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Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review

  
 
dshao1
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Dave Sanders wrote:
I have the 100STF if I really want near-perfect bokeh. Honestly, if I had the money, I'd have the 24/85/100/135 GMs and the Loxia 25/85. Really an near flawless set of lenses. Gimme a 50/1.4GM with some of the recent size sauce and I'm in lens heaven.


I'm right there with you on the GMs! Looking forward to someday having a 50GM and a Mark II of the 85GM with faster autofocus



Mar 17, 2019 at 11:48 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


One more sample. I do like the rendering so far.










1:1 screenshot from image above




Mar 18, 2019 at 12:31 AM
dshao1
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Thanks Fred for all the work on this rolling, comprehensive, review!


Mar 18, 2019 at 12:33 AM
Dave Sanders
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Looks like it's really nailing focus. Any thoughts on speed and accuracy? Or is it just 'very' for both? Hahaha.


Mar 18, 2019 at 12:39 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Dave Sanders wrote:
Looks like it's really nailing focus. Any thoughts on speed and accuracy? Or is it just 'very' for both? Hahaha.


Dave, it's fast and accurate. Like I wrote, it's hard to go back to my favorite lenses like the 50/1.4 ZA and 85/1.4 GM as they focus way slower and don't have the same accuracy in low light.

I just noticed that the FE 135/1.8 GM opens the aperture to f/2 to focus regardless of the working aperture. (except for f/1.8)
It's something the 85/1.4 GM does not do unless Live View Display "Setting effect" is set to "Off".
In the past Sony mentioned that the 85/1.4 GM works this way because of focus shift.

I will compare the FE 135/1.8 to the 85/1.4 GM as well. (infinity resolution and rendering)



Mar 18, 2019 at 01:23 AM
Stoffer
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
I just noticed that the FE 135/1.8 GM opens the aperture to f/2 to focus regardless of the working aperture. (except for f/1.8)
It's something the 85/1.4 GM does not do unless Live View Display "Setting effect" is set to "Off".


I was just about to ask that. Great news, and Guy gonna love that.

Fred Miranda wrote:
I will compare the FE 135/1.8 to the 85/1.4 GM as well. (infinity resolution and rendering)


Awesome. Thanks a ton for doing this, Fred!



Mar 18, 2019 at 03:22 AM
vdo1
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Dave, it's fast and accurate. Like I wrote, it's hard to go back to my favorite lenses like the 50/1.4 ZA and 85/1.4 GM as they focus way slower and don't have the same accuracy in low light.

I just noticed that the FE 135/1.8 GM opens the aperture to f/2 to focus regardless of the working aperture. (except for f/1.8)
It's something the 85/1.4 GM does not do unless Live View Display "Setting effect" is set to "Off".
In the past Sony mentioned that the 85/1.4 GM works this way because of focus shift.

I will compare the FE 135/1.8 to
...Show more

Infinity may be interesting with the 100 STF too. While we all know what it does to bokeh, using it as a landscape lens at infinity is a less explored avenue. Thanks!



Mar 18, 2019 at 06:18 AM
Melindra
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review




Steve Spencer wrote:
To me the Sigma 105 f/1.4 isn't really in the same discussion as these other two lenses. It is over twice as heavy as the 85 GM and 700g heavier than the 135 GM. It has an enormous 105mm filter thread, and considering bokeh even in side by side tests is a matter of preference. I too prefer the 85 GM bokeh over the 135 GM bokeh (at least in the samples I have seen), but my wife prefers the bokeh of the 135 GM. There is no right or wrong answer on bokeh. Sure, I would welcome a
...Show more


It's not all about weight, or size, or bokeh, or any one characteristic.

For instance, I don't mind the size of the 105Art, I had the Nikon and prefer to carry a little more weight because the Art is better performing on a Sony body (which I prefer to use).

The Sigma focuses at the full 20fps of A9, the 85GM is way, way off, it gives up too easily, so pretty useless if I want to focus quickly on fast moving subjects, arguably more important than 700g, to our crew anyway.

The 135 is too long to use indoors, where I use a 105 and 85 most and why I almost wouldn't consider a 135GM.

So, to me and many others, the test would be very useful. The weight of the 105 Art is a small price to pay for a beast and I work out regularly and find carrying it nothing strenuous. How do those guys lugging 2.8/300's, 2.8/400's and 5.6/800's do it?



Mar 18, 2019 at 06:35 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Melindra wrote:
It's not all about weight, or size, or bokeh, or any one characteristic.

For instance, I don't mind the size of the 105Art, I had the Nikon and prefer to carry a little more weight because the Art is better performing on a Sony body (which I prefer to use).

The Sigma focuses at the full 20fps of A9, the 85GM is way, way off, it gives up too easily, so pretty useless if I want to focus quickly on fast moving subjects, arguably more important than 700g, to our crew anyway.

The 135 is too long to use indoors, where I use
...Show more

Well we just have to agree to disagree. For me when that Sigma 105 Art is 825g heavier than the 85 GM it is just completely out of the running--that is more than double the weight. If I need fast AF it sure looks like the 135 GM is going to be as fast as they come and it comes in at 700g lighter than that Sigma Art. Yes the Sigma is much closer in weight to a 300 f/2.8 and that means for me I am going to want a monopod for a lens like that, which is exactly why for me it is a totally different sort of lens, YMMV, but I see no way that either of us can know how many people share our respective points of view. But from my point of view a comparison between a much larger lens that I would typically use with a monopod and a much smaller lens that I would typically use handheld isn't very useful, but Fred or anyone else is free to do whatever comparisons they would like.



Mar 18, 2019 at 07:00 AM
vdo1
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Not sure what everyone’s expectactions are regarding such tests... but mine is not to have a “winner” declared... I’m looking for a better understanding of which lens does what, and thus which would be the most appropriate use for each of them.

For “winners” to be declared one should compare lenses geared toward the same, known in advance, goal. Like two 90mm/2.8 macro lenses.



Mar 18, 2019 at 08:32 AM
 


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wayne seltzer
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Looks like a nice lens but i prefer the rendering of both my ZA 135 1.8 and ZF 135/2 better as they have more 3d rendering and zeiss colors. Glad we have even more choices. Any side by side comparison shots with the zeiss lenses?


Mar 18, 2019 at 10:33 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Jannik Peters wrote:
That little field curvature will probably put astrophotographers off a bit.

Otherwise spectacular performance so far.


Coma does not seem to be perfect wide open but I will re-test tonight.

Here is another sample from yesterday shooting. About 95% the images from the shooting were in focus and EyeAF was tracking flawlessly even on the A7RIII. AF is probably even better on the A9 or A7III.










1:1 screenshot from image above




Mar 18, 2019 at 12:02 PM
snapsy
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
It's worth noting that I have all lens corrections were turned "OFF" in-camera and in-post.
However, if like me, you are a Lightroom user, you may notice there is an automatic profile applied to all images from this lens and it's an option that can't be disabled. Usually these automatic profiles only correct for lateral CA and therefore I will use a different RAW processing software when testing for this aberration.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/Buzz/LR-profile-added copy.jpg


Fred, you can disable the ACR/LR application of the built-in lens profile by converting the raw to a DNG and then running the following command against the converted DNG:

exiftool OpcodeList2= OpcodeList3= <dngfilename>

There is a space after each equal sign. This will strip the embedded lens profile that gets carried over into the DNG from the converted Sony raw.



Mar 18, 2019 at 12:17 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


snapsy wrote:
Fred, you can disable the ACR/LR application of the built-in lens profile by converting the raw to a DNG and then running the following command against the converted DNG:

exiftool OpcodeList2= OpcodeList3=

There is a space after each equal sign. This will strip the embedded lens profile that gets carried over into the DNG from the converted Sony raw.


Thanks Adam! I will try this today. It's better than taping the contacts.

Update: I converted a ARW file to DNG and run the command line but got this:

Freds-Mac-Pro-2:~ fredmiranda$ exiftool OpcodeList2= OpcodeList3= /Users/fredmiranda/Desktop/dng/FM800055.dng
File not found: OpcodeList2=
File not found: OpcodeList3=

What am I doing wrong?



Mar 18, 2019 at 12:38 PM
snapsy
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Thanks Adam! I will try this today. It's better than taping the contacts.

Update: I converted a ARW file to DNG and run the command line but got this:

Freds-Mac-Pro-2:~ fredmiranda$ exiftool OpcodeList2= OpcodeList3= /Users/fredmiranda/Desktop/dng/FM800055.dng
File not found: OpcodeList2=
File not found: OpcodeList3=

What am I doing wrong?


Sorry Fred, I forgot to include the command-line tag delimeter (prepend a dash):

exiftool -OpcodeList2= -OpcodeList3= /Users/fredmiranda/Desktop/dng/FM800055.dng



Mar 18, 2019 at 12:48 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Lateral CA correction

There is only traces of lateral CA with the Sony 135/1.8 GM.

The Lightroom built-in lens profile can't be disabled but we can see how it really performs when using @snapsy 's command line above.

Here is a corner crop from a 135/1.8 GM file with and without the built-in profile. I can only see traces of Lateral CA. It's a great performance as LaCA is negligible.





LEFT: With LR's built-in profile | RIGHT: Built-in profile removed using Adam's command line: I only see traces of lateral CA and that's only on the edge of a very high contrast area






This is not to be confused with built-in camera profile which I have set to OFF. It's also not related to LR's Remove CA and profile corrections which were also set to OFF




Mar 18, 2019 at 12:49 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Thanks for your work, Fred!

Sharpness and AF are certainly impressive. Personally I would have preferred to trade a little sharpness for smoother bokeh. I think the GM 1.4/85 is better balanced in that regard but that is a minor complaint about a very impressive lens. Would like to see more transition zone samples.



Mar 18, 2019 at 01:48 PM
snapsy
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
The LR built-in lens profile can't be disabled but your command line did the trick.
I first tested with a 135 GM file and could not see much difference between with or without the built-in profile but I know your trick is working because it shows strong lateral CA with 24/1.4 GM files.

Here is the corner crop from a 135/1.8 GM file with and without the built-in profile. I can only see traces of Lateral CA. It's a great performance but I will test this further.


Thanks Fred. Btw, the chromatic abberation correction via the built-in raw lens profile is accomplished by performing a WarpRectilinear transform that is skewed between the color channels. I went into detail about this here. Also, a good way to see the difference of before/after the profile is with an animated GIF. Here's a sample from that link:








Mar 18, 2019 at 01:53 PM
vdo1
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
The LR built-in lens profile can't be disabled but your command line did the trick.
I first tested with a 135 GM file and could not see much difference between with or without the built-in profile but I know your trick is working because it shows strong lateral CA with 24/1.4 GM files.

Here is the corner crop from a 135/1.8 GM file with and without the built-in profile. I can only see traces of Lateral CA. It's a great performance but I will test this further.


Looks like LR has a mind of its own, let’s hope Adobe doesn’t get into self driving cars or anything.....




Mar 18, 2019 at 02:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Review


Phillip Reeve wrote:
Thanks for your work, Fred!

Sharpness and AF are certainly impressive. Personally I would have preferred to trade a little sharpness for smoother bokeh. I think the GM 1.4/85 is better balanced in that regard but that is a minor complaint about a very impressive lens. Would like to see more transition zone samples.


Thanks Phillip! I will post more transition zone samples when comparing it to the Sigma 135/1.8 Art.



Mar 18, 2019 at 02:11 PM
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