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Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Nikon Nikkor 105mm f2.5 AI – the legend

Nikon Nikkor 105mm f2.5 AI – the legend

I am not a portrait photographer, so no, I didn’t purchased this lens to have those creamy, dreamy portraits. Well, of course I have my fair share of this type of photographs, but not on a dedicated basis. When I bought this lens, a good while ago (very long time that is), my main purpose was to use it as a prime, along my 28/2.8 and 50/2, primarily on my manual focus cameras. After a couple of months of using it, I sold my trusty 135mmm/2 and never looked back. Never felt the need for it, ever since. And I really loved that tele lens, believe me.

I was particularly fond of its usefulness on F2 and Nikkormats I have. Sometimes, it can be seen on my FM3a or even on my F4, although for this AF camera I have a very good couple of lenses put aside, the AF 50/1.8D and the AF 35-105/3.5D. I am not exactly enjoying the use of MF lenses on my Nikon F4. To each its own, I say.

In fact, I like this lens so much that if I will ever have to sell my Nikon lenses, I would keep this one and the 28/2.8. That’s how good it is: sharp, colour rendition brilliant, tonal separation impressive, and it’s very versatile, even if it’s not a tele lens. Even wide open, this glass makes everything right, providing you know what you’re doing of course. A brilliant lens in a very small package.

But all is not perfect: focusing with this lens can be a tedious affair. The focus throw is not a very long one, and one has to be damn certain one had nailed your focus, for otherwise the result can go south for you, really fast.

So is this a legendary lens? It very much depends on what you’re looking to get out of it; if you bought it because of what others say about it, then you should make up your own mind. It’s not unheard of for someone to get this lens, only to get rid of it after a couple of films. The reason most of times is that sometimes people buy photographic equipment and expect the Pulitzer prize in their post box.

Sometimes we forget a good photograph rests with the eye, the mind, the lens, the camera, the processing. Take one of these out of the equation and you have an incomplete thing. Not bad, mind, just incomplete.

Me? I did not bought this lens because I believe myself to be McCurry. I am me, and I try to use this lens to give me satisfaction. If no Afgan girl will appear in my portfolio, I am the only one to blame. This one, however, is my Afgan girl. A 5 weeks old kitty named Sisi, starting her journey on this Earth.

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