New Lens - Kiron 105 f/2.8 Macro
Last week I went to my local camera store to buy a watertight camera case. I needed this for last weekend's vacation to Ameland, a small island in the Waddezee (the sea above the Netherlands), where you can walk through the sea during lowtide.
Anyway, they always have some used lenses on sale and this time I saw they had a macro lens on sale for just under 100 euro.
This lens was the Kiron 105 f/2.8 macro. I have been looking for a macro lens for a long time now, so I decided to buy this one.
Kiron / Kino Precission was a brand from the eighties that was supposedly founded by a group of Nikkor engineers. The company produced lenses for other companies like Vivitar (some of the legendary 1 series lenses) and later started producing lenses of their own. They stopped producing lenses of their own in the late eighties because they could not afford including autofocus in their lenses.
The 105 is supposed to be a very good lens. On some websites they even say it has a cult-status :). I read on several websites that it is optically the same as the Vivitar Series 1 105 f/2.5 (which also has a good reputation). The difference in apperture seems odd, but the apperture ring of the Kiron seems to turn a bit further than f/2.8. I suspect the lens is actually f/2.5 as well, but I will do some tests later.
Here are some pictures of the lens on the camera:
Attachment 35458 Attachment 35457
The build quality is pretty good. The thing is made completely of metal (and is pretty heavy). The lens is in a good condition. Some marks and scratches on the metal, but the glass seems fine.
I have taken quite some shots with the lens. So far I am pleased with its performance. It is the first time I shoot 1:1 macro, so I still find it a bit difficult to cope with the thin depth of field. Here are some pictures I took so far:
All in all, I think the lens represents great value of for the money. It is manual focus and has no metering on the D50, but I don't think it is that big a deal for the purpose. Of course, modern macro lenses are better, but at a third of the price of the Tamron 90, I think it is a good alternative for photographers on a budget.