Minolta 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#16303 date: Jul-11-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm af F1.4
Minolta 135 af f2.8
price paid:$600USD
positive:Confirmation that you can up skill your attention to detail and focus points. Pushing the boundaries of sometimes less is more.
negative:just my failings
comment:
missing
reviewer#16302 date: Jul-11-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm af F1.4
Minolta 135 af f2.8
price paid:$600USD
positive:Confirmation that you can up skill your attention to detail and focus points. Pushing the boundaries of sometimes less is more.
negative:just my failings
comment:Well I guess the BOKEH, does not need mentioning, but a new awareness of focus and framing and degree of Bokeh to emphasise the shot is. Its a new ball game.I find myself hating most of my shots because I am wanting the best achievable. Don't get me wrong, I break out into fits of laughter when I achieve what I have not been able to do to this degree before. That smile I can't get off my face, days later, flashing back to a particular image.
Creating more or less bokeh is such a reward. Everyone has espoused the merits of this lens and I won't.My final words are put like this.
You are on a sinking ship, you have time only to grab a hat, sunscreen and a camera and only 1 lens, yep its the
'STF".You drive everyone mad on the lifeboat and they swim home. Did I mention the "Bokeh"?.
reviewer#9770 date: Jan-9-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 85 F1,4 G D
Minolta AF 100 F2,8 Soft
Minolta AF 135 F2,8
price paid:110 Euro (used)
positive:Bokeh
Sharpness
Build
Colors
negative:No AF ;)
comment:The Minolta 135 STF is a great lens. If you love the bokeh than you realy need this lens.
Build quality and sharpness is great, too.
Negative.....nothing!


reviewer#6420 date: Nov-20-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta MD 135mm f/3.5
Nikkor AI 135mm f/2.8
Nikkor AI 105mm f/2.5
Pentacon MC 135mm f/2.8
price paid:1.100 € new 2002
positive:- Sharp
- beautiful colors
- built like a "schwere panzer"
- "3D" effect
- close focus (87cm) for "proxi" photography
- BOKEH! BOKEH! BOKEH!
negative:- Not easy to get the point in low light with the manual focus as the focus signal found in the viewfinder doesn't work on any camera, digital or not... Worse on small APS-C dslr viewer.
- Hood fixation and too small case for the lens AND the hood.
comment:I bought this lens on a sudden impulse as I didn't find the Minolta 85 f/1.4 G I was looking for in my favorite shop in Paris, specialized in Minolta equipments (the famous PVSC shop well known by the past from French Minolta Afficionados). First, I wasn't disappointed ! The built is superlative. Certainly one of the most high end lens ever made by Minolta. For true collectors! The renderings: colors, sharpness, bokeh, "3D effects" as so well noticed by Okapi, are outstanding and unique! But if you don't have a 10/10 visual acuity, it is uneasy to do the right focus, especially in low light conditions as the focus signal found in the viewfinder doesn't work on any camera, digital or not, Minolta or Sony. I guess this is mechanically impossible due to the very special design of this lens? The highway to bokeh's heavens is sometimes hard... But I recommand you to use the Sony (ex Minolta accessory) 2x viewer magnifier around 50€/$ to make the most of this lens.
reviewer#5259 date: Apr-20-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:135CZF1,8
price paid:900$
positive:Sharp wide open
Effects very impressive
Incredible 3D effect than I never have with other lenses
negative:Lens hood system can be better made
comment:I had the opportunity to buy this lens on Dyxum, thanks to Bear, it's a very funny lens, not too easy to use with the very small dof when wide open, and need a 25mm. Kenko for small things, but I think it will be in my bag for each macro travel.
Always a killer, if you use it for proxy, a 12mm. Spacer is needed, the original minimum range is too long without.
reviewer#4013 date: Aug-28-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron - SP AF 90 F2.8 Di
price paid:800 Euro (ebay)
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Build
negative:
missing
comment:Sometimes I'm thinking of jumping ship and join Canikon. This is the lens that is stopping me!
reviewer#4004 date: Aug-26-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1050 USD
positive:Stunning picture quality
Wonderful Bokeh
MF - easy to use due to built quality
negative:Follow-up cost
comment:This is a great lens. If you love a bokeh and want to have the most with this unique design then go for it; if you have to ask for a price for this lens then you better go not for it, but if you know what's coming after your purchase you'll find every cent worth being invested.
I tested this great lens on my maxxum 9, and when I turned in the roll for processing I really was nervous, and when I came back home looking at them on the projector, I decided to go to the camera store to get them in Letter size format.
Built quality: Phenomenal. stepping down the aperture is done in preceise sharp clicks, focussing done very precise and easy. Massive construction that feels well in your hand.
Sharpness: GREAT. GREAT. GREAT.
The colours are also really awesome - you'll love'em.
If you want to get deep into MF photography and can afford it, then buy one - it will give you hours and hours of pleasure when looking at the results.
reviewer#3414 date: Mar-29-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:595 EUR (used)
positive:STF-effect
Excellent image quality
negative:Manual focusing can be challenging
Fixed focal length does not suit every possible occasion
T4.5 is not quite enough in very low light
comment:As the Internet site of a local camara store offered this classic in for reasonably cheap price earlier this month, I couldn't resist the temptation and bought this lens, which was in good condition. And as expected it is a nice lens indeed. The lack of autofocus may hinder its usability a little, but when you get the focus right the results can be fantastic.

Now after using this also with α-900 I would add that with that sensor size (or film) the magnification could be bit better, with APS-C 135 STF works as nice pseudo-macro that can be capture nice images of eg. larger insects like butterflies and dragonflies, but with the larger view there can be too much empty space around such subjects
reviewer#3316 date: Feb-28-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cz 16-80
beercan 70-210
km 50mm 1.7
price paid:1000 USD used.
positive:Bokeh! This is the bokeh machine after all. Excellent creamy bokeh. Lens is really sharp too.
The manual focus ring is good.
negative:Some pf/CA. MF only.
comment:I love this lens for its bokeh! Manual focusing isnt that bad either, even tho this is my first MF lens, the viewfinder on A700 is good enough. The MF ring is smooth with just the right friction. Only drawback in IQ is the pf/CA.
reviewer#3104 date: Dec-23-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:What can you compare this lens to?
price paid:910 CDN (used)
positive:It's all about the BOKEH!
Compact, Solid Build
Sharp
Close focus (87cm)
Neutral Color
Non rotating front element
It's a Minolta!
Wow, did I mention the bokeh?
negative:Some very minor purple fringe on some highlights.
Not the fastest lens on the block.
comment:After reading the reviews, seeing the photos and lusting, yes, lusting over this lens for some time, I won a mint copy complete with caps, UV and original Minolta case on eBay recently.

In pursuing a copy of the STF, I wanted the Minolta version because I'm a bit of a nut that way (over Minolta), and because the Sony focus ring ribbing is a real cr@p magnet. The ribs on the Minolta ring are wider and don't collect dirt. But I digress.... in any case, it's all about the BOKEH!

Ditto everything anyone has written in these reviews about the bokeh of this or the rebadged Sony STF. This is truly an amazing piece of glass with amazing results. The depth of field is super tight at it's closest focus wide open, perhaps several millimeters. The manual focus is a bit tricky in this situation, but not as difficult as I'd anticipated based on other reviewers comments and the fact that I am a photographer of the AF generation. This is my first fully MF lens and I am having a blast with it.

Overall, the build and design is first rate. My lens does not creep when tilted downward like others have mentioned. I like the big hood and the fact that it is easy to attach to the lens, but I might spring for a Sony 72mm pinch cap as my fingers can't get the Minolta front cap off with the hood in place. I've only had the lens about a week and it hasn't come off my A700 yet. Between the superb color reproduction of the A700 and the neutrality of the glass, I find that very little or no color correction or pp is required on RAW files (a little sharpening perhaps) when using this lens. If I have anything to add, I'll update.

The STF is definitely a "luxury item" and a "bokeh machine" as others have written. It's not for everyone, but if you like bokeh, you'll love the STF.
reviewer#2034 date: Mar-25-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:The other lenses I own/used to own. But what should it be compared against?
price paid:
missing
positive:Very comfortable to use.
negative:Lens creepting when it hangs down. T4.5 isn't all that much on a cloudy day. In very harsh opposing sunlight reflections (ie water against the sun) it is suspectible to some purple fringing.
comment:A lens that's just fun to use. As Minolta AF was my only camera system since 1988, I never started with manual focusing. This lens of course forced me to do so - I positively surprised about the experience.

And yes - it's all cream ;-)
reviewer#1012 date: Jul-11-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:135/2.8
80-200/2.8 APO HS G
85/1.4 original
price paid:
missing
positive:- Unbelievable bokeh
- Outstanding image quality
- Great build
- MF feel is excellent
negative:Focus light on 7D does not work with this lens
Expensive and currently hard to find
comment:Simply put, this is a great lens.

Bokeh – Bokeh from this lens is fantastic. From the few reviews and sample images I could find, I was sold on the concept and decided I wanted this lens, but it wasn’t until I did a few comparisons with the above listed lenses that I realized how good the 135 STF-produced bokeh really is. The STF design really works well. See my comparisons and first impressions here:

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4488

Sharpness and resolution – Excellent edge to edge on the 7D. This lens is sharp, period. It’s noticeably sharper than the 135/2.8. It’s also sharper than my 85/1.4 original at larger apertures (I didn’t compare at f8). The way the sharp parts of the image stand out from the out of focus areas is impressive.

Color and Contrast – Review of a variety of daylight shots, both sunny and cloudy conditions, shows neutral color to my eye. This is not a high contrast lens, but I find the contrast good and to my liking. I have read comments that G-lenses have less contrast than non-G lenses to maintain the color subtlety and resolution details. Although the STF is not labeled a “G” lens, I believe this observation may also apply to this lens. The STF is excellent at capturing small color differences, at least to the extent that the 7D can differentiate colors.

The 7D 6MP sensor does not test the limits of the STF’s resolving power.

Build - The 135 STF has a very solid feel to it. It’s all metal, nothing loose, no cheap feeling plastic anywhere. In fact, it’s a brick. It weighs twice as much as the original 135/2.8 and actually makes the 85/1.4 seem compact. But if you’re used to lugging something like a 28-70G zoom or other any other heavier lenses lenses, you’ll feel right at home with this lens. Even though it’s hefty, it’s well balanced and not hard to handle. The vertical grip is very nice to have with this lens. The hood is massive. Fortunately, the lens came with a pinch cap (“Minolta” version!). The manual aperture ring has a solid smooth feel to it also.

I was worried that manual focus would be difficult to use, but manual focusing with the STF is much easier than any other Minolta AF lens I have. It’s quite smooth and precise. With the rest of my lenses, I usually only fine tune focus via MF. But I find I actually like full time manual focus with this lens. A better focus screen and having the viewfinder in-focus light work with the STF on the 7D would be nice.

Conclusion: This is a special purpose lens that may take a little practice and effort to get the most out of it, but the STF is one of the last I would let go out of my lineup. I’m that impressed with it. If you want a lens of this focal length, and you like sharp lenses with good bokeh, this lens is one you want.
reviewer#612 date: Mar-22-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fabulous quality.
Superb bokeh.
negative:None I can think of :-
) Maybe the 1.5 factor on Digital camera.
comment:I did not test it on a Digital camera.
The only thing to be aware of that this lens needs practice. First of all there is no AF. The DOF is very narrow, so focussing on the wrong spot will show up immediatly in the pictures. I recommend to use the Super spherical Accutte matte screen for precise focussing.
Take your time to get used to it and the results are unbeatable!
reviewer#159 date: Oct-20-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:85GD, 135 2.8, 100Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Unbeatable Bokeh!

Absolutely Fabulous Sharpness, Colour, Build, Distortion
negative:Bit expensive
Crop factor on 7D
CA with 1.4x APO
comment:If there is one lens that will lock me in the Minolta system, THIS IS IT!~

Unbeatable Bokeh!

Colours, sharpness also fantastic.

The build is fantastic, the MF ring is very precise and it is very easy to MF with this lens. The stepless STF aperture ring also allows perfect in VF decisions as to the amount of OOF blur.

I feel the designers got it just right by having a max aperture of 2.8 [t4.5] since the STF effect is best @ T4.5. If it was 135f2 STF instead then it would be less useful as the DOF will often be too narrow if it was so.

On the 7D, the only slight negative is that the crop factor means that this lens is less useful for portrait purposes. For shots of flowers, leaves etc it is very good though.

Performance with the 1.4x APO is still very good. Sharpenss is still fantastic wide open - the only thing is that CA can be present a lot more often so care needs to be taken in high contrast situations when used with a TC.

Although expensive, I feel this lens is worth every cent.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.93
  • overall: 4.96

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