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Thread: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    I'm in need of some new lighting gear, so I did the round to the usual pushers today to get some quotes. After finishing the usual niceties at one of the shops, the owner suddenly brightened up and said something like: "Weren't you interested in that 135mm a while ago? Now we have a much nicer copy."

    Ok, ok... I thought. Let's have a look then. So I mounted it on the D80, and fired off a shot wide open in the direction of the film refrigerator in the very dimly lit shop. I was surprised how fast the heavy, little thing focused btw.

    Then I went home, thinking nothing more about it until I was unpacking my bag, checking if I needed to dump any photos to my computer before formatting the card. Ah! The fridge shot. Ok then, I'll have a look

    Disaster, disaster... it's sharp from corner to corner Can I resist it? What can I do to forget about this? Get silly drunk tonight, hoping that tomorrow's headache will make me hate everything that happened today

    Does anybody own this lens? Is it really as good as it looks in my photo? What should I do?

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    I have it and like it a lot. It can flare if used against strong light.
    However I really like the combination of smooth bokeh with good detail. Great for portrait but also for other stuff. I dont use the DC-feature though since its too complicated for me to understand whats going on.
    Its a great combo if you carry it together with a 50 prime and a wideangle lens.
    It also cobines nicely with the 24-70.
    Tom

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    135DC at f2.8

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    and at f5.6

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Interesingly, I just got mine 3 hours ago!!! And I don't know how to use defocus control yet so no portraits available Just these (D3x, DC 135/2, F/3.2):




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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Oh bugger... there's no way back. Just as good as I feared. Great photos both of you. I'll count my pennies tomorrow

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    it is one of nikon best lens. BUY IT.

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Oh bugger... there's no way back. Just as good as I feared. Great photos both of you. I'll count my pennies tomorrow
    You're DOOOOOOOMED Jorgen
    DOOOOOOOOMED

    Just this guy you know

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    You're DOOOOOOOMED Jorgen
    DOOOOOOOOMED
    I knew it... with friends like this... I'll become poor, but hopefully happy

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    Senior Member leif e's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Is that the happiness part you`re whining about? :-)
    F2, FM2, D700, 3,5/20 UD, 2/35, 3,5/55, CV 2,5/75 (all ai or aiīd), 1,8/85 af-d,
    2,8/60 af-d

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by leif e View Post
    Is that the happiness part you`re whining about? :-)
    No, it's the empty wallet that I will have to live with

    But I have a strong feeling that the 135 will be a great performer on the S5

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    No, it's the empty wallet that I will have to live with

    But I have a strong feeling that the 135 will be a great performer on the S5
    It'll be great on the K-7 as well

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member leif e's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Now, thatīs rather cruel towards a gentle Norwegian, donīt you think, Jono!

    Jorgen; I know I canīt afford it - S5 or not.
    leif e
    F2, FM2, D700, 3,5/20 UD, 2/35, 3,5/55, CV 2,5/75 (all ai or aiīd), 1,8/85 af-d,
    2,8/60 af-d

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by leif e View Post
    Now, thatīs rather cruel towards a gentle Norwegian, donīt you think, Jono!
    Jorgen . . I'm sorry

    You're right, it was completely inexcusable, and I'm mortified.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Jono, I will visit a temple tomorrow, praying for endless fog in the Channel,
    isolating you and all other Brits from decent food and wine forever. So there

    --

    It's a never ending dilemma of course: as much as I would like to buy a K7 and those nice, little Limited lenses (the Nikkor 135 weighs as much as 3-4 of them combined), there are excellent Nikkors that I would like to try as well, and I have no patience

    I would love to have an F6 too, and the 135mm would be fantastic for b&w portraits on film. Temptations, temptations...

    There's a rumour about a Pentax Limited 135mm f/2.8 btw.... But I can buy a Pentax next year, can't I

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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Jorgen, the only way to end this drama is:

    buy it

    I had the same with my cron 90. Since i have it i a happy.
    Remember: You canīt take anything with you on your ultimate last trip ! The last shirt has no pockets.
    __________________________________________________
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    see more ( NSFW ) on : http://www.klaweide.de

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by kweide View Post
    Jorgen, the only way to end this drama is:

    buy it

    I had the same with my cron 90. Since i have it i a happy.
    Remember: You canīt take anything with you on your ultimate last trip ! The last shirt has no pockets.
    Klaus,
    In this country, people are Buddhists. If they are nice in this life, they get a shirt with more pockets in the next one

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Jono, I will visit a temple tomorrow, praying for endless fog in the Channel,
    isolating you and all other Brits from decent food and wine forever. So there
    Hey! That's not fair - I go all contrite and you try and snatch the Pinot Grigio from my very hand . . . actually, be my guest, as long as you replace it with a nice Sauvignon

    --
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It's a never ending dilemma of course: as much as I would like to buy a K7 and those nice, little Limited lenses (the Nikkor 135 weighs as much as 3-4 of them combined), there are excellent Nikkors that I would like to try as well, and I have no patience

    I would love to have an F6 too, and the 135mm would be fantastic for b&w portraits on film. Temptations, temptations...

    There's a rumour about a Pentax Limited 135mm f/2.8 btw.... But I can buy a Pentax next year, can't I
    Well, you lot, no consistency - Me? I'm totally consistent, 3 different systems, 9543 lenses 863 different cameras

    While you're thinking about nice 135mm lenses, why not get the Zeiss 135 f1.8?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Klaus,
    In this country, people are Buddhists. If they are nice in this life, they get a shirt with more pockets in the next one
    But nice people all own fast 135 mm lenses . . . don't they?

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Jorgen, the 135 is best suited for FX format. Shooting DX, the defocus control gets proportionally more agressive so you might want to hold back a bit. If you plan to stay with DX then the 105/2.0 DC might also be worth considering.

    DC lenses are as complex as zoom lenses, and not built like a tank. Make sure the lens is properly aligned and working, and if you buy it, pack it well when travelling.

    I rambled a bit about the 135/2.0 DC a few years ago, when I was still product manager for LightZone. If you can stand my ugly face, here's a link:

    http://www.8x10.se/pages/lightzone_selfportrait.htm
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    forget about the goods ...
    1 vote for the "Get silly drunk tonight" suggestion

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hey! That's not fair - I go all contrite and you try and snatch the Pinot Grigio from my very hand . . . actually, be my guest, as long as you replace it with a nice Sauvignon
    You will all have to go to Islay, to drink the salty, smoked liquid of the Scotsmen. Only Laphroaig for you from now on

    --

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, you lot, no consistency - Me? I'm totally consistent, 3 different systems, 9543 lenses 863 different cameras

    While you're thinking about nice 135mm lenses, why not get the Zeiss 135 f1.8?
    I've been thinking about the Zeiss since I first tried it more than two years ago, but I have three F-mount bodies, and I was surprised about the sharpness of the Nikkor today, and..... the asking price is less than half that of the Zeiss

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    You will all have to go to Islay, to drink the salty, smoked liquid of the Scotsmen. Only Laphroaig for you from now on
    Well, okay, but if you're buying please could I have the Lagavullin

    --


    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I've been thinking about the Zeiss since I first tried it more than two years ago, but I have three F-mount bodies, and I was surprised about the sharpness of the Nikkor today, and..... the asking price is less than half that of the Zeiss
    But what about the microcontrast

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Lars, I believe very few owners of the 135 actually use the DC function. it's simply not very well implemented. Many never get on friendly terms with that lens at all, but there are some stellar results around as well. i will give it a few days anyway.

    Thank you for the link.

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, okay, but if you're buying please could I have the Lagavullin
    Funny that you mention that. I've always considered Lagavullin a better whisky from an objective point of view. Still, I prefer Laphroaig

    A friend of mine gave me a bottle of Ardbeg a few years ago. That was even better, but unfortunately (fortunately?) it isn't available here

    Oh well, bedtime already. Rumour has it that there's work waiting tomorrow :sleep006:

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Funny that you mention that. I've always considered Lagavullin a better whisky from an objective point of view. Still, I prefer Laphroaig

    A friend of mine gave me a bottle of Ardbeg a few years ago. That was even better, but unfortunately (fortunately?) it isn't available here

    Oh well, bedtime already. Rumour has it that there's work waiting tomorrow :sleep006:
    I also rather like Bunnahabhain

    There is a decent refresher course athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islay_whisky

    Have a good snooze - I've got some work to do first.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    forget about the goods ...
    1 vote for the "Get silly drunk tonight" suggestion
    Hi Steen
    Your place or mine?

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Jorgen, just in case you still haven't decided to buy the 135/2.0...
    Best,
    Osman

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Lars, I believe very few owners of the 135 actually use the DC function. it's simply not very well implemented. Many never get on friendly terms with that lens at all, but there are some stellar results around as well. i will give it a few days anyway.
    Even without DC it is a good lens, but use of slight rear defocus gives it great bokeh, IMO. The trick to taking advantage of DC is to use it with almost extreme moderation, otherwise it becomes a soft-focus lens.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Steen. Your place or mine?
    You are very welcome here, all of you ... c'mon, Jorgen, you cannot go to bed now

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    You are very welcome here, all of you ... c'mon, Jorgen, you cannot go to bed now
    Just a last message before the plane takes off (and I've never been to Denmark).
    What's your address Steen?

    p.s. I have a couple of bottles of Ardbeg with me (to tempt Jorgen).

    Just this guy you know

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Ha! I've had a good night's sleep already, at least a half good night, while you guys have been fooling around on the internet. A waste of time if you ask me

    Thank you for the sample, Osman. Superb subject isolation, also at a distance, is one of the abilities I'm looking for in this lens.

    While sleeping, I've been trying to make a list of good reasons to buy the little, black thing, except for pure lust, which is of course reason enough. There are a quite a few, and particularly size, weight and the faster aperture compared to my "preferred" telephoto lens, the 80-200 AF-S, are compelling. I must admit that I like the general feel and look of the lens as well. The utilitarian design with white markings on black, with no gold, silver or red whatsoever, suits my taste well. That's not unimportant when silly buying decisions are going to be made

    PS. I missed the plane to Copenhagen, but I'll take one in a few months to check how the next generation is doing. A new heir is preparing her arrival

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Buy the lens, pick up your lovely "passengers" in your gold-plated Porsche and celibrate at your home by drinking fine wine and taking lovely artsy nudes! LOL

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    I'm sorry Jorgen,
    I refrained from playing on this thread as long as possible having just sprung for the Zeiss 135 f1.8. I'm in love with that lens. If you like the 135, buy it you won't regret it and if you do, finding the link to the buy sell forum is a breeze.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I'm sorry Jorgen,
    I refrained from playing on this thread as long as possible having just sprung for the Zeiss 135 f1.8. I'm in love with that lens. If you like the 135, buy it you won't regret it and if you do, finding the link to the buy sell forum is a breeze.
    The Zeiss is one of the reasons why I have been holding back on the Nikkor so far. I simply don't like to buy a lens when I know that there's another, better one available. But the fact that I do use F-mount camera bodies every day, and that the sharpness, particularly at the corners wide open, was as good as I saw yesterday, I just have to admit that I won't see much difference during day-to-day photography. I'll miss out on the image stabilisation of course, but buying the Nikkor will cost me a third of buying the Zeiss plus an A700 body, even at today's prices. Add to that my passion for the S5, and the desicion shouldn't be too difficult, should it??

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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The Zeiss is one of the reasons why I have been holding back on the Nikkor so far. I simply don't like to buy a lens when I know that there's another, better one available. But the fact that I do use F-mount camera bodies every day, and that the sharpness, particularly at the corners wide open, was as good as I saw yesterday, I just have to admit that I won't see much difference during day-to-day photography. I'll miss out on the image stabilisation of course, but buying the Nikkor will cost me a third of buying the Zeiss plus an A700 body, even at today's prices. Add to that my passion for the S5, and the desicion shouldn't be too difficult, should it??
    That sounds like me rationalizing my switch from Nikon to Sony

  37. #37
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    I think your quite the handsome devil....you ole naster!!! LOLOL

    just messing which you!!

    you are a really great reference, I am buying that horseman accessory soon

  38. #38
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    You never can compare Nikkor to Zeiss lenses!

    Already 10 years ago in the analog days I did comparisons between Leica and Zeiss and I must say I liked most Zeiss lenses better than Leica lenses. Especially I made this experience with the 1:2.0/180 APO from Leica compared to the 1:2.0/200 Zeiss (I think it was 200) - man the Zeiss lens was just so much better.

    All the other Zeiss glass I owned (Hasselblad, Contax) just proved the same!

    I currently do not own the 1.8/135, but I have no doubt it will be a similar stellar performer than it's "old" ancestors - forgive my English

    Actually the Zeiss lenses and the positive reports here in the forum about the A900 made me switch from Nikon/Canon to Sony - will receive the cam and a bunch of lenses next week YEAH !!!

  39. #39
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    You never can compare Nikkor to Zeiss lenses!
    Peter,
    That's an interesting statement, and one that we could probably debate forever. Can we compare lenses at all, and what criteria make one lens better than another?

    One can always claim some "Objective Truth", and say that lens A is better than lens B because so and so. That has been my opinion about the Zeiss vs. the Nikkor 135mm for three years now, after I bumped into the Zeiss by coincidence in a small camera shop in Georgetown, Penang and tried it on the lowly Sony A100. Most of the opinions that I created on that day probably still hold water, and have been confirmed by other photographers as well.

    But there are other criteria too. My mother is probably of the opinion that any lens that will show her great granddaughter smiling, is a good lens Some of my non-photographing engineer friends will claim that a lens that has enough DOF to show the entire photo in focus, so that the serial number in the back of whatever technical installation I've taken a photo of, can be read. And my youngest son, who is 18 and rather cool would prefer the whole image to be out of focus (at least judging from the portrait of his foot or whatever on Facebook), as long as his friends know it's him.

    Considerations like these, and including those holy, "objective" ones – particularly those – have made me hold back on that Nikkor for a few years now. The "truth" has been that the Zeiss is a better lens, period And investing a couple of thousand dollars in a camera body only to be able to use it has been an obvious thing to do, at least if I could find the necessary monies available somewhere.

    But I haven't, and then, by coincidence, I took a shot with the Nikkor that made me think that "hey, I can live with this, and I can probably take photos with this, that nobody would know came from the Nikkor and not from the Zeiss". And since the Nikkor is much cheaper, can be found second hand, is lighter and smaller, and not least; fits the camera bodies that I already have, I started wondering if those two or three thousand dollars couldn't be used for something that makes more sense.

    More sense to me, that is. Like buying a Pentax camera and the Limited 77mm f/1.8, which in my absolutely, exclusively personal view is the best portrait lens in the 75-85mm range available from any optical wizard, a lens that is a size that would make me able to carry it anywhere, any time. And since the current price of a K20D plus the Limited is less than the Zeiss 135 alone, without a camera to mount it on (and the used Nikkor is half the price of the Pentax combo, but I'm cheating, since I own a few F-mount bodies already), the question of what is the best lens, the best lens for me, takes on another dimension.

    The best lens for me is probably the one that sits on my camera the next time I go to Hanoi or to Oslo or across the street, at least if it features the optical qualities that I feel strengthen the message in my photos. I'm sure that I could take reasonable photos with a Noct or a Zeiss 135 as well, and some lenses are undoubtedly optical masterpieces. But the best photos are mostly taken by photographers who know the possibilities and limitations of whatever is mounted on the front of his or her camera, and utilizes those optical components in an optimal way.

    So I don't really disagree with your statement, which I have even taken out of its contents, but I think it's fair to say that comparing lenses cannot really be done from an "ultimate" and/or "objective" point of view alone. There are too many elements in play here, and that includes my breakfast, which I will now make and consume

  40. #40
    S.P.
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    You never can compare Nikkor to Zeiss lenses!

    Already 10 years ago in the analog days I did comparisons between Leica and Zeiss and I must say I liked most Zeiss lenses better than Leica lenses. Especially I made this experience with the 1:2.0/180 APO from Leica compared to the 1:2.0/200 Zeiss (I think it was 200) - man the Zeiss lens was just so much better.

    All the other Zeiss glass I owned (Hasselblad, Contax) just proved the same!

    I currently do not own the 1.8/135, but I have no doubt it will be a similar stellar performer than it's "old" ancestors - forgive my English

    Actually the Zeiss lenses and the positive reports here in the forum about the A900 made me switch from Nikon/Canon to Sony - will receive the cam and a bunch of lenses next week YEAH !!!
    Do you have some examples to show us, Peter?

    Thank you.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Jorgen, There's a rumor around of a Pentax 50/1.0 on its way later this year. Those guys have released some pretty interesting lenses in the last few years, so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  42. #42
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    You never can compare Nikkor to Zeiss lenses!

    Already 10 years ago in the analog days I did comparisons between Leica and Zeiss and I must say I liked most Zeiss lenses better than Leica lenses. Especially I made this experience with the 1:2.0/180 APO from Leica compared to the 1:2.0/200 Zeiss (I think it was 200) - man the Zeiss lens was just so much better.

    All the other Zeiss glass I owned (Hasselblad, Contax) just proved the same!

    I currently do not own the 1.8/135, but I have no doubt it will be a similar stellar performer than it's "old" ancestors - forgive my English

    Actually the Zeiss lenses and the positive reports here in the forum about the A900 made me switch from Nikon/Canon to Sony - will receive the cam and a bunch of lenses next week YEAH !!!
    Of course you can compare Zeiss to Nikon. Some parameters can be measured, some are subjective. How you weigh those factors is a personal preference.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  43. #43
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Jorgen, There's a rumor around of a Pentax 50/1.0 on its way later this year. Those guys have released some pretty interesting lenses in the last few years, so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise.
    I've heard the rumour, and the one about a Limited 135mm f/2.8. I will Buy two Pentax bodies some time this year, and the only dilemma is if it's going to be a dirt cheap K20D now (my future backup body) and a K7 later, or two K7s.

    I'll keep my Fujis and the most important Nikkors, and I will buy some "special interest" lenses in F-mount still. It looks like I have a 105mm f/1.8 on its way from Sweden and the 135mm f/2.0 is not written off yet.

    The only problem I can see in the Pentax line-up is the "standard" zoom, but I can always buy another Tamron 17-50. The 50-135mm f/2.8 will probably be my most used lens, in spite of my love for primes, since it's perfect for studio, industrial and product photography.

  44. #44
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    But there are other criteria too. My mother is probably of the opinion that any lens that will show her great granddaughter smiling, is a good lens
    Basicly your mother is right, Jorgen. Wise lady, your mother
    Still, I need to admit that I love lenses with some mojo


    Quote Originally Posted by S.P. View Post
    Do you have some examples to show us, Peter?
    Thank you.
    Hi S.P.

    I cannot answer on behalf of Peter, but I have the Zeiss ZF 1.4/50 and the new Nikon AF-S 1.4/50 G as well.

    In general it's my impression that most of the Zeiss lenses render with an extraordinary good contrast thus adding to a more three dimensional look. At least that is the main reason why I have some of them and live with the Manual Focus only. Autofocus is the reason why I bought the Nikon 50mm as well.

    50mm lenses are easy to design so actually most of them are pretty good and a comparison may not be all that interesting, but it's the only focal length where I own both brands. For what it is worth I have made a quick shot of the same scenery with my ZF 50 and my AF-S 50. I have posted it in the following separate thread, in order not to contaminate this 135mm thread with my trivial 50mm shot.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7841

    Now let's get back on track with the 135mm discussion here.

  45. #45
    S.P.
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    Re: Oh no! 135mm f/2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It looks like I have a 105mm f/1.8 on its way from Sweden
    Jorgen,

    you will have fun with the 105/1.8!
    I bought one last year and itīs a great lens if you use it wide open.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?p=104376

    I also have the new Micro AF-S 105/2.8 VR which is stellar in sharpness, but itīs always great to use an old AIS-Nikkor.

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