Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* A-mount lens review by Panito

reviewer#1548 date: Dec-18-2006
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 85/1.4G(D)
Minolta AF 135/2.8
Minolta AF 200/2.8 APO G HS
Minolta AF 100/2.8 Macro RS
price paid:1300 €
positive:Very very sharp wide open
Color and contrast are just wonderfull
Superb bokeh
Fast AF and very accurate even in low light
Construction (hey, it's a Zeiss)
Minium focus distance very confortable (72cm)
negative:Heavy for a 135mm
comment:This Carl Zeiss come from another planet. It's heavy, it's massive, it's all in metal, the front element is really impressive (77mm), and its size is bigger than the 200/2.8 (the 135/2.8 compared to the CZ looks like a lensbaby).

It is incredibly sharp wide open (the sharpest lens wide open I ever seen). Color and contrast are excellent. And the bokeh is so smooth (maybe very closed from the STF), it might be the most beautiful bokeh of all minolta AF lenses.

The AF is very fast and very accurate. It does not hesitate on the subject even in low light. I am still very impressed after using it for one month. Images are simply superb.

Its 1.8 aperture make an ideal tool for sports, action, concert, and everything else in low light. You can also take some very closed portrait thanks to its 72cm minimum focal distance (vs 85cm for the 85/1.4, and 100cm for the 100/2).

Definitly the best lens I ever have.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 118
  • sharpness: 4.99
  • color: 4.91
  • build: 4.76
  • distortion: 4.97
  • flare control: 4.94
  • overall: 4.91 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania