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

The Defocus Control (DC) Effect

In order to vary the Defocus effect the lens features a dedicated control ring similar to an aperture ring (which is also present). The DC ring has a neutral setting where the lens behaves just like conventional tele lenses. From here on you can rotate the ring either to emphasize the foreground (F=FOREGROUND) or background (R = REAR) blur. The ring locks at apertures between f/2 and f/5.6 which correspond to real aperture settings. Turning the ring beyond the aperture in use lets you create a corresponding soft-focus effect. This sounds difficult an in fact you will need some experience to get the best out of this feature.

Here´s a quick and dirty overview of what defocus control can give you at various settings. You may notice that the image "jumps" when switching between the samples. This originates in the requirement to re-focus every time you alter the defocus control setting.

PS: No, these are not my toys - they belong to a female of the species. Just to mention ... 8-)

Move the mouse cursor over text link below to observe the respective DC effect

f/2 neutral f/4 neutral f/8 neutral f/2 R=2 f/2 F=2 f/4 R=4 f/4 F=4 f/4 R=5.6 f/4 F=5.6 f/4 R=2.8 f/4 F=2.8 f/2 R=5.6 f/2 F=5.6


Verdict

The DC-Nikkor AF 135mm f/2 D is a very high quality, versatile tele lens. The resolution figures are excellent when using the Nikkor as a conventional lens. The Defocus Control (DC) feature gives you superior control over background and foreground blur - some portrait and still-life photographers will certainly desire such a detailed controlled over the bokeh (the out-of-focus blur) although it requires quite a bit of experience to master it. Vignetting, distortions and lateral CAs are very low and nothing to worry about in the field. The build quality of the lens is excellent whereas the AF (relying on the slotted drive screw) is a bit dated by now. Similar to its shorter cousin the DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D has one major drawback - its price tag at around 1200 €/US$.

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