This is one beautiful lens! It is so damn sharp, critically sharp that you can pull out incredible detail even wide open. It’s one of those lenses that at first I didn’t take note of because I didn’t have a need for it. But once I shot with it, I had to have it. Regrettably though, it doesn’t get much use. I own it and use it for special projects when macro is required. It is a flat field lens and that is critically important. This means that when you focus on a point, all points on that focus plane are sharp.
The 105VR goes to 1:1 and while it is a f/2.8, as you rack it out to 1:1 the f/stop does change. It’s the basic macro formula of loosing light as you increase magnification. For every 1x magnification you loose two stops of light. The engineers at Nikon cheated death because you don’t loose quite that much in exposure but if you watch your f/stop in the viewfinder as you focus out, you’ll see it change.
It does have VR and AFS which is a great combo in a micro lens. As you increase your magnification the angle of view gets narrower and narrower and camera/lens movement gets more and more amplified producing unsharp images. This is especially true when you attach a teleconverter. Yeah, the 105VR accepts the 1.4x, 1.7x and 2x and produces sweet images.