Nikon 135mm f/2 DC lens


mikeyjayy

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Sep 21, 2010
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#1
hey guys, recently got uber poisoned by this lens after reading many reviews and saw many pictures taken by this baby right here.

basically i just wanted to hear what you guys feel about this lens and if you'd have any experience to share regarding the use of it. (mainly the DC function)

price wise, i think it's fairly decent if it really does live up to it's name.

and yes, i'm planning to do some portraiture with this lens. :D
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#2
your signature says 'D300'.
Planning to use with this camera?

135mm is rather long, in my opinion.
Perhaps consider 105DC?
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#3
Nothing short of praises. I have the 105DC, but very underused though, the defocus ring needs a little fiddling
You can ask Numnumball aka Bryan. He has the 135mm DC.

Ryan
 

wdEvA

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2006
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#4
I'm using it, and it's an awesome lens
Though I think at f2, it would help to be alil sharper, but stopped down the sharpness is great
The bokeh is awesome too
As for the DC function, I hardly used it. The difference is rather minimal unless you are trying hard to spot the difference when placed 2 photos side by side.

135mm on a FF would be great,
But if you are on crop, I would recommend u get the 85 1.4 instead
 

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kentwong81

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Jun 18, 2010
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#5
After Nikon have come out with the new G prime lenses 24mm, 35mm, 85mm f1.4G, I'm waiting for a new version of 135mm. Not thinking of a 135mm f1.4G, but a f1.8G or f2.0G with Nano Coating and VR would be good enough. Not sure if it would be possible or in their plan yet?
 

Anson

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Jul 31, 2006
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#6
135mm on a FF would be great,
But if you are on crop, I would recommend u get the 85 1.4 instead
Bro I just got a 135 recently, was testing it on my FF recently. Coming from a 85mm user, I would say I still need to get used to the range.
 

mikeyjayy

New Member
Sep 21, 2010
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#7
ooh.. thanks you guys! for the cool contributions. well;

After Nikon have come out with the new G prime lenses 24mm, 35mm, 85mm f1.4G, I'm waiting for a new version of 135mm. Not thinking of a 135mm f1.4G, but a f1.8G or f2.0G with Nano Coating and VR would be good enough. Not sure if it would be possible or in their plan yet?
not sure when's that gonna happen but i don't think i'll wait long enough to figure that out. the poison's strong in this one. whahaha :)

I'm using it, and it's an awesome lens
Though I think at f2, it would help to be alil sharper, but stopped down the sharpness is great
The bokeh is awesome too
As for the DC function, I hardly used it. The difference is rather minimal unless you are trying hard to spot the difference when placed 2 photos side by side.

135mm on a FF would be great,
But if you are on crop, I would recommend u get the 85 1.4 instead
oh? there's very minimal difference using the DC? hmm.. actually what does it actually do to the bokeh that makes it different? i mean, aside from the ability to make it "creamier"..

and it's not uber sharp at f/2? oh man.. i thought for a decent prime like that could produce images that cut your eyes in terms of sharpness wide open.

Nothing short of praises. I have the 105DC, but very underused though, the defocus ring needs a little fiddling
You can ask Numnumball aka Bryan. He has the 135mm DC.

Ryan
oh cool, perhaps one day if i ever get the chance to meet up with you guys or something then.

your signature says 'D300'.
Planning to use with this camera?

135mm is rather long, in my opinion.
Perhaps consider 105DC?
:( you exposed me not using an FX.. wahahaha.. yes i'm planning to couple it with my D3(00)s. i'm quite aware the range might be a little close to the far side but i think i'm cool with that. and besides, if i'll be getting this lens it's gonna last me for pretty long. so just in case i ever make the switch to FF that would still serve me well..

well, after that all being said.. i'm still unsure! hahaha..
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#8
:( you exposed me not using an FX.. wahahaha.. yes i'm planning to couple it with my D3(00)s. i'm quite aware the range might be a little close to the far side but i think i'm cool with that. and besides, if i'll be getting this lens it's gonna last me for pretty long. so just in case i ever make the switch to FF that would still serve me well..

well, after that all being said.. i'm still unsure! hahaha..
Nothing to be sad about :)
I personally think it's hard to find a prime lens that "does the same job" on both FX and DX.
That's why it's kinda troublesome to buy a lens (especially a prime) in anticipation of a change to FX, not quite knowing when that day will come :angel:
 

kentwong81

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2010
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#9
and it's not uber sharp at f/2? oh man.. i thought for a decent prime like that could produce images that cut your eyes in terms of sharpness wide open.
The new Nikon G prime lenses have better sharpness & contrast at wide open compared to the older prime lenses. That's why I'm hoping Nikon can come up with a new 135mm G prime lenses soon.
 

daredevil123

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Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#10
The DC lenses are legends in their own right. Especially how you can control the characteristics of the DoF. It is still being produced but in very limited numbers. And professionals like Chase Jarvis have swear by them more than any of the recent releases by Nikon.
 

Feb 6, 2006
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#11
Very nice lens, especially the bokeh if you get it right..
The DC are unique, even if there is a new 135mm G introduce (should be no aperture rings ? :think:)

Range definitely pose some issue especially if you are on crop factor and need to
communicate with the subject as Bro Anson mentioned

Its really great to complement it with the 85mm on full frame for versatility
 

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kentwong81

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Jun 18, 2010
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#12
This lens was introduced in year 1995. I think a new version should be coming very soon, or some people said it is long overdue.
Have checked Nikon Rumours but there is no news about it. Maybe it's like the 50mm f1.8G, just came out when nobody expected it.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#13
If u dream of having a 200mm f2 as the ultimate portrait lens, then the 135DC doesn seem so tight on DX after all? :p
horses for courses

Ryan
 

wdEvA

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Sep 1, 2006
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#14
Bro I just got a 135 recently, was testing it on my FF recently. Coming from a 85mm user, I would say I still need to get used to the range.
I used to be using 85 on FF for portraits, till I tried 105 and 135.
That caused me to abandon the 85, haha.
But 135 on fullbody shots is tough to communicate with the model though. =x

oh? there's very minimal difference using the DC? hmm.. actually what does it actually do to the bokeh that makes it different? i mean, aside from the ability to make it "creamier"..
ya, from what I've tried (following Nikon's way of using, setting DC settings to match your aperture),
I can't really see much of a difference. Unless I'm doing it wrong, or I've a faulty lens.

anyway, the bokeh at 0 DC, is already very good =)
 

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daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#15
wdEvA said:
I used to be using 85 on FF for portraits, till I tried 105 and 135.
That caused me to abandon the 85, haha.
But 135 on fullbody shots is tough to communicate with the model though. =x

ya, from what I've tried (following Nikon's way of using, setting DC settings to match your aperture),
I can't really see much of a difference. Unless I'm doing it wrong, or I've a faulty lens.

anyway, the bokeh at 0 DC, is already very good =)
What the dc does is to shift the amount of blur in the OOF areas close to the in focus subject, while maintaining the focus on the same subject.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#16
ya, from what I've tried (following Nikon's way of using, setting DC settings to match your aperture),
I can't really see much of a difference. Unless I'm doing it wrong, or I've a faulty lens.
anyway, the bokeh at 0 DC, is already very good =)
Actually if u adjust the DC ring to the extreme without matching with a corresponding small aperture, u can see the softening much more markedly. Previously I used to adjust the DC ring a little more with a larger aperture

Ryan
 

#17
In all lenses, the manufacturers have to balance between foreground and background blur. so generally if the bg blur is v v v smooth, the FG will be a little nervous or have hard edges. what the DC function allows you to do, is decide whether the FG or BG has a smoother blur by adjusting the amount of spherical aberration correction. this is would be very important for portrait photographers and can be used this way.

Example 1. bg is close to subject, nothing in the fg. set the DC setting to blur out the bg. you get a smoother bg, with no penalty cos there's nothing in the foreground.

example 2. bg is far away, maybe some flowers/leaves/props infront of the subject. set DC setting to neutral or more to the FG. like this, the fg is smother and doesnt have that blocky appearance. but must balance so the bg is decently good as well.

I use the 135 f2 AIS and it has fantastic BG blur, but a rather blocky foreground blur. so i can see where this would come in handy. the link below explains it abit better =)

As for sharpness, to my understanding, the lens is optimized to be v sharp from about 5m-&#8734;, and softer in the portrait distances(<5m). its a compromise, you either have ok sharpness at all settings, or v v good sharpness at parts of the focal range. this is prevalent in the 135 f2 AIS which i use. for anything further than 3-5m, i can very safely use at f2 and get superb results. but less than 3m will have to stop down to 2.8 if you want it to be pin sharp.

BUT!! at the closer range, i don't want it to be sharp and i really enjoy the rendition of the lens. so i really don't see a fault there. must remember that there're other factors like contrast, colours and rendition that come into play, not just resolution (sharpness).

can read more at nikon 1001 nights:
http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/

they have articles about both the 135 f2 AIS and DC versions, and they explain the compromises made in almost every lens listed there. quite a good read. great way to understand what our lenses do better.
 

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daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#18
Thanks for sharing Ben. This is a very good article to explain it all. Every lens design comes with compromises. What a DC lens gives you is the ability to control some of that compromises to fit the situation. Together with the 105DC, these are just legendary lenses. But they are not easy lenses to master. You need to know exactly what you want in your shot to realize the full capability of these lenses. I seriously doubt Nikon will release any DC replacements in the G flavor.
 

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