Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D
Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:45
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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:06
I have not had the Nikon 135 for very long (used 135 in Canon a LOT) - but up to date - this lens - coupled with my 24-70, is all I use in studio.
Renders good creamy background and I like the IQ.
Focuses well in low light
This is not a new lens and in SA very difficult to get hold of.
My lens (out of box) was severely front focusing. So was my partners, and one other lens I know about had the same issue. Adjusted it on my D3x, (12) and it is now great to work with. I have heard that this lens may tend to have front focusing issues.
Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:23
Judging from how my samples behaved, I can confirm that the 135mm version is slightly less sharp wide open than the 105mm version. But for portrait work, even the wide-open sharpness of the 135mm is sufficied. Purple fringing can occur at highlights easily (on a D80 and a Fuji S5 at least, where I used them). Contrast is optimised for portrait work and therefore a bit on the low side, not comparable to the punshy images of modern N-coated lenses. AF speed is moderate, it has its problems with sports e.g. soccer when doing AF tracking, but the usual stuff gets done quick enough. Bokeh is very soft and somehow special, resembles a bit the one from the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. In the end, I preferred the bokeh of the AF-D 85mm f/1.4 which is more neutral. Build quality is tank-like but watch the MF/A ring, it tends to break when used heavily.
Posted 13 July 2010 - 17:02
Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:49
Posted 02 September 2010 - 17:36
The first copy was severely flawed -- it would not focus correctly even at +20 fine tuning. It was sent back, and I purchased the second from Berger Bros. They were good enough to test it beforehand on both a D3 and D3x, and so it was perfect on my D3s.
Stunning portraits, even at f/2 and 2.8, but there is a bit of reduced contrast at these apertures.
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Posted 03 October 2010 - 12:57
It's a little bit soft at f/2 on my D700, thats why I use it mostly between f/2.8 and f/4
Haven't used the DC feature yet.
My AF 2.8/180mm is a bit sharper, but the 135mm DC renders a little bit softer skin tones.
Edited by Marc Schlueter, 08 December 2011 - 08:19 .
Posted 03 October 2010 - 16:51
It's built beautifully and of course the bokeh has been rightly lauded ad nauseum. It's also nice for a lens to be at its optimum at about f/4 instead of f/8, which this lens is.
I replaced it for portraits, though, with the 180mm f/2.8 and the 105 f/2.5 Ai-S, both of which are sharper and a little more contrasty.
I would be interested in getting the 105 f/2 DC in the future, though I'd have to be allowed to test it first.
Posted 21 November 2010 - 21:59
PS: No focus problems here. When I got the lens I did some focus testings and had weird results. Then I read somewhere that this happens with test objects and that I should just use the lens to shoot people and yes that was the answer. Always sharp shots in real situations.
Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:41
Posted 07 March 2011 - 22:23
I have for this my 135 DC and after, as said before, some AF fine tuning, is one of the best lens for studio work.
Great IQ, solid construction. Only the hood is so-so.
Posted 04 May 2011 - 18:46
A bit soft and also critical in focusing wide open,
it becomes extremely sharp from f2.8 on, I see either no furhter focus issue from f2.8 on.
Inded I never understood the DC function, it clearly introduces a blur also in the focus area, so, as my main need is to get sharp and still images, I used it just for some tests.
I used it also for some action shot, and even if the images are not worth to be used, the overall quality is outstanding and the focus always perfect.
Great lens, 5 star for me.
Posted 08 August 2011 - 13:04
Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:48
Posted 08 April 2012 - 13:54
My copy worked on my D700 without any focus adjustments on subjects that are 5-25 feet from my position. When I pixel peep, my copy is nicely sharp from F/2.5 and becomes brilliantly sharp between F/4 and F/8. With this focal length and, by placing subjects correctly, I found I can obtain the most liquid bokeh that maintains rich contrast and saturation in the OOF areas. A bit disappointing, PF does occur at wide apertures / high contrast points but Capture NX removes it completely. By F/3.5 any PF that shows up is usually my fault for not paying attention to extraneous light points. I typically use F/3.5 - F/4.5 for head and shoulders to keep both eyes crisp - at shorter shooting distances the natural flattening of this focal length comined with excellent bokeh of this lens makes any backgrounds "wash away".
For people / skin tones I have found it's rendering to be stellar both in natural light and with flash although, using this lens with flash took me a bit longer to wrap my mind around due to this lens' tonal qualities (that pesky pursuit of "I can do better"). I have created a custom profile for the combination of my Quantum flashes and this lens - the combination of these two tools (135DC + Quantum QFlash) is simply exceptional.
For closer landscape work I initially used my existing profiles and a singh-ray color intensifier filter. This was the first time I ever had a lens produce oversaturated output - this blew me away! Finally, a lens that I could shoot without any extra gizmos and obtain beautifuly rendered, natural colours using just the base lens.
I personally do not find this lens does a great job with subjects at distances greater than 40 feet. It's not that the images are "bad", it's just that they do not have the same impact as it produces with closer shooting distances. Distant subjects are still in focus and sharp, but the lens seems to be tuned for a closer working relationship to your subject.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 16:06
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