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Geek Articles

Taking Apart the New Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED AF-S

Published December 2, 2016

We recently tested the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED AF-S lens and were mightily impressed. Optically it was better than I’d ever expected. We had idly talked about doing a teardown when stock allowed, but we got an unexpected opportunity yesterday: one of our week-old copies had some significant dust in both the front and rear lens groups. We know (like hopefully you know) that some dust doesn’t affect images, but our customers like their lenses dust-free, so we decided to open this one up and clean the dust out of it and to take a few pictures while we were doing it.

I try to identify where my head is whenever I write about anything, so you’ll understand when I go all fan-boy or all snarky. Like everyone else, my expectations going in have a lot to do with my impressions coming out. In this case, I told Aaron before we started that given how awesome this lens was optically that I expected Nikon’s optomechanics were going to modernize, too. Unlike previous Nikon lenses, I thought this lens would have nice,  modular construction, no soldered wires running hither and yon, not so much Kapton tape holding stuff down, and maybe even some curved circuit boards. You know, like a lens from the 21st century, not like one from the 1980’s. Aaron didn’t think so.

Well, I was a little bit right but mostly wrong. There is some real modularity and superb construction to this lens. There were also big chunky square circuit boards and wires soldered hither and yon held down with Kapton tape. None of which has anything to do with making a lens take better pictures or making it last longer, but it does make it a pain to take apart and work on.

Oh, and we have a special bonus in this teardown. I thought Nikon’s marketing for this lens got a little nauseating with stuff like “pushes boundaries of imaging possibility, one that can take your photography and videography to a thrilling new level.” I figured with all the workforce reduction they’d been making; they’d started borrowing Leica’s copy writers or something. But in this case, they take stretching the bounds of reality a bit far, and I’ll go all snarky about that later in the teardown. So you’ve got that to look forward to.

So Let’s Take Out Screws and Stuff!

Since we’d never taken one of these apart, Aaron decided to start with the back, because that way he could set it on the front while he worked. The bayonet mount comes off in the usual fashion; easier now that Nikon has gone to electronic aperture controls. There is a nice, thick weather seal around the bayonet mount and it fit very snugly in the lens.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

With the bayonet off, we can look into the rear barrel. It’s nice and clean, with a couple of flexes just visible up by the electronic connector.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Four large screws held the rear barrel in place. For those of you following along at home by disassembling your own copy, make sure you remove the screws holding the flexes in place and disconnect them, otherwise you’ll rip them out of the switches on the rear barrel. With that done, the rear barrel slides right off. Notice the thick layer of felt sealing at the bottom of the picture where the barrels attach.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Here’s the inside of the rear barrel, with the switch flexes I spoke of above. Soldered, not plug-ins, but after some argument Aaron agreed this didn’t count as a real solder. Does it matter? Not much, except if you break a switch it’s may be simpler for the repair shop to just replace the rear barrel instead of the broken switch. On the other hand, some might argue that soldered switches are stronger and less likely to break. Some might.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

With the rear barrel off, we get to look at the inner mechanics a bit. This is where I lost my bet with Aaron that the lens would be more modern. This would also be where I’d say I lost respect for Nikon’s marketing department, but that would be silly since I have no respect for any marketing department. Here’s a quick tour as we rotate around the inside of the lens.

First is the GMR unit (the silver thingie held on with two screws), which is pretty much like every other GMR unit. If you take a lens apart and see this, don’t touch it, don’t breathe on it, don’t even stare at it for very long. It’s the lens repair version of crossing the streams.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Rotating the lens just a bit we get to see those nice, chunky, flat, old-fashioned circuit boards Nikon loves to use; and yes, the soldered wires. Look, these work just fine, apparently, since Nikon has been using them since about 1965. It’s like my mom’s pink wired wall phone in her kitchen – it works great, so why change? At least they don’t run hither and yon; there are some nice plastic clips holding the wires in place. Sorry, I’m just bitter because I lost my bet with Aaron.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Looking at the other side of the lens we see wires and flexes are held in place with Kapton tape, as is traditional with Nikon lenses. This doesn’t amount to anything as far as how the lens functions. But I’m a geek, which is why I like taking things apart, and the geek appeal here is low.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

This view also exposes Nikon’s ongoing creative marketing. Many of you probably think the designation of SWM on this lens, which stands for Silent Wave Motor, means you get an expensive ring ultrasonic motor. Not so much. That’s the focusing motor there with the green band around it. Fanboys are going to scream that I’m splitting hairs trashing Nikon’s marketing about SWM, since this is technically an ultrasonic motor (although other manufacturers have the decency to call them micro-ultrasonic to differentiate them from ring-ultrasonic). Let’s look at a screen grab from the Nikon page for the 105mm f/1.4E ED AF-S lens:

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-nikkor-105mm-f%252f1.4e-ed.html

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-nikkor-105mm-f%252f1.4e-ed.html

Note Nikon’s text says “–rather than a gear system–to focus the lens”. If you look at the motor, what do you see? Correct. A gear system to focus the lens. The lens still focuses just fine and while it’s not silent, it is very quiet. But please don’t tell me it’s “better than a lens with a gear system” when it has a gear system, OK? Y’all must think nobody’s ever going to open up your lenses and see you’re blowing smoke up our internet.

OK, now that I’ve calmed down we’ll take a look at that rear group from above. (Remember, part of why we’re here was to get the dust out of the rear group.) The rear group is in a housing that mounts to the lens on three arms at 10, 2, and 6 o’clock.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Each arm is held in place with a screw and then covered with white glue. Looking closely showed the legs were shimmed and that this is also a centering element.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Now we don’t mind recentering an element or correcting its tilt, but when the manufacturer goes to the trouble of glueing the screws in place, and the optics are fine, we tend to go with the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ principle, which is what we did here.

The very rear element in this group appears to be held down by a screw-on locking ring, but again it was heavily glued, so we left it alone.  (The dust you see in the picture is on the surface of that element, not inside. The dust inside was minor enough that we decided it could stay rather than ungluing and recentering everything.)

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Since we decided to leave the rear group alone, we took off the rear assembly in one piece.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Other than the glass elements we described above, this assembly contains the diaphragm unit and flexes connecting the electrical contacts to the rest of the lens.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

With that assembly out of the way, we’re looking at the next element. It’s also held in a plastic mount with three arms screwed into the mid barrel, but this time it’s neither a centering or a shimmed element, so it’s coming out.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

It’s a pretty impressive chunk of glass,

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

rather thick and strongly curved.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Looking back in the rear of the barrel, we can now see the focusing group down inside the motor ring.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

This motor ring comes off easily as a single unit. I made fun of Nikon’s old-fashioned electrics and mechanics earlier, but they’ve designed a much more modular and simple disassembly with this lens than most of their older lenses.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

As long as the motor ring is off,  I’ll go back to my natural sarcastic state, and we’ll take another look at that Silent Wave Motor that’s ‘better than one with a gear system.’

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

My snarky comments are reserved for the marketing department. The engineers did a very nice job making the focusing system in this lens work quite well. The gears  I showed above are flexible nylon-like material, so they’re quiet. The focus rollers you see below are large, heavy duty, and secured into large brass inserts.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

There’s even a nice tensioner to keep even pressure on the focusing ring, so it has smooth, mild resistance.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Next, we turned our attention to the front of the lens. The filter barrel removes easily after taking out three screws reached through slots in the focus ring. Again, there is thick felt sealing where the filter barrel joins the focus barrel.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Removing a set of thick screws and inserts lets us then slide the focus barrel assembly off of the back of the lens.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

The focus barrel assembly is quite complex, and again we get to see some careful, thoughtful engineering goes in to making the focus movement so smooth and constant on this lens. Once it’s removed a nest of rings comes out of the barrel.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Laid out you see there are two smooth friction rings with a ring tensioning spring between them, the distance scale ring, and on the far right the geared ring that the focusing motor gear train actually turns.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Inside the focusing ring is an electronic sensor that goes over a brush assembly on the lens barrel. This isn’t an absolute position sensor; it seems to measure rate and distance turning of the focus ring.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

With the filter barrel off, we can take a look at the actual optical focusing mechanism. In this lens, the focusing group has a very long travel which should allow very precise focusing; a good thing with a wide-aperture 105mm lens. The two images below show the movement at the two focusing extremes.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Finally, we turned our attention to the front group. Remember getting dust out from under the front element was another excuse for this exercise. The front element is held in place by three pairs of screws. There’s no centering here, but there are shims under each pair of screws so this element is adjusted for spacing, or perhaps spacing and tilt.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

It came off quickly enough, and when we examined the shims they were of different thickness, so both spacing and tilt are being adjusted here. For this particular copy, it wasn’t a big tilt, with a thickness ranging from 0.4mm to 0.44mm.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

The bad news for us is the dust we saw isn’t under the front element, it is within that front group of two elements, which is sealed. For those of you with enquiring minds, it probably is not environmental dust, but a crumbled piece of cement within the group, so the group will have to be replaced. If this were my personal lens, of course, I’d leave it alone, but it’s a rental, and someone will lose their mind when they see a dust flake in their rental lens.

Since we’d come this far, we went ahead and took out the second group.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

With the second group removed, are left with just the focusing element in the lens barrel.

Lensrentals.com, 2016

Lensrentals.com, 2016

 

Because everyone asks, yes we put it back together. Yes, it works perfectly fine and is optically unchanged. And since we can’t buy replacement front groups we’ll have to send it to the Service Center to get the front group replaced. The smaller amount of dust in the rear group could probably have been removed but would have required optical readjustment after it was done. Since it’s going to the service center anyway, we’ll see if they’ll take care of that too.

Impressions

I always hope to see engineering elegance in a disassembled lens, and this lens has some of that. The construction is very solid. There are heavy duty rollers, cams, and bearings and the standard ‘polycarbonate shell over metal core’ construction that most high-quality lenses have theses days. The care taken to engineer a smooth, accurate focusing feel is very evident. The weather resistant seals are thorough, even if not dramatically over-engineered. (If you consider asking if it is weatherproof, I will, of course, refer you to the warranty which reads ‘void for moisture damage’).

There is some engineering lack of elegance, too. I poke a little fun at the solders, wires, and tape that we only see in Nikon lenses these days, but they work just fine, and the end result is good. The throwback lens construction is becoming kind of endearing to me, in a nostalgic kind of way. There’s not a real downside to it that I can tell; Nikon lenses are just as reliable as anyone else’s.

While I’m never surprised when a new lens gets some dust in it early on, I’m disappointed that it’s occurring in sealed elements in this lens and will require element replacement. But this is just one copy; that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an ongoing problem. It might. It might not. Time will tell. Since few of you are ever going to clean dust out of your lenses it probably won’t matter to you at all.

The focus motor marketing bothers me a lot, although I realize it won’t bother many of you. I’ve long been sick of marketing departments hiding all facts and telling me to trust them, this new lens will make me a dramatically better photographer. But in this case, they’re pretty dishonest in telling me this lens has an advantage because it has a gearless system when it actually has a geared system.

Does it make the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED anything other than a great lens? Nope, it’s a great lens and solidly constructed. Its focusing system is still excellent and accurate, no matter what kind of motor is driving it. It’s just my personal battle, charging the cloudy darkness created by the giant windmills of marketing.

Roger Cicala and Aaron Closz

Lensrentals.com

December, 2016

 

Addendum: about 24 hours after this post was referenced by DP Review, Nikon changed the wording describing the SWM motor in this lens, removing any reference to gears. Their description is factually correct now.

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Geek Articles
  • decentrist

    The 105 E will not last given it’s construction. The focus motor arrangement has cost driving it’s implementation. I’m glad to see you have discovered Wikipedia.

  • nonono

    “The Japanese have a sense of honor about their workmanship unrivaled by anyone.”

    Is this a joke? They stole a lot of their design language from American and European cars not that long ago; where’s the honour in that? lol. The Datsun 510 looked very similar to the BMW 2002.

  • nonono

    “There is no proof”

    Without proof, a claim is pretty weak.

  • decentrist

    China is not and never will be an alpha society. The Japanese have a sense of honor about their workmanship unrivaled by anyone. It’s fanatical. The Chinese are making these lenses because of labor costs,period.

  • nonono

    The rear nodal point can be closer to the sensor with mirrorless cameras (there’s not a physical obstruction in the way i.e. a mirror), so mirrorless cameras do not need to invoke a retrofocus lens element group to extend the back focal distance of the lens. In other words, DSLR ultra-wide angle lenses have to have an extra element (sometimes elements) to circumvent an inherent flaw.

    Manufacturers design different lenses with different optical qualities, so it’s always difficult to make meaningful comparisons. However, from a purist point of view, on an ultra-wide angle lens (which obviously a fisheye is), the mirrorless camera is the better choice.

    In my opinion, the best review is to rent the lens yourself and try it on the equipment you plan to use it with. If you want future proofing, I would say the future is with mirrorless simply because they’re less flawed from an optical standpoint.

  • nonono

    I won’t touch Nikon with a barge pole. I’m not aggressive. Asking you to prove your claim is not aggression, it’s simple argumentation theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_burden_of_proof

    Please provide proof with your claims.

    “Nylon gears will not stand the test of time as a ring motor.”

    Explain why. Prove why.

    Argumentum ad nauseam & argumentum ad hominem…

  • decentrist

    Nylon gears will not stand the test of time as a ring motor. You are expelling so much verbosity with personal attacks, you come off as shrill and uniformed. These are simple concepts. Inferior construction combined with a marketing narrative that is not true. What about this idea gets you so aggressive? Did you buy one?

  • nonono

    Another fabricated quote and more claims. You were never asked to repeat your verbal diarrhoea. You were simply asked to provide proof with your claim(s).

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/134746128@N05/29862664812/in/dateposted/

    Here is a photograph you uploaded. The left is a different size, taken at a different angle with a different exposure. If you crop them to be the same size, you have something like this — https://imgur.com/a/YwWFW.

    If we look at the histograms, we can objectively see the exposure is not the same, and if we raise the exposure by 0.33+ in photoshop, we get something similar — https://imgur.com/lzap5UJ. If you place the photographs (once cropped, to be the same size) over each other and you use a “difference” layer in photoshop, it objectively proves the shots were not taken at the same angle.

    https://i.imgur.com/vjrW58B.jpg

    Yet you were quite emphatic in that they were taken with the same exposure. If you lied about that or you’re so incompetent to not know what the hell you’re doing, why should we trust you on this?

    Please provide proof to your claims. Perhaps they are accurate. I suspect not, but who knows. I’m not claiming it’s impossible you’re correct (I suspect it’s false because I’ve made high torque applications with nylon gears and have not once had a gear failure; in my experience, the motor will fail before the gear will), I’m simply asking you to provide proof.

    “Seen it over 100 times in many years on nikkor lenses.”

    Then why do you find it so difficult to provide proof?

    “after wear the plate loosens and then the gear becomes askew”

    So the plate loosens, you drop the lens, the stars all align, the temperature is perfect, and everything just happens to all break simultaneously. Ok, fair enough, lol, but why can’t the plate loosen on the metal gear as well? Or is your new claim not about nylon gears being at fault, but the plastic housing (which I’m guessing isn’t even nylon to begin with)?

    Since you’ve examined so many lenses, perhaps you can tell me how much torque is required to move the mechanism from the smaller pinion.

  • decentrist

    Roger, You are the man, but here’s the energy. Let it flow.

  • Photographer100

    the PLATE that pin sits on, is attached to plastic, after wear the plate loosens and then the gear becomes askew and then the gears SLIP “grrrrrrrrr” noise.
    Seen it over 100 times in many years on nikkor lenses.
    Ring ultrasonics cannot “go bad” like that
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb2d8a28f736e212fdd2f555e9246847e6a0f6f5561d3d36083ab2d6f057d746.jpg

  • nono

    “lenses”, not one specific lens. every company has the odd failure.

  • nono

    It’s got a bolt going through it and a plate on the top for alignment. I can’t see how they’re any more or less likely to suffer misalignment than a metal gear. I’ve seen RC planes crash into the dirt at 180MPH and nylon geared servos didn’t suffer misalignment, so I have to question the accuracy of your claim.

    Perhaps you are right. Perhaps a couple of videos out of your many thousands are accurate. It’s possible, but until you start providing proof to your claims, I’m going to assume it’s incorrect (simply because you’re known to repeat illogical, fictitious, fallacious, incoherent drivel).

    Random fabricated quote usage isn’t the same as providing proof. Please provide proof.

    “Many ‘lurkers’ on photo-boards are saying “so what””

    The very definition of “lurker” is someone who does not participate, but you are claiming they say “so what.” How about instead of typing vague passive aggressive drivel, you quote people directly and debate appropriately.

    P.S “Chess champion”, why aren’t you listed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Chess_Championship here?

  • nono

    I don’t want to blindly defend them, but he didn’t disassemble the motor. We can see the entire servomechanism from the outside, but on the Nikon UK site, it says silent wave motor. It doesn’t say silent wave servomechanism. Servomechanism != motor.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re being a bit crafty but I wouldn’t like to bet on who’d win a court case.

    The gears also look to be different colours which would indicate very deliberate usage of specific types of nylon. That takes quite a lot of knowledge to get that right. I’m guessing they’ve said what they have in reference to previous screw drive lenses.

  • nono

    One looks self lubricating to me. The gears are different colours. I’d bet one is infused with something.

  • nono

    https://youtu.be/dvZOxumbmB0?t=232

    In this video, you can clearly see the quality of his workmanship. If this video isn’t good enough, check out these —

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD9EMENmEQQ
    https://youtu.be/pGdxAgn5JRQ?t=322

    “If you want to judge others, show us your body of work.”

    Personally I believe an argument is either accurate or it isn’t. Requesting to see someone’s experience makes you run the risk of stepping into an appeal to authority debate in addition to the tu quoque fallacy. I’m surprised someone who quotes the Angry Photographer wants to see proof; I mean, he’s all about not showing proof. However, I don’t mind sharing some stuff.

    In regards to the quality of my workmanship, here’s a wing I made from a modified plan (the original plan was someone else’s design) when I was about 13 years old — http://imgur.com/3RwQlCc.

    http://imgur.com/lCYM8Oi here’s some carbon fibre stuff I recently made.

    In regards to nylon gears, here’s a 6 foot, 100+ mph helicopter with nylon main gears that I assembled (some parts I made myself) http://imgur.com/gDn56UN & nylon geared servos that can pull 15KG / 60 degrees (semi home-made servos using pre-made casings).

    http://imgur.com/XkEwCNV

    Another helicopter with nylon servos & custom nylon main gear.

    http://imgur.com/TKf7d1h

    The nylon main gear is easier to see in this photograph.

    http://imgur.com/3xXpghi

    Both with nylon skids (I changed the molecular structure slightly but it’s essentially nylon 6). The smaller helicopter wasn’t hand-painted (I can’t take credit for that), the helicopter on the right was (I take credit for that).

    http://imgur.com/8TwPx42

    Blades set to 1650 RPM in slow mode. About 1900RPM in idle up. So to give you a rough idea of the torque, imagine large blades spinning at around 1900RPM and completely changing their pitch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN5Xgy1o9AY

    This gives you an idea as to how fast they have to change pitch.

    FYI, I’ve never had a nylon gear fail even in helicopters with engine’s that’re 16,000 RPM & tuned lean. So somehow you expect me to believe that a helicopter can go from 100mph to -30mph (i.e. reverse its pitch and fly upside down) in less than a second, and all the nylon components are fine, but a low torque lens requires a metal servo. I’ve heard some nonsense in my time but that beats the biscuit.

    Perhaps you can point me to any evidence to support your claim, “Nylon gears won’t stand the test of time, and you know it.” It completely depends on the application, tooth, torque, friction coefficients, etc.

    “Stay on topic, and stay away from roach tactics.”

    The post was on topic and relevant to what was said, but his post has since been deleted.

    “You are a poop flinger making personal attacks.”

    Argumentum ad hominem.

  • Photographer100

    Many ‘lurkers’ on photo-boards are saying “so what” about the micro-motor being used, pointing out that nylon gears are self-lubing and “tough”, which is true, however what they forget is that a hard knock of “soft drop” (onto carpet etc) can and does cause the gears to MISALIGN leading to the famous Nikkor “Grrrr” syndrome where the lens in AF goes “grrrrrrrrrrr” from slipping gears

    and this is impossible with the ring ultrasonic

  • fanboy fagz

    actually the newer g lenses are half as fast as the D lenses.

    D lenses are easily twice as fast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ataDgMph_wI

  • Mike

    Very cool to see this lens torn down. I’ve had it since day one and it, shockingly, made my 85 1.4G expendible. I think if we took many modern things apart, their construction would bother the geeks among us. $1 saved on a million units is $1 million earned, right? Personally, I don’t care as long as it works. I’ve only had one issue with any Nikon lens I’ve ever owned (that wasn’t user induced) and that was a fried circuit board on my, then, 7 month old 85 1.4G. Got it repaired and used it with zero issues for another 6 years. Let us not forget that the D800 (with its left side AF issue) was made in Japan. The 50 1.8G is made in China. The 105 VR macro initially was made in Japan and now is made in China. Apple is made in China. Samsung and their exploding batteries, Korea. Country of origin doesn’t bother me. QC does. And QC can fail or succeed in any country. But I digress. Love this lens. Nikon hit a grand slam with this one.

  • DB

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

  • decentrist

    Nylon gears won’t stand the test of time, and you know it. No one is saying they don’t work. If you want to judge others, show us your body of work. You are a poop flinger making personal attacks. That is the realm of roaches. Stay on topic, and stay away from roach tactics. Nikon’s approach with the 105E is how they are approaching the majority of their consumer lenses. Sharper optics,lighter, cheaper construction.The lying is egregious, at any price point.

  • I’m not sure there’s a reason other than general paranoia.

  • appliance5000

    well I was waxing romantic, but the answer is probably more nuanced. They weren’t just marketing, they were developing and implementing. These lenses were made to compete with zeiss, Zeiss is a very conservative company and were not sure that MC was a good idea. I think Asahi proved that wrong with the Taks. and drove further development in the industry.

  • disqus_aYDAJxlXsR

    My pleasure: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/12/taking-apart-the-new-nikon-105mm-f1-4e-ed-af-s/

    Notice in that article that they had to disassemble a brand new lens because it had dust inside. Shipping a lens with dust can be considered a result of poor assembly QA (probably not done in a sufficiently clean room).

  • decentrist

    The thrust of this post is that Nikon lied about the ring motor. There is no proof that the lenses are poorly assembled….yet. Time will tell, but my money would be on Japanese construction,ring motor, not the plastic gear/micro motor construction. This overpriced lens has been served up to us with a big, fat juicy lie. Nikon has a great legacy that is being eroded by it’s own internal decisions.The comparison of this 105 E with the 105 DC is shameful indeed.

  • Frank Fremerey

    I just want to say thank you. I read a lot of your posts and I enjoy them very much. Thank you!

  • thereshegoes

    Can you link me to an article proving these lenses are poorly assembled? I think you might be confusing motor with servomechanism.

    “Once trust is lost, how do you get it back?”

    No idea. I never trusted nikon to begin with.

  • thereshegoes

    Straight Nylon 6 is rarely used for mechanisms like this, and you’ll find polyamide 66 and nylon 6 are often infused with molybdenum disulfide to lower wear resistance and friction. Such infusion isn’t necessarily required if you plan to use silicone grease. Grease can attract grit, so depending on the application you might find self lubricating nylon (polyamide 66 with molybdenum disulfide infusion) or even teflon, more wear resistant than metal with lubrication or straight plastic with lubrication. While not all metals rust, they oxidise and this can be problematic, moreover, metal can in fact shatter. I do not believe you know the torque required to move the mechanism and in one of your videos, I believe you made the claim or you insinuated metal gears would be superior. I don’t agree with this claim and you certainly did not prove it to be so. The burden of proof doesn’t lie on me to prove you wrong, it lies on you to prove your claim is factual.

    Shifting the burden of proof or writing fallacious nonsense and then insinuating others cannot debate properly is humorous and paradoxically sad.

    In regards to your claims about the sample photographs you provided, they were proven to be misleading and your conclusions were proven to be illogical. You responded with argumentum ad hominem and referred to people as “cockroaches.”

    “can you post one proving im incorrect”

    This is shifting the burden of proof. It’s unreasonable for you to expect us to sift through 3,000+ videos (or however many videos you have uploaded. I’m guessing 10 more will be uploaded by the time I’ve finished this post) to prove your statements incorrect, when you haven’t proven anything to begin with.

    Nonetheless, I will give you something to think about.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/134746128@N05/29862664812/in/dateposted/

    Here is a photograph you uploaded. The left is a different size, taken at a different angle with a different exposure. If you crop them to be the same size, you have something like this — https://imgur.com/a/YwWFW.

    If we look at the histograms, we can objectively see the exposure is not the same, and if we raise the exposure by 0.33+ in photoshop, we get something similar — https://imgur.com/lzap5UJ. If you place the photographs (once cropped, to be the same size) over each other and you use a “difference” layer in photoshop, it objectively proves the shots were not taken at the same angle — https://i.imgur.com/vjrW58B.jpg.

    If you don’t know how to set the exposure the same for two photographs or how to use a tripod, and you’re so dishonest to argue these shots were taken with the same exposure, then why do you think so many people should waste their time discussing this with you? Especially when in most cases, the only response they’ll get from you is a bunch of personal attacks.

    On a subjective and somewhat personal note, you spend so much time telling people about all the experience you’ve had instead of simply showing it. Some of us have had the misfortune of watching you make light modifiers and we can certainly see you’re no expert when it comes to making or repairing things, so why not use the energy wasted on bragging towards actually improving?

    Please stop telling people what an expert you are when you cannot even cut a piece of velcro straight (not that you should be using velcro to begin with), please stop making claims when you aren’t capable of being logical, and please stop publicly damning other photographers such as Tony Northrup, Jason Lanier and so on.

    Lastly… You stated you’re a chess champion. Would you like a game with a $10,000 wager? We can do a best of 5 if you’d like. I looked through the US champions list and like most of your claims, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Chess_Championship no evidence could be found to support your claim.

  • Shimon Mor

    What’s the rational for blacking out the serial number? Do lenses fear having their identity stolen?

    Always enjoy these blog posts. Kudos to the Lensrentals team.

  • A delightful read, Roger, and one I totally enjoyed, from the first letter, to the last.

    Been around cameras over 50 years (my first SLR was an Edixa Reflex, a nowadays forgotten West-German camera manufacturer), and now I mainly surround myself with Nikon stuff (I was a Pentax enthusiast for many years). Naturally, Nikon’s lenses comes in all kinds of sizes, and prices, but those I have have (most of them G versions, and N1) have worked flawlessly from the day go! Pretty sharp, too!

    We, the wife and I, were not quite as lucky with the Pentax DA* lenses and their SDM focusing motors, as so many others. Some has been forced to switch the motor many times in the very same lens, as the replacement motors haven’t been better than the old!

    Little did I know that there are people who reprogram (a.k.a. hack) their DA* lenses so that they revert to screw drive focusing, to avoid this recurring, infamous, SDM debacle!

    But I am now a happy Nikon camper!

  • Veselin Gramatikov

    Not true ring motor? 🙂 So sad for that expensive lens. Canon put true ring motors in every heavy lens they made.
    So far Nikon shows much and much more technical weakness these days. But there is a good news. When they send you new sealed lens block they can upgrade it with snapbridge :))) haha

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