Nikkor AF 105mm/f2 DC or 135mm/f2 DC
Hey guys. I just got an F65 Date! A "cheaper" way to access quality nikon glass (since it's the lens that makes the difference). I have an AF 50mm/f1.4 D lens. I like to shoot my kids, family, friends (people). I have moved up from point and shoot.
I found that to get a close up of my kids (e.g. dance class) I had to get "uncomfortably" close to get the "portrait" shot(from waste up)that I wanted, say around 3-4 feet. I use Kodak royal gold 400 print film and no flash if I can help it.
I would like to at least double this distance to get the same "portrait" shot, so that I don't interfere with other parents photographing their kids. Would the 105 or 135 do it? I want quality (of primes) and want to stay away from big heavy lens like 80-200 2.8 ED, 180 mm, etc.
So, what do you think of the 105 or 135 DC nikkors? I know they are expensive. I need your experiences using these lens.
#1. "RE: Nikkor AF 105mm/f2 DC or 135mm/f2 DC" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberSat 17-Feb-01 12:32 AM
First let me say that I agree totally with the concept of cheap bodies and good glass, if you need to economize on one or the other. When I read about people buying an F100 and putting a hundred Dollar Sigma lens on it, I wonder if they are really satisfied with the shots they produce. The image comes from the glass, so it should be as good as you can afford.
Reading your question, there might be a cheaper route. I have the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF lens, and I find it to be very good to excellent. It is about one third the price of the 105mm DC lens, and if you are locked into high speed print film, you might not be able to resolve any benefit from the more expensive lens. I have the 105mm f/2.5 AIS lens, but your camera won't accept this model, otherwise I'd say to spend 300 Dollars on one of these. The 85mm lens is in the same price range brand new, and will allow all of the functions on your camera to operate... plus, it is just a great piece of glass. I use mine all of the time at full aperture for great selective focus, and stopped down to about f/5.6, it is razor sharp. The proximity that you mention in your question, would be no problem for the 85... it is in the category of a portrait lens.
If price is no object, then by all means get the longer more expensive lens(es). If you want to economize, the 85mm f/1.8 will give you quality that exceeds the expectations based on the price. For the money you would spend on the 105 or 135 DC Nikkors, you can get the 85mm... and a 24mm f/2.8, and still have a couple of hundred Dollars left over.
Unfortunitly, your camera's inability to accept AIS manual focus lenses prevents you from using the standard 135mm lens, which is very good, (and cheap if used). In autofocus, it is the cheap 85mm lens, and then right into the expensive range for prime lenses, so you would really have to decide if the major leap in price is worth it to you.
#2. "RE: Nikkor AF 105mm/f2 DC or 135mm/f2 DC" | In response to Reply # 0
I got the 135 f2D DC mostly to shoot my son's wrestling matches, often held in poorly lit high school gyms, without having to resort to flash use. Wide open it is still pretty sharp, although the DOF is still quite shallow even from 20 ft away. I have also used it for informal portraits of my kids, but it took me a while to figure out the defocus controls, which turn the out-of-focus foreground or background (you choose) highlights into a very pleasing effect.
For the use you describe, it would be perfect, but you might also want to consider the 80-200 f2.8D if the lighting, with one more stop, will permit sufficient shutter speed to freeze your subject. It costs about the same as the 135 f2D DC and even though it's a zoom, it doesn't take a back seat to most primes in the image quality dept. Either way you won't regret it. My feeling for these two lenses is kind of like Charlton Heston's expression, "From my cold, dead hands."