February 21, 2006 - Nikon has today announced the 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor, a macro lens with vibration reduction which Nikon claims is the first of its kind. Nikon has loaded the lens with a number of features in addition to vibration reduction, including Silent Wave Motor (SWM) systems, Internal Focusing (IF), and a Nano Crystal Coat over Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass.
The much-touted vibration reduction (VR II), according to a Nikon press release, offers "users the ability to take pictures at shutter speeds as many as 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible…" Like vibration reduction on some compact cameras, the VR II actually has two modes, one of which compensates for average camera shake (VR Normal) and the other of which compensates for more frequent and regular disruption (VR Active). The SWM and IF systems allows "near-silent focusing" and provide a constant lens length, enabling sharp focus; the new lens can focus as close as twelve inches. Lastly, the Nano Crystal Coat and ED glass reduce chromatic aberration and drastically reduce the internal reflections caused by many internal lens elements.
Edward Fasano, general manager for Nikon Inc.’s Marketing, SLR Systems Products, stated in a press release, "Extreme close-up photography is one of the most demanding and popular forms of photography, and this new lens significantly extends the range of conditions under which professionals and enthusiasts can achieve outstanding results."
The 27.9 oz. lens itself, designed for both digital SLRs and 35mm cameras, is composed of 14 elements in 12 groups, with 1 ED glass and 1 Nano Crystal Coat-deposited lens elements. It offers a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. The diaphragm uses nine blades, closing to a minimum aperture of f/32. This Nikkor lens can record a picture angle of 23 degrees 20 minutes in 35mm format, or 15 degrees 20 minutes in Nikon DX format. The new lens comes with front and rear lens caps, a lens pouch and an HB-38 Bayonet Lens Hood; the attachment size is 62 mm.
The 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor will be available in March for US $799.