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Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro for D200 a mini review

Matthew Brennan , Sep 23, 2007; 08:58 a.m.

This is not a question - more a mini review of the Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro MF lens with Nikon mount. I had previously shot with the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 AF D macro lens - shooting mainly botanical close ups and occasional insects. I required a tighter field of view but could not afford the current Nikkor 105mm VR macro lens and was losing bidder twice on ebay auctions of the older manual focus Nikkor 105mm macro lens. I happended to stumble upon this Kiron model (on eBay as well) and won it at auction for (what I happen to believe is) a miserly AU $179.50! The Kiron 105mm macro lens is circa 1980's , manufactured by Kino precision in Japan who also manufactured lenses with the Vivitar brand on them. The unit I purchased is in excellent condition and is quite a revelation to me at least! As I shot vitually always in manual focus mode 100% with my prev. 60mm macro Nikkor the lack of AF on this lens is not missed by me for the type of macro work I do. In fact, this has to be the very best lens I've used for ease of manual focusing. This lens has a beautiful slowly graduated barrel twist action which rotates a full 1 and 3/4 turns to run through it's reproduction ratio begining at 1:10 winding through to 1:1. The manually adjustable aperture ring allows adjustment of settings from f/2.8 max to f/32 min. When coupled to my D200 and the necessary on board menu non-CPU settings dialed into the D 200, this lens meters just fine in Aperture/Shutter and Manual modes making this old beauty a geniune pleasure to hook up and shoot with. The Kiron 105mm macro lens is razor sharp from left frame to right and can deliver some good bokeh given some distant backdrop to bounce light off. I understand that the older non-Ai and Ai Nikkor lens range will perform similarly with the D200. I can recommend to any D200 shooter who is hamstrung with budget constraints or just likes good things in small (older) packages to seriously consider searching for the older manual focus lens range which are so compatible with the D200 - my old Kiron is a gem and has boosted my appreciation and enjoyment of photography (and my budget) no end!




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Scott Ditzel , Sep 23, 2007; 09:13 a.m.

Matthew, I've been shooting with this lens on a Nikon D70s for some time now & all I can say is I LOVE it!!...I have recommended this lens to many people that are looking for a macro lens...If you look at my Flickr photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/screaminscott/) you will see many photos taken with this lens...Most ,if not all , of the insect photos & many of the flowers were taken with this lens...


Matthew Brennan , Sep 23, 2007; 09:28 a.m.

Hi Scott, your floral macro shots have a lovely perspective to them, some of the facets you cover are quite unique - I'ts always refreshing to see same old subjects in a totally new light! Of course i expected the Kiron macro lens to be old hat to many but to the un-inititated such as myself, these older lenses are the key to enjoyment, I mean not only quality of image (yes I've tried a print or two with the Kiron - and yes, they are nice photos in the flesh) but also talk about value for money - it's a joy to make a real world 'find' every so often. All power to the older lenses!

Jerry Ballard , Sep 23, 2007; 11:01 a.m.

I have one of the vivitar series 1 macros. It is a 105 2.5 and has the serial # starting with 22 which indicates kiron build. I love this lens with my kenko 25 unitube. Happy (closeup) shooting!

Brad Farlow , Sep 23, 2007; 12:49 p.m.

I have the Lester Dine version. It's so good I have 2 of them. Sharpest lens I own and great boheh to boot! :) http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=557104 Check out my flowers at the above link.

Waldemar Giers - Kitchener,ON,Canada , Sep 23, 2007; 02:35 p.m.

I have many macro lenses but this one is used most often. Go figure why...

Waldemar Giers - Kitchener,ON,Canada , Sep 23, 2007; 02:36 p.m.

Lets try smaller.

SOFT PORN , D200, Lester Dine 105mm Macro

Keith Leonin , Sep 23, 2007; 11:16 p.m.

I have yet to hear anyone say something bad about the Kiron 105mm (or its Vivitar or Lester Dine equivalents). It is an incredible lens.

Russ Butner - Portland, OR - Vancouver, WA , Sep 24, 2007; 04:42 p.m.


We, in the Kiron Klub have been using that lens for years now. It's sharper and better built than the Nikon equivalent. It's one of the finest macro lenses ever made,by anyone! Congratulations on your purchase, you're going to really like it.


Lil Judd , Sep 24, 2007; 09:24 p.m.

I love my Lester A Dine on my D200. Shots can be seen on my Zenfolio site. Most macros are shot with it & most of my flowers...



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