Nikon 135 DC or Sigma 135 Art..

Started May 6, 2017 | Discussions thread
VBLondon Contributing Member • Posts: 889
Re: Nikon 135 DC or Sigma 135 Art..

anotherMike wrote:

He has a very valid point though.

The DC lenses are *specialist* lenses. If one can work around their limitations in terms of AF accuracy and consistency (which frankly are pretty huge issues in my experience) and don't care about CA, sure, absolutely, they are wonderful lenses very strongly tuned towards specific things.

But not all photographers shoot those things, and some might want something that is sharp wide open, doesn't have veiling flare galore, can actually focus on something reliably and consistently too. The use case of one group of photographers does not invalidate the use case of another, and as such, it's perfectly understandable that the DC lenses will NOT be the best "universal to all photographers" recommendation.

The problem here (in these forums) is that whenever anyone speaks negatively of a lens they own, that person freaks, rushing immediately to defend the lens - without actually taking the time to THINK about the persons use cases. I'm sure I've done it too. But I'm trying, even with lenses I have a strong dislike for (say, the 58/1.4, given it's price), to be able to understand WHY even if I don't like it, why it might be "the" wonder lens for someone else. It's called trying to achieve maturity as a reviewer - to understand the characteristics of a lens and think tool to task matching more than ones personal feelings about the lens within the limited context of ones own use cases.

It's not about freaking to defend the DC. I made the mistake of listening to the forum stuff about how bad it was for a long time. I finally bought one because I really wanted an AF prime for portraits in that FL and because I found a very good price online.

My example focuses perfectly on my Df, even on demanding portraits at f2, as far as I can tell, there is practically no front or back focus. The results are a delight. It's not too big and relatively light at 1.8lbs/815g. I had a quick look and the Sigma, whilst a similar size, is 40% heavier at 2.5lbs/1130g. I don't need a "dock"....

Your language makes it sound a deeply specialised lens with "pretty huge issues". It sounds a bit exaggerated to me, although the AF thing may be some mix of sample variation and body-specific (the Df seems to me to be strangely good at not front or back focusing, better than the D3S that I had before).

It really depends on what you think of as the "specialised" rather than "more general" use case. I don't know! I do think sometimes the prevalence of the "very demanding and critical user" use case is exaggerated on these forums. I'd imagine most 135mm primes are used to take pictures of people and that corner sharpness at f2 is not very relevant. So whilst the Defocus Control is very specialised (I admit I've never bothered), as a moderately priced fast portrait prime which is reasonably light for its spec, it seems to me to have wider potential than a reader of your post might think. I don't have a more important use case than taking pictures of my family and I am as critical of the results of those as anyone using a 135 prime wide open for corner sharpness in landscapes. The results are a delight as I said, comparing to lenses like the 85 1.4G and the 70-200E, I think I prefer it to the 85 and it's obviously more user friendly in size and weight than the zoom.

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