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Thread: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

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    Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    My understanding is that this lens will not AF on a Z7? Otherwise, has anyone used this on a Z camera? I've considered the 105mm f/1.4, but prefer the build quality of the 135mm. Also, how does this lens compare to the Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-s for portraits?

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    I have all three lenses you are referring to (don't ask ...). Any AF-S lens will autofocus on the adapter, also and especially the new type E lenses (not the old MF ones, obviously), but the screwdriver lenses do not autofocus (but transfer lens and aperture data and allow for open aperture focussing).

    The 105 1.4 is easily the best lens, when it comes to sharpness. Do not be concerned about the build quality. It may not feel very "metallic", but it is very well build. I cannot bring myself to sell any of the older ones, and the 105 / 2.5 is a lightweight alternative.

    For the look you need to decide yourself. I have to admit I did not use any of these lenses extensively on the Z yet, mostly the 1.4/105, because auf autofocus. The 135 and of course the 2.5 are older designs, with the 135 adding more compression and you can toy around with the background and foreground blur. The 135 is not much lighter than the 1.4/105, which is quite a heavy thing (900 odd grams, IIRC).

    If I were in the market for a new portrait lens today, from these three I would definitely buy the 1.4/105. Why? Works very well with the Z and newer F bodies (if that matters) and you can use eye autofocus, which I think is a big plus. Image quality is almost on Z lens level It has bite and the large aperture make subjects pop. Be aware the aperture of the 1.4/105 cannot be controlled on bodies which only use mechanical aperture control (the F6, for example, and I guess also cameras like the D2 and D200 ...). On these bodies, it stays wide open, which may not be a big issue after all.

    The 2/135 is a somewhat cool lens to have, and offers a narrower field of view. No autofocus can be a problem, when fast response speed is relevant. I just find myself not using it a lot, as it seems often a bit too long for me. it is a bit soft at f/2, but definitely sharpens up by f/2.8. The Defocus control is a nice addition, but then I do not miss it on other lenses ...

    Did you look into the 1.8/85 Z? Relatively small, light weight, well made, optically probably slightly better than the 1.4/105, and of course autofocus. Half the price ...
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    [QUOTE=Photon42;805083
    Did you look into the 1.8/85 Z? Relatively small, light weight, well made, optically probably slightly better than the 1.4/105, and of course autofocus. Half the price ...[/QUOTE]

    What Photon said. I still use the 105 2.5 Ai which used to be a standard long lens for photojournalists the world over. I have sold or am selling all my F mount lenses except the 105.
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    I did try the Z 85mm 1.8S and thought it was very good, but it lacked character. The MTF charts show its incredible performance, but it just doesn't have that special rendering of the 105mm 1.4 even when shot at f/1.8. This of course, is just my opinion, but perfect resolution doesn't always make for a great lens. Oddly, my Z 50mm 1.8 S has imo, more character and better rendering than almost any lens i've ever used. The 105mm 1.4 is a great lens with a very unique character when shot wide open, so if needing AF, I'd probably go that route. Prices on a LNIB 105mm 1.4 have sold for under $1300 recently, which might be attributed to the Z 85mm 1.8 reviews. I did order a 105mm f/2.5 AI-s for under $200 and am excited to try that one too. The 135mm DC is a lens I have not tried, but the 105mm DC was actually very good on my D810.

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    I did try the Z 85mm 1.8S and thought it was very good, but it lacked character. The MTF charts show its incredible performance, but it just doesn't have that special rendering of the 105mm 1.4 even when shot at f/1.8. This of course, is just my opinion, but perfect resolution doesn't always make for a great lens. Oddly, my Z 50mm 1.8 S has imo, more character and better rendering than almost any lens i've ever used. The 105mm 1.4 is a great lens with a very unique character when shot wide open, so if needing AF, I'd probably go that route. Prices on a LNIB 105mm 1.4 have sold for under $1300 recently, which might be attributed to the Z 85mm 1.8 reviews. I did order a 105mm f/2.5 AI-s for under $200 and am excited to try that one too. The 135mm DC is a lens I have not tried, but the 105mm DC was actually very good on my D810.


    Z7+135DC iso 560 1/60 f2 - no DC

    the 135DC has a lot of soft delicate character at f2. I havn't tried it that much, but I specially love this way it render here at f2. I guess it would be delicate on a portrait too. I have the 105DC too, but somehow I think the 135DC is better, but I don't know for sure.
    But only manual focusing, which aint that difficult on a Z using the AF-ON button
    best
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    +1 for the 135,
    a lense with character and very nice "old school" color rendition,
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    How many here shoot portraits at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and if you are then are you getting the eyes and the nose in focus?

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    How many here shoot portraits at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and if you are then are you getting the eyes and the nose in focus?
    ha-ha, yes, you are sure right Keith, for portrait it will be more realistic with at least 2.8 or f4 for human beings..

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    I primarily use wide open on almost every shoot regardless of what lens I use. The 105mm 1.4 has been the nicest so far with AF, but prices are reflecting the popularity of the Z 85mm. The Nikon 105mm f/2.5 will be fun to try.
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    I primarily use wide open on almost every shoot regardless of what lens I use. The 105mm 1.4 has been the nicest so far with AF, but prices are reflecting the popularity of the Z 85mm. The Nikon 105mm f/2.5 will be fun to try.
    But are you getting the eyes and nose in focus on portraits at f/1.4?

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    But are you getting the eyes and nose in focus on portraits at f/1.4?
    Depends on the distance, for a full body portrait with a 105 mm lens on a 24x36 mm sensor dof at f 1.4 is about 18 cm at 5 meter distance, so enough to get eyes and nose in focus. For a waist up portrait at 2,5 meter it's 4.4 cm, so marginally possible but close. A headshot portrait at 1 meter gives a dof of 7 mm, so no chance to get both the eyes and the tip of the nose in focus (except maybe with a bulldog).
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    Depends on the distance, for a full body portrait with a 105 mm lens on a 24x36 mm sensor dof at f 1.4 is about 18 cm at 5 meter distance, so enough to get eyes and nose in focus. For a waist up portrait at 2,5 meter it's 4.4 cm, so marginally possible but close. A headshot portrait at 1 meter gives a dof of 7 mm, so no chance to get both the eyes and the tip of the nose in focus (except maybe with a bulldog).
    I'm impressed by your calculations, Pieter!
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorkil View Post
    I'm impressed by your calculations, Pieter!
    Thanks Thorkil, but no need to be impressed. I just used HyperFocalPro on my phone.
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    Depends on the distance, for a full body portrait with a 105 mm lens on a 24x36 mm sensor dof at f 1.4 is about 18 cm at 5 meter distance, so enough to get eyes and nose in focus. For a waist up portrait at 2,5 meter it's 4.4 cm, so marginally possible but close. A headshot portrait at 1 meter gives a dof of 7 mm, so no chance to get both the eyes and the tip of the nose in focus (except maybe with a bulldog).
    Agreed, but I tend to think of portraits as head and shoulders: possibly my bad.

    ;-)

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Agreed, but I tend to think of portraits as head and shoulders: possibly my bad.

    ;-)
    Environmental portraits are a great way to encompass the surrounding area to add a specific narrative to a portrait. I typically would use the Z 50mm 1.8 and simply back up for a wider perspective of a 35mm lens. At f/1.8 the Z 50mm gives a few inches of DOF depending on my distance to the subject.

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    Environmental portraits are a great way to encompass the surrounding area to add a specific narrative to a portrait. I typically would use the Z 50mm 1.8 and simply back up for a wider perspective of a 35mm lens. At f/1.8 the Z 50mm gives a few inches of DOF depending on my distance to the subject.
    Rather spooky, but environmental portraits are my lifeblood, often shot wide or near wide open. See my India galleries.

    ;-)

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    Environmental portraits are a great way to encompass the surrounding area to add a specific narrative to a portrait. I typically would use the Z 50mm 1.8 and simply back up for a wider perspective of a 35mm lens. At f/1.8 the Z 50mm gives a few inches of DOF depending on my distance to the subject.
    You mean back up for wider framing. Since obviously when you back up the perspective changes.
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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by jdphoto View Post
    .... At f/1.8 the Z 50mm gives a few inches of DOF depending on my distance to the subject.
    at same f-stop same magnification gives you same DOF on all lenses^^

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    Re: Z7 with a Nikon 135mm DC

    Quote Originally Posted by foveon View Post
    at same f-stop same magnification gives you same DOF on all lenses^^
    Right, but I meant to compare it to the DOF of a 1.4. I should've made that clear. Thanks.
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