anything better up to $ 100?

    • Dmitriy

      Incorrectly pose the question - there are different focal lengths and apertures. In general, the U-37 is good (for its age) glass with an amazing (in those years) resolution, almost apochromat. But if you want to comfortably shoot portraits, take Nikkors 105 and 135 mm (any) - the Ju-37 will be tortured. But to shoot birches - he is great. I put it on Canon, the picture is good, up to 30MP everything is fine. Surprisingly then, optics were made - with a margin of resolution (Soviet films did not allow it to be transmitted).

      • Jack

        agreed, I had two copies of J37AM, and one AI 105/2.5. the resolution from J37 seems BETTER than Nikkor AI 105, both in wide-open.
        but J37's flare in bokeh has some spots, which is annoying.
        and J37 is weak to facing the strong lights directly

    • Rodion

      Kmk, if up to $ 100 - Jupiter is ideal for “try”. Thinking that you will not want to leave - a nice barrel with a beautiful diaphragm and convenient control. It can be called an apochromat, but the optical scheme actually gives it very good distortion correction. In absolute aperture, J37A and this Nikkor are approximately equal, so the depth of field will be similar for them. One caveat is the angle of view. If you are principled, take a hundred square meters.

    • Oleg

      Thanks for answers. This Nikkor took in good condition at a good price (I have a6000 camera). Then there was the opportunity to test the Yu37A.
      Nikon's colors are much better, especially skintons, but he also chromatites much more than Yu37A. DOF is almost the same for both lenses.
      IMHO, for me, the winner Nikon took for portraits so + the angle of view is more convenient than that of the Yu37A.

  • Oleg

    Question to Arkady, well, or maybe someone else can tell. I met such a lens on sale in excellent condition, at a very reasonable price ($ 170), and everything seems to be fine, but decided to break through its serial number on the basis. To my surprise, the serial number corresponded to the K series produced earlier, and started at 69. But the case is definitely the Ai version, with a maximum aperture value of 22 (not 32, like K-type).
    In general, I did not dare to buy this hybrid. Who has any thoughts on this?

    • Michael

      Thoughts are such that you need to look at the lens, its condition, shoot at it, and not at the numbers unknown to anyone laid out and no where taken. They are more informative in nature, but perhaps Nikon will answer

  • Yurkov

    I bought one recently. I will say a short TALE.

    • Yurkov

      ... in a good way.

  • Oleg

    After reading your review, this glass caught fire, it's just something) the first photos while coming from the mail were simply amazed!

  • Oleg

    Some more photos!

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    I welcome everyone. Can you tell me what model I have in my hands? On the lens club forum
    all the presented options differ in one way or another, either in the body or in the minimum aperture value.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    What model do I have?

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    View

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    View 2

    • Arkady Shapoval

      K version, 1974 - 1977. Transitional model between NON-AI P C Auto and subsequent AI (with two pairs of numbers on the aperture ring)

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        Thank you, Arkady.

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        Is there any information about it somewhere? Can you post a link?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          they +- are all the same, the same, only older or newer

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/11/obzor-nikon-105-mm-2-5-ai-s/

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