Sony 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF A-mount lens review by 6tyNine

reviewer#8519 date: Jan-13-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta: 35/1.4, 50/2.8, 58/1.2, 85/1.4, 200/2.8
price paid:$1,695 CAD after tax
positive:Solid build. beautiful colour, sharp.
negative:Slow, slow, slow. Thick DOF. A hint of purple fringing. Macro mode drawing style in terms of transitions to OOF areas.
comment:I have no opinion on distortion or flare. Wasn't an issue and didn't notice it.

This lens is matches the 35G, 85G and 200G in terms of build, colour, tones, saturation, drawing style and contrast and should be a "G" lens in my book.

But the combination of slow maximum aperature combined with long focal length gives this lens less than ideal practicality. Anything but a sunny summer afternoon would require bumping up the noisy ISO more than a few notches.

I was interest in the STF's 1:4 marginal macro capability, however was a bit dissappointed. The transition to out-of-focus areas was not to my liking.

For non-macro shooting, while bokeh is uniquely soft and smooth, perceived DOF can be thicker than I hoped.

In the end, it was too similar to my 85G and 200G, the main difference was trading the lack of harsh bokeh highlights for slow aperature, to justify owning.

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