Reviews |Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena Hands-on Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena Hands-on Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena

Price when reviewed



Our Verdict

Admittedly, I’ve only used the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena for a short period of time, but my early impressions of it are very good. The bokeh looks superb in the viewfinder and in the sample images supplied by Nikon. It also focuses quickly and decisively in low-light conditions. Naturally, I will put the lens through its paces fully when a review sample comes in for testing.


  • High price for an 85mm f/1.8 lens

What is the Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena?

The Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is a full-frame lens designed for use on the Z-series mirrorless cameras such as the Nikon Z8. It’s built using the latest technology and benefits from all the ground gained through Nikon’s Z-mount to deliver what Nikon indicates is class-leading image quality.

The 135mm focal length is a popular choice amongst portrait photographers and the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena could be an attractive alternative to the Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S when photographers want to photograph their subjects from further away or frame them more tightly.


  • Product type: Portrait lens
  • Announced: 27th Sepetmber 2023
  • Mount: Nikon Z
  • Format: Full-frame (FX)
  • Focal length: 135mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Construction: 16 elements in 14 groups (including 1 SR and 1 aspherical lens element)
  • Coatings: Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO Coat
  • Focusing system: Internal focusing system
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.82m
  • Stabilisation: No
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 11
  • Filter size: 82mm
Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena


The Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is a high-caliber full-frame lens crafted specifically for Z-series mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Z8 and Z7 II. With a 135mm focal length and an f/1.8 maximum aperture, it’s a superb choice for portrait, fashion, and nature photographers.

The ‘Plena’ tag in its name signifies that it’s designed to be a flawless, ‘complete’ lens. It’s only the second Nikon lens to get a unique name, following the Noct (Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct).

Nikon says the wider Z mount has opened up new avenues in lens design, and the Plena uses this to its full advantage for superior performance. This lens is reported to offer the highest rendering power and best vignette control among all Nikon S-Line lenses at f/1.8. This is achieved through an top-notch optical setup of 16 elements arranged in 14 groups, featuring one element made from Nikon’s SR glass and an aspherical element. Anti-glare measures like the Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO Coat are also applied to mitigate lens flare, and there’s an 11-blade rounded aperture iris for attractive bokeh with no distortion.

On the autofocus front, the Plena lens feature an internal mechanism so the front element doesn’t rotate. It also offers a closest focusing distance of 0.82 mm.

Build and handling

At a shade under 1Kg in weight, the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is a substantial lens, but it feels very well-made and nicely balanced on the Nikon Z8. Reassuringly, its barrel is made from lightweight metal and all of the joints and controls are sealed against moisture and dust. In addition, there’s a rubber gasket around the mount.

The Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena also has two L-FN buttons, one for use when shooting in landscape orientation and the other for use in portrait orientation. In addition, there are two rings, the broadest is for adjusting the focus manually, while the narrowest, which sits closest to he mount, is customisable. This can be used to set the aperture, exposure compensation or sensitivity (ISO).

So far I’ve only used the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena for a short time during the press briefing, but the rings move smoothly with a high-quality feel.

Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena sample images

These images are provided by Nikon.

Early verdict

It’s too early to say much about the quality of the results from the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, but I think high-end enthusiast and professional portrait photographers have good reason to get excited. The early indications are that the lens is capable of producing super-sharp images with beautiful out of focus areas.