Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review

February 28, 2019 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM is the ninth G Master lens in Sony's range of 31 full-frame native lenses, and what a beauty it is! 135mm is a classic focal length for portraiture, and Sony's professional offering certainly doesn't disappoint, with beautiful bokeh, outstanding sharpness, excellent build quality and a useful close focusing distance of 0.70cm.

Shooting at the maximum f/1.8 aperture does reveals a very minor reduction in sharpness, but this is already resolved by f/2, and even at an aperture of f/4 the lens is able to produce beautifully smooth bokeh and completely blurred backgrounds. Vignetting and pincushion distortion are hardly apparent, while chromatic aberrations are also very well controlled. The ability to focus as close as 70cm, which is 10cm closer than the FE 85mm G Master lens, makes it possible to also capture smaller subjects, as well as proving handy for the usual bread and butter model shots.

Despite being quite a large and heavy lens, the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM proved to be easy enough to live with, and is chock-full of features. These include weather-proof build quality, a wide and smooth focusing ring, the de-clickable manual aperture ring, focus limiter switch and the useful Focus Hold Buttons. It also proved to be quick and accurate when auto-focusing in both good and bad light, especially when employing Sony's mind-blowingly impressive Eye AF mode.

There's only really one notable drawback to the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM lens, and that's the asking price. £1750 / $1999 is an awful lot of money to pay for such a specialized lens, but if you shoot portraits day in, day out, it'll quickly repay your financial investment. If the 135mm focal length suits your particular way of working, then it's very easy to recommend the new FE 135mm f/1.8 GM lens.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4