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

reviewer#45763 date: Sep-30-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony FE 85 F1.8
Tamron SP 85 F1.8 USD
Canon EF 85 F1.8 USM
Minolta MD 85 F2
Sony 85 F2.8 SAM
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Canon EF 100 F2 USM
Minolta AF 100 F2
Minolta MC 100 F2.5
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro D
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Cosina 100 F3.5 Macro
Sony FE 100 T5.6 STF GM OSS
Minolta AF 135 F2.8 Pocket Rocket
Canon EF 135 F2.8 Soft Focus
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
Minolta MD 135 F3.5
price paid:575 USD (used)
positive:Smooth out-of-focus
9 and 10 bladed apertures
Hood and storage bag included
negative:CA/purple fringing
Mushy corners
Heavy extending focus
Heavy breathing
Aperture control opposite direction of FE lenses
No focus distance encoder
No lens compensation
comment:I won this via an eBay auction from a private seller. Very nice copy with full retail packaging. Minolta originally released this lens in 1999 along with the 200 F4 APO Macro G and the Alpha 9Ti film camera. Just a year before the ADI system and SSM. As of 10/2021 Sony is still selling this lens for $1,400. "Made in Japan"

I was expecting it to be an overcorrected lens whose faults would be mitigated by the apodization element. It seems more of undercorrected design. I was surprised by the amount of color fringing at T4.5. It has more chromatic aberration than the little Minolta AF 135 F2.8. It is darker wide-open than the little Minolta stopped down to F4.5. It does have a tighter angle-of-view than that lens, especially at close focus.

It reminds me of the Vivitar/Komine 135 F2.8 Close Focusing, though that lens has half as many elements. It may handle better on a more massive A-mount body. I didn't like using it on the LA-EA adapters. I passed it on to someone else who hopefully enjoys it more.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 44
  • sharpness: 4.88
  • color: 4.95
  • build: 4.82
  • distortion: 4.84
  • flare control: 4.73
  • overall: 4.84 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania