Sony has announced a new medium telephoto lens for its full-frame mirrorless cameras. With a focal length of 135mm, the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM (G Master) is ideally suited to portrait photography. Longer than an 85mm lens, it allows you to stand a bit further from your subject and produces a flattering perspective.
Thanks to the wide maximum aperture of f/1.8, backgrounds can be heavily blurred to draw attention to the subject. Sony has also given the FE 135mm f1.8 GM an aperture ring so the exposure and depth of field can be adjusted quickly and easily via the lens.
What’s more, the aperture ring is de-clickable. Disabling the clicks allows for quiet operation during video recording.
In addition, there are two customisable Focus Hold buttons on the lens. These can be customised via the camera menu to activate features such as Eye AF, AF-on, Aperture Preview, Shot Result Preview or Brightness Monitoring instead of Focus Hold.
Meanwhile, a focus limiter switch enables the lens’ focus to be restricted. There are settings for infinity to 1.5m, 2-0.7m and the full focus range. That’s useful when there are subjects between the camera and the subject.
Inside the lens barrel, Sony has used a newly developed optical design with 13 elements. These include XA, Super ED and ED elements.
There are XA (extreme aspherical) and Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements in the front group to suppress the common telephoto lens aberrations. In addition, a Super ED element and an ED glass element are used to compensate for axial chromatic aberration, minimize colour fringing and maximise overall resolution.
Sony’s Nano AR Coating is used to reduce flare and ghosting when shooting backlit subjects.
According to Sony the E 135mm f/1.8 GM is capable of delivering high resolution across the frame at all aperture settings. That’s especially important to portrait photographers who want to shoot at f/1.8 and have pin-sharp eyes.
There’s also an 11-bladed circular aperture to produce attractive bokeh.
Extreme dynamic (XD) linear motors drive the focusing mechanism. There’s also a new control algorithm that has been developed specifically for these motors to ensure quiet and low-vibration autofocusing.
In addition, there are two floating focus groups that are carefully synchronised to deliver fast and accurate autofocusing.
A wide ring is provided for manual focusing. This enables linear response focusing.
The minimum focus distance is 0.7m at which the magnification factor is 0.25x.
New Circular Polarising Filters
Sony has also announced a new collection of Circular Polarising Filters. These are set to be available in 49mm, 55mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm diameter. They are said to preserve image quality and resolution about twice as effective as Sony’s existing circular PL filters.
The filters have a slim design to reduce corner shading. They also feature a ZEISS T* coating to suppress flare.
Price and release date
The Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master lens is set to retail for £1,750/$1,900 and will go on sale in April 2019.
The new circular polariser filters are set to go on sale in Europe in April 2019. They will retail for approximately:
49mm (model VF-49CPAM2) – €110
55mm (model VF-55CPAM2) – €120
62mm (model VF-62CPAM2) – €150
67mm (model VF-67CPAM2) – €170
72mm (model VF-72CPAM2) – €180
77mm (model VF-77CPAM2) – €200
82mm (model VF-82CPAM2) – €260
Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Key Features
- Format: 35mm full frame
- Focal length: 135mm
- Equivalent focal length on APS-C Format: 202.5mm
- Lens groups/elements: 10-13
- 35mm angle of view: 18ﾟ
- APS-C angle of view: 12ﾟ1
- Maximum aperture: f/1.8
- Minimum aperture: f/22
- Aperture blades: 11
- Minimum focus distance: 0.7 m (2.3 ft)
- Maximum magnification factor 0.25x
- Filter Diameter: 82mm
- Lens hood type: Round shape, bayonet type
- Teleconverter compatibility: Incompatible with 2x and 1.4x teleconverters