Nikon AF DC NIKKOR 135mm f/2D

Nikon AF DC NIKKOR 135mm f/2D

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 135mm f/2D DC

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 1995-09-01

MSRP Price: $1389.95

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: This high-performance, medium telephoto features Defocus Image Control allowing for control of the degree of focus in the foreground or background.

Nikon AF DC NIKKOR 135mm f/2D Specifications

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length135mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.48x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingYes
Maximim Aperturef/2
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)12°
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)18°
Optical Information
Lens Elements7
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorNo
Rear FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance4.0 ft. (1.1m)
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size72mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions(Approx.) 3.1x4.7 in. (Diameter x Length) 79x120mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight(Approx.) 28.7 oz. (815g)
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied Accessories72mm lens cap Rear lens cap

Lens Construction

AF DC-NIKKOR 135mm f2D Construction

MTF Chart

AF DC-NIKKOR 135mm f2D MTF Curve

Reader Interactions

User Reviews

  1. Joachim Elz-Fianda
    May 5, 2021 at 3:24 am

    Nice to find some interesting reviews here.
    I bought this lens to replace my AiS MF 135mm/2 which was a nice lens with wonderful bokkeh. I used it on the Df, on that the AF was a bit slow. On my D810 it’s nice.
    The defocus effect is difficult to look up in the viewfinder bit is clearly visible on a monitor with 1920px. If you change the defocus control you have always to refocus again ! You can choose to get the blurry zone more in the front or more in the back of the focus plane and that is what Nikon wanted to offer. It’s a oity that Nikon wouldn’t bring out an AF-S or Z version so omn my Z6 I can only use it in manual mode.

  2. AndrewG
    April 9, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    Great comments here. I’m a DX shooter. For me, wouldn’t the 105 make more sense? It’ll be not much longer than the 135 on FX, of course not as fast and with larger depth of field, but otherwise I imagine it would be very similar.

  3. Shawn Young
    December 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This is a fun lens that, in a sense, is made for digital because it takes practice to understand the defocus effect. If you buy this lens, before taking it into the field, spend an afternoon (or two) around the house taking mundane test shots to get a feel for how the bokeh renders.

    Please note: the “defocus” in the name does not mean this lens is soft. It’s not soft at all. As with just about every lens in the world it suffers a little bitt for sharpness at max aperture. Between f/2.8 and f/4 it gets as sharp as you need it to be. The “defocus” refers to those parts of the image that are purposely out of focus. You can make those as creamy as you like by, say, shooting at f/2.8 but setting rear defocus to 5.6.

    If you have the space and creativity, this might bump your 85mm out of being your principal portrait lens. Whenever possible, this is the lens I use for portraiture.

    This lens does suffer a little for contrast and will not AF on D3x00/5×00.

    Once you shoot with this lens, somewhat like with Zeiss glass, your images will have a certain ‘look’ that will separate it from all your other Nikkors.

    Build 5/5 (solid, heavy)
    Overall IQ: 4.5/5
    Standard IQ: 4/5
    IQ with DC: 5/5
    DC-learning-curve: not that long
    AF speed 4/5
    Overall: 5/5. If I could only own one prime lens, this (or perhaps its little brother, the 105 DC) would be the one.

  4. November 23, 2013 at 6:46 am

    It would be great to see them rent the lens and do a review.

    The defocus is very simple to use. Not scary at all. The only scary thing is that Nikon HAVE put a patent in for a 135mm f1.8 which may or may not be a vaporware ruse to worry Canon, and if you couple that with how old this design is you can easily get into worrying whether you should buy it now or wait. Their next 135 will be sharper and more contrasty, likely using their nano coating, but whether we will see another DC design ever again is debatable.

    BTW how to use the DC: select your aperture. Select the DC to the same aperture and shoot. BUT if you start setting crazy settings on the DC that do not correspond with the actual aperture you can get foggy “effects”. I don’t own it but I certainly have played with one.

    • shawn
      March 29, 2014 at 9:48 am

      As to buying or waiting… buy! Well, buy if you want this price point.

      It seems, in recent times, whenever Nikon updates a higher-end lens it gets at least $1000 more expensive.

      In some cases the improvements are arguably worth it (80-400) but in others (200-400, 200/2) the original is 99% as good. I love this lens as I write below, ut if Nikon comes out with a new 135 1.8 or 2, with or without DC, I expect the price to easily break $2K. At that point, the Zeiss 135/2 is going to take a massive amount of beating. No AF on the Zeiss but everything else seems absolutely superb. This Nikkor 135/2 DC is all I need and I’m glad to own it, but I think Nikon shoots itself in the foot if it upgrades this lens and doubles the price in the process.

    • Joachim Elz-Fianda
      May 5, 2021 at 3:27 am

      “The defocus is very simple to use”… Don’t forget:
      If you change the defocus control lookin through the viewfinder you have always to refocus again !

  5. November 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Photographylife, have you guys thought about doing a review of this lens?

    Keep up the good work!

  6. William Jones
    April 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Question for anybody with experience with this lens: How good is the focus speed? Especially wondering because I shoot a lot of sports, sometimes in low light locations, and f/2 would be ideal for those. I don’t want to spend 6K on the 200mm f/2.


    • Tim
      September 24, 2013 at 5:08 am

      William. I have owned it for two years. AF is quite fast on a D700. You won’t be disappointed. I use it regularly for moving subjects in low light (theater mostly). The AF seldom hunts in low-light. I don’t bother with the defocus control. Shoot it wide open – its sharp and the bokeh is very nice. This is my favorite lens, and I own many – all primes. I agree with your philosophy on the 200 f2. This is a close as you can get without spending $6k. Perhaps you already bought it now that I noticed how old your post is…

      • Rizwan
        March 19, 2015 at 6:38 am

        I am going to buy one today after i leave from work:) Had been checking out the reveiws and comments for so long and now its getting too crazy, time to buy today. I use D610

        • Joe Prete
          June 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

          Rizwan, it’s been a few months now, did you get the lens? How do you like it? Can you believe this design is 25 years old now? That’s like half the age of the F Mount!

        • Aqeel James
          March 5, 2016 at 5:33 pm

          Rizwan I have having D610 Just ad i want to know how do you feel about this lens

    • Buddy
      September 27, 2017 at 1:13 am

      The Lens is really good it works perfectly with my D610 int term of sharpness,focus speed and it focus very precise.I used it for Portrait so Focusing speed is not much important.

  7. copajaus
    April 19, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I love that lens. The Defocus Control might sound a bit old fashion in some ways but I find it really interesting to use especially for the background. The lens is beautifully made and is sharp. I never really understood some of the criticism some people post about that lens, personnally I think it is excellent.

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