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Thread: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

  1. #1
    asabet
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    Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    I sort of have a thing for fast 135mm lenses as weird as that may sound. I've enjoyed using the Vivitar Series 1 135mm f/2.3 on my OM-2n, and the only thing keeping me from the Canon 135L and Nikon 135 DC is the price tag. I just don't shoot telephoto often enough to spend a lot of money on this length. When I found an inexpensive copy of the 135/2 AIS, I jumped on it. It's a pretty sweet lens. Sharp wide open. Very little CA. I really like the bokeh characteristics, which are for the most part neutral with some "swirliness" presumably due to optical vignetting of the rear element. 9 blades, so OOF points stay round. Building, handling, and focus ring action are excellent. The one negative I'm seeing is susceptibility to flare, and the built-in hood is not very effective.

    A few examples from today (all taken with lens wide open):



    Gettin' swirly with it:



    Below you can see the flare causing contrast washout in the bottom left part of the picture. It was a pretty harsh test, shooting into the sun.



    Eventually I'm going to have to spring for the AF DC version .

  2. #2
    S.P.
    Guest

    Re: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    Hi Amin,

    that´s a very nice lens and you nailed the sharpness on the spot!

    Stefan

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    Amin,
    FYI the 135 DC is a bit fragile - complex construction, heavy glass. Not a PJ lens, far from it. Lovely for portraits though.
    Lars
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  4. #4
    asabet
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    Re: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    Thanks Stefan!

    Lars, appreciate the info. For now, I'm pretty happy with my old lens.

    Here's one more from yesterday. I should have stopped it down a bit more to get his lips in focus .


  5. #5
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    Amin i would go so far to say that the 135/2 ais (latest version with more "brown" coating is just as the good as (in my case superior) 135/2 DC. If you dont need AF/DC.

    I personally dont care one bit for the DC feature, and the build of the DC lenses are not up to pair with the older designs wich are mortars. :-)

    I absolutley love the 135/2 ais on the D3. My reason for buying the 135/2 ais was cause i didnt want the 135/2 DC, money wasnt a factor in that decision.

    I actually have to copies of this lens, one of them looks better then the other :-)

    My "newest" copy is in "new" condition and the hood works like intended (maybe the newer coating helps aswell ?) the "beat" up copy has a "rattling" lens hood and is quite prone to flare and the contrast isnt the best in bright light.







    Cute kids, the last one is my favourite.

    Regards
    Paul L.

  6. #6
    asabet
    Guest

    Re: Fun with the Nikon 135/2 AIS

    Amin i would go so far to say that the 135/2 ais (latest version with more "brown" coating is just as the good as (in my case superior) 135/2 DC. If you dont need AF/DC.

    Paul, thanks for the great information and pictures. Mine has the brown coating and is in pretty good condition. When I had the flare problems, I was shooting wide open directly into the sun, so it was a torture test to be sure. I'm not having any problems with veiling under normal f/2 use, so I'm pleased overall. I guess I was just digging for problems as the lens is outperforming expectations overall.


    I personally dont care one bit for the DC feature, and the build of the DC lenses are not up to pair with the older designs wich are mortars. :-)


    I tend to think of DC as a way of improving bokeh, and the bokeh I'm seeing suits my tastes perfectly, so I suppose DC isn't much of a draw for me either.


    Cute kids, the last one is my favourite.

    Thanks Paul!

    Regards,
    Amin

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