AP’s technical editor Andy Westlake was lucky enough to be invited to try out Sony’s latest fast portrait prime, the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM, at Sony’s European launch event. Below you can find some high-resolution image samples that give an idea of the kind of quality you can expect from this premium £1750 short-telephoto optic.
Like the rest of Sony’s G Master range, this lens is designed to give both exceptional wide-open sharpness, and attractive background blur. Having shot several hundred sample images over the course of a morning’s shooting, at first sight it certainly looks as though the firm has delivered on its promise.
The lens features an aperture ring that clicks in 1/3 stop steps from f/1.8 to f/22, with an A position that passes control to the camera’s electronic dials, and which can be set to clickless operation for video work using a large sliding switch on the barrel. There are also two AF-stop buttons, a conventional AF/MF switch, and and a focus-limiter control. The lens features dust-and splash-proof construction and comes with a deep bowl-shaped hood.
A floating-focus design is employed for maximum image quality across the full distance range, right down to the minimum focus distance of 70cm. The two moving optical groups are each driven by paired XD Linear motors, providing extremely fast yet silent autofocus. At 950g this is a fairly hefty beast that’s heavier than Canon and Nikon’s 135mm f/2 DSLR primes, but on the other hand, it’s rather lighter than the Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art
The following sample images were shot using the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on the Sony Alpha 7R III. Raw files were converted using Adobe Camera Raw, with generally minor tonal, colour and white balance adjustments. Some images were cropped for compositional purposes. All images are copyright Andy Westlake / Amateur Photographer.