Filter Size: 72mm
concise version: A beautifully crafted lens with fantastic optics
and outdated auto-focusing ability.
The Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC is Nikon's longest in production AF
lens. It first came into production October of 1990 and has only seen
the minor (and relatively insignificant) upgrade to a D lens in 1995.
The optical formula and auto-focus abilities have remained unchanged
for almost twenty-two years. This is the only AF lens I've used that is
built like an old AI-S lens. All metal construction, superb fit and
finish, this lens is made to last. This and the 105mm DC are the last
of the Nikkors with built in lens hoods, which is a shame because they
but similar in diameter to the Nikkor 70-300VR.
lens is built to do one thing; shoot portraits. In the short time I had
the lens, that's exactly what I did with it. The DC stands for Defocus
Control. Many websites explain it well. The short answer is that the DC
control subtly controls how the foreground or background bokeh render.
Very subtly, to be honest I can barely tell the difference on all the
test sites or in use. Back in the days of film it was also used to
achieve a soft focus effect, but with Photoshop that aspect of the lens
Even at f/2 it's a sharp lens, nothing to complain about here.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC @ 1/160 F2 ISO 800 DC R2
100% crop of the raw straight from camera.
D700, Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC @ 1/160 F2 ISO 800 DC R2
What drives me crazy about many reviews is that they show a background
so far out of focus that it's not really bokeh. Here the sunflowers are
only a foot or two behind Shannamar. This is not a simple background,
it's very busy in person but the lens handles it with ease.
D700, Nikkor 135mm f/2 @ 1/100 F2 ISO 800
open there is no doubt it's a fast lens!
This lens is almost perfect. Almost. It has two critical
I've never seen this mentioned in other reviews, but even on my D700
the AF ability is reliable, but not fast. An adult walking at normal
stride will out pace the lens. Kids? Good luck. You'll only get an in
focus shot if they pause for a second. The second issue is that at
135mm it's getting into the telephoto range and could benefit from VR.
Personally I'd trade the DC controls for AFS and VR. As it is, the lens
is a bit outdated and overpriced for what it can do (shoot portraits in
a controlled setting). On the other hand, what it can do, it does well.
beautiful, almost like traditional Nikkor AI-S quality. I love the
built in lens hood and wish Nikon still made them.
much to handle with no
but the focus ring is very smooth for an AF lens. No instant AF overide
due to old AF mechanism.
- Amazing performance. Does what it's made to
although slightly softer at f/2.
for what it has. For $1,400 you should get AFS and VR too.
wonderful lens crippled
by outdated AF.
Practicality for kayaking: 2/10
lens just isn't
suited for kayaking. Rather big and heavy, no focal range, slow AF.
Need I say more? If all you do is shoot portraits, you may consider
this lens although it seems to be near discontinued. If you shoot
anything else the 70-200 f/2.8 VR1 runs close to the same price and has
a lot more to offer, although it's much more intimidating to people.