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

reviews found: 115    << 1 2 3 4 >>
reviewer#10030 date: Mar-15-2012
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-400G
24-70ZA
price paid:1250 (like new)
positive:...uh EVERYTHING
negative:Lens "lust" will stop...
comment:Best lens I've ever used on A-mount... in FF. Lens is best used on FF for focal length (potraits)... would get the 85 for APSC or combination of both...

reviewer#10029 date: Mar-15-2012
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Cz16-80
70-400g
70-200g (returned).
50f2.8 macro
price paid:1400 Euro new
positive:Everything.
Sharp.
Colors.
Build.
Grip.
Bokeh.
negative:My wife discovered this lens and how good it is.
Now she is taking pictures of me and the kids with my camera and lens :(
comment:Having returned my new 70-200g, ( bad copy) i asked to try the cz 135 instead of a new 70-200g.

I was not prepared wat this zeiss could do.

Sharpness is top.
Bokeh is beuatifull.
Can play with OOF and DOF the way i wanted it to be.
Even 100% crop the pictures are still sharp.

So i exchanged my bad copy 70-200g for this brand new cz and a sony 50f2.8 macro.

I will use this lens for indoor sport ( martial arts).
Portrets and nature.
And more, it is realy the best lens i have ever used.
On the a77 is is realy good useing every mp there is.

reviewer#9779 date: Jan-12-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 85 mm 1.4
Minolta 70-200 mm ssm
Zeiss 24-70 mm
Sony 70-400 mm
price paid:Euro 1300
positive:Sharp even at F1.8
This is the one.
minimum focus distance:720 mm
F1.8 for lowlight.
negative:Focusring has a play,1mm with manuel focus.
After few times off use.
I can live with it.
comment:I have made testshots with A77, 2 x digital zoom.
F 1.8 is asking to much, but at F2.8 Sharp pics.
That is APC F 2.8 400 mm 6 mp jpg.
But I dont do this, I work in raw.
The focusplay is in tolerance according to Zeiss.
Best lens I have.
reviewer#9705 date: Dec-19-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 70-210/4
Minolta 200/2.8 G APO HS
Sony 16-50 DT SSM
price paid:~1000 GBP (2nd hand)
positive:sharp from F1.8
Bokeh
3D feel
did I mention they are sharp?
very precise AF
negative:weight
no SSM
comment:Those are by far margin my most sharp lens. I use it almost exclusively for low-light and sport events and portrait and they behave great. A few architectural shots, have been unique as well - DOF and sharpness create unique mix. And they do stunningly. Bokeh wise only beercan comes close. The amazing 3D feel of the lenses is unique.


Yes, I would like to have SSM for sport photography but with ability to take sharp pics wide open @ 1/100s on APS-C I cant complain. AF behaves very well on my A55 and if I use tracking I got nice sharp pics. I recently was able to compare it with 16-50 DT SSM and there is a major difference in response and AF speed. Ziess is definately slower and prone to hunt if missfocus but when locks properly its AF is much more precise then 16-50 one. With those two my sport photography indoor is complete.

Apart from 50/1.4 and 20/2.8 this is my most used lens now. Weigh is an issue but I only carry 2-3 lenses now so they tend to see more and more play.
I do like the hood (despite its weight) but I only use it when its sunny outside.


EDIT: sharpness, usage, comparison with 16-50SSM
reviewer#9435 date: Sep-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200 G
Sony 50 1.4
Tamron 90 2.8
price paid:1150 USD (used)
positive:Fantastic 3D Rendering
Sharp Wide open
negative:Front collar build
comment:Someone else said it is almost like cheating when using this lens - I agree. I have noticed better AF and less hunting on higher end bodies.

I now know what I have been missing. Portraits are a dream with this lens.

The bokeh is well constructed and complementary to the scene while the OOF areas are very creamy when wide open.
reviewer#9377 date: Aug-31-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:ZA85/1.4
MIN100/2
MIN135/2.8
price paid:EUR 1300 (new)
positive:Sharp at f1.8 no matter distance to subject
Perfectly neutral color
Bokeh so good you don't need the STF
Just a touch of vignetting wide open
negative:None
comment:This is essentially a perfect lens. The only thing it can be faulted with - weight - is entirely due to the physics behind its specs (135, 1.8) so if that's an issue, then look to shoot a differently spec'ed lens.

And all those nitpicky things like color fringing this and purple that are all perfectly negligible. The touch of vignetting wide open is wonderful for just suggesting a "closing" of the image around the borders, very useful in portraits which is what this lens was intended for of course. The fact that it is so sharp at f1.8 even at significant distances, means you can easily isolate full body shots from the background in a way no other "standard" lens can. Basically every time I go out to shoot with this lens I come back with keepers. Sometimes I almost feel like I'm cheating when I use it.
reviewer#9362 date: Aug-27-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:- Bokeh
- Sharpness
- F1.8
negative:- the hood
- no SSM
comment:This is my new always-on lens for my Alpha 900. Great Bokeh, great sharpness - I love this lens.

I read those news about the loosen front part. Hopefully I will never experience that, but I have the feeling that the hood may be to heavy. But so far no problems - so I give build rating 5.

reviewer#8985 date: May-1-2011
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 85/1,4 G
Sony Planar 85/1,4 ZA
Tamron 70-200 f2,8
price paid:
missing
positive:Everything
negative:Nothing at all
comment:I have tested this lens on indoor portrait with no flash: what a piece of glass!
Nothing to say, it is probably the best lens I have ever used and I am considering to buy it soon.
reviewer#8824 date: Mar-23-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 105/2.8 macro
Minolta 100-300,100-400mm APO
SAL 70-400 G
price paid:1200 USD(used)
positive:Fast aperture
Amazing Sharpness
CA Control top notch
Close focus ability.
Good (not amazing) autofocus
Build quality
Metal hood
negative:No SSM
Heavy
comment:The first thing you notice when you pick this lens up is the build quality - fantastic, I've sadly dropped it and ended up with a cracked filter but the lens wasn't noticeably harmed in any way.

The second thing you'll discover is the amazing sharpness even at F1.8. There is almost no colour fringing even under difficult circumstances (There's a tiny amount if you have EXTREME circumstances like shooting a thin blade of grass in the bright sun).

The focus is very reliable, but SSM would be better for speed. That being said it performs much better than my friend's Canon 85/1.2 USM on a 7D. It may not be the fastest autofocus drive, but it's accurate, much more so than the Sigma 105mm macro (or many other screw drive lenses).

All in all it could be my favourite prime lens for the system, competing with the 16-35mm as the favoured lens fullstop. I chose it over the 85mm because I already owned a 50mm/1.4, the close focus ability and APO elements were the key selling point here, and let me say both serve to amaze, at the close focus and F1.8 this lens has a razor thin DOF.
reviewer#8718 date: Mar-1-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 85
Min 100 f2 macro
Zeiss Apo 135 f2 ZF2
price paid:1600€ new
positive:sharpnes , bright , close focusing , excellent OF rendering
negative:perhaps a bit heavy
comment:I bought it again after selling it for changing brand , now I'm back to A mount it was the first lens I bought .

My favorite lens , very useful in many situations , and very close focusing is great for pseudo macro .
It is a special lens , a lovely bokeh .
Normally always on camera .
reviewer#8531 date: Jan-16-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 24-70 F2.8
Sony 70-300 G
price paid:1500 CAD (new)
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Close minimum focus distance
Flare control
Build?
negative:Build?
comment:This lense is just amazing! Sharpness is great wide open or stopped down. I have used a few M42 primes in the 135 mm range and although they are a different generation entirely I can appreciate the performance advantage of the 135 F1.8.

The build quality is questionable. The metal and rubber used is top quality but I am unsure of the loose focusing ring. I have heard of problems with this but hopefully i won't encounter it.

Flare control is perfect. I normally don't use the hood because it isn't always necessary and it is huge. But I have nto encountered any flaring yet.

This lense is truly perfect for portraiture. I've been using it for street photography. It is big but it gives you enough working room to not intrude in the scene.

I highly recommend this lense especially on full frame. You might be better off with the 85 mm F1.4 depending on which focal length you like better.
reviewer#8397 date: Dec-13-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1200 EUR (new)
positive:sharp at 1.8
sharpness
bokeh
negative:hood is too heavy
comment:It's a dram lens for every full frame user. Love the sharpness at f1.8 which makes it very suitable for available light situations.
reviewer#8256 date: Nov-15-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 135mm f2.8
Minolta 100mm f2.0
Minolta 80-200mm F2.8 HS
price paid:750 GBP
positive:+sharpness
negative:-build (rattlesnake)
comment:First impressions of the sharpness are good. Compared to the Minolta 135mm, the lens is huge especially with the lens shade on. I understand now, why some prefer the Minolta 100mm f2 for portraits - it is far more unobtrusive.
The front tube rattles (that's why I call it rattlesnake - it sends a warning before it bites). Repair costs are 122,- EUR in Germany. Others have payed 160,- € but this still doesn't make me happier. Loosening of the front tube is a common problem with this lens (see dyxum and other websites on this issue). The lenses remain fixed, but the metal tube provides a rattling noise. This construction problem is solved with three stripes of adhesive tape if it is serviced! If you don't need the f1.8, look for a lens with a better build.
In the end I sold mine. I disliked the (dull) colors compared to my Minolta lenses. Even sharpness was nothing to rage about. Actually I'm sorry that I sold my 100mm f2 to fund this lens.

reviewer#8223 date: Nov-10-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 85mm 1.4
- Minolta 100mm 2.0
- Minolta 135 2.8
- Sony 135 STF
price paid:
missing
positive:- Bokeh
- Sharpness
- Color
- MFD

negative:- it's huge
- it's heavy
- front element little loose (that's why I gave it a 4 on build)
- no SSM (should have been!)
comment:I have a few portraitlenses, but this one is my latest favourite. I own this lens for a year now and I can only say that this is my favourite prime (well maybe the 200 HS is still loved a little more..not sure yet).

I use it more and more. This sharpness becomes an adiction. On the 850 it's awesome.

Maybe the best prime for Sony.
reviewer#8165 date: Nov-1-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 105mm/2.8 Macro
CZ 85mm/1.4
Min 80-200/2.8 HSG
price paid:AU$1400 new
positive:So sharp!
Great colour.
Very good build.
Reasonably good min focus distance.
negative:Can hunt sometimes in low light.
comment:Wow, what an awesome lens, have had it almost a month now, and I cant believe I didnt take the plunge earlier!

Fantastic sharpness, very good even wide open! Works great on APS or FF! Fantastic image quality and nice bokeh.

About the only thing that could make it better, I guess, would be SSM AF. It can have a bit of trouble getting focus in low light (the CZ85/1.4 is faster as is the 80-200/2.8 also).

PS: focuses a lot quicker on the A900 with v2 Firmware.
reviewer#8091 date: Oct-14-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 135/f:2L USM
price paid:1500
positive:IQ is Exceptional
Build quality
Nice Bokeh
Perfect colour
Good flare control
Sharpness from f/1.8
Fit properly to camera body
Best construction
negative:No SSM
comment:This lens is the king of all 135mm lenses
That CZ135/1.8 is one of better lens for A-mount.
Great sharpness from wide open, colors, bokeh, awesome overall image quality. Built like tank!
reviewer#7988 date: Sep-17-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:nikkor 85mm 1.8
price paid:1600 USD (new)
positive:IQ is Exceptional. build quality -materials/fit/finish- is excellent
negative:heavy and expensive
comment:I use this lens on my A850. Being an older person who started shooting as a young person, my frame of reference is film. I shot 4x5, 6x7cm and 35mm. I find the FF digital to be similar in IQ potential to medium format film.
Keeping this standard in mind, the 135/1.8 Zeiss is a superior lens and equal to the demands od a FF digital sensor.
the IQ reminds me of the Schnieder lenses (G-Claron and Super Angulon) that I used with 4x5.
aside from the ability to shoot in low light, the 1.8 is also useful to isolate the focus area with a verrrry nice bokeh ahead and behind
this may be the best 135mm ever made. certainly the best medium /portrait tele I've ever used
reviewer#7987 date: Sep-17-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:nikkor 85mm 1.8
price paid:1600 USD (new)
positive:IQ is Exceptional. build quality -materials/fit/finish- is excellent
negative:heavy and expensive
comment:I use this lens on my A850. Being an older person who started shooting as a young person, my frame of reference is film. I shot 4x5, 6x7cm and 35mm. I find the FF digital to be similar in IQ potential to medium format film.
Keeping this standard in mind, the 135/1.8 Zeiss is a superior lens and equal to the demands od a FF digital sensor.
the IQ reminds me of the Schnieder lenses (G-Claron and Super Angulon) that I used with 4x5.
aside from the ability to shoot in low light, the 1.8 is also useful to isolate the focus area with a verrrry nice bokeh ahead and behind
this may be the best 135mm ever made. certainly the best medium /portrait tele I've ever used
reviewer#7932 date: Sep-3-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 135/2.8
price paid:usd 1030 used
positive:Exquisitely focussed images
Wonderful depth
Advertizing quality clarity
negative:Heavy
Very big
Occasional refusal to focus
Battery drain
comment:Of course this is a stunning lens...but I don't yet appreciate it. I prefer the glowing color and tactile nature of the Min 135/2.8's images. The Zeiss is totally responsive -- except when it stumbles with an immediate focus response. It is beautifully designed -- but heavy, bulky, with a huge (and effective) hood, and so a stay-at-home lens for me. It drains my batteries, but I have a lot.

What it produces is dynamite. The colors aren't Minolta -- but they are brighter, actually more accurate: the perspective blur and bokeh is wonderful (and has quite cured my desire for the STF); the clarity of the images is impeccable, razor sharp, unbelievable -- and that's my problem. I don't work in advertizing; I don't want everything to be perfect in every way on a shallow level. I really want to photograph attitude rather than reality, and for that I prefer Minolta.

But I won't sell this lens, and I am sure that the more I use it, the more I will find that the occasional perfect picture from this lens will remain in my memory and files. But it's not my go-to lens, and never will be.
reviewer#7886 date: Aug-28-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ85/1.5, Minolts 135/2.8, Minolta 100/2, Beercan, Sony 70-300G, Minolta 200/2.8 HS.
price paid:GBP 1100 ish
positive:- Bokeh
- Sharpness from f/1.8
- Perfect colour
- MFD only 72cm
- Lack of CA/fringing
- Fast AF
- Quiet AF (for screw drive)
negative:
missing
comment:Perfect portrait lens on A900. Perfect results at any aperture. Use wide open without hesitation. I feel the focal length (FF) is more flattering than 85mm for head/shoulders/half-body, so long as you have the space.

Clearly better bokeh than Minolta 100/2.
Much better than Minolta 135/2.8.
Similar 'special look' to Minolta 200/2.8 HS though I sold that lens as I prefer the 135mm focal length.

Advantages over CZ85:
1. Faster and quieter AF
2. Better MFD (very useful)
3. Less CA/fringing

Disadvantages vs CZ85:
1. Size/Weight
2. f/1.4 vs f/1.8
3. CZ85 already has perfectly rounded highlights in corners at f/2, whereas CZ135 has oval shape due to vignetting.
reviewer#7884 date: Aug-27-2010
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:MINOLTA 135 f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp - sharp - sharp
negative:nothing
comment:Had the opportunity to compare this to my Minolta 135mmf2.8. Took many shots of the same object with both. The Carl Zeiss is just very much better than the MINOLTA - spesially as sharpness is concerned. Gives the best quality on A900. A must have lense if you can afford it.
reviewer#7845 date: Aug-22-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO
Sony 70-300 G
price paid:1280 EUR (in 2008)
positive:About everything
Sharpness, even at f1.8
negative:You get addicted to this kind of quality...
comment:If you are willing to spend this kind of money on a lens, you won't regret it. Best lens ever. I use it a lot at f1.8 or 2.0 and even then it is razor sharp.

Some people think the weight is a negative. You just need to get used to it.

Focus is btw faster than the Sony 70-300 G (both on the A900 and A700).

The only downside is that you get addicted to this kind of quality. Which eventuall will cost you a lot of money... But I've never regretted it. Not a single second.
reviewer#7810 date: Aug-12-2010
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:SAL 50/1.4
SAL 24-70Z
SAL 85Z
price paid:1150 USD
positive:Sharpness
AF accuracy
Handling
f1.8
negative:Price
Weight
comment:Tack sharp, fast focus and incredible image quality. I love this lens

Ideal for my needs. Large apperture and 135mm being the ideal focal lenght to do plane spotting in Zürich Airport. You don't need larger lens. 200mm would be almost too much.

Works with Sigma 1.4x EX DG teleconverter which gives a 189/2.8. Not bad at all. You cannot find something better.

Apart from that, using it in crop mode makes a tack sharp 202/1.8 or with TC14 283/2.8

Pricing is not very attractive. Anyway, it's an outstanding lens and has a price tag for it's quality.
reviewer#7796 date: Aug-8-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 16-80, km 100mm macro,sony 70-300g
price paid:999usd used
positive:Amazingly sharp with nice bokeh
negative:Heavy
comment:I really had no intention on buying this lens at this time, I really was in the market for the km 80-200, but when I saw it on ebay's buy it now for $999 I figured I would see what all the talk was about and also figured I could resell it for at least what I paid for it. It is what everyone says about it and I only wish my talent was as good as this lens. In the hands of a pro it will produce absolutely stunning photos. It's really going to hard to ever sell this lens so I guess I am going to have to find another way to get the km 80-200. As far as the weight it really wasn't a major problem walking the city but hiking maybe another story. I may look into getting the black rapid.
reviewer#7615 date: Jun-27-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1200€
positive:a perfect one for outdoor street portrait
sharp as a razor
negative:long lenshood
weight
comment:
missing
reviewer#7609 date: Jun-26-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Switched to Nikon, had nothing directly comparable.
price paid:1400 before discount
positive:Amazing, sharp optic with beautiful bokeh. Great build quality.
negative:A bit heavy, but that is expected with the high build quality and wide aperture.
comment:I switched to Sony for the A850 and Zeiss 135 since I got a great price for both. Before had a Nikon D2H with a 85mm f/1.8. Not even close in comparison I know for performance. Amazingly sharp, extremely shallow DOF wide open, great bokeh. Not much needs to be said for this lens other than A+++
reviewer#7605 date: Jun-24-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 135mm 2.8
price paid:traded
positive:everthing
negative:zilch
comment:Wow!!!! So crisp, creamy and clean. Amazing tack sharpness at all ranges and love the all metal build. Really, a legend in any brand. The Bokeh is so ridiculous. There are not enough superlatives for this lens. If you got the bucks, get it.
reviewer#7539 date: Jun-6-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm, F1.4G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp wide open
Bokeh
negative:Slow and noisy AF
Heavy
Not Minolta colors
Build
comment:This lens is now away to it's second repair - that is not a good build quality. This lens feels like a tank but it is'nt.

I really struggled to get the right sharpness with the A700, but with the A850 it is perfekt even wide open.

With that price tag it really should have SSM.
reviewer#7406 date: May-5-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G SSM
Sony 85mm f1.4 ZA
Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro
Minolta 100mm f/2
Sony 135mm f2.8 (4.5) STF
Minolta 200mm f2.8 APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Accurate & relative fast focus
Perfect for MF
Bokeh
negative:Heavy
Lens-Hood in metal too heavy
comment:This lens is simply a joy to use. I own a very nice collection but I can say with assurance that this lens is my best lens ever.

I gave a 4 for Build rating as I find the lens hood not that much appropriate, would be better to have a carbon lens hood, and the lack of SSM.

I find myself using this lens very much between 1.8 and 2 and sometimes going at 2.8/4 , tried some landscape shots at 5.6, it's razor sharp.

Since I own this lens I don't use anymore my beloved Min. 200 2.8

I prefered this lens to STF, & don't regret a second the switch.
The bokeh is not as creamy but is still wonderful for a "normal" lens.

UPDATE : I'm now using the 70-200 G lens hood on the 135/1.8 ZA, it fits perfectly and it's much more practical to use with c.pol and less heavy. I found the perfect compromise :)
reviewer#7404 date: May-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 135 f2.8
Minolta 28-135
price paid:Rp. 11.500.000 (2nd)
positive:Super Sharp
Nice bokeh
Good Build
Fit properly to camera body
f1.8 helps a lot
negative:Front Barrel loose easily
Super Heavy haha :p
comment:First impression about this lens.... it's terribly huge, large filter size, heavy, tank-like lens, and after my first shot... it's just amazing... One of my favorite lens... not going to sell it, and never even think of selling this baby :D

never been dissapointed while i'm using this 135/1.8 ZA... ^^

definetly one of the best lens in the world i suppose... :)
reviews found: 115    << 1 2 3 4 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 115
  • sharpness: 4.99
  • color: 4.90
  • build: 4.77
  • distortion: 4.98
  • flare control: 4.95
  • overall: 4.92

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