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

reviewer#33740 date: Dec-26-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f/1.8
Sony CZ 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
price paid:1000 EUR New
Minimum focusing distance
negative:Purple fringing
Chromatic aberrations
comment:I dreamt of owning this lens for a very long time, and I am glad I finally decided to buy it.
The construction of the lens is great and it feels really solid, although it does extend when focusing.
The 10 blade aperture is only available at T4.5, T5.6 and T6.3. At any other F stop you have to use the secondary aperture with 9 blades.

If you buy this lens, then bokeh is really important to you, rest assured the bokeh is perfect, even in the most difficult situations it renders bokeh faultlessly.
There are other STF designs out there now, but this one is still the best for bokeh, probably because of the higher compression. That being said there are scenes where even regular lenses can come close to the STF in terms of bokeh, but they can never match it.
Another plus is the minimum focusing distance which offers a magnification of 0.25X, and that is enough for most close-up shots.

I tried using it first on the A200 but the focusing is just too hard a lot of missed shots since the DOF is razor thin around the minimum focusing distance. On the A77II the focusing is so much easier, I really recommend using this with a camera that has focus peaking and can magnify the image for perfect adjustments.
Also a tripod is really helpful when working around the minimum focusing distance.

This lens is still quite unique and if you want your bokeh silky smooth it's highly recommended.
Out of all my lenses this one is the least useful but it's the one I enjoy using the most.

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