Hi and welcome back.
The Nikon 105 f/2 DC or Defocus Control Lens is a lens that’s been sitting on my shelf for quite a while gathering dust. My favorite lens, the 70-200 vr, dominates my work and gives me fabulous results.
But, with traveling so much now, I decided to dust off the 105, remove the 70-200, and lighten my bag a bit. The 70-200 is a monster, but the tiny 105 is so much smaller and lighter that it really helped out when lifting my Tenba roller into an airplane’s overhead compartment.
The 105 is a specialty lens designed specifically for portrait work. The Defocus control allows you to control the Bokeh or out-of-focus areas in the background and the foreground or creating a soft focus effect on the foreground it you want. I usually keep the defocus ring set to Zero, for no effect, or f/2 on the Rear, so I can shoot at any aperture and get a background that looks like f/2.
If you don’t shoot a great deal of portraits or headshots, then the lens is not worth the expense.
It is brutally sharp, like macro sharp, and renders out-of-focus backgrounds perfectly. From f/2 on, it is the perfect portrait lens. It has an bigger brother, the 135 DC, but I find the 105 to be just right.
You have to remember, though, that as a prime lens, you need to zoom with your feet!
In this corporate shot, my aperture was f/11 in camera but the DC ring was set to f/2. With my subject only about 3 feet from the blue paper backdrop, the foreground is perfectly sharp and the background falls out of focus immediately, eliminating the need for any softening in post process.
I dug through my archive to pull these proof shots out. Shot at f/4.5 at ISO 800 and with the DC control set to f/2, Stacey’s eyes are perfectly sharp and yet the falloff from the Defocus control is perfect. She was sitting in an alcove at my studio only 2-3 feet from the walls and yet they fell right out of focus immediately.
BH Link: Nikon 105 f/2 DC
This is an awesome lens! As I rarely do gear posts, you can Google it for copious reviews online.
I think the reason it stayed on the shelf is the fact that I got lazy. Why move when you can just zoom a lens?
That’s it for now. Till next time, happy zooming!