Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* A-mount lens review by SLR2834

reviewer#2809 date: Oct-1-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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 own this lens
compared to:
price paid:10990HKD
positive:Superb optical performance
Solid build
Love that blue zeiss logo on the lens barrel
negative:There's play in the focus ring
comment:Optically this lens is absolutely first class, like everyone else here has commented.

I'm very disappointed however, that there's play in the focus ring while in manual focus mode. It's so annoying I've given up manual focussing with this lens.

Up till now I've tested four samples of this lens (including my own) and ALL exhibit play in the focus ring. I contacted Zeiss Germany regarding this, and according to them, up to 1mm of play in the focus ring in this lens is normal. Well, I currently own fourteen AF lenses from various manufacturers, of which 8 disengage their focus rings while in AF (ie their focus rings don't rotate in AF mode), 6 of these do NOT have any play in their focus rings while in MF.

Yes, apart from the 135/1.8ZA I have one other lens that exhibits similar play in the focus ring, and that's the 85/1.4ZA!

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