You've nailed the focus very well! And kids at play is not en easy subject. Did you only rely on focusing screen image, or did you use the >0< indicators (or Live View)? I've read somewhere that users found this lens particularly easy to focus, that it was very clear in the viewfinder when it snapped into focus.
Thank you all for your kind replies! Yes, this lens is pretty easy to focus, compared with, say, the ZF 100/2. I did use the green focus dot for many shots but it is difficult to keep a moving kid framed while looking at an LED. So I also took some shots just relying on the viewfinder, and focus is pretty clear to see.
Tom - thanks for sharing these images. A good friend of mine has one also and it quickly became one of his favorite lens. He now prefers this lens over his Zeiss 100mm f2 and Nikon 200mm f2 for single portraits.
Since BH Photo just sent me an email notification that they now have it in stock, I ended up ordering one instead of the 200mm f2.
I'm sure you'll be very happy with it. I also have the 200/2 but it is so impractical to use for casual scenes that I much prefer the 135/2, even with the manual focus. This new 135/2 is superb and maybe one of the best lenses in the world. But there is no doubt that the 200/2 is still unmatched.
Tom - your statement is similar to my friend's statement who also has the 200mm f2, Zeiss 100mm f2 and now this 135mm f2. He also prefers the optical performance of the Zeiss 135mm f2 over the two for static subjects.
This makes me really excited to get this lens. It is currently in transit and hope that I will get it within the next 5 days.
Oh no! Sorry to hear it. Well this is a tough question. I kept my 100/2 when I got the 135/2. Both are superb, and I could never imagine parting with either one. Ok, this is probably not helping...
They are a bit different, so depending on what you're looking for, you could favor one or the other.
Sharpness: Both are as good as any lens could get, no difference
Bokeh: The 100/2 is better, has smoother bokeh, and the transition from in focus to out of focus is more gradual. In fact this transition is nicer than in any lens I have used. The bokeh of the 135 is not bad by any means, it's quite good actually, just not as world class as the 100/2. It's bokeh can be a bit more "interesting" at times.
CA: The 135/2 is much better. The 100/2 suffers from quite some axial CA (purple fringing) in out of focus areas, when used between f/2 and f/4.
Manual focus: The 135/2 is way easier to focus. Images snap into focus visually in the viewfinder. That is the flipside of the gradual focus transition that makes 100/2 images so buttery smooth: That can make it tough to see focus.
Other than that, the 100/2 obviously has macro ability, going to 1:2, while the 135/2 can only do about 1:4 I believe. On the other hand, the 135/2 allows for more flattering perspective when shooting portraits. The 135/2 is quite larger and heavier than the 100/2, a consideration when traveling.
Reviving your old post . I'm seriously thinking about one of the two (100/2 or 135/2) . I would be using on the Df,D610, D7100 . No D800 in my future.
No, I'm not good enough to really justify either but 'want' to use one for candids . I rarely use a tripod and what you said here about the Manual focus rings some chimes. Since I bought the Df I have been working on MF.
My daughter is either coming for a visit, or we'll meet somewhere between Colorado and Goa, in November so I would have her get one in the US.
Do you have any more recent thoughts? Jeez, I checked your profile for the first time in ages... what gives...Basic and only a Canon user now ???? . Cheers, Tom
Jeremy, I was particularly interested in Tom's comments about focus vs the 100 macro. I am working on getting the weight of the gear down but I've shot the 300 2.8vr, 70-200vrs, 24-70, 14-24 2.8 for a long time, all handheld.
Funny but when I travel I take more time , unless I am shooting from a moving vehicle , than I do when I am shooting birds, sport, events, candids in Goa. I've always fancied a 135 and have considered the 135 2.0 DC several times. The Oly 75 1.8 is my favourite M43 lens.
I'm sure you are right about the lens. Cheers, Tom
I have purchased the Zeiss 100 f2.0 zf.2 lens using it on the d800e and to me the focusing is very easy using the focusing screen and not the focusing dot so much. For me I like the size and close up work ability plus its also excellent for portraits and landscape work. The backgrounds are silky smooth.
Sorry I didn't see your reply for a while… Yes I switched to Canon in the meantime for a number of reasons, all of them good (no issues with my Nikon gear, but for my needs now, Canon just fit better). I still like to visit here at Nikonians whenever I can.
Anyway, it hasn't changed my opinion on the Zeiss 135/2. It's one of the best lenses on the planet if you ask me. If you have any questions let me know, I'll try my best to answer. At the moment I don't possess the lens, though: After I switched to Canon, I picked up the Canon 135L. It replaced both my Nikon 135DC and the Zeiss 135/2, kind of gives me the best of both (but only kind of). The Canon 135L is pretty close to the Zeiss, I'd say between the Nikon on one side and the Zeiss on the other, the Canon135L is 90% on the side of the Zeiss. So it's pretty close, but it also has AF of course. So this affords me more keepers when following my fast moving kids. But it does not quite reach the purity of the colors from the Zeiss (i.e. unlike the Zeiss, it does have lateral CA).
Thanks Tom! Yeah I won't be buying any more Nikon lenses of course. But at least 3rd party lenses like Zeiss and Sigma that fit on both Canon and Nikon mount would still be a good topic of discussion to which I might contribute. I have been eying the newly released Sigma 50/1.4 Art, but have not decided yet on it. It's as big and heavy as a 24-70/2.8, that is holding me back a bit. My usual use case for a 50mm lens is to put it into the pocket just in case, i.e. that's what I had the 50/1.8G for.
Thu 29-May-14 01:36 AM | edited Thu 29-May-14 09:23 AM by tommiejeep
Fortunately I do not use 50mm that much so no lusting for what appears to be a great lens. I really enjoy the 58 1.4G and am more interested in the Sigma 24 1.4 but, alas, I fear it will be big and heavy .
The 50 1.4G and 50 1.8G are both easy to carry and my wife uses them quite a bit on the D610 and D90.
I have paid no attention to the new Sigma's on Canon, any of the compatibility problems that some have with Nikon? With Sigma producing some outstanding lens these days your views will be greatly appreciated. The Zeiss will have to wait for some time Cheers, Tom
Bob, mainly the D800. This lens is really well suited for that sensor as it has outstanding resolution and practically no color errors. Though you need to nail focus to get all that resolution...
I did use it on my D700 on occasion, simply because I had a KatzEye focus screen in there (they don't make one for the D800). And so for moving subjects, I got more keepers that way.
Using that green dot is often an issue if the subject moves even a little: when you look down, the framing may have moved. So on the D800 I usually relied just on visually "guessing" the focus. Canon provides some better facilities for manual focus (the focus bracket in the middle of the frame lights up as you achieve focus with a manual lens, so no need to look down or to install a focus screen). That would be a good idea for Nikon to follow...