Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM E-mount lens review by onsplekkie

reviewer#44531 date: Jun-2-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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:SMC Takumar 2.5/135
Samyang 2/135
Sony FE 1.8/85
price paid:1500 euro (new)
positive:Sony hit it out of the park with this lens!
-AF speed
-(crazy) Sharp
-Build; I like the polycarbonate body, no scratches whatsoever after some heavy use.
negative:It is bulky (the biggest lens I own) for a prime lens.
I give it 4 (4,5) points on flare; although the front lens is HUGE(!) as is it's sunhood; it can flare/ghost in difficult light = sun in or near the frame. Nothing I can not work with/around.
comment:AF speed is as fast as my FE1.8/85. AF missed just a few times in frames with bigger depth of field and a lot of contrast. But this could also be me, not knowing enough of the different focus modes of the A7iii.
Colours are very pleasant. Skintones are the best I've worked with of any lens so far. The raw files in Lightroom are a pleasure to work with. Also B&W converts with very natural tones.
Sharpness is stunning. Objects near or far, always pin sharp.
Bokeh is smooth either foreground or background, it just dissolves around your subject/object.

Only it's size and weight hold(ed) me off buying this lens. I was looking for a "perfect" short telephoto lens for some time now. I tried vintage SMC Takumar 2.5/135; nice for portraits as for landscape or streetphotography it just would not hold up on sharpness or contrast. MF exprience is nice though. I tried the Samyang 2/135; good IQ in most conditions but MF experience with this lens was not to my liking. This and the huge size kept me from using it.
My FE1.8/85 I love for close up portraits, but theres something I miss in full-body portraits and landscapes. I find it a bit harsh?
Since release online reviews on the 1.8/135 GM lens are RAVING about the quality of this lens. I wanted one for some time but could not find a secondhand copy of this lens (everyone who's bought it is keeping it?). I could not resist when a open box deal, sold as new, from a local seller came by. Should not have waited so long....
I can agree fully with fellow member Trick01's review: "Unbelievable lens and with eye focus it's almost criminal not to have it."

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.83
  • overall: 4.97 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania