A sharp prime is a thing of beauty and the Sony FE 1.8 135 GM really delivers. This prime at f/1.8 brings more low light opportunities. When shooting landscapes at magic hour or at night, the lens is sharp edge to edge at f/1.8 and even sharper when stopped down to f/8.
A series of dusk and night tests were performed from a Manhattan rooftop with a Sony Alpha 7R III on a tripod locked off and with the electronic shutter remotely fired using the Sony Image Edge app on an iPhone. The results were visually astounding and incredibly sharp using exposures as long as 6 seconds at f/1.8, ISO 100 and 15 seconds at f/8.
Brick walls on buildings dimly lit stood out as sharp as any daytime image done from the same rooftop.
Combining 2 images as panoramas in Lightroom formed seamless images up to 13,680 pixels wide and consistently sharp across the entire frame. It might be possible to perform background composites using this technique for 8K or higher resolution scenes.
2 Image Panorama _DSC9011 & _DSC9010 ISO100, f/1.8, 1.6 seconds 13,235 W x 5027 H
During the day a mosaic tile wall was captured at various distances and f stops with near identical results. Always sharp from f/1.8 to acceptable beyond f/11 where diffraction becomes an issue.
The lens also possesses excellent contrast even in backlit situations– only exhibiting some internal reflection when pointed directly at the setting sun.
Lens construction is up to the G-Master standard with high quality weather sealed elements.
The locking hard plastic lens hood is mounted outside and out of the way of the 82mm filter thread and can be stowed when reversed on the lens. The lens case is the same as other G-Master cases with twin zippers and shoulder strap.
The lens is not stabilized and instead relies on the in-camera IBIS on Alpha 7 and 9 series cameras and the APS-C 6500.
Motion Picture Photography
The 135 1.8 is silent when focusing and has a switch for a clickless aperture.
Focus response is fast smooth and reliable again as expected from G-Master series lens.
Sony-FE-18-135-GM-Lens-Sample-Images/ as shot and also as processed in Lightroom plus 2 image panoramas.
Lens Information from Sony:
The new FE 135mm F1.8 GM offers exceptionally high resolution and exquisite bokeh, two qualities that are signature attributes of Sony’s flagship G Master brand. The new lens combines rapid autofocus (AF) acquisition with a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions, making it a versatile, high-performance tool for professional portrait photographers, wedding photographers, sports photographers and a wide variety of imaging enthusiasts.
“Sony’s commitment to growing our lens lineup remains stronger than ever,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of imaging solutions at Sony Electronics. “Our 31st native full-frame FE lens and 49th overall E-mount lens, the highly anticipated 135mm prime brings the acclaimed G Master quality to another popular focal length for both professionals and enthusiasts to enjoy. We will continue to drive market-leading innovation in all aspects of our imaging business, giving our customers the opportunity to capture and create like they never have before.”Realizing consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at F1.8, the FE 135mm F1.8 GM boasts an innovative optical design that places XA (extreme aspherical) and Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements in the front group to effectively suppress all common telephoto lens aberrations. Additionally, the Super ED element plus one ED glass element are strategically positioned to compensate for axial chromatic aberration, minimize color fringing and maximize overall resolution, ensuring outstanding image quality. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce flare and ghosting that can occur when shooting backlit portraits.
The new telephoto prime lens utilizes its XA element, refined with Sony’s latest bokeh simulation technologies during the design and manufacturing stages, to control spherical aberration and achieve exquisite bokeh. In addition, an 11-bladed circular aperture mechanism contributes towards achieving extremely natural and beautiful background defocus. The exciting new model also features dual-autofocus groups in a floating focus arrangement for improved close-up capability, allowing a minimum focus distance of just 0.7 meters and a maximum magnification of 0.25x.
To ensure that this lens can keep up with fast-moving portrait or sports subjects, the FE 135mm F1.8 GM has been equipped with a total of four of Sony’s proprietary XD linear motors—two for each group—that achieve rapid, reliable and speedy AF tracking and performance. There is also a control algorithm that helps to maximize control response and ensure quiet, low-vibration AF. All of this exceptional performance is packaged in a compact, lightweight body weighing in at 33.6 oz.
The FE 135mm F1.8 GM includes a number of professional controls that enhance ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. These include an aperture ring that allows direct, intuitive aperture control and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control. There is also a focus range limiter switch, two customizable focus hold buttons, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions.
|Lens Mount||Sony FE (46.1mm diameter)|
|Format Compatibility||Full-Frame 24 x 36mm|
|Angle of View||18°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||2.3′ / 70 cm|
|Optical Design||13 Elements in 10 Groups|
|Diaphragm Blades||11, Rounded|
|Focus Type||Autofocus or Manual servo|
|Filter Size||82 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||3.5 x 5.000″ / 89.5 x 127 mm|
|Weight||33.5 oz / 950 g|