Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ross London Xpres 105mm f3.8 Nikon D810

One of the nice things about larger format lenses like the Ross London Xpres 105mm f3.8, is that their flange distance is often longer than most SLR camera mounts, and this makes them adaptable on DSLRs, even on Nikon cameras which is usually the least adaptable mount of all D/SLR cameras. This particular lens, having a very long flange, is even usable with the Vivitar Macro 2x Teleconverter helicoid.  I have a number of these Vivitar macro teleconverters, and I used one of them for the Nikon mount.  Even with the Vivitar focus helicoid, a 10mm spacer is required to make the lens focus to infinity.

This lens has one nice feature on its shutter: T setting. This setting allows you to trip the shutter and it stays open until the shutter is tripped again. This makes it unnecessary to remove the shutter blades in the lens, but at the same time, the shutter is easy to trip so often I have to re-cock the shutter and make it open again before use. A small inconvenience I can live with.

Ross London Xpres 105mm f3.8 on Nikon D810

I am not a big fan of using adapted lenses on DSLRs, having done that with the Canon for many years. They are nowhere as convenient as using an EVF on mirrorless cameras. But the Nikon D810 has a very nice optical viewfinder, and I find that I don't have much trouble getting critical focus, even with slower lenses. The non-swivel rear screen is still a big negative for some low angle shots. That said, I kind of enjoy using the D810 with some of the manual focus lenses. Aside from the nice viewfinder, the image quality is the biggest attraction.

Winter in the city - Xpres 105mm f3.8 on Nikon D810

Miss Toronto - Xpres 105mm f3.8 on Nikon D810

The Xpres 105mm f3.8 lens works really well with the D810, despite the high density sensor. So far, I am really, really liking this lens and how it renders pictures, even though I have only used it a few times. The bokeh is especially smooth and beautiful, but the lens is also quite sharp.  One thing that I have noticed, and that usually does not happen with the Sony A7, is I get more blurry pictures with the D810, even though I set the minimum shutter speed to 1/125s. This camera requires a much higher shutter speed to get sharp pictures.

I am looking forward to using this lens more, especially in the spring when we have more colours to fill the camera sensor.

Bokeh Samples - Xpres 105mm f3.8 and Nikon D810. This pictures need to be viewed at large size to appreciate the details.


  1. hello mr Chan ,
    in mikroskopy-picturing there is a big problem to get sharp picture due to the "shutter shake" ( (site 2), or ) sure you know about it . but this is where the central shutter comes in handy , as it causes no vibration . greting gerhard

    1. Thanks for the tip! I always have my A7 with second curtain enabled.