Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* A-mount lens review by BMW_M3

reviewer#3406 date: Mar-28-2008
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 own this lens
compared to:Sal 1680 Za
Big Beercan
KM 28-75 ƒ2.8
price paid:1349 USD
Build is great, heavy, but no problem
Hood is very well designed too.
Fast focus compared to the 85 mm ZA
Beautiful bokeh
"Macro" ability.
negative:CA at wide aperture.
A bit costly, but worth every cent
comment:This lens is by far the sharpest lens I've owned. It's fantastic. Even wide open. I did a few shots of people at 5-10 meters wide open indoors, and it's amazingly sharp. it takes some practice to fully use this lens, due to veeery thin DOF at large aperture and close subjects. At 72 cm and ƒ1,8, the DOF is only 1,5 mm. That has it's uses indeed. I used this lens at a theatre where flash photography is prohibited, and the results stunned me. Contrast and colors are unbelievable.
It is as stated in other reviews, heavy. This is no problem, it only helps you to hold the camera and lens still in low light situations.

I will enjoy this lens immensely in the spring when there is more light outdoors and the world isn't all gray any more..

Flare is no problem, due to t* coating and hood, and besides, I rarely take photos including the sun at 135 mm :-)

If you ever get the chance, go get one!

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