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Sigmatel 135mm F1.8 "Multi Scalematic" Y/S

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2 19,007 Mon January 13, 2014
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100% of reviewers None indicated 9.00
Sigmatel 135mm F1.8 "Multi Scalematic" Y/S

Sigmatel 135mm F1.8 "Multi Scalematic" Y/S
Sigmatel 135mm F1.8 "Multi Scalematic" Y/S

This is a very fast manual focus, manual stop-down, telephoto prime lens, made in Japan by Sigma.
It has a Sigma Y/S (Yamaki System) mount, which very similar to the T2 mount and this allows it to be used on lots of different cameras simply by using one of the many different Y/S mount adapters that are available..
Its a Sonnar type optical design so its bokeh quality is very good.
The Sigmatel has a 77mm filter thread, making it slightly more compact and easier to hold in the hand than similar lenses, like the Porst and Spiratone versions, which have a 82mm filter thread.
Wide open it has fairly low contrast but CA is well controlled and the DOF is very shallow.
Its best between f4 and f5.6 where its pin sharp and has excellent contrast.
Because of its large and exposed front element it is recommended that it is used with a deep lenshood on it at all times as this helps to maximise its contrast at all apertures and also prevents flare from the Sun or other very bright off-axis light sources.
Specs: It has 6 Elements in five groups, an 8 blade Iris and weighs about 800g. The dimensions are Length = 100mm @ infinity, 112mm @ MFD and the Diameter = 80mm.
The Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) is about 4 foot 3 inches (or about 1.33m).
BTW, "Multi Scalematic" refers to the strange "vertical" and "horizontal" measurement scales which can be seen on the lens barrel, in front of the conventional focus scale. What these are used for is unknown, but to me it looks like the scales refer to the width and height of what you see through the viewfinder at different distances from the film plane. I.e. if you're focusing at 60 ft, the plane in focus will be a bit less than 5 ft wide and a bit more than 3 ft high.
Mount Type:
Price History:

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Registered: April, 2013
Location: Oakville, ON
Posts: 1,091
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


I do not have this lens but was looking into and wanted to contribute to mystery about those scalematic numbers. The picture bellow explains everything...

Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2011
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: February 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, sharp, good contrast, well controlled CA, can fit many different cameras, not too heavy, low price.
Cons: Contrast a little low when wide open, needs a hood fulltime for best results
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I bought this lens practically mint, for less that 55, including delivery back in 2008.
I was'nt really expecting it to be any good as I had been lead to believe that all the old 135mm f1.8 lenses that are available were optically one and the same, and I'd seen some pretty awfull wide open samples from lenses like the Spiratone 135mm f1.8.
However, I have subsequently discovered that it has completely different optics from all the other 135mm f1.8 lenses out there, like the Spiratone, and the Soligor, except for the optically identical Sigma XQ version. The Sigmatels optical design proved so effective that Pentax decided to borrow most of it when they produced their SMC-A version.
Here you can compare six optical diagrams used in various 135mm f1.8 lenses, including the Sigmatels:
Both Spiratones and the Soligor version have an 82mm filter thread and weight about 1.2kg but the Sigmatel, which is physically smaller, has a 77mm filter thread, so the Sigmatel can use cheaper and easier to find filters and lenshoods, and it only weighs about 820g too.
I use a "Sonia Brand" 77mm lenshood which I keep on it at all times. Here is how it looks with the hood when fitted to my camera:
It performs best between f4-f5.6...Here are some handheld samples, some taken at f4 and some at f5.6:
And a 100% crop:
And a 100% crop:
And a 100% crop:
And a 100% crop:

I highly recommend this lens, if you can find one that is, because they are pretty rare these days.
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