It’s not always easy deciding which lenses to invest in for your underwater photography kit, and hopefully this piece will make this one decision a bit easier. Without a doubt, the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens is one of the most popular macro lenses for Nikon APS-C and full frame underwater (and topside) photographers.

Nikon 105mm
Extremely rare Placida cremoniana nudibranch at Catalina Island, California. Normally found near Japan.

The working distance of the Nikon 105mm makes it ideal for using magnifiers. The Nauticam SMC, paired with the Nikon 105mm, allowed me to fill more of the frame with this tiny slug. 1/80, ƒ/16, ISO 250.

Its minimum focus distance of 12” makes it great lens for photographing skittish critters, and the longer working distance allows the Nikon 105mm macro lens to work very well with a range of super macro tools including the ReefNet SubSee and Nauticam magnifiers. In addition, the option of focusing manually with a focus gear is a great one to have, especially when shooting super macro and when conditions make autofocus difficult. Minute adjustments can be made without risk of the lens “hunting” for the subject. This option is available with most major housing manufacturers. 

Like any true macro lens, the Nikon 105mm has a maximum magnification of 1:1. Its nine rounded aperture blades provide a pleasing bokeh, which is a quality any macro photographer would appreciate. 

Christmas Tree Worm
The rounded aperture blades help produce smooth bokeh. This photo was made at ƒ/11, 1/200, ISO 125.

The built-in vibration reduction and its inherent sharpness make the Nikon 105mm ƒ/2.8 VR macro lens a worthwhile investment for the discerning underwater photographer.
The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens is in stock at Samy’s Camera online.