Updated w/ pics. 135mm f/2.0D AF DC

JohnnyRebel

Senior member
Feb 7, 2011
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I placed an order for the Nikon 135mm f/2.0 AF DC telephoto lens. It shows as out of stock. $1409 shipped, if it ever does.

http://www.adorama.com/NK1352AFU.html

Some people have reported that it is out of production since 2008, while others say that they were still manufacturing about 1000 a year before the problems in Japan. A friend who recently got one had to wait six months for one to ship to him, and it never showed as "in stock". After a bit of a learning curve, with some terrible results, he has really come to love the lens. He believes that this lens is, potentially, the best portrait lens in the world. If I happen to get one and don't love it, I am confident that I can ebay it for a profit.

Anybody got any personal experience with this lens?

JR

Update - sample shots. D40, manual focus.

5774081154_f60ecd3f74_b.jpg


5774064514_2174de085f_b.jpg
 
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996GT2

Diamond Member
Jun 23, 2005
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The bokeh from the 135mm Nikkor DC is reported to be extremely good, and also highly tune-able due to the defocus control feature. In terms of raw sharpness and mechanics, it may not be up to the standard of newer lenses with more complex optical designs and ultrasonic motors (e.g. the Canon 135 f/2L), but it's definitely a very capable and unique lens in its own right.

Another lens that immediately comes to my mind when the Nikkor 135mm DC is mentioned is the Sony 135mm STF, a lens designed to produce extremely smooth bokeh.
 
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actuarial

Platinum Member
Jan 22, 2009
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Ken Rockwell basically creams while discussing this lens. I know a lot of people don't like him, but read up his review it has a lot of info.
 

JohnnyRebel

Senior member
Feb 7, 2011
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Ken Rockwell basically creams while discussing this lens. I know a lot of people don't like him, but read up his review it has a lot of info.

Will do, thanks. I haven't been to his site in a long time. He's an entertainer who makes some good points. I especially liked his emphasis on the eye of the photographer rather than the gear.

I'll google him and this lens.

JR
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
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Ken Rockwell basically creams while discussing this lens. I know a lot of people don't like him, but read up his review it has a lot of info.
It is interesting how he talks about the photographer being more important than the camera and talks about how good the cheaper cameras are with just the 55-200 etc etc.

But then raves endlessly about the expensive pro lenses.
 

actuarial

Platinum Member
Jan 22, 2009
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It is interesting how he talks about the photographer being more important than the camera and talks about how good the cheaper cameras are with just the 55-200 etc etc.

But then raves endlessly about the expensive pro lenses.

Not all of them though. If you read enough of his reviews you'll find that while he talks about how great a lot of the pro lenses are, he also ends a lot of the reviews with "but if you're not a pro or rich then don't bother and buy the 18-200".

His most recommended lens it seems (the one he says is the only one he takes around with him) is the 35mm f/1.8 DX, one of the cheapest lenses money can buy.

Edit: I think a lot of the gushing over pro lenses comes from the fact that he's a pure camera geek, so the finer points of the pro lenses appeal to him. But at the same time he often admits unless you're blowing stuff up for a gallery you rarely notice the difference.
 

JohnnyRebel

Senior member
Feb 7, 2011
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Not all of them though. If you read enough of his reviews you'll find that while he talks about how great a lot of the pro lenses are, he also ends a lot of the reviews with "but if you're not a pro or rich then don't bother and buy the 18-200".

His most recommended lens it seems (the one he says is the only one he takes around with him) is the 35mm f/1.8 DX, one of the cheapest lenses money can buy.

Edit: I think a lot of the gushing over pro lenses comes from the fact that he's a pure camera geek, so the finer points of the pro lenses appeal to him. But at the same time he often admits unless you're blowing stuff up for a gallery you rarely notice the difference.

He does come from an engineering background.

JR
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
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wow that bad? canon's lens is cheaper and better? I can't believe it... that's a huge difference... so much chromatic abberations hitting the nikon's lens...
 

Sid59

Lifer
Sep 2, 2002
11,879
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wow that bad? canon's lens is cheaper and better? I can't believe it... that's a huge difference... so much chromatic abberations hitting the nikon's lens...

Either a lot of Nikon lenses with large apertures exhibit that CA (according to the site) or the site has something wrong.
Some Examples
28-200 @ 2.8
14 @ 2.8
50 @ 1.4
50 @ 1.8
85 @ 1.4

Does that site do a bokeh comparison?
 

actuarial

Platinum Member
Jan 22, 2009
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wow that bad? canon's lens is cheaper and better? I can't believe it... that's a huge difference... so much chromatic abberations hitting the nikon's lens...

I don't think that's really a fair comparison. The reason the Nikon stands out is due to the fact that you can adjust the strength of the out of focus area. You can even push is too far to make the in-focus area out of focus.

You don't have the same capabilities with the Canon. I guess the argument then depends on whether the 'DC' features are useful.

This would be like comparing a macro to a non-macro lens. Even if the non-macro 'tested' better, it doesn't really matter if it doesn't have the functionality you want.
 

twistedlogic

Senior member
Feb 4, 2008
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Either a lot of Nikon lenses with large apertures exhibit that CA (according to the site) or the site has something wrong.

I was thinking the same thing.

I thought Nikon's jpeg engine corrected for CA, then I read this:

"All test shots are taken in RAW format using Canon or Nikon's Neutral picture style (all parameters = 0). All aberration corrections are turned off both in-camera and during post processing. Using DPP (Canon's Digital Photo Pro), a sharpening setting of 1 is added to Canon shots. Nikon images are processed in Nikon ViewNX with a sharpness setting of 0."

Wonder why they did this? :)

Still though, Photozone.de reports that CA is more apparent in Canon's 135mm:

Nikon 135 DC
ca.gif


Canon 135L
ca.gif
 
Sep 29, 2004
18,665
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Not all of them though. If you read enough of his reviews you'll find that while he talks about how great a lot of the pro lenses are, he also ends a lot of the reviews with "but if you're not a pro or rich then don't bother and buy the 18-200".
His most recommended lens it seems (the one he says is the only one he takes around with him) is the 35mm f/1.8 DX, one of the cheapest lenses money can buy.

Edit: I think a lot of the gushing over pro lenses comes from the fact that he's a pure camera geek, so the finer points of the pro lenses appeal to him. But at the same time he often admits unless you're blowing stuff up for a gallery you rarely notice the difference.

I totally get this. Going from a PaS to an SLR will make anyone take better photos. It's no contest. But to go from a $100 lens to a $1000 lens, you really need to know how to use it. Otherwise, your left with a $1000 lens that does the work of a $100 lens.

Most people can make due with an 18-55mm and 55mm to 250mm lens. I have those and added the 50mm prime. The prime is overkill but it does take better portraits. I jsut have to set aside time to take them some time. Played enough with the prime to know how to be dangerous with it:)
 

JohnnyRebel

Senior member
Feb 7, 2011
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The lens s/b delivered today (big surprise to me). Just sold the D2H and haven't ordered the replacemt yet (trying to decide between the D700 or the D7000). I'll do some test shots w/ my son's D40 over the weekend and post something early next week.

JR
 

angry hampster

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2007
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www.lexaphoto.com
I'm sure you'll love it. My Canon 135 f/2 can produce absolutely stunning shots. Wonderful sharpness and color. Even though I don't use it nearly as much as my other lenses, I imagine I'll never sell it.
 

JohnnyRebel

Senior member
Feb 7, 2011
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Digitalrev just recently did a video test of the 105mm f/2 DC, which is very similar to the 135mm.

Their conclusion? "It's a good lens, but don't expect much out of that DC ring"

http://youtu.be/3Lm6ZsPSEXg

Thanks, I'll check it out. Just casually shooting around the house it it is a wonderful lens. I do wish it had VR, but for my use I'm not sure it'll matter. It does take some care playing around with the D40 handheld (manual focus, 200mm equivalent and no VR).

JR
 

Dubb

Platinum Member
Mar 25, 2003
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what about the 105 f/2.8 VR? I know canon has the 100 f/2.8 IS.

nice lens but from the limited use I had with it, I think it's overpriced, and there are certainly better macro lenses. If I was in the market for a ~100mm macro I'd try real hard to make the stretch to a used zeiss 100/2. If I just wanted the VR in that focal length, I might try to make the stretch to a 70-200II. It's 2x as much, but I'd get very little use out of the 105 and a lot of use out of the 70-200.

I've never seen much use for VR in a portrait lens, but I really don't do portraits.
 

finbarqs

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2005
4,057
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zeiss 100/2 is mf, and a lot of people need that instant focus, especially at events. But i know several people who exclusively use the 105 f/2.8 VR for portraits.

but for the picture above, shot 1 is under exposed, shot 2 is oof