AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D
My favorite lens
I don't normally write reviews but this lens deserves five stars! So here we go. I have owned it for three years. Other primes have come and gone from my collection (105 2.8 VR, 85 1.8 D, and 85 1.8 G). This one will stay. If you have the working distance this lens will produce for you. I shoot theater and in low light, wide open I get consistently great results. Auto focus is fast and sure on a D700. The bokeh is really creamy. Outside I leave a ND on it and shoot wide open. No need to bother with the defocus control. Lens is built like a tank.
November 7, 2014
Best portrait lens!
I own a number of Nikkor lenses that I sometimes use for portraiture ( 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 85 f/1.8 ) but when I really want to flatter the subject with a beautifully blurred background this is the lens I choose. On a full frame D800e or even my old D300 it just blows everything else away for portraits. The fast aperture is great for available light shots from the audience in a theater too. Solid as a rock but not that large or heavy compared with many of the VR zooms people carry around today. My favorite lens.
August 1, 2014
The absolute best portrait lens. Period. ANY Nikon user would enjoy this beauty regardless the style (and budget).
Sharp (and I do mean SHARP) at all apertures up to f8 (little corner loss of sharpness at f2.0, NORMAL!) , at f11 diffraction kicks and forget f16. once you get used to and learn from yourself what the results of the Defocus Control (DC) are gonna be you start to get the most amazing background blurs you never dreamed about. Not heavy for a true PRO lens, solid and sturdy construction, well balanced on D700 and pro bodies, manual / Auto focus ring is well placed and very good quality and the DC ring too, no accidental movements at all. Manual focus is really a pleasure if you need it, because AF is quite fast on D700 and instantaneous on D4, little noisy though but perfect overall.
Beautiful bokeh even at 5.6, yes 5.6!!! I guess the roundness of the blades really do their job. at f2 the bokeh is a dream. If you put the 2 rear setting of the DC ring it is as good as it gets. also another sweet spot i find in my copy is at f4 DC set to 4 rear, with fairly distant natural background you wouldn't believe how well were spent your hard earned bucks.
If you shoot at f2.0 or 2.8 and you set the DC to 4 or 5.6 rear you get an ethereal gorgeous dreamy halation, if you do this with front you get a nice soft focus feeling.
As you can read I'm in love with this lens. If you want a sharp subject to pop out the most beautiful bokeh, then this is your lens!
Noticeable chromatic aberrations (CA) at f2.0 only if backlit objects are next to really dark elements in the background, the purple outline is moderate but not ugly at all, just present. besides that it is normal for a big glass with that wide aperture. By 2.8 no CA I can notice in real life shoots, maybe a black backlit tree shooting towards a overcast sky for example might still render a little fringing at 2.8, but... who does that shoot anyway!? And repeat, it is not ugly.
The integrated hood is sort of short and made of thin metal, so if you hit something with the front of the lens you bend it for sure, mine is all curvy flowery shaped now, but then again.. if the built in hood weren't open the front element could be damaged, so... THANKS Hood!!! If you shoot and that is all that matters for your photography then you'll find no problem withe this hood, if you are meticulous about your gear being in As new mint++ condition well...
I find this focal length perfect on full frame, but maybe you could find it a little long on DX, I dont know really.
Learning curve might be demanding, so dont expect buy friday the lens and be his master by sunday, you have to shoot to be aware of what you can get from this lens and how to get it.
Besides that, this lens is a must for any nikon user. There is no doubt of it.
January 25, 2013
super sharp protraits
I studied reviews carefully before buying this lens, and i took the plunge. I have other lenses that cover the same range of 135mm, but I like to throw the background out of focus so that I enhance the visuals of the subject, be it the entire face, or just the eyes.
This lens when utilizing the fast speed does that very well. I think to use the DC feature to its best takes a lot of practice and patience, and you can use it to shift the focus.
The build quality of the lens is super with the metal components and the black krinkle finish. A smooth and flawless lens, that returns great results.
April 27, 2011
135mm DC f/2D = Excellent
I bought this lens after reading many reviews and looking at photos taken. Just simply amazing bokeh!
I have both the 135mm and 85mm and often refer to them as my bokeh machines.
Performance is fast, but not as fast as AF-S. Nonetheless, if used the right way with the DC, you'll be pleased with the creative results.
Definitely worth the money spent.
April 14, 2011