Nikon 180 2.8 D, Nikon 135 2.0 DC, and Nikon 105 2.8 Af VR

Started Sep 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 3,149
Re: Nikon 180 2.8 D, Nikon 135 2.0 DC, and Nikon 105 2.8 Af VR

jimofcan wrote:

Any comments on these lenses, regarding image quality, etc?

I own all three, but since I think that the quality of the image has little to do with "image quality" or "IQ," I may be the wrong person to ask. With that in mind:

105mm VR -- Excellent optics, reasonably good bokeh, some corner softness wide open at longer focal distances. Autofocus speed is reasonable unless the system decides to "hunt," at which point it becomes slow even with the limited engaged. While VR isn't all that useful at 1:1, it still helps for handheld shots of flowers and the like. Only petal-style lens hood of the three.

135mm DC -- Showing its age; I rate the optics just below excellent. My non-D copy has significant longitudinal CA, which shows up as fringing in the OOF area. Fairly slow autofocus on an F100, D200, or D800, glacial on a Pronea S. Bokeh is very nice. DC can be useful if you are deliberate with your setups, but in this age of easy postprocessing it's often just one more way to mess up a shot.

180mm D -- Excellent optics and nice bokeh. Much easier to pack and carry than an xx-200mm f/2.8 zoom, but without either a tripod mount or VR it can be tricky to get the most out of this lens. At least in the U.S. resale value is poor, but if you're looking to buy a used copy this ain't a bad thing.

I acquired the 135mm and 180mm roughly two decades after buying my first 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom and 105mm macro lenses, and if I had to, I'd sell either well before selling my 105mm VR or 70-200mm VR. If the shot calls for either a 135mm or 180mm focal length and doesn't require close focus, touch-up focus, or VR and doesn't require state-of-the-art autofocus speed I'll gladly choose either one over a zoom, but for me that choice is a luxury rather than a necessity.

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I miss the days when I used to be nostalgic.

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