4.9 based on 27 customer reviews
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27 Customer Reviews
SAL135F18Z 21/07/2017 by collingsandheal (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified
There are two sides to most exotic lenses. The technical side and the pictorial presentation. The T*135mm f1.8 ZA is one of those lenses that quite simply delivers. Just buy mounting it on your camera your images look different and more artisan than other photographers can normally produce. I have tested this lens both on the A99 and on the A99Mr2, it has just about the most refined mechanical auto-focus I have ever come across, it is quick and accurate to, but you do need to pay attention when shooting wide open to which bit of the image is actually in focus as it is only going to be a couple of mm deep! The out of focus areas are super smooth and the contrast against the in-focus areas produces amazing 3D affects. Making your subject stand out from the background is not difficult with this lens. So pictorially this is one of the best lenses I have ever used and has become my number 1 favorite lens. The design is not new. Production started in 2006. Therefore the T* 135mm f1.8 ZA is technically bettered by the latest top lenses, notably Sony's own G Master range, but artistically it is bettered by none.
Stunningly sharp images with creamy smooth bokeh
SAL135F18Z 06/01/2015 by ManicManc (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified
Another of my favourite Zeiss lenses for sure. Like the 85mm there is no SSM or weather sealing, but don't let this put you off this amazing piece of glass. Focus is still very snappy, and i photograph a lot of live performance in difficult, lo light conditions. This lens performs brilliantly. Images are tack sharp where focussed and yet that wide F1.8 makes for beautiful, creamy smooth out of focus bokeh. This lens has a broad range of uses that it performs very well in, including portraiture, landscape, live performance are to name but a few.
The One and Only
SAL135F18Z 16/10/2014 by Thkpic1 (USA)
I own it...I also have taken thousands of pictures with it. It's almost impossible to take a bad photo with this lens. IMO the 135mm focal length may be the most pleasing for portraits period. The compression is just right and the colors this Zeiss produces are nothing short of astounding. You get this effect where the bokeh is so smooth it's like looking at a wall of glass. Time to update to SSM and other than that their is notable CA wide open. Yes, the Zeiss 135mm F2 APO is better wide open, but to my eyes this still produces better bokeh...and AF is essential IMO if you actually plan on using the lens. This lens is the reason to still continue to shoot A mount- PERIOD.
SAL135F18Z 30/09/2014 by TheAudiophile (USA)
I've owned more than 25 SLR lenses. This one is the best. It has the best sharpness and the most natural color, but these words don't begin to express what it does. On an A99, it produces images that just grab you. They have a 3D pop that words fail me to describe. The only time I have reacted in this way was shooting with a borrowed Leica M3 with a top-shelf Leica lens (I remember it was a 50mm macro) and Kodachrome 25. Now you can get those kinds of results in the digital world. BTW, the 135 focuses so close, you can use it like a macro. A 135 paired with an A99 is the last word in current digital photography performance.
A very worth while investment
SAL135F18Z 05/05/2014 by oakbluffsmvthe2nd (USA)
This is a very powerful lens. It is fast and under the right conditions, produces the sharpest images I need for my fine art enlargements. It is a little pricy and rather heavy but the speed and the image stabilization compensates for its weight. It is absolutely awesome on a tripod, even under low light or adverse lighting conditions. This is one of my 3 top lenses.
SAL135F18Z 12/03/2014 by echuck322 (USA)
I bought this lens in mid December, 2013, and I have been stunned by the quality of the photos I have taken with it. It took some getting used to. It is big and heavy, but I love that about it. Sometimes it doesn't focus quickly enough and occasionally it tends to hunt in very low light, but with this lens, when you nail a shot, you knock it out of the park!!! I love it and I use it every chance I get.
must have if you can
SAL135F18Z 17/11/2013 by kingmo (USA)
It is a wonderful lens, loved it in very shot, beautiful photos effortless. it's pricy I know but worth it, you will want to own one.
Glass of Wonder
SAL135F18Z 29/07/2013 by THKPIC (USA)
I have some nice glass, but this is the absolute king of all lenses. If you want to read a technical review than go check out the myriad of praises online including my favorite Sony/Minolta review site- dyxum.com. This lens is often praised as the best 135mm period...as in no other 135mm can even touch it from any manufacturer. It's extremely sharp- as in REALLY sharp. You literally see every grain and detail- nothing is left to spare. The bokeh is the smoothest I've ever seen. I literaly have to take my glasses off sometimes and double check what I'm seeing. It makes many of my other primes look weak in comparison. The bokeh is so smooth it forces your subject to literally pop out of the picture and I find the effect simply mesmerizing. Its not like I haven't seen great bokeh before in other lenses. Its just this one seems to take it to another level. And the all metal construction is fantastic. It just feels like quality in your hands. I've shot all kinds of G series and high end primes. This one is my absolute favorite in my lens bin. The only fault is the lack of SSM. But, I just cannot mark it down at all due to the optics and construction. If Sony added SSM I'll be the first one to purchase. Until then, this one remains the crown jewel in my collection.
Best Zeiss Lens
SAL135F18Z 28/04/2013 by KSharp (USA)
This is my favorite lens!!!! It's built like a tank. When you hold this lens in your hand, you can't help but to notice the weight of it. For a non SSM lens, it's autofocus is very fast on the A77. I've used this lens to do portrait shots, semi-macro shots, and landscapes. In each situation, it produces top quality results. The colors are simply beautiful, and the bokeh is very smooth. It is very rare that this lens is not in my bag. Once you pick it up, you will find it difficult to put down.
De facto Standard…
SAL135F18Z 02/09/2012 by SaberOne (USA)
Ok, just so you know I’m one picky bas…! Having sold my Leica gear including my Leica super-primes I know a thing or two about quality glass. When I decided to buy the A900 and this wonderful lens I knew I was buying the very best combo for portraits. I can say without any hesitation this is the pinnacle of the lot. Some will list the size and weight as a ‘con’ but that’s like saying that gold is too heavy for the shelf in your safe. To be fast, it has to have a large enough surface area to gather light. To produce quality with precision it takes time and raw materials. Please, if you want to list a ‘con’ then try and come up with something more meaningful. Personally, I don’t like the fit-up between the lens hood and the lens body. Love the metal hood but the connection is flaky (like all Zeiss lenses) as the hood falls off easily during typical street use. In the end it’s an excellent choice for low-light venues or stunning portraits. It will increase in value if you ever decide to sell it.
A great one!
SAL135F18Z 03/07/2012 by Tetsuaki (Canada)
I am using this lens on a55V. This lens generates incurably sharp images and very quiet and fast AF. However, it has a typical problem for a large diameter lens, CA. If it is OK condition, CA can be controlled but under high contrast very bright conditions, it is clearly visible on the images (please see my butterfly pic). Other than this, it is a great lens. Even this is 135mm focal length, since minimum focus distance is 72cm, my other macro lenses has been replaced by this one. Manual focusing is very smooth but there is a bit of initial "play". Again, this is a great lens if you can carry it.
The Lens to Get
SAL135F18Z 27/03/2012 by ElGueroMasLoco (USA)
I own most of the best Sony lenses now, including the Zeiss 85mm 1.4, the 70-400G and the Zeiss 24-70, which are all outstanding (see my reviews on this site), but THIS is the lens you should save for first for outdoor portraiture. I find the focal length to be more useful than the 85mm for outside, as long as there's plenty of room to maneuver. The telephoto compression opens all sorts of creative possibilities, while the long focal length makes background blur very easy. And the blur (or bokeh) is very, very smooth. The sharpness is outstanding, with a sweet spot around f/8, but at both extremes, images still look terrific. This lens feels tough, right down to the metal hood. Its weight is hefty but fine, and coupled with my a77, feels very well balanced. The only downside is we're still using a screw drive to focus, which is noisy and not as fast as SSM. Sony dropped the ball on that one, but it does not affect image quality and has only a minor effect on functionality. If I were starting my lens purchasing adventure over again, I would get this lens as my #1 for shooting people outdoors.
Best lens in my collection
SAL135F18Z 05/05/2011 by Prad (USA)
WOW is the word that can describe this lens. As soon as I got this lens home, took a test shot and was amazed by picture quality. Attached the test shot to this review.. This is the lens that always stays on my A900.
SAL135F18Z 26/02/2011 by mhansen2 (USA)
I shoot high school basketball with this lens on my Alpha 900. Under the dim light levels of a gymnasium, this lens is great, although I have to go to ISO1600 to get acceptable shutter speeds without flash. The problem comes in following the ball carrier. The focusing motor sometimes just can't keep up and I've lost a number of shots this way.
Great! Really developing photos by a new wave!!!
SAL135F18Z 05/08/2010 by SAOSIN (USA)
Sony A-850 + Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*135mm f/1.8 = perfect combination. Yes, it is heavy, but if you want best pictures you should beter go to gim)))... Sony+Zeiss permored alternative lense against Canon& Nikon. Using it about 2 months - NO complaint!!!
The Best Lens
SAL135F18Z 11/07/2010 by Photojoe (USA)
I use this on my alpha 850. It provides the best pure image quality of any 35mm style lens I have ever used (in over 20 years of photography). Even wide open at F1.8 the quality is very good, and closed down a bit it is fantastic. Xlnt bokeh as well. Although focusing is not SSM, it is fast and consistent. I use a microfocus adjustment of minus 3 on my camera and I get superb results close and far.
SAL135F18Z 04/12/2009 by BishopCreekStudio (USA)
This lens and my A700 give me that almost arrogant confidence that I can get the shot. Keeps one a photographer instead of a Photoshopper.
SAL135F18Z 06/09/2009 by 1SONYNUT (USA)
ALL AROUND GREAT FOR ANY SITUATION..PORTRAIT,SPORT,NATURE. MANUAL RING IS A LITTLE SLOPPY FEELING..
SAL135F18Z 06/08/2009 by Dcalled (USA)
OK - I am a Transformers fan, but if I have to compare it to a character in the movie, it would be Optimus Prime. This is my first prime lens and I am so glad I purchased it first. The depth of field of this lens will leave you speakless. This is my new number one lens in my camera bag!
SAL135F18Z 02/05/2009 by SLUF1354 (USA)
Being an old school type who prefers prime lenses, I love this amazing piece of glass. It is a near perfect blend of Minolta heritage brought into the 21st century / digital age by Zeiss and Sony. All of my friends who are into the DSLR stream have been amazed at the performance characteristics of this lens when coupled with the A900 body. I will be adding others in this lens family as they become available.
SAL135F18Z 06/02/2009 by camerrill (USA)
This is the best lens! It exceeds my expectations, is versitile and worth every penny! Thank You Sony!
SAL135F18Z 25/01/2009 (USA)
Very good lens, heavy and bulky and for the price Sony could have used the SSM autofocus but very satisfied with the quality of the pictures I have taken using this lens.
Zeiss is the Best
SAL135F18Z 25/01/2009 by RobH (USA)
Listen, what makes a lens great? Simple, optic quality that can produce fantastic photos. I'm so tired of people saying dumb things like" It's heavy", It's not a ssm lens", or "it uses 77mm filters". It is heavy, it's one of the best designed and best built lens on the market. It produces some of the best bokeh you can imagine. Your main subject is sharp, even wide open. So if you want a lens of legendary quality and preformace, this is it. If you want a lens that produces sharp images with perfect contrast and color. This is it. Could SSM, weather sealing and even a tripod collar be nice. Sure it would, but all that stuff won't make it a betterr preforming lens, and that's what counts I've owned the Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 "L" lens and the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC lens. This is better than both of those
SAL135F18Z 21/01/2009 by sneek7482 (USA)
I was just amazed by the great operation of this lens. It surpassed my expectations that I had before I got the lens.
The best lens for portrait
SAL135F18Z 14/11/2008 by peter138 (USA)
This is a best lens i ever bought and i think it worth every penny, it deliever crisp sharp imagesThe bokeh is beautiful and has a creamy looks .Only one problem is a little noisy.
Simply the best
SAL135F18Z 11/11/2008 by Muzics (USA)
This CZ lens once purchased quickly moved up the ranks as the best in my arsenal, as it continues to deliver stunning images. With or without flash in or out of focus whatever the needs it will not let you down. It has prompted me to purchase an additional camera (A700) so that i would never have to remove it. Sony and CZ have really brought together a tool to produce works of art in imaging. Although its pricey and heavy it is well worth it's weight in gold delivering crisp sharp clean images. In my humble opinion its one of the best darn lenses ever made.