Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D Review

One of the best prime lenses available, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens, was developed specifically for use with Nikon DSLR cameras. Because of its one-of-a-kind Defocus Control (DC) function, it is particularly well-known for the outstanding performance it delivers in the field of portrait photography.

This lens is a favorite option among professional photographers since it possesses exceptional image quality, accurate autofocus, and superb build quality all in one package.

$1,391.95 25 used from $624.00 2 new from $1,391.95
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Nikon AF FX DC-NIKKOR 135mm f/2D Fixed Lens with Auto...

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 135mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Format: FX/35mm
  • Lens Elements: 7
  • Lens Groups: 6
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 4.0 ft. (1.1m)
  • Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
  • Filter Size: 72mm
  • Dimensions: 3.1 in. (79 mm) x 4.7 in. (120 mm)
  • Weight: 28.7 oz. (815 g)


The Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens offers exceptional performance in a wide variety of shooting situations. Its quick maximum aperture of f/2 performs exceptionally well in low-light circumstances, enabling photographers to take photos that are both clear and detailed despite the hard conditions they are working in.

The lens has a nine-blade diaphragm, which results in beautifully smooth regions that are out of focus and contribute to the lens’s gorgeous bokeh. The DC function enables additional control over the degree and type of background blurring, which significantly expands the scope of possible creative expressions.

Autofocus System

The lens makes use of Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which enables it to conduct autofocus operations in a manner that is quick, precise, and nearly silent. As a result of the autofocus system’s ability to provide rapid and accurate focusing, photographers are able to capture candid moments with more ease.

In addition to that, it has a full-time manual focus override, which enables users to manually make small changes whenever they see fit. The autofocus technology of the AF DC 135mm f/2D lens produces reliable and consistent results no matter what type of photography you’re doing, be it shooting portraits, events, or wildlife.

Vibration Reduction

Unfortunately, Vibration Reduction (VR) technology is not included in the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens. However, the relatively quick aperture of the lens and the good quality of its optics help to make up for the absence of VR to some extent.

In addition, the lens is well-balanced and very small, both of which assist in reducing the amount of camera wobble that occurs while taking photos handed. Although VR would have been a welcome addition to the lens, it nevertheless provides great picture stabilization in a variety of different ways.

Build Quality

The AF DC 135mm f/2D lens from Nikon offers an amazing build quality thanks to Nikon’s careful craftsmanship. Even under challenging shooting situations, the lens barrel is manufactured from high-quality materials, ensuring longevity and dependability. The lens comes with a metal mount, which contributes to the overall durability of the lens.

Both the focus and aperture rings of the lens have a silky smooth and well-damped feel to them, which enables comfortable and accurate control over the settings of the lens. Because the lens is also weather-sealed, it provides protection against dust and moisture, making it an ideal choice for use when taking photographs outside.

Handling and Ergonomics

The AF DC 135mm f/2D lens features an ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold for extended periods of time, making it ideal for use in photography. It has a weight of about 815 grams, which is a nice compromise between mobility and stability due to its relatively low mass. Because of the lens’s ergonomic design, photographers are able to maintain a steady grasp on it even for long periods of time.

Because of the advantageous placement of the focus and aperture rings, it is simple to make adjustments to the settings without having to remove your eyes from the viewfinder. The lens’s general design and layout add to a pleasant experience while shooting, particularly when capturing portraits and other subjects that need fine control over depth of focus. This is especially true when using the lens to take pictures of people.

Image Stabilization

Even though the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens does not have an optical image stabilization system built in, it is nonetheless capable of producing photos that are crisp and steady when used in conjunction with Nikon camera bodies that are compatible with it and have in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The lens is able to take use of the image stabilization features of the camera when it is attached to a camera that has in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which effectively reduces the effects of camera shake.

With these two elements working together, photographers are able to take sharp pictures even in low-light conditions or while utilizing shutter speeds that are more sluggish. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the performance of image stabilization may differ from one camera body to another, and this is something that should not be overlooked.

Shooting Experience

In particular, for those who specialize in portrait photography, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens makes taking photographs a pleasurable experience. The lens has a focal length of 135 millimeters, which provides a perspective that is pleasing and great subject isolation while photographing portraits. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/2, making it capable of producing clear photographs with a shallow depth of focus. This enables photographers to create a background blur that is aesthetically pleasing and to place more emphasis on their subjects.

This lens is distinguished by its one-of-a-kind Defocus customize (DC) function, which gives photographers the power to customize the degree to which the backdrop is blurred, as well as the overall appearance of the effect. This function paves the way for new creative possibilities by giving photographers the ability to shape the appearance and sensation of their photographs in accordance with their individual aesthetic goals.

Image Quality

The AF DC 135mm f/2D lens produces a picture that is of exceptional quality, both in terms of sharpness and its contrast. Its high-quality optics, which include Super Integrated Coating (SIC) and Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components, provide accurate color reproduction, decreased chromatic aberration, and reduced flare and ghosting. ED stands for extra-low dispersion. Because it creates photographs with an exceptionally high level of detail, the lens is perfect for portrait photography, where it may be used to capture delicate textures and fine face characteristics.

Even when shooting at wider apertures, the lens maintains a remarkable level of edge-to-edge clarity, demonstrating its superior performance across the whole aperture range. The nine-blade diaphragm is responsible for the attractive and smooth representation of the bokeh, which in turn gives the photographs a stunning separation of the foreground and the background as well as a sense of depth.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Photographers who need an extended reach can benefit from the added versatility offered by the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens since it is compatible with select teleconverters manufactured by Nikon. The focal length of the lens may be enlarged to 189 mm or 270 mm, respectively, when suitable teleconverters are used with it.

Examples of such teleconverters are the Nikon TC-14E II and the Nikon TC-20E III. Both of these teleconverters keep the autofocus capability of the lens. This compatibility broadens the lens’ possibilities, enabling photographers to take photographs of more distant subjects or produce compositions with a greater degree of proximity without noticeably degrading the image quality.

Comparison with Competitors

The one-of-a-kind Defocus Control function that the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens possesses allows it to compete well with other lenses that are available on the market. Because of this function, it stands apart from other 135mm lenses because it enables exact control over the look of regions that are out of focus.

The lens is highly respected for its image quality, construction quality, and focusing performance; as a result, portrait photographers frequently opt to use it. When comparing lenses, it is essential to take into account the photographer’s individual tastes in shooting as well as any unique requirements. Before making a purchase choice, photographers should carefully analyze their demands and the products offered by other manufacturers, which may have focal lengths that are comparable but may have different features or pricing ranges.


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length135mm
Maximum Aperturef/2
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (DX)12°
Maximum Angle of View (FX)18°
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.48x
Lens Elements7
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
Super Integrated CoatingYes
Minimum Focus Distance4.0 ft. (1.1m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual
Filter Size72mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Approx. Dimensions (DxL)3.1 in. (79 mm) x 4.7 in. (120 mm)
Approx. Weight28.7 oz. (815 g)

Pros and Cons

A compelling option for photographers, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens features a number of benefits that make it an attractive purchase. One of its most notable qualities is the excellent image quality it produces, particularly in terms of sharpness and bokeh. The DC function gives photographers extra creative freedom, enabling them to modify the look of background blur to fit their artistic vision.

This is particularly useful for portrait photographers. The lens has superb build quality, which guarantees its endurance and dependability in a wide variety of shooting scenarios. In addition, the lens is easy to use, including ergonomics that are pleasant and settings that are easy to understand. Its flexibility is further increased by the fact that it is compatible with teleconverters.

Price and Availability

The Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens may be purchased through authorized Nikon outlets as well as through internet merchants who carry the brand’s products. When it comes to pricing, it is essential to keep in mind that costs might differ from one place to another and also rely on the circumstances of the market at the time.

Because of its high level of performance and construction quality, the lens is often priced in the higher to middle ranges of its category. If you are a photographer who places a high value on things like picture quality, unique features, and professional-grade construction, the AF DC 135mm f/2D lens is an option that justifies its price point for you. While it may not be the most cost-effective choice, it does offer all of these things.

$1,391.95 25 used from $624.00 2 new from $1,391.95
in stock
Nikon AF FX DC-NIKKOR 135mm f/2D Fixed Lens with Auto...


Portrait photographers who are looking for a lens with great image clarity, fine control over background blur, and dependable performance need to look no further than the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens. A flexible tool for producing amazing photos with exquisite bokeh, this camera’s fast aperture, when paired with the one-of-a-kind Defocus Control function, makes for an excellent combination.

The high build quality of the lens, along with its ergonomic form, helps to create a comfortable shooting experience for the photographer, which frees them up to concentrate on their creative vision. Despite the fact that it does not have some of the more current capabilities, like image stabilization, it is still a very desired option for photographers who place a high priority on both image quality and creative control due to its optical performance and compatibility with teleconverters.

Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D FAQs

Q. Is the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens suitable for portrait photography?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens is highly regarded for portrait photography. Its 135mm focal length, combined with the fast maximum aperture of f/2, allows for excellent subject isolation and beautiful background blur, resulting in stunning portrait shots with a pleasing bokeh effect.
Q. Can I control the degree of background blur with the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens?
A. Yes, the lens features a unique Defocus Control (DC) feature that allows you to control the degree and style of background blur. This feature provides photographers with enhanced creative control over the appearance of out-of-focus areas, allowing for more personalized and artistic shots.
Q. Does the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens does not have built-in optical image stabilization. However, it can still produce sharp images, especially when used with Nikon camera bodies that feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The lens’ fast aperture and high-quality optics also contribute to minimizing the effects of camera shake.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens?
A. The minimum focus distance of the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens is 4.0 ft. (1.1m). This allows photographers to capture subjects from a relatively close distance while maintaining optimal image quality and focus.
Q. Is the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens compatible with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF DC 135mm f/2D lens is compatible with select Nikon teleconverters, such as the Nikon TC-14E II and TC-20E III. These teleconverters can extend the focal length of the lens, providing additional reach for capturing distant subjects while maintaining autofocus functionality.


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