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02-26-2019, 09:25 AM   #1
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Sony 135mm F/1.8 GM announced

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM lens officially announced (SEL135F18GM) - sonyalpharumors sonyalpharumors

135mm is one of my favorite focal lengths.

02-26-2019, 04:51 PM   #2
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The GM series is so pricey, they better be good.
02-27-2019, 11:30 AM   #3
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02-27-2019, 01:32 PM   #4
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the sigma 135 1.8 or the canon 135 2 is the reason i'm planning on picking up an A7II or A7RII. Since there is no reasonable options for Pentax, aside from the rokinon manual focus, the Sony lineup is getting more and more attractive.

the price at $2000 USD is a little high, but i also know what this lens is capable of, so perhaps its worth it?

03-01-2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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From Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals (he does a lot of extensive lens testing):
"I've only had a a couple of copies to test, so limited information.

But the limited information suggests this is really spectacular. Perhaps the best Sony lens period as far as sharpness."

03-01-2019, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
the sigma 135 1.8 or the canon 135 2 is the reason i'm planning on picking up an A7II or A7RII. Since there is no reasonable options for Pentax, aside from the rokinon manual focus, the Sony lineup is getting more and more attractive.

the price at $2000 USD is a little high, but i also know what this lens is capable of, so perhaps its worth it?
What are you going to do that will make you $2000 that you wouldn't have if you didn't use this lens?
As one who bought a DA* 55 1.4 instead of the new DFA 50 1.4, because I thought it was much better value, considering the images are only slightly different, I'd answer certainly not. Someone who bought the DFA 1.4 will have different opinion.

But, for me, I can't afford to buy a pile of lenses of that quality. I have to be selective. A lens like the DA*55 1.4 is in a focal length I know I will use. Over my whole 60 years of photography, 55mm has probably been my most used focal length, so I'm really familiar with it and am happy using it. So I decided to splurge for a lens that cost me $500 CAD or $400 USD.

SO, if you you have the money and it's a lens you're likely to use, it might be worth it to you. If you don't use 135mm much, and I only use 135mm in zooms, and even then fairly rarely and on occasions where I'd really like longer but don't have a longer lens handy, it would be a complete waste of money. I wouldn't take it anywhere, I wouldn't use it anywhere.

So bottom line, it's completely up to you.
Two considerations...
Is there anything else you could use the money for that you'd enjoy more (and I can think of a lot of things I could use $2000 USD for.)
And what percentage of the time will it be on the camera?

If you use a lens for 10 years and make good use of it... $2000 is $200 year. If you use it 10 times per year that is $20 per use. If you use it 200 times year that's $1 per use. So you tell me, is it worth it? It's all about you.

Last edited by normhead; 04-26-2019 at 11:19 AM.
03-01-2019, 12:33 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
What are you going to do that will make you $2000 that you wouldn't have if you didn't use this lens?
As one who bought a DA* 55 1.4 instead of the new DFA 50 1.4, because I thought it was much better value, considering the images are only slightly different, I'd answer certainly not. Someone who bought the DFA 1.4 will have different opinion.

But, for me, I can't afford to buy a pile of lenses of that quality. I have to be selective. A lens like the DA*55 1.4 is in a focal length I know I will use. Over my whole 60 years of photography, 55mm has probably been my most used focal length, so I'm really familiar with it and am happy using it. So I decided to splurge for a lens that cost me $500 CAD or $400 USD.

SO, if you you have the money and it's a lens you're likely to use, it might be worth it to you. If you don't use 135mm much, and I only use 135mm in zooms, and even then fairly rarely and on occasions where I'd really like longer but don't have a longer lens handy, it would be a complete waste of money. I wouldn't take it anywhere, I wouldn't use it anywhere.

So bottom line, it's completely up to you.
Two considerations...
Is there anything else you could use the money for that you'd enjoy more (and I can think of a lot of things I could use $2000 USD for.)
And what percentage of the time will it be on the camera?

If you use a lens for 10 years and make good use of it... $2000 is $200 year. If you use it 10 times year that $20 per use. If you use it 200 times year that's $1 per use. So you tell me, is it worth it? It's all about you.

well, for me, it comes down to enjoyment. i do love photography and it is a hobby of mine. i am focusing more and more on portraits and being creative with them. sure, one of my favorite focal length is a 200mm, however, the 70-200 is a touch too big to travel with (my other favorite thing to do). and at 2.8, the 200mm prime is almost too slow for my use. my other most used lens is the 85mm. between the 85 and the 200 sits the 135mm. i could ditch the fantasy of owning the 200mm f2 from Canon/Nikon as those things are $5000 USD.

as such, the 135 sigma ($1400 USD) or this sony 135 ($2000 USD), or even the canon route ($700ish CAD used) would be advantageous.

i dont really do things for money. i tried making money off of my hobbies and realized that it sucks the fun and creativity out of them.

which also draws me to a dilemma. i do want the 135mm, and i would also like the sony A7RII or A7II (the image stabilizer, and future proofing myself as more lenses are available on sony with other 3rd party companies), which would work nicely with my Pentax K1. OR i could pick up a used Canon 5DMII for the canon 135 and call it a day. the canon wont have any real advantage over the pentax, aside from more lenses available. but i really have all the lenses i want with my pentax except for the 135. the 5dmii may focus faster, but beyond that, the pentax is a better camera in every sense of the word....

03-01-2019, 01:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
well, for me, it comes down to enjoyment. i do love photography and it is a hobby of mine. i am focusing more and more on portraits and being creative with them. sure, one of my favorite focal length is a 200mm, however, the 70-200 is a touch too big to travel with (my other favorite thing to do). and at 2.8, the 200mm prime is almost too slow for my use. my other most used lens is the 85mm. between the 85 and the 200 sits the 135mm. i could ditch the fantasy of owning the 200mm f2 from Canon/Nikon as those things are $5000 USD.

as such, the 135 sigma ($1400 USD) or this sony 135 ($2000 USD), or even the canon route ($700ish CAD used) would be advantageous.

i dont really do things for money. i tried making money off of my hobbies and realized that it sucks the fun and creativity out of them.

which also draws me to a dilemma. i do want the 135mm, and i would also like the sony A7RII or A7II (the image stabilizer, and future proofing myself as more lenses are available on sony with other 3rd party companies), which would work nicely with my Pentax K1. OR i could pick up a used Canon 5DMII for the canon 135 and call it a day. the canon wont have any real advantage over the pentax, aside from more lenses available. but i really have all the lenses i want with my pentax except for the 135. the 5dmii may focus faster, but beyond that, the pentax is a better camera in every sense of the word....
You should be able to pick up a Zeiss Batis for $1,300. The 135mm F/2.8 is an excellent lens. Its an APO with fast AF and excellent sharpness across the frame. The Batis is an amazing lens. The Sony 135mm GM is designed for a camera like the A9. The AF motor in the 135mm GM is fast enough to keep up. The Sony A9 checks and adjusts focus 60 times every second, and most of the Sony lenses don't have motors in them fast enough to keep up with that. If you don't need that kind of AF speed or you don't need F/1.8, then its hard to justify buying the 135mm GM over the 135mm Batis or the 135mm Sigma ART.


The A7RII is definitely a step above the A7II. The AF on the A7RII is not amazing, but its better than the K-1 or the 5D2.

Last edited by Winder; 03-01-2019 at 02:15 PM.
03-01-2019, 02:26 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Yeah the 135 f2.8 kind of defeats the purpose. May as well use the 70-200 then.

I think the sigma 135 f1.8 and the canon 135 f2 may have to get the job done. Or wait for the sony 135 1.8 to come down in price
03-01-2019, 03:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
Yeah the 135 f2.8 kind of defeats the purpose. May as well use the 70-200 then.

I think the sigma 135 f1.8 and the canon 135 f2 may have to get the job done. Or wait for the sony 135 1.8 to come down in price
The 135mm Batis is an real APO lens. The sharpness and colors that you get from that lens are much better than you get from even the 70-200mm GM lens at a size and weight that is much more manageable. I like the 70-200mm GM, but its image quality is not on par with the Batis 135mm.
03-01-2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
the sigma 135 1.8 or the canon 135 2 is the reason i'm planning on picking up an A7II or A7RII. Since there is no reasonable options for Pentax, aside from the rokinon manual focus, the Sony lineup is getting more and more attractive.

the price at $2000 USD is a little high, but i also know what this lens is capable of, so perhaps its worth it?
.
The 135mm field of view on full frame is one that I'm starting to like more and more. The only 135mm I currently own is a Leica R 135mm f/2.8 (Mandler design) that I easily Leitax adapted for my Pentax K-1 camera .
This lens has nice colors and bokeh, but it's a bit too slow for me with my focus on bokeh panos (Brenizer Method) photos these days.

I have no experience with this new Sony 135mm G Master lens, but I also hear that it's truly outstanding! Like you, I too lust for this new Sony lens, but I'm certainly not going to be selling my incredible Pentax K-1's just for one lens - no matter how great it is.

A forum friend of mine is les3547. He's one of the forums highly respected senior members. Les has lots of experience shooting the very best lenses. He says one of the best he's ever used is the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO Sonar lens (either classic or Milvus). Most Zeiss lens experts feel this lens is of Otus quality. I'm close to buying one of them. Their used prices these days are about $700 less than this new Sony G Master 135/1.8 lens. The Zeiss 135 APO is easily adapted to K mount using a high quality Leitax adapter (which is better/stronger) that the original mount.

I'm not saying this Zeiss 135mm apochromatic lens is better than the new Sony 135/1.8, but it's such an outstanding lens, that if the Sony is better, it certainly can not be much better. If I were to guess, I'd image the Sony might be a bit sharper than the Zeiss, both have outstanding bokeh, and the overall look/rendering is subjective (I personally prefer the Zeiss look).

Anyway, just saying that if you've got a hankering for using a true world class 135mm lens on your K-1 camera, you don't have to switch to Sony (unless of course you need auto focus)! But as far as reliability and longevity goes, I suspect that the "bullet-proof" Zeiss 135/2 APO lens will last decades longer (yes, I've taken them apart) than this new AF Sony 135mm G Master lens will.
.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 03-01-2019 at 08:14 PM.
03-01-2019, 04:38 PM - 1 Like   #12
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With the manual focus world, there is also the samyang/rokinon 135 f2. From reviews, people agree that it is a far superior lens to the canon l series 135 f2 lens. And its considerably cheaper too.

My issue with manual focus is that the catch focus isnt great on the k1. Unless i carry a tripod and have tons of time for every shot, and make it more complicated than necessary, a manual focus is certainly not for me
03-01-2019, 04:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
With the manual focus world, there is also the samyang/rokinon 135 f2. From reviews, people agree that it is a far superior lens to the canon l series 135 f2 lens. And its considerably cheaper too.

My issue with manual focus is that the catch focus isnt great on the k1. Unless i carry a tripod and have tons of time for every shot, and make it more complicated than necessary, a manual focus is certainly not for me
It all depends on what you value in a lens. I've owned 2 copies of the Samyang 135mm f/2 lens. It has outstanding sharpness. However, sharpness does not do a lot for me. For me, "average" sharpness (think Leica R lenses) is usually sufficient. I'm more concerned with: bokeh, colors, and overall look.

I have owned Canon full frame digital cameras, but I've never shot their 135/2 L lens. However, being the biggest bokeholic on this forum, I've long been in love with the ultra creamy/dreamy bokeh images I've seen produced by this Canon lens on the Internet. Maybe the Canon 135 is not as sharp as the Samyang, but to me, the Canon's bokeh and rendering is much better and would be the lens I would choose 100 times out of 100.

Sure, MF can be a deal breaker for some. It is not for me. 135mm is used by many for portraits, and portrait subjects don't usually move all that fast/much. I have decades of experience shooting birds-in-flight and fast-action-sports (Olympics) with MF lenses. It's just a matter of practice practice practice, and of course understanding your subjects and anticipation.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 03-01-2019 at 08:14 PM.
03-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I have decades of experience shooting birds-in-flight and fast-action-sports (Olympics) with MF lenses. It's just a matter of practice practice practice, and of course understanding your subjects and anticipation.
Shoot some BiF like this manual focus. He is shooting birds in flight with the 400mm GM around the 9 minute mark. If you had enough time and enough passes you could get some shots, but when you only get one chance to get the shot, I'll take AF every time.
03-01-2019, 07:53 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Shoot some BiF like this manual focus. He is shooting birds in flight with the 400mm GM around the 9 minute mark. If you had enough time and enough passes you could get some shots, but when you only get one chance to get the shot, I'll take AF every time.
Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master is a BEAST of a Lens - YouTube
First, the guy in the video you linked to is NOT an experienced wildlife photographer. This guy takes a few photos of a trained hawk in flight and you trot him out as an expert?? Ha! I've watched him on the Internet for years, and consider him to be more of a comedian than a serious photographer. To my knowledge, this guy has never seriously photographed any BIF before. Please don't post this silly video and infer that I should shoot wildlife and birds like this jokester.

Sure, AF will get one more keepers, but an experienced MF photographer can close the "keeper gap" by practice. For example, I've shot hundreds of thousands of trumpeter swan photos (mostly flying) over 25 years (even guided Nat Geo photographers).

Understanding a subjects' behavior will help the MF photographer. For example, water fowl will always prefer to land and take off "into the wind", and when swans are courting before they do their beautiful "displays" they will usually bob their heads up and down. Knowing that will give the MF photographer an edge.

Sure, most casual photographers will prefer fast AF, giant buffers, and the "spray and pray" method of photography (because they don't care to master MF lenses or really get to understand their subjects). They maybe go home with 5,000 image files for a weekends shooting and hope they've captured a few keepers. Others like a more deliberate approach that involves developing a relationship with the subject.

And maybe most importantly, not all photographers can afford thousands of dollars for fast tele "AF" lenses. Often, older MF lenses cost MUCH less and will produce an IQ that's just as good as the newer/more-expensive AF lenses produce.

As a former hunter in my youth I prefered hunting deer with a recurve bow and arrow over a high powered rifle. To me it's as much about the "chase" as it is the "capture/kill". I've shot both MF and AF lenses, and I prefer MF lenses for wildlife because it forces me closer to the spirit of the animal.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 03-03-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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