Nikon 135mm f2

Started Nov 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Keith Aitken Veteran Member • Posts: 6,574
Re: Nikon 135mm f2

That's a good price for a recent 135 f/2 DC - It really is a superb lens, with some caveats.

The lens is built to last, and is the fastest telephoto this side of the 200 f/2, however as some have observed, sharpness at f/2 is not exceptional, though still good.

The DC - Defocus Control - is almost unnoticeable, as Marianne mentions, so don't make a purchase decision based on DC As you may have seen, there are two ranges for the DC settings, front and rear. The front DC settings produce the most evident effects and do create a slightly hazy, fuzzy effect in portrait subjects - similar to a filter, but perhaps not quite as pleasingly consistent. Rear DC effect is hard to identify in an image, unless you know that you used it

Rear DC changes the minimum focus range : you can get a few inches closer when using rear DC, if that is of use.

I hardly use the lens in DC-enabled modes, but the 135 DC is an absolute favourite. Stopped down to f/2.8 it is very sharp, and by the time you get to f/4 it is amazing. There is slight CA wide open, usually when shooting into bright light, sunshine etc. It is hard to use the 135mm range indoors, studio etc, but for street shooting and closer sports, the lens is wonderful. AF is adequate - not bad, but not up to 70-200 accuracy ( I am using on Fuji S5 and D300 ).

Re your decision - what chance that you can "borrow" the 135 DC lens for a couple of days, and shoot your heart out against your 70-200 and see what you think in comparing results ? You could also try and negotiate for a lower price, but $900 is pretty good for a very high quality, and relatively new copy. I have the 85 f/1.8 too and while it is a very good value, with quick AF and reliable images, I generally prefer my 135 f/2 images, despite the slight quirkiness of the lens

Overall, a good complement to your current lenses, given the above comments . . .

good luck in deciding,


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