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Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 04-26-2005, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm thinking about getting the 105mm f/2 AF DC-Nikkor to replace my antiquated Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5 that doesn't fully function on my D100. I'm mainly wanting to use it for headshots and maybe some torso up shots.

Does anyone have any experience with the Defocus control or this lens? I haven't used a lens with DC before and I don't have a good understanding of what it is from reading about it. With a wide open of 2.0 I should be able to defocus anything I want at the close range I'm going to be working.
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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 04-26-2005, 07:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Alan:

I have the 135 DC 2.0 Nikkor.

My understanding is the only thing that seperates them is the focal length and price but that both have the same features.

It's real simple. There is a second "aperature" type ring out near the end that can be set at the wider aperatures, like 2.0-5.6 (I don't have it right here in front of me)

You can actually twist the ring both directions from centered so as to blur the foreground or the background (but not both at the same time).

Like if you have a beer sitting on the table, you can set it on front blur and everything leading up to the beer bottle will be blurry, or you can set it on rear blur to blur the background.

For maximum blur you set a wide aperature and match the setting on the second ring (so, if 2.8 on normal aperature, 2.8 on the D/C ring) but for some interesting effects where it will actually blur the subject, you can set the 2nd ring to a higher number than the shooting aperature.

I've only experimented with the "front blur" use, as it seems weird to me.

I really like the rear blur use. Bascially you get the rear out of focus look similiar to a 300 2.8. in a 135 lens.

The same things that effect the DOF still apply (closer to the subject, the more apparent the background blur) but the DC lens doubles it compared to an equal lens.

I've only experimented with settings that throw the subject out of focus, and don't really have situations that call for it. I did shoot a Christmas tree once that way and it makes all the lights look like little blurry donuts.

If you shoot outside at a wide aperature, you will need to get some neutral density filters to cut down the shutter speed or you will easily exceed max sync speed.

The 135 has a built in lens shade that pulls out and rotates to lock into position.

I bought mine thinking that I better REALLY like it for the price I paid or I was sending it straight back.

I kept it.

The 2.0 is nice in low light and not too soft.

I have a 1.4 50 that is almost too soft at that aperature to be realistically useable.

Mark
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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 04-26-2005, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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P.S. On a digital body, with the multiplication factor, its more like a 210 for working distance.

I was trying to shoot some 3/4 length shots outside not long ago and couldn't beleive how far back I had to get.

Love it on a film body.

Mark

This shot was done with the DC lens.

No photoshop blurring.

That's the overhang of a building lit by sunlight back behind her.

Mark
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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 04-26-2005, 07:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have that lens. It is very good and the defocus works well especially with digital because you can see what is falling out of focus with the preview. I find the maximum aperature of f/16 disappointing. What is nice about the lens is shooting with strobes at f/8 and being able to adjust the dof independently and variably. I shoot a lot of basketball with it as well. Here is a sample. 1/45 @ f/2.0 and the defocus at f/5.6



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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 04-26-2005, 08:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
On a digital body, with the multiplication factor, its more like a 210 for working distance.

[/ QUOTE ]

The lens is to replace a 135mm, but because its going to be for a D100 and only ocasionally used on my F4 and F, I'm dropping down to the 105mm so I don't have to stand shouting distance away.
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I always wanted to do sports photography
Old 04-26-2005, 08:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I haven't been a sports fan since the baseball strike, but I can still appreciate good basketball photography. I think I'm sold on the lens, now I just need to find a used one at a price I can afford.
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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 05-05-2005, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have used this lens quite a bit for headshots and it's VERY SHARP. I rarely use the DF control ring, maybe 3x since I've had it. Playing around with the DF ring will give you varying degrees of what I think is called spherical aberration. Someone else may know more of the technical aspects and hopefully will chime in. Check with KEH.com from time to time. They usually have one for sale at a decent price.
Nikkor 105 DC. DF not used.


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Re: Nikon Lens with defocus control?
Old 05-05-2005, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I know two people who own it,... One is Mike Dixon of Chicago.. it's a very cool lens!

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Ask at the Nikonians
Old 05-08-2005, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You should ask this question at the Nikonians Nikkor Forum which is part of the Nikonians, the largest online community of Nikon Users. I'm sure someone there will know.

Regards, Art.
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