I am a big fan of the short to medium length telephoto prime lens. I own the 85 f/1.8 as my travel portrait lens when I am travelling light, but use Sony’s FE 85 F/1.4 GM when I need to create maximum figure/ground separation (the ability to pull a subject off a busy background and maintain the viewer’s attention firmly on the subject). I also use the 100 STF GM lens and old SAL 135 F/1.8 ZA (A-Mount lens via the LA-EA4 adapter) and have enjoyed testing the Batis 135 F/2.8. While waiting for Sony to release an E-Mount 135 I have found myself occasionally using the 85 and 100 STF lenses in APS-C mode on the A7RII and A7RIII cameras. I am aware I can crop in post but putting the camera in APS-C mode makes the lens ‘feel’ like a 135 and puts me at the appropriate distance to the subject that is different when you use 85 and 135 focal lengths. If I shot at the normal 85mm focal length I would find myself walking forward three or four paces and change the subject/photographer dynamic. Shooting in APS-C mode on an A7RIII camera reduces the megapixel count to 18 but this is still double that required to fill a 4K screen.
In this test of the 135 F/1.8 GM I set out to compare the 135 with the 85 shooting in APS-C mode to establish if the 135 GM is worth purchasing if you already own an 85. This review may also be useful to work out if you would prefer the 85 or 15 focal length when choosing a prime.
The movie covers the major points I wanted to raise and is illustrated with Ultra-HD images. I would recommend watching the movie on a 4K monitor in 4K (not available via Apple’s Safari browser).
An Album of Ultra HD images captured with the FE 135 G Master can be viewed here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmwt7DN3
FE 85 G Master Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskuGwWBN
FE 100 STF G Master Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskUx8Rsh
Specifications of Note:
- APERTURE BLADES:11
- CIRCULAR APERTURE: Yes
- MINIMUM FOCUS DISTANCE: 0.7 m (2.3 ft)
- TELECONVERTER COMPATIBILITY: Incompatible
- DIMENSIONS (DIAMETER X LENGTH): 89.5 x 127 mm (3-5/8 x 5 in.)
- WEIGHT: 950 g (33.6 oz.)