Sony 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF A-mount lens review by sarapata1

reviewer#11332 date: Sep-9-2013
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 used to own this lens
compared to:TESTED ON APS-C 20MP A58 (no option to choose it among the listed sensors at this moment)

Minolta 135mm F2.8
Minolta 100mm F2.0
Zeiss 85mm F1.4
price paid:
positive:best bokeh ever
really sharp (when focused properly)
top notch build
beautiful colours
negative:manual lens - focusing can be tricky even with peaking
focus ring ribs colleting dust
purple fringing in high contrast areas
comment:What a lens ! Was dreaming of owning one from day one I`ve heard about it.

I would consider it a perfect portrait lens. Obvious downside is lack of autofocus; this may be remedied to some extent by using a camera with focus peaking; nonetheless in low contrast areas (which a face easily is) peaking doesn`t "peak" = the focus magnification is necessary, otherwise it is hit / miss game since the DOF is tiny at F2.8 (T4.5). Therefore it requires some time to arrange a photo (longer than for autofocus lenses) - my Minolta 135mm F2.8 is more suitable for quicker actions.

A bit longer on APS-C, but still pretty usable, giving results (especially in the out of focus areas) as no other lens can deliver.

The lens is plenty sharp, well appropriate for landscape photographers too.

On the negative side - I was surprised how much purple fringing I get in high contrast areas - while it can be corrected in post processing, it`s a small annoyance for me.

In comparison to other portrait lenses I own / owned - in sharpness it equals to 100 F2 and Zeiss F1.4 and it`s sharper than Minolta 135mm F2.8. But non of them can match it in the bokeh field - the winner is clear here!

This lens is bringing real joy to my photo hobby !

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