135mm f/2 DC

aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
edited April 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Any signs of a refresh?

Not necessarily of a Defocus Controll per-se, but of the FL/F-Stop combo here.

I'm not much for zooms, I'm a prime guy. 200mm f/2 is huge, expensive, and impractical for anything but specialist work. Which I don't do.

Would love to see a new 135mm f/2 G show up for my wedding and portrait work. There seems to be a lot of times when I'm in a particularly dim chapel or what-have-you in which I wish my 70-200/2.8 was one stop faster.

I know I want it, I know why it's excellent. Are there any prospects for a new one? Screw drive focuses just don't always keep up. Or does that make me sound snobby... I'll probably buy a D version even if a G version comes out. Releasing a G version would just serve to make the D version cheaper for me :)
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
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Comments

  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    There was an article about a year ago on the main blog about a patent for a 135 mm f1.8. But other than that I have not heard anything about the update. See here for details.
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    Is the 200mm f/2 that impractical to use? I use my 300 f/2.8 very frequently and I have a bad back. All you need is a black rapid rs7 and it takes 10 pounds off the lens. The cost is a killer tho. I would love to see a refresh of the 135mm however. When will Nikon produce some of the marvels it patents? the 135mm f/1.8 would not only be lighter but a helluva alot lighter and cheaper than a 200mm f/2. I still want that 10mm f/4 Fx and 28-200mm f/2.8 they patented
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My 135mm f/2 is a very good lens and I cannot see Nikon refreshing this anytime soon. I simply do not find the focus speed an issue. Of course, if a 135mm f/1.8 came about, mmmmm......

    One of the nice things about the old 135mm is the build quality...this is a solid metal lens....feels like that German stuff... ;)
    Msmoto, mod
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    edited April 2013
    @kyoshinikon the impracticality comes from the 5,800 dollars for a 200mm lens ;) 6.4 lbs, drop in filters... if I'm buying that much of a lens I'm getting further out with the 300 2.8
    but i digress.
    We are missing 1/3 of the perfect trio of portrait and low light lenses. 50 1.8/1.4g, 85 1.8/1.4g, and a 135 1.8g. Also would love to see a refresh of the 70's and 80's fixed 15mm. The current 14mm is too expensive and has terrible mustache distortion that ruins my architecture images. In a perfect world we'd have a new 15mm 2.8g, a new 24mm 2.8g (that 1.4 being over 2 grand is hella not worth it.), my 50/1.8g, 85/1.8g, a 135/1.8g, a siggy 150/2.8 macro, and a siggy 120-300/2.8. mmmm how that would be soo perfect. but alas, i'm not that wealthy. Either way I'll be buying that 135/2D soon as I scrounge up money for it. Replace that 70-200 I don't always like.

    Edit: I spose a 28/1.8 would do, but I always appreciate the last two mm on the bottom of a 24-70.
    Post edited by aquarian_light on
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    I have been thinking about this lens for a while as well. Though it will be delayed since I managed to pick up a 105mm f/1.8 AIS off eBay for a song and a dance. It will tide me over till I save up for the 135mm f/2 DC. The 105mm f/1.8 has magnificent bokeh and from the few portraits I have used it on it is a magnificent piece of equipment.
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    edited April 2013
    Is the 200mm f/2 that impractical to use? I use my 300 f/2.8 very frequently .... The cost is a killer tho. I would love to see a refresh of the 135mm however.... [T]he 135mm f/1.8 would not only be lighter but a helluva alot lighter and cheaper than a 200mm f/2.
    Somewhat cheaper? Uh-huh. A heckuva lot cheaper? I think you're looking at a $3,500-$4,000 lens. The new 80-400 came out at nearly double the old model's price. Now on the 135 we're going from f/2 to f/1.8. Ching. Now we're going to add on marketing jargon like Nano Crystal Coat (cha-ching!) and ED, no, wait for it, "Super" ED glass (cha-ching!). Now we'll remove the aperture ring and call that a "feature". Cha ching! And the solid metal body gets replaced with Genuine Plastic(tm), which is lighter. Cha-ching!

    I think the f/1.8 update will be somewhere near triple the cost of the existing glass ($1300*3 = $3900). Agreed, that's still over $1,000 less than the $5-$5.5K for the 200 f/2, and a thousand dollars is a lot of money, but I'll be keeping my old-school version and loving it every time I release the shutter in the field.


    Post edited by Msmoto on
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @shawnino
    That's a bit pessimistic, but possibly partly true.
    A lot of those "features" you mentioned are actual positives. Like ED and nano coating have gone a long way to reducing flares, hosting and CA as well as the color fall off (blue tint that a lot of older wide angles get in the corners) . Plastic barrels do make the lens lighter and now a days are just as tough as old metal lenses. Thats like complaining that your car is no longer made of aluminum but now has high density carbon fiber body. And the aperture ring... meh, having it controlled form the camera dial is WAY more convenient then having it on the lens.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    @aquarian_light: until proven wrong, I will equate Nano Crystal Coating and "Super" ED with Corinthian Leather:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_leather

    Are we told which elements are nano-coated?

    Do we know what makes Super ED glass "super"? (We guess it's fluorite; that's never been confirmed to my knowledge.) How much more super is it? 20% more super? When will we ever get super-duper ED glass?

    I hope George Carlin rises from the grave and builds a five-minute bit around this Nano Crystal Coating stuff. "Why, this sounds to me like a dessert made with 'real choclatey goodness'. You know what that means, right? No [bleep]-ing chocolate."
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    mmmmmmk, well... We all now know where you stand. I'll be taking your soap box. Just read reviews on modern lenses that show virtually no CA, no fringing, little to no color fall off or blue shifted corners... etc... it makes a difference. I dunno, I guess I'm just not that paranoid and don't think all corporations are out to screw me out of my dollars. A business is a business. If you adjust the prices of old lenses for modern values, they really haven't gone up.

    But anyway. This topic is no where near about any of that. Nikon just updated the old 80-400 and 18-35, one of which kinda came from left field. So who really know's what they're planning on. God knows they're gonna release SOMETHING new.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member

    Do we know what makes Super ED glass "super"? (We guess it's fluorite; that's never been confirmed to my knowledge.) How much more super is it? 20% more super? When will we ever get super-duper ED glass?
    No one ever speculated that it was fluorite. The lenses that use it weigh a ton, so its obviously exactly what they say it is - a coating thats really, really effective at the dispersion of light. Ill let them explain it to you:

    "Nikon’s Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and Super ED glass help correct chromatic aberrations, or optical color defects, caused when different light wavelengths do not converge at the same point after passing through optical glass. Calcium fluorite crystals were once used to correct this problem in telephoto lenses, but the substance cracked easily and was sensitive to temperature changes. So Nikon created ED glass, which offers all the benefits, but none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. ED glass is now an essential element in NIKKOR’s telephoto lenses, helping deliver stunning sharpness and contrast, even at maximum aperture."

    By all means continue to doubt that validity of anything and everything. Ill just keep shooting and be happy that all my gear works exactly how it was built to and exactly as I've grown to expect it to.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member

    Do we know what makes Super ED glass "super"? (We guess it's fluorite; that's never been confirmed to my knowledge.) How much more super is it? 20% more super? When will we ever get super-duper ED glass?
    No one ever speculated that it was fluorite. The lenses that use it weigh a ton, so its obviously exactly what they say it is - a coating thats really, really effective at the dispersion of light. Ill let them explain it to you:

    "Nikon’s Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and Super ED glass help correct chromatic aberrations, or optical color defects, caused when different light wavelengths do not converge at the same point after passing through optical glass. Calcium fluorite crystals were once used to correct this problem in telephoto lenses, but the substance cracked easily and was sensitive to temperature changes. So Nikon created ED glass, which offers all the benefits, but none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. ED glass is now an essential element in NIKKOR’s telephoto lenses, helping deliver stunning sharpness and contrast, even at maximum aperture."

    By all means continue to doubt that validity of anything and everything. Ill just keep shooting and be happy that all my gear works exactly how it was built to and exactly as I've grown to expect it to.
    INB4 the old lenses with out it worked just fine.
    Yes we know. 9/10 new lenses work better.

    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Squamish: please forgive me for confusing Nikon's mumbo with their jumbo. My mistake. Your quoted text talks about calcium fluorite drawbacks, but I was sure I'd seen "fluorite" and "Super ED" being bragged up in the same spot. Turns out it was on a post in the main blog, here:
    http://nikonrumors.com/2013/02/07/the-new-nikkor-af-s-800mm-f5-6e-fl-ed-vr-lens.aspx/
    It talks about two fluorite elements in the text, and specs as 2 ED elements in the chart further down comparing it with the 600 f/4. Now there seems to be both purple and yellow lenses in the schematic diagram so maybe one colour is the fluorite and the other is the "super" ed which your quoted text says is so much better than fluorite, or maybe one colour is the magic nano coating or...my bad.

    Of course I remain confused. The blog entry talks about both "fluorite" and "calcium fluoride":
    -----
    "Two fluorite lens elements that offer superior transmissivity from the infrared to ultra-violet range and demonstrate superior chromatic aberration compensation throughout the visible range. It seems that Nikon found a way to successfully implement fluorite lens elements. Here is a quote from Nikon Imaging website:
    'In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics - specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index.'"
    -----
    and the text you found us talks about "calcium fluorite-based glass". These could be one, two or three different things to me. But I just use my 135 to take pictures of my cat, so... :)

    We've floated a bit off topic here but it actually does serve my point re: any upgrade to the 135mm in a round about way: my initial claim is that Nikon will use Marketese lingo to drive up the price of their products. OK, it may not be as bad as Hassy Lunars, but recent Nikon moves, in my mind, still stink--none more so than the $999 lens hood for the 800mm f/5.6. (Maybe the lens is worth every penny: the MTF curves are out of this world. But $1000 for a lens hood? Really?) I cannot see Nikon letting a 135mm f/1.8 DC come in under $3K. I think it'll be closer to $4K. (And maybe it'll be worth it to many people.) Perhaps I'm alone.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,327Member
    You might also wish to research and consider Nikon's 180mm f2.8 but that may be too long. However, it certainly would be much less expensive than the 200mm f2 mentioned above.

    If you are needing f2 speed, you can shoot your 85mm f1.8 or get a 105 f2 DC and crop since you have a D800e.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    Squamish: please forgive me for confusing Nikon's mumbo with their jumbo. My mistake. Your quoted text talks about calcium fluorite drawbacks, but I was sure I'd seen "fluorite" and "Super ED" being bragged up in the same spot. Turns out it was on a post in the main blog, here:
    http://nikonrumors.com/2013/02/07/the-new-nikkor-af-s-800mm-f5-6e-fl-ed-vr-lens.aspx/
    It talks about two fluorite elements in the text, and specs as 2 ED elements in the chart further down comparing it with the 600 f/4. Now there seems to be both purple and yellow lenses in the schematic diagram so maybe one colour is the fluorite and the other is the "super" ed which your quoted text says is so much better than fluorite, or maybe one colour is the magic nano coating or...my bad.
    Or maybe learn to read a diagram?

    Of course I remain confused. The blog entry talks about both "fluorite" and "calcium fluoride":
    -----
    "Two fluorite lens elements that offer superior transmissivity from the infrared to ultra-violet range and demonstrate superior chromatic aberration compensation throughout the visible range. It seems that Nikon found a way to successfully implement fluorite lens elements. Here is a quote from Nikon Imaging website:
    'In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics - specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index.'"
    -----
    and the text you found us talks about "calcium fluorite-based glass". These could be one, two or three different things to me. But I just use my 135 to take pictures of my cat, so... :)
    So if you dont know the difference, maybe do some research? Because what it means "to you" could be vastly different than what it actually means. Please save us your paranoid mumbo jumbo. It's literally only serving to take us away from the point. If you want to complain about nikon marketing and prices start your own thread please.

    We've floated a bit off topic here but it actually does serve my point re: any upgrade to the 135mm in a round about way: my initial claim is that Nikon will use Marketese lingo to drive up the price of their products. OK, it may not be as bad as Hassy Lunars, but recent Nikon moves, in my mind, still stink--none more so than the $999 lens hood for the 800mm f/5.6. (Maybe the lens is worth every penny: the MTF curves are out of this world. But $1000 for a lens hood? Really?) I cannot see Nikon letting a 135mm f/1.8 DC come in under $3K. I think it'll be closer to $4K. (And maybe it'll be worth it to many people.) Perhaps I'm alone.
    I thought I took your soap box... did you find another one?
    You might also wish to research and consider Nikon's 180mm f2.8 but that may be too long. However, it certainly would be much less expensive than the 200mm f2 mentioned above.

    If you are needing f2 speed, you can shoot your 85mm f1.8 or get a 105 f2 DC and crop since you have a D800e.
    Yeah 180mm is a bit too long, and I've got 2.8s already, would negate the purpose of the 135/2 being that it's a stop faster. :)
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Why do people (generally) not make a big deal of the 'DC' aspect of this lens?

    I don't own one (almost pulled the trigger on one a year ago), but I've always thought the reason for owning one would be the DC.

    The 70-200mm f/2.8 is 'sharp enough' for 99.9%-ish of portraits, covers the same focal length, offers a similar depth of field and a LOT of versatility... and most people who would buy a 135mm f/2 probably already have one.

    I suppose the difference in perspective/flattening between the 135mm and the 85mm f/1.4 is evident, but I would also put that lens in contention as a potentially viable portrait substitute also.

    Is the DC not worth it?
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I do not have the 135, but I do have and use the 105 f2 DC lens, primarily for portraits where fast AF does not matter.

    I am not waiting for a refresh because I cannot fault any aspect of it's performance in my usage.

    135 is a bit long for portraits to my taste.
    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.

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,327Member
    I think you don't see a lot of comments on the DC lenses because they are quite rare and few people own them. I have both the 105 DC and the 135 DC. Picked them up used for a good price when I saw them because i have read so many good things about them, such as "best portrait lens" and I also expected they were so specialized they would not be produced in a G series and would become increasingly hard to find as the years passed, maybe even become classics that increase in price. However, I have not been doing portraits since I got them and the few times I did use them I felt the DC effect was subtle. I just don't have enough experience with them yet to fully give an opinion other than to say the effect is subtle. I don't have the new 85 f1.4 but would expect the bokeh (which I read is great) to be just as good as the 105 DC. If you have one I doubt you need the other. I will be doing a series of indoor portraits this weekend but have chosen to use the new 85 f1.8 G I just purchased along with the old 35-70 f2.8 because 105 and 135 mm are a bit too long for the space I will be working in. They would work for headshots in that space but I am not doing headshots this weekend. I do look forward to giving those two DC lenses a great workout sometime. I will need children with clear skin or old people who are not afraid to show their character lines. My wife always complains about any portraits which show any skin details! Sad. She is more interested in looking young than having a great portrait shot.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    DC does not actually defocus the image, but affects the look of the bokeh. It is so subtle that I simply leave mine at '0' .

    .... 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.

  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    The DC is fairly useful, just no one in the history of using the lens has ever used the front defocus half of the ring. I suspect that when I get around to owning one it will be left in one place, f/2 rear defocus. which makes one wonder why it isn't just that way out of the box.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • birdmanbirdman Posts: 115Member
    I believe all popular glass will be replaced with AF-S models in the future, as Nikon sells more and more cameras that lack the built-in AF (screw-driven?) motor. There will be plenty of used AF-D glass on the market to those who PREFER it. They will last much, much longer than the AF-S lenses we are now offered. Most products aren't built to last 30-40 years anymore. That's just the truth
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    The DC is fairly useful, just no one in the history of using the lens has ever used the front defocus half of the ring. I suspect that when I get around to owning one it will be left in one place, f/2 rear defocus. which makes one wonder why it isn't just that way out of the box.
    The point is that if you use the wrong combination (e.g. shoot the DC lens set to "f/2 rear" at f4) the image really might get blurry. So if you leave it at f/2 rear make sure that you do shoot at f/2.

    I have got the 135 mm DC and I think it is a very good lens (I use it on the D700), but I have not used the DC feature much at all. As others have said, the effect is very subtle and depending on the background you might not even notice it.
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    You might also wish to research and consider Nikon's 180mm f2.8 but that may be too long. However, it certainly would be much less expensive than the 200mm f2 mentioned above.

    If you are needing f2 speed, you can shoot your 85mm f1.8 or get a 105 f2 DC and crop since you have a D800e.
    I owned the original AIS version of the 180mm F/2.8 and took some great shots with it, including portraits in the 35mm format. But the original lens was a bear to focus precisely on the old 35mm film cameras when shooting without a tripod, and if the subject was not absolutely at portrait distances forget it. It may be easier on digital cameras but I would not bet my money on it. The 200mm was, and is much faster, and easier to focus.


  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    The DC is fairly useful, just no one in the history of using the lens has ever used the front defocus half of the ring. I suspect that when I get around to owning one it will be left in one place, f/2 rear defocus. which makes one wonder why it isn't just that way out of the box.
    The point is that if you use the wrong combination (e.g. shoot the DC lens set to "f/2 rear" at f4) the image really might get blurry. So if you leave it at f/2 rear make sure that you do shoot at f/2.

    I have got the 135 mm DC and I think it is a very good lens (I use it on the D700), but I have not used the DC feature much at all. As others have said, the effect is very subtle and depending on the background you might not even notice it.
    This is true. But from what I've seen setting it to any front defocus setting makes your background look like crap.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,327Member
    Hardly any reason to use front defocus other than those rare times when you are trying to blur an object in the foreground. Much, much better to just not shoot portraits with any objects between you and the subject! Forget the front defocus setting and move to the right or left so the intermediate object moves out of the way.
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