Nikon DC lens on DX body for Portraiture

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Aritay, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    I'm still very new at this, so I hope this question makes sense:

    From what I understand the DX bodies, with their cropped sensors, can make obtaining good DOF/bokeh for portraits a challenge.

    Would a speciality Nikon defocus control (DC) lens, like the 105mm DC, work well with a DX body (e.g., Nikon D90) for controlling/creating nice portraiture DOF and bokeh?

    thanks in advance

    (sorry if this overlaps a bit with a thread I have going on the beginner forum - - just trying to figure out where to ask which questions)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I replied to your question about these two lenses in another post, but will reply again here, since you probably want more information on those two specific lenses. I own both,and have for most of this decade. Both are screwdriver focusing lenses, and both are medium telephotos with fast maximum apertures and relatively high image magnifcation, so those factors all make them "relatively" easy to focus. Both have relatively slow-ish,long-travel manual focusing throws, which makes them easy to focus accurately and precisely in manual focusing mode, and when using the defocus control, you *will* need to re-focus after adjusting the defocus control.

    The defocus control can give some beautiful soft-focus effects, if desired.

    On smaller, entry-level Nikon bodies that have a pentamirror viewfinder, like the D40 for example, the viewfinder image is not as crisp and clear as it is on the "pro-like" Nikon bodies that have all-glass pentaprisms and simply "better" viewfinder systems. Both lenses throw things out of focus pretty rapidly behind the point of sharpest focus, especially at close range. But because APS-C crops off the outer edges of the lens's field of view, you *will* be forced to stand quite a ways back to do say, a full-length portrait with either a 105 or 135mm DC lens on a DX format Nikon body. The 105 DC
    is the slightly superior lens, optically; it is simply fabulous. The 135 DC is merely extremely good, but it is a notch down from the 105 DC. Both lenses have aperture control rings, rounded diaphragms, and adjustable spherical aberration control, and both were designed specifically as "bokeh lenses" by Japanese designers very interested in bokeh.

    If you want the absolute *minimum* in focus, moving to a FF sensor means the capture format is 2.3 times larger than it is on DX, and so the DOF is shallower, quite notably, because the format is larger and because the camera-to-subject distances will be much shorter on FF than on DX. THose things are immutably controlled by the laws of optics. Still, on DX, the 105 DC is a nice lens to use, especially outdoors where you have room enough to use it.

    Here is a short article written by a Nikon employee detailing some of the behind the scenes development of the 135 f/2 Defocus Control lens; keep in mind, the lens designers at Nippon Kogaku (aka Nikon) were aware of bokeh and its implications for well over a decade before the word boke was brought to the English language with an h added. http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/nikkor/n32_e.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  3. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much, again, Derrel. This is the kind of info I am looking for. And I especially appreciate your double post/response.

    I would very much like FF - - but it sure is expensive. I'm starting to think I'll just get FF capable lenses now with a D90. And when the price of FF cameras drops, and more importantly when I have more experience, then I'll get a D700 or whatever.

    I really would like to be able to take great people pics. So maybe I'll just start out with a D90 and some fast FF primes - - and then do the old "move my feet" for zooming (the quality/fast FF zooms are out of my price range now, plus they look huge and heavy).
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    When trying to get shallow DOF with a DX format camera, the advantage of the 105 DC is more its wide maximum aperture (f/2.0) than the DC function. The DC is gravy, though.

    "Portraiture" is a very broad class of image. If your definition is "head shot" or "tight head & shoulders" then the 105mm focal length may not be overly long. For the flattened "fashion" look its a very good choice or even a little short. If you're thinking of looser framing (3/4 length, full length, environment portraits that include surrounding objects, ...) you may find such a long lens difficult to work with.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  6. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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