Nikkor AF 135mm f/2 D DC - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2007

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Julio M. Alperi Gonzalez!


The Nikkor AF 135mm f/2D DC is one of two Defocus Control lenses in the Nikon lens line-up. Its characteristics are nearly identical to the recently tested AF 105mm f/2D DC which is why large portions of the review have been re-used. DC lenses allow you to control the degree of spherical aberrations or in simple words: you can emphasize the degree of foreground or background blur (bokeh) beyond the sheer potential of a large aperture lens. Typical applications which could benefit from a controlled bokeh are still-life and portrait photography. The lens was released back in 1995 so it is one of the oldest Nikkors still in production and as such a full format lens. On APS-C DSLR such as the D200 its field of view is equivalent to 203mm on the classic full format.

The build quality of the lens is excellent thanks to combination of metal and plastic parts with a Nikon "pro style" crinkle finish. The length of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus setting and the front element does not rotate due to an RF (Rear Focusing) design. A nice and almost forgotten approach is the build-in lens hood (telescope style). I would really wish that this old "fashion" will see a revival again.

The Nikkor features an independent ring (rather stiff) for switching between AF and manual focusing - a dated and cumbersome approach compared modern AF-S lenses. The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate degree of noise but the AF speed is comparatively high. A rather annoying aspect is the rather long min. focus distance of 1.1m.

Equiv. focal length202.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction7 elements in 6 groups
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance1.1 m (max. magnification ratio 1:7.1)
Dimensions120 x 79 mm
Weight815 g
Filter size72 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel shaped, build-in
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera. Defocus Control.

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