Help me decide between 105mm DC & Zeiss 100/2

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by chamster, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. I have been considering to buy a 105mm DC for a while. Now after seeing the photos of ZF 100/2 the choice has become very difficult. Previously I did not buy a 100/2 as it is very expensive instead I bought a 50/2. I am leaning towards DC because it has AF. Appreciate suggestions & comments? Is this two lenses been compared before?
     
  2. cotdt

    cotdt

    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    both are great. as usual, the zeiss lenses are more contrasty and this one in particular can focus closer.

    note: i've not actually used the 100/2, so my observation is from using other zeiss lenses.
     
  3. TstarJ

    TstarJ

    111
    Jul 9, 2008
    Eastern Ontario
    I haven't used the Nikon 105DC but I have 105/2.5 AIS and 100/2 ZF. The Zeiss 100/2 is manual focus and not too suitable for action shots and in other circumstances when you need to focus quickly to capture a special moment. However, the build quality of the Zeiss line is currently unmatched by the Nikon and others, the image quality is superb from close to infinity and the out-of-focus rendition is truly exemplary.

    Jack
     
  4. TstarJ

    TstarJ

    111
    Jul 9, 2008
    Eastern Ontario
    I haven't used the Nikon 105DC but I have 105/2.5 AIS and 100/2 ZF. The Zeiss 100/2 is manual focus and not too suitable for action shots and in other circumstances when you need to focus quickly to capture a special moment. However, the build quality of the Zeiss line is currently unmatched by the Nikon and others, the image quality is superb from close to infinity and the out-of-focus rendition is truly exemplary.

    Jack
     
  5. If you need AF, then the choice is easy.

    Iv owned 2 105 DC, one returned due to the DC being off. Second sent to Nikon due to the DC being off, then sold.

    Nice lens if it works.

    Personally id happy be without AF to get the extra performance of the 100/2.

    If you want similar rendition of the 105 DC, you might want to consider the 135/2 AIS.


    If your comfortable with MF, i really dont think you be dissapointed with the 100/2 ZF. (or the 135/2 ais for that matter)
     
  6. Donzo98

    Donzo98

    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    Cham...

    I had the 105 DC. I thought it was OK... but sort of gimmicky :smile:. I would have preferred a non DC version. Yes... of course you can use it with the DC turned off... but it just was not my cup of tea.

    As for you my friend who only likes the BEST... ZEISS!!

    Build quality is amazing... better than even our favorite AIS glass!! There is no rubber ring...all metal.

    The MF thing is sort of a pain... but as Paul says... if you can live without AF go Zeiss.
     
  7. I agree there is a lot of "gimmickiness" in the 105/2 DC this is the reason I chose 85/1.4 in the past.

    The downside of the 100/2 ZF is the cost, almost double the DC. I am not sure even with that cost I can do shots of a 7 month old baby as it is manual focus???

    The other option is the Nikon 105/1.8. I am not sure the image quality of this in comparison to the ZF 100/2. BTW congratulations on your sale!!!!! :smile:
     
  8. Paul,

    Do you have any experience with the Nikon 105/1.8 in comparison to the ZF 100/2?
     
  9. I used to have the 105/2DC. Great lens. One of my all time favorite Nikons.

    Got the ZF 100/2, sad to say it's significantly, noticeably better. (Sad because I miss AF:)  )

    But seriously, just buy the 105 DC and never think about another lens again. Zeiss will just turn you in to a lens snob. :) 
     
  10. Doug

    Doug

    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Everyone seems to forget sometimes, that even with the DC set to zero, the 105 DC is a stellar performer! It had to be said. It's among the best Nikon portrait lenses you'll use, but with nice bokeh without the DC even. If the DC is gimmicky to some, ok fine, aren't a lot of things gimmicky in the end?

    I mean technically anything beyound a lens, shutter, aperture and activation button is a gimmick of sorts.

    That said, if I had to choose between the 100 2.0 ZF and the 105mm DC, I would say that depends what I am going to shoot. I still give the nod to the Nikon for portrait, because ultra sharp is not always desirable for portrait. Sometimes, the Zeiss is clinically sharp. Great for macro, not as great for adding warmth to portraits, except for the creamy bokeh. Then there's AF vs MF. MF obviously not for everyone, and for portrait, it takes a bit longer to get setup with MF for some.
     
  11. If you need or want AF, the choice is clearly with the 105mm DC. The DC is a nice feature, however, with a little more planning; you can achieve almost the same effect through proper selection of aperture and focus distance. However, if you don't mind the manual focus, then the Z 100MM has better IQ, in my opinion.
     
  12. xaviermacau

    xaviermacau

    84
    May 9, 2005
    Macau
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. The ZF 100 has mechanics reminiscent of other Cosina-built lenses such as the 125 APO (have owned both).

    The 100, like the 50, you own has a very -well damped (in some samples, too well damped*) and very fine-pitch (single helicoid?) focus mechanism. Very sharp, great bokeh, but if you're going to be capturing anything that isn't sitting reasonably still, you will miss shots.

    Another lens which may prove more useful if you think AF is warranted is the 105 VR. Also, you can use some spectacular Medium Format lenses from Mamiya (150/3.5, 200/2.8 APO) or Hasselblad (110/2, 100/3.5, etc) on your D3 with an adapter if you don't mind stop-down shooting. One example, the Hassy 110/2 is a legendary portrait lens. I have owned or do own most of the preceding MF lenses and shoot them on a 1Ds2 with amazing results.

    * Some samples of the 100 ZF have been known to have VERY, VERY stiff focusing mechanics (mine was one), so if you buy one, try the lens first - or have a decent exchange policy.
     
  15. Hi Don,

    I suggest that the 105 DC is anything but gimmicky. It is a very cleverly designed lens that is grossly, it appears, misunderstood about how it works and even how to use it. The Nikon manual "hints" at this; I guess they couldn't figure out how to explain it clearly. :Unsure: If there is interest in our Lens Lusters, then I would be pleased to attempt to explain more about the design and behavior of this remarkable lens. :smile:

    Regards,
     
  16. Though some might find this interesting given the discussion - test of 100ZF vs 105 Ais(I currently own neither) - just came across web site.

    Edit ) mistakenly put down 105 VR instead of the 105 Ais

    http://www.pbase.com/andrease/zeissais
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  17. Jeff Jarvis

    Jeff Jarvis

    478
    Sep 10, 2007
    Thailand
    I have problems with focusing the Zeiss. Great for static subjects.
    I bought one for my makro work.
    As a walk around lens, I'd prefer auto focus and go for the Nikor.
     
  18. Have been seriously thinking about the 135DC. I already have the 85 1.4, so want to go a little different length. You're right about the explanations out there. Kind of cryptic. So, how do you explain it?:confused: 
     
  19. Hi Jack,

    The 135 DC is like the 105 DC from a design point of view. I don't have a 135 DC, but reports are very positive. I can attempt to give you and others an explanation of the 105 DC lens, but it is rather technical to discuss first the performance with the DC "off" and then the function of the DC. The very short answer is that the 105 DC with DC off is a very sharp lens, but it does have an unusual color correction. The spherical aberration is very small (and is the dominate aberration) until the F/# is below about F2.8. In other words, the IQ is reduced a bit at F2. When the DC is on and set correctly, additional spherical aberration is introduced either as under-corrected SA if DC is set for F and over-corrected SA if DC is set for R. For example, if set for F, the region in front of the subject is blurred closer than behind the subject. A major misconception is that the subject image itself remains just as sharp as when DC is off. Not true because of the added SA. Further, the added SA will change where the autofocus adjusts (e.g., if DC set to F, then focus moves away from the camera). This means the photographer has to be very careful when using this lens or else the result will not be what was expected. :smile:

    The above is a short explanation Jack. This is an interesting design for which Nikon received a US Patent in 1998 and one that I use as a work example in the graduate-level lens design class I teach at the university. One of my professional activites is the lens design of everything from x-ray telescopes to THz lens, including camera lenses, telescopes, infrared cameras, etc.

    Is the above enough information, or do you want more of the story?

    Regards,
     
  20. Barry,

    Thanks for the insight. In short, it seems that the 105 (or 135) will give the user just that little extra ability to "make the shot." Do you think that Nikon will continue with this design? People either love or hate the DC. As you noted previously, the "haters" usually complain about the IQ, while the "lovers" usually have kudos for the design aspect....

    Jack
     
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