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Summary

Highly Recommended awardThe Sony FE 135mm f1.8 G Master is a telephoto prime lens designed for its Alpha series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, capturing a classic telephoto view that’s ideal for tighter portraits shot from a distance with minimal distortion. This longer focal length coupled with a fast f1.8 focal ratio also delivers very shallow depth-of-field effects, separating the subject from its surroundings with minimal distractions. As a G Master lens, the FE 135mm f1.8 successfully balances the challenging combination of delivering high resolution across the frame with attractive rendering of blurred areas, making it perfect for portraits but equally good for street, highly detailed landscape or urban views, and even reasonable close-up work with its 0.25x magnification. Videographers will also appreciate the linear manual focusing, de-clickable aperture ring and minimal focus breathing. Some portrait shooters prefer the flexibility and relative intimacy of a shorter 85mm or even 50mm lens, but for those who prefer to shoot at longer distances and really minimise background distractions, the FE 135mm f1.8 GM is one of the best examples of this focal length I’ve tested, albeit also one of the most expensive too. Sony’s modern optical design ensures that whatever you use it for, you’ll be enjoying excellent quality, pin sharp details and attractive blurring. As such it’s an easy lens to recommend if your budget can stretch and the focal length fits into your workflow.

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Check prices on, or order the Sony FE 135mm f1.8 G Master at B&H, Adorama or WEX.

Sony FE 135mm f1.8 GM review

In depth

The Sony FE 135mm f1.8 G Master (also known as the SEL135F18GM) is a telephoto prime lens designed for its Alpha series of full-frame mirrorless cameras. Announced in February 2019, it’s the 31st full-frame mirrorless lens for Sony’s Alpha system, and the ninth to join its premium G Master series, not to mention being the fifth G Master prime after the FE 85mm f1.4, FE 100mm f2.8 STF, FE 400mm f2.8 and FE 24mm f1.4.

The FE 135mm f1.8 GM captures a classic telephoto field-of-view that’s ideal for tighter portraits shot from a distance with minimal distortion. This longer focal length coupled with a fast f1.8 focal ratio delivers a very shallow depth-of-field, separating the subject from its surroundings with minimal distractions.

As a G Master lens, the optical design aims to deliver high resolution across the frame and attractive rendering of blurred areas. Sony achieves this with its Extreme Aspherical (XA) and Super ED elements. The lens employs 13 elements in 10 groups and an 11-blade circular aperture system, while two floating focus groups each driven by a pair of XD linear motors ensure focusing is swift and accurate; the design also supports a closest focusing distance of 70cm for 0.25x magnification. Meanwhile the weather-sealed barrel measures 127x90mm, weighs 950g (33.5oz), has an 82mm filter thread, sports two customisable focus-hold buttons, a de-clickable aperture ring and a manual focusing ring with linear response. I tested a final production sample of the lens at the launch event in New York and back at home in Brighton afterwards and have demonstrated the highlights and quality in my video below. For a closer look at my images, check out my samples page and check back soon for further results and my final verdict.

 

 

 

Check prices on, or order the Sony FE 135mm f1.8 G Master at B&H, Adorama or WEX.
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Sony FE 135mm f1.8 GM

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