The new Sony a 135mm F1.8 large-aperture telephoto prime lens is a highly anticipated addition to Sony’s G master series of full-frame E-mount interchangeable lenses.
Classic in focal length but equipped with Sony’s most advanced optical technologies, the new lens is built to meet the extremely high standards of Sony’s G Master series. The new FE 135mm F1.8 GM offers, says the company, exceptionally high resolution and exquisite bokeh, two qualities that are signature attributes of Sony’s flagship G Master brand.
Furthermore, the new lens combines rapid autofocus (AF) acquisition with a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions, making it a versatile, high-performance tool for professional portrait photographers, wedding photographers, sports photographers and a wide variety of imaging enthusiasts, including videographers.
“Sony’s commitment to growing our FE lens and E-mount lens line-up remains stronger than ever,” said Yann Salmon-Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging at Sony Europe. “Our 31st native full-frame mirrorless lens, the highly anticipated 135mm prime brings the acclaimed G Master quality to another popular focal length for both professionals and enthusiasts to enjoy. This brings the total number of Sony’s native Alpha E-mount lenses to 49. We will continue to drive market-leading innovation in all aspects of our imaging business, giving our customers the opportunity to capture and create like they never have before.”
Sony says the new lens is capable of “realising consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at F1.8” due to “an innovative optical design that places XA (extreme aspherical) and Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements in the front group to effectively suppress all common telephoto lens aberrations”. Additionally, the Super ED element plus one ED glass element are strategically positioned to compensate for axial chromatic aberration, minimize colour fringing and maximise overall resolution, ensuring outstanding image quality. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce flare and ghosting that can occur when shooting backlit portraits.
With Canon introducing on their side a technology with the name registered, Defocus Smoothing present in the recently announced RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS – DS for Defocus Smothing, apparently another bookeh trick – Sony has to point to its own “latest bokeh simulation technologies” used during the design and manufacturing stages of this lens, to control spherical aberration and achieve exquisite bokeh. In addition, says Sony, “an 11-bladed circular aperture mechanism contributes towards achieving extremely natural and beautiful background defocus.”
Close focus and fast AF
Bookeh seems to be the new buzzword for camera companies, so we’re going to see a lot about how it is implemented in the coming months. Good to know, though, that when focusing close, the Sony 135mm F1.8 G Master features dual-autofocus groups in a floating focus arrangement for improved close-up capability, allowing a minimum focus distance of just 0.7 metres and a maximum magnification of 0.25x.
To be able to keep up with fast moving subjects, like sports, or shooting fast during a portrait session, the Sony 135mm F1.8 G Master has been equipped with a total of four of Sony’s proprietary XD linear motors—two for each group—that achieve rapid, reliable and speedy AF tracking and performance. There is also a control algorithm that helps to maximise control response and ensure quiet, low-vibration AF. All of this technology is packaged in a compact, lightweight body weighing in at 950g.
New line-up of polarizer filters
Both photographers and videographers will feel comfortable using the FE 135mm F1.8 GM, as the lens includes a number of professional controls that enhance ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. Things like an aperture ring that allows direct, intuitive aperture control and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control. There is also a focus range limiter switch, two customisable focus hold buttons, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions.
In addition to the new FE 135mm F1.8 GM lens, Sony has also announced a new line-up of Circular Polarising Filters. The new filters, including models for lens diameters 49mm, 55mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm, preserve image quality and resolution about twice as effectively as Sony’s existing circular PL filter line-up, making them a perfect partner for Sony’s flagship G Master series lens. They also feature a ZEISS T* Coating to minimise flare and a slim filter design to prevent image vignetting and maximise overall performance.
The Sony 135mm F1.8 G Master will ship in April 2019, priced at approximately $1900. The new filters, also available in April 2019, will have prices from $130 to $300, depending on diameter.