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

reviewer#7030 date: Mar-8-2010
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:Canon 135mm f/2L USM
CZ 85mm f/1.4ZA
price paid:New
positive:Mindblowing edge-to-edge performance on Full-frame.

Being a tele-lens, there is zero detectable distortion.

No optical flaws that I can detect - just peerless optically !

Massive and unprecedented max aperture for a 135mm prime (which also adds to its weight/chunkiness).
negative:Big, chunky and heavy - par for the course for its Focal-length and the massive max aperture.

Heavy metal hood (if they offered a cheaper plastic hood, I would gladly buy it).
comment:This lens is truly an asset to the Sony/Alpha mount. I have been using it for several months now, and find the images from it to be peerless. In the past, the Canon 135mm f/2L used to be my reference standard for a 135mm prime, but the Carl Zeiss 135mm has easily supplanted the "L".

I have blown up several 25MP FF pictures shot with this lens, upto 24"x36" and they hang on the walls of several houses, including my own.

To be quite honest, if I had an option to replace the Full-metal hood of this lens with a lighter plastic hood, I would gladly do it. That is the only downside I see in the package that comes with the lens.

Bottomline, sheer edge-to-edge quality on the extremely challenging territory of the 25MP FF sensor. Optically, there is none better, in any other system. Truly an asset to the Alpha mount !

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