135DC lens & D800

dpzdpz Posts: 1Member
edited January 2015 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
Anyone using this combination & managed to get the lens to actually focus on the point you want it to? I've just run another series of fine focus tests on both my D800s & Nikkor primes - all of which are within a +/-3 to 4 range to fine tune them. Except, the 135DC - & I've been through 3 of them now, all brand new. Each & everyone of them is at +20 on both bodies and still front focussing beyond an acceptable level. Nikon UK are aware but I'm not holding my breath for a sensible response or indeed any admission the lens won't work on a modern camera. I was told by the retailer the lens isn't satisfactory on a chip over 24Mp. A lens either focusses or it doesn't, regardless of chip size. Testing set up:- LensAlignPro -tripod mounted. Camera tripod mounted, base ISO @ 320th. Fired via cable release & mirror up to eliminate any potential vibration problems. Light by strobes.


  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    I use my DC 135 with my D800 all the time and it is my favorite lens. I think anyone that tells you that this lens should not be used on a sensor larger than 24 megapixels does not know what they are talking about. This lens holds my 85mm 1.4G’s feet to the fire. The IQ is “not quite” there, but I have to look really hard to see the difference.

    That said, lenses and sometimes cameras often have fine focus issues. I take both to Nikon and have them fine tune it. Better yet, take all of your lenses to Nikon - or at least one with a small adjustment and tell Nikon that that is typical (to ensure that they fix the lens instead of being lazy and fixing the camera only).
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Do you get diffrent results if you shoot in liveview mode?

    You could have focus issues. I had similar issues with mine until Nikon made a mirror angle adjustment and repaired the mirror box. Ever since then my shots at f1.4-f2.8 have been acceptable
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    I've been using my 105mm VR macro lately for portraits, but I've noticed (and I read about this before I bought it) that when I move into portrait range, the widest aperture starts to drop from 2.8 to 3.5 and up. So far I'm really happy using the lens as a portrait lens, but I can see how a 135 f/2 constant aperture would be killer for portraits.

    Here's an example of a portrait when the aperture drops from 2.8 to 3.5. This is also cropped quite a bit for better framing so the actual image is not as tight as I would like to go. I think the aperture would drop even more so if I actually took the shot close enough to get this crop.


    A 70-200 2.8 seems like it would make a nice portrait lens as well, but I think a 135mm would fit my style better as I seem to prefer prime lenses over using zooms.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    If portraits are your main objective, get the 105 or 135 DC 2.0, the 135 being the better choice. There is no reasonable alternative to these lenses except the 85s or 200 f/2. The 70-200 is a nice lens but only decent, not spectacular, on the long end.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    Check out shots with my 135 on my Flickr account below.
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Check out shots with my 135 on my Flickr account below.
    Just followed you on Flickr I will definitely check them out! I actually meant to post this in the new 135mm discussion instead of this post, but maybe the 135mm DC would work out as well. Still hoping for an updated version though :D

    And you're probably right about the 70-200mm...
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    I finally got a 105mm f/2 DC is a pretty sweet lens. Having said that I do agree that the 135mm F/2 DC would be an even better focal range. I'd really love to get the Formula V 135mm f/1.8 I have converted from Minolta to Nikon F but I need to acquire a lathe first. The DCs are as a few have said seem to have a large variance of how sharp they are without some adjustment needed either in camera or having to have both calibrated. On my copy I had to adjust back focus -15 on the lens and now it is spot on. Yeah the 80-200mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8s are pretty nice results lens for portrait work or at least the little bit I have done with my copies.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    edited February 2015
    I'd like to add a comment here in regards to the 105/135 not being "up to par" for a camera like the D800/D810. The fact is that this can/will only show itself when viewing an image with 100% magnification at full 1:1 resolution. Bottom line is any conversion of the image to match the 12/16Mp sensors of old will yield the same, if not better imagary.

    The 105/135 will not produce WORSE images on the D810 than it did a D700/D3/D3s/D4. The D810's sensor will simply expose that much more finite detail in an image to make any lens issues be visible where before there wasn't the sensor/resolving power to even seen it.

    So it's very important for anybody considering this lens realize they're not losing anything when paired with a D810/D750.

    The problem Nikon has is that it simply charges too much for an older lens at $1300 for the 135/F2, this lens should be a $900-$1000 lens. They need to update it and stick VR in and and they could get $1400 all day long.

    Post edited by JonMcGuffin on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    This lens compares very favorably to my 85 1.4G. I have no problem paying the price.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Really, the DC's are the best. I use the 105DC on the D810 and D3s all the time. It Rocks....

    Works perfect on my D810 without correction.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    And I really don't want VR on a portrait lens. I would rather the money goes to improved optics.
  • jimmyboyjimmyboy Posts: 505Member
    edited February 2015
    I own both 105 & 135 D.C. f/2. Best two lenses in my bag. If they update these lens. The'll make them out of plastic. I shot both these lenses d-300, d-700, & d-800E. they both perform very well. Very happy with both these lenses. For the price they ask for them, well worth IT! No need to buy soft filter with these lenses.
    Post edited by jimmyboy on
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    I suspect you're right Pitch.... Maybe just get the 135mm F2 from Zeiss and be done with it..
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    I just saw something about Sigma's next lenses in the Art line include a 135mm.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    I just saw something about Sigma's next lenses in the Art line include a 135mm.
    It would be interesting if Sigma released this lens but geared it ever so slightly towards an optic with superior bokeh characteristic rather than extreme sharpness. Obviously the lens can and should be both but I'd love to see it really stand up to the DC's and 58 1.4G in that regard.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I will try and check out my combo, D800E + 135mm f/2 DC Nikkor...
    Msmoto, mod
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member

    As for shooting with a Zeiss... when I feel the urge to manually focus a lens, I break out my Leica.

    Current Nikon DSLR's do not have decent manual focus aids.

    Look at Fuxi x-t1 or Sony A7II for inspiration.

    .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    Sigh .. maybe there is something wrong with me .. picture of a pretty girl and I am looking at how nice the blurred balls of light on the right are ...
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    Was that in Rome Pitchblack? I will be there next month.
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    Nope, that was in Riga, Latvia. It's beautiful.
    And so is the picture. Will we see any polo shots in the future? Not that I don't like the pretty girls.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    Then perhaps I should rephrase my comment and say that I hope Sigma releases a 135 and markets it such so that people can really recognize and appreciate the beautiful bokeh and "3d effect (whatever that is)" the lens possess so that it may be accurately portrayed in the marketplace as such. ;)
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited February 2015
    A.K.A. "Art"?
    Here's what Sigma says about the 35mm Art
    "This lens’ axial chromatic aberration is minimized, which renders a cool and smooth out-of-focus image. At low apertures, it can perform like a wide-angle lens; when opened up to F1.4, it will provide background bokeh and make the subject pop like a mid-range telephoto lens."
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    Here is an example of the 135 DC 2.0 that I like:

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,745Member
    edited February 2015
    Here are a couple more from Nikon's 135mm DC 2.0. Both are shot at f/2 with the Defocus Control set at R2. A very small amount of sharpness is given up for the slightly blurrier background (or foreground if you set it to F2).

    A Woman in Red

    Untitled, Vancouver, 2014

    And yes, both are shot on a D800.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
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