classic portrait lenses in soft ideal light but limited usage

Started 10 months ago | User reviews thread
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lb77 Regular Member • Posts: 214
classic portrait lenses in soft ideal light but limited usage

The lens is beautifully made and has a very interesting defocus control (DC) that ads extra 'butter' in the transitions from focus and out of focus areas. The first problem I had with this DC control, even after carefully reading instructions and watching videos, is that i found the effect to be so subtle i barely noticed it. Matt Granger does a video with tests comparing it and he also states the same. An aperture of f1.4 will always give you more buttery bokeh than this f2 with DC control, but with the trade-off of a shallower DOF. The concept of achieving subject isolation at f2 (this with more of the subject face in focus) with a DC control is interesting in theory, because it means you could add a bit more of 3D pop to the portrait, but I personally found the effect to be ultra subtle.

I used it on a d810 body and found that perhaps this lens is not tuned for high res digital sensors (it is made since 1993 if I am correct, but mid 90s for sure): not that sharp and lots of CA (chromatic aberration). There is a new AF-S NIKKOR105mm f/1.4E ED which I never tried, but I'm willing to bet it will give better results in modern cameras. It's also more than 2x more expensive, so...

It all comes down to what will you use it for and how. I found it to be a very special lens that I would love to keep if I could afford collecting lenses that sort of overlap, but I found I didn't use it as much as a nikkor 85mm1.4G and a zeiss apo sonar 135mm f2. The skin rendering is it's main strength, both color and texture. The lack of sharpness and heaps of CA it's weakness. 105mm is very workable. I had more keepers with other lenses but when this one hits, it does magic. I had no problem selling it again just by showing a few portraits I took with it.

 lb77's gear list:lb77's gear list
Ricoh GR II Nikon D810 Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II +3 more
Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC
Telephoto prime lens • Nikon F (FX) • 1932
lb77's score
4.0
Average community score
4.9
Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED Nikon D810
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