MATTHEW NORDHAGEN :: BLOG

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE NIKON 105MM F2.5

May 6th, 2018

Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia

The Nikon 105mm f2.5 may not be what one would consider a 'proper' lens for landscape or nature photography, but with the kind of images this lens produces, you find a way to make it work. It is a challenge for me to easily describe why I favor images captured with this prime lens versus other lenses I have used. There are many who argue that prime lenses, due to its simple element construction and fixed focal length, will always produce better images than a zoom lens set to the same focal length. Others argue that with modern optical technology, the differences are negligible. My first reaction would be that it makes sense that a prime lens might offer better image quality if only because of fewer glass elements; the fewer glass elements light has to pass through, less light is scattered, resulting in more information reaching the sensor. While I don't have the technical knowledge to say one way or another, all I know is that, visually, images from a prime lens seemed to have better color rendition, contrast, and depth. In a word, photos looked more 'realistic'. Using the Nikon 105mm for landscape and nature photography can be immediately restrictive if you are accustomed to using more normal or wide-angle lenses. It requires a shift in visual focus from one that is typically panoramic to one of smaller vignettes. Basically, it trains your eye to find a composition within a composition. It is an interesting exercise and one that I can't recommend enough.

Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia