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Nikon AF DC Nikkor 135mm f/2.0D lens discontinued

As reported last week, Nikon Canada has several pages (lenses) that are down for maintenance. One of them was the Nikkor 135mm f/2.0D lens:

nikon-135-2-canada

Today the same lens is labeled as "Discontinued" @ B&H:

nikon-135mm-f2-discontinued

Adorama has this lens as "out of stock due to a back order situation". Amazon has only 1 left in stock.

The question is: gone forever or being replaced? This lens was introduced back in 1995.

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  • Thuan Nguyen

    135 AFS 1.8 Vr is coming. whaah im so excited if its true

  • rwpl

    I would expect an update in a form of an afs. VR – hmm to good to be true sorry.

  • d40-owner

    I sometimes wonder why isn’t this lens the most desired one.
    It is the longest f/2 in the arsenal, short of the insane 200mm f/2 – too big, too expensive, too good… :((((

  • Dogbum

    Thanks for putting a question at the end of the post. I didn’t know what to respond with.

    Lens is gone.

  • dino

    My opinion too is that another new F/1.8 lens will replace it in a few months. The reason is giving to D3 / D3x / D700 and other top-of-the line shooters lenses for portraits / fashion, in this respect I think also an 85 maybe F/1.8 will come soon (and later the F/1.4)

  • Anonymous

    dont forget…… DC… almost a special lens…. so really hart to see a dc, vr, afs version…. ( you will never see….. pc-e with vr…also)

  • kristupa saragih

    I hope it’s a sign that nikon will introduce a new AF-S 135/2G ED IF N in the near future. please nikon, remove DC feature but make it sharp wide open…sharper than canon or sony/zeiss version…:D

    hopefully AF-S 105/2G ED also would be introduced not long after 135/2..then after that 85/1.4 35/1.4 and 24/1.4. Then their lens line up will complete!

    • rwpl

      No DC?? are you mad ? ;)

    • Eric

      There’s nothing wrong with the DC feature. The DC lenses distinguished themselves from virtually every other manufacturer’s portrait optics.

      • http://dotcrimemanifesto.com/ PHB

        What does the DC function cost in terms of weight and maximum aperture?

        Is being able to put the good bokeh in the foreground such an important feature? Its not like the existing DC lenses are going to disappear, you are just going to have to buy second hand.

        If they can reproduce the cream machine bokeh in a 135mm lens, a lot of people will be very happy even without DC.

        I would rather see an f/1.4, but since that would have a 100mm front element, I guess f/1.8 is the most we could expect.

    • Ian

      Why are you wanting a sharper portrait lens? Portrait lenses aren’t supposed to be tack sharp. If they were they’d show every skin imperfection. Also, DC is a wonderful feature if you know how to use it.

      • monty11

        Well the photographer might want a sharp portrait lens but the client will definitely not want her(his) picture taken with one :D

      • kristupa saragih

        well, you can always use photoshop to soften sharpness…but you can’t use photoshop to sharpen soft image…besides, it would be more useful to have sharp lens than soft lens.

        • Anonymous

          i fail to see the benefit of an un-sharp lens regardless of the application….. this sharp talk is nonsense.. now if we all used film then it would have some merit….

    • Rich L

      Complete? I want the 200/4 micro redesigned!!! That one would be awesome:
      200/4 VR AFS Micro…. drooolllll

      • kristupa saragih

        uhmm yeah…forgot about that…how about make it faster or combine it with other prime and call it AF-S 180/2.8G ED IF VR Micro…

        and I hope 14-24 is not replacing 17-35…I really hope they will update 17-35 too…:D

  • Anonymous

    i love the 85 f1.4D, and would change to the AFS version of 85 f1.4 if nikon decides to release it in the future.. for now i’m just gonna use and enjoy the cream machine.

  • afterdarkernikon

    Well I hoped that they will soon come out with 85 AFS 1.4

    This will be my next purchase.

  • DrB

    If true, this is great news for people looking to buy a used 135 DC. This lens is (was) beyond the reach of mere mortals like me, until now :-)

  • http://logatec.blogspot.com/ Andrej

    A new AF-S 17-35/2.8 with 77mm filter thread, AF-S 18-35/4, AF-S 20/2.8, AF-S 24/1.4 (or f/1.8 or f/2), AF-S 28/1.4 (or f/1.8), AF-S 35/1.4, a really, really good AF-S 50mm (maybe f/1.2, not this cheap 50/1.4 shit we just got!), AF-S 85/1.4, AF-S 85/1.8 (or f/2), AF-S 105/2 (or f/1.8) VR, AF-S 135/2 (or f/1.8) VR, AF-S 180/2.8 VR, a new 200/4 Micro with VR, a new AF-S 70-200/2.8 VR, AF-S 70-200/4 VR, AF-S 300/4 VR, AF-S 400/4 VR …and the list of “needed” FX lenses goes on and on, not to mention the need for some more DX lenses.
    So naturally the day that 135/2 DC is to be replaced is very close. Though I do agree, Nikon should try to make lenses, that, compared to Canon, they don’t have in the “AF-S” form

  • http://nikonkrab.multiply.com/ HDZ

    I love this lens but no budget for it, sad story!! :(

  • Orlando

    This lens is unique. People often forget that is has the DC control, wich when used properly will give you control over the bokeh as no other lens.

    If there is an upgrade for it, most likely it will an AF-S version. No VR(no real need for it). Perhaps Nano Coating ( hehe, we want that on every lens now, don’t we?).

  • Tim Catchall

    If this is the next lens they convert to AF-S one really has to wonder what they are doing. I’m sure most people would agree, the most popular and common prime lenses are the following:
    28mm
    35mm
    50mm
    85mm
    So far they only updated one of those.

    • Roger Moore

      I would not agree that those are the most popular lenses, and neither would the numbers. If you look at the serial number data (http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html), the shorter Micro lenses (60/2.8 and 105/2.8) have been more popular than anything except for the 50s. The AF-S short primes they’ve come out with have been the 105/2.8 VR Micro, the 60/2.8 Micro, the 50/1.4, and the 35/1.8 DX. The only odd man out there is the 35/1.8, which makes sense if you see it as a 50/1.8 equivalent for DX. So Nikon has done a very good job of updating their most popular short primes.

  • Martin

    “Several lenses on its way” thats the words from nikon… So i’m not surprised if this one turns out to be discontinued and later replaced.

    Btw what does DC stand for?

    • rwpl

      halo?! You do know that there are things like google for the love of God!?!

      • Jeff

        why research for yourself when you could make your contemporaries doubt your competence?

        • Martin

          And since when did asking a question become such a offence?

          And for the record I’m a working pro-photographer (Can’t believe i survived without such a crucial knowledge of what DC stood for) so doubt my competence and tell me to justfuckinggoogleit all day long…

          Thanks to quatschmacher for not being a dick and answering a question :)

          Have a nice day :)

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

            I know how you feel – trust me :)

          • Martin

            Admin, I admire you for running this blog. So many grumpy people treating this blog like their personal toilet.

            I think it’s a privilege to read, whatever you write, and I’m sure a lot of people think the-same :)

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

            Thanks Martin!

    • quatschmacher

      DC stands for Defocus Control

  • Chris_M

    I guess we’ll find it in a few years for $3,000 on ebay and I’m afraid it won’t be replaced soon.

  • afterdarkernikon

    I don’t think they will release a replacement for this lens. IT will be simply discontinued and they will release replacement for other things.
    like 85 1.4/ 1.8

    what will happen is this will end of as one of the most sought after and expensive lens in future.

  • funny

    I hope so. time to get some FX prime action back in the game after months of yawning at their lens announcements.

  • Shivas

    I was hoping to buy the 105 f/2, let’s hope that stays around…..not many choices for the DX primes that can hit 200mm (equivalent)….I assume the 135 was just too expensive….

  • DrB

    I just bought a 135mm f/2.8 ais on ebay for a pitance. It works beautifully (as far as I can tell, it out-resolves the sensor on my D700), assuming you can be bothered to raise your hand to the focusing ring… I for one care not about AF-S, and would never dream of paying $$$ to upgrade merely for that feature – but that’s just me I guess.

    • DrB

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that if AF is not critical for you, there are already plenty of excellent FX primes out there.

  • http://bonzo.com Bonzo

    135mm 1.8 VR Nano! Yes

    Nikon, no VR = no buy, get it?

    • Zoetmb

      DC portrait lenses are used in the studio on a tripod. You don’t need VR in the studio on a tripod.

      • http://bonzo.com Bonzo

        hehe, I don’t want DC, caused problems anyway on DX cameras with front/back focus

  • kuri

    I can see the point of a 135/2.0(1.8) on a DX System as it gets close to the FOV of the 200/2.0 on FF in a much smaller, lighter and cheaper package.
    On FF I’ve never really found 135 a useful focal length… too long for portraits, too short for tele. So maybe as a dedicated DX lens?

    I’d much rather see an AF-S 105/2.0V R DC. Don’t think they can build a DC lens in AF-G mount due to the way you need to match DC setting to Aperture setting?
    But hey, I have the 105/2.0DC and love it to bits, so any new version would have to be quite spectacular to get me to upgrade for use on FF. But new lenses coming soon rumors always give people hope.
    On the other hand, how long has the AF 28/1.4 been officially discontinued and not replaced? Being discontinued surely doesn’t mean a replacement is imminent :)

    • http://dotcrimemanifesto.com/ PHB

      No way would the replacement be DX. Once you get above 50mm there is really no major penalty to producing a full frame coverage lens over a crop-frame. Maybe the front element could be 5mm narrower, its not enough to bother with.

      The replacement is not going to be a 77mm filter in any case, so why worry?

  • NikoDoby

    This is one of my favorite lenses, sniff, sniff. Please let there be an update :(

  • Angus MacDuff

    The 135 Dc is my most used portrait lens. I like it especially with slide film, but have found it to be excellent on my D700. This is my most used lens and most prized. I own over 30 Nikon lenses, but would never part with this one. I also like the 70-200 AFS VR but too big, heavy and intimidating for portrait use. I make frequent use of the DC for soft focus. No other lens aside from the 105 DC does this from any manufacturer. I think Nikon is becoming too much of a consumer oriented company and much less of a professional supply company. I am sure Zeiss will start producing something like this assuming Nikon is our of the porfessional lens market.

    • John Dosy-Doe

      I agree on the first part, but partly disagree on the latter. Nikon introduced the 24-70/f2.8 and the 14-24 f/2.8 last year. Both geared towards pros. I do think Nikon is targeting the consumer market more aggressively because that’s where the bulk of their revenue comes from. This simply misdirects their focus on getting newer pro lenses out. I think all new pro lenses will be targeted towards FF sensors and focus their Dx lenses mostly on the consumer market.

      Or maybe they will shock us all like they did with the D3…who really knows?

  • lex

    hopefully a “G” AF-S VR version is in the works…

  • NikoDoby

    I totally agree with your comments about the 135 DC Angus MacDuff. I just hope your totally wrong about Nikon’s lens strategy.

  • Obscula

    I have a 105mm f2.0 DC. It’s a great lens.
    The 135mm is reported to be as well.
    Hopefully, Nikon will replace and improve upon them. If not, get one now. You will not be dissappointed.

  • gurbally

    135mm f2 DC is a superb lens. I guess Nikon will upgrade primes first to AF-S. I am dying to see a 28mm f1.4 AF-S and an 85mm f1.4 AF-S. Hello Nikon.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully there will be AF-S 135mm f/2 VR, it would be the DX equivalent of the very expensive 200mm f/2 VR, Together with a new 300mm f/4 VR they would give serious amateurs an FX like tele equipment, at a fraction of the price.
    It would make a lot of sense to introduce these lenses with a D400 including a serious Video mode, at quite lower price tag then the 5D MKII.

    I think Fx is overrated.

  • blago

    I’d love to se an AF-S 135/2G N IF ED on my D300. no VR for me , thanks Nikon ;-)

  • rdrrr

    They discontinued it because no one was buying.. In the time of economic crisis they will probably make some DX plastic lens, more affordable.. So maybe something like 90/1.8 AFS DX (135 equivalent).

  • http://photo.net/photos/acarodp acarodp

    The 135 DC is dead, hail to the 135 DC!

    It would appear that most of those who write here have never used this fantastic piece of glass. Sharp wide open? the 135 DC is definitely sharper at f2 than the 70-200 2.8 VR is a 2.8, and by an embarrassing margin (this on DX). In fact, too sharp for portrait already. Since I was so lucky to find one used for a pretty good price, it has become one of my favorite lenses. Built like the famous tank, with a reasonably fast AF despite being screwdriver type, and with a fantastic out of focus rendition. AF apart, there is really not so much to improve: Purple Fringing Longitudinal CA are its main faults, but the Zeiss-Sony 135 1.8 is a good proof that LoCA is not going to go away very easily in these fast long lenses (I guess it is even worse in the Sony than in the 135 DC), no matter how much ED glass you throw in. If they drop the DC thing (not very useful), make it AFS (granted), cut PF and possibly LoCA and keep the Bokeh and the build quality as they are now, they can get another masterpiece.

    L.

  • Ryan

    I have to agree with andrej, I wish they would come out with almost a new line… some of their lens are amazing… but with nikon its either a 2000 dollar lens of beauty(or more expensive) or a 600dollar (or less) expensive piece of mediocre glass… its bothersome. I wish they had like a 70-200mm f/4 or maybe if they renwed their 80-200mm f/2.8. and some of the ones andrej mentioned would work as well… maybe its time ?

  • Mike

    Besides the obvious well-heeled, amateur, tech nerd, gear collectors, do any real photographers use these? Every single professional photographer I have assisted who uses a Nikon uses either the 80-200mm or 70-200mm for portraiture. My feeling is that a lot of people who are into gear like the idea behind this lens, but few people are using or buying it, hence it’s deletion.

    • http://photo.net/photos/acarodp acarodp

      Anybody who uses primes and wants a fast medium telephoto lens would want to use it. Not everybody does since it is a fairly expensive lens (I got a very lucky deal, an used one in quite good conditions for ~600 euros, but new, according to amazon, it is 1300-1400, after all not so out of reach). Keep in mind it is the only AF prime in the Nikon lineup between the 105 and the 180. On DX, it does the job of a 200 f2 on fx, and even new it is cheaper and a lot smaller. One should not look at the DC feature and label it a specialty portrait lens, the DC is a plus (of questionable utility if you ask me) on what is an awesome, razor-sharp and fast 135mm. In fact, I do not do portrait, and do not use it for portrait. I guess it is the less commonly used of the two DC, the 105 being an “easier” focal length.
      This said, Nikon introduced this lens in 1991, before the 105 DC, before the AF 85 1.4, before the 28 1.4 that was retired some years ago because “nobody was buying it” (in that case, it was true, since I believe they produced 2 or 3000 of it only).18 years in production is a pretty long life for a lens “nobody uses” don’t you think?

      L.

    • Joe

      So because every professional you’ve assisted doesn’t use one, that means no one does?
      Ever since i got my hands on one last year, i’ve bumped into 3 people using this lens, 2 of them professional photographers and one of those 2 a wedding photographer.
      I myself am a serious amateur, and have used this lens for landscapes, portraits and architecture photography.
      I’ve used many Nikkor lenses, some dating back to 1971, and this is definitely in the top 3 sharpest lenses i’ve ever used.

      poo

      • http://photo.net/photos/acarodp acarodp

        I actually gave it a little more research. The lens stayed in production for 19 years, not 18, between D and non-D version, starting in October 1990. According to serial numbers ~25000 units were produced. For comparison, roughly 61600 AF 85 1.4 have been produced, which is obviously more, but by less than a factor of 3. for comparison, 7500 AF 28 1.4 (the one discontinued a while back and going for foolish prices on ebay) have been produced in total. The worshiped-by-everybody 200mm f2 VR is somewhere around 4200 pieces. At this rate, it would reach 14000 pieces in a career such as the one of the 135 DC (19 years). All the version of the 300 2.8 AF (starting in 1986) have reached together 44000 units, which is production rate just somewhat higher than the 135 DC. And still I would say nobody would pretend the 300 2.8 is a lens “nobody uses”). Each the long fast tele lenses above 300mm is in the ~5000 or less range, all AF versions taken together (and all these changed sometimes significantly between versions, while the 135 DC only gained the “D” designation in the process).

        L.

  • Anonymous

    Both 85 f/1.4 on DX and 135 f/2 on FX are really close in terms of angle of view and DOF.

  • http://www.canikon.de Mark

    Lucky me: I’ve got a copy and love it!!

  • jberk

    b&h now lists the lens as backordered

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