Sony 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF A-mount lens review by Capetown

reviewer#10399 date: Jul-20-2012
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 2.8 Marco D
Sony 70-200 2.8 G
Minolta MC 58 Rokkor 1.2 PG
Minolta AF 200 G 2.8 HS

price paid:850 Euro used
positive:Worlds best Bokeh
3D Look
Build quality
A joy to use
negative:Nothing - you have to keep in mind that the STF is a fully manual lens with F(T)4.5.
comment:I have this lens in use for two years. There is nothing in my collection that come close. The bokeh is outstanding and have a 3D look.

Some people ask questions about the bokeh:
really good - Photoshop? Whats the name of the plugin?
Or, please give me a overview about your workflow...
Most of them have never see a lens with two aperature blades.

One Nikon user said, that the Nikkor 105 DC and 135 DC are not a competitor in terms of bokeh. The Defocusing Control is an excellent lens, that offers Nikon users the ability to make out-of-focus areas appear softer by strategically introducing spherical aberration to just the defocused areas (in-focus areas are not affected). The Nikon DC lens has Autofocus, but cannot meet the supreme standard of bokeh of the STF lens... the DC lens shifts lenses around to over-correct or under-correct for spherical aberrations, to optimise the unsharp areas in either the foreground or background, but not both. Only the apodization filter in the STF lens optimizes both foreground and background unsharp areas.

You get the best 3D results when the subject is 3-4m away.
The background is rendered very snooth then - the colors are beautiful.

When I take photos from my young children in the garden, the results are 40% acceptable sharp and 20% exellent sharp.
Only 20% sharp photos? Yes, because it is a fully manual lens without any electronic devise. The focussing dot in the viewfinder doesen`t work. Therefore it is not a snapshot lens. My results on static objects are 100%. I have a litlle experience with the Alpha 99 and the MF control system in the viewfinder. A huge improvement over my A850.

Macro: the 100mm Macro D are not in using anymore and I sell it. With a 12mm extension ring and the STF I got better (sharper) results. 1:1 is not important for me - with the extension ring a ratio to 1:2 are possible.

Since 1984 I start my hobby with my first SLR camera. During the time I switched from Leica R > Canon > Sony. I would like to point out, that these systems have nothing that come close to the STF.

The STF is not cheap, it is a fully manual lens, worth it`s price? My answer is clearly YES! The pictures have a look that other lenses can not produce...
Get it, and you will not believe your eyes...

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 43
  • sharpness: 4.90
  • color: 4.95
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.86
  • flare control: 4.77
  • overall: 4.86 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania