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Archive 2022 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?

  
 
smpetty
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


Trying to decide whether to buy the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM, as I already have a great copy of the new Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II. The weight difference is minimal (the 135 GM is just 95 grams lighter) and both lenses have top tier AF accuracy and AF speed. I am not a portrait photographer.

The only reasons that I am considering owning both are:

1) The 135 GM is a bit more discrete, and I enjoy shooting events and street without calling attention to my gear
2) The 135 GM is 1-1/3 stops faster, which might come in handy in the rare case of indoor shooting
3) The 135 GM probably has better IQ, although that maybe an insignificant difference
4) I owned the 135 GM in the past, and the images that I got from the lens were spectacular
5) G.A.S.

So…

Does anyone own and use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 II?
What are the use cases that make owning both lenses practical?

Thanks in advance…



Jul 03, 2022 at 12:51 PM
shadow9d9
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I own both. The 135 is much more portable for travel. It is a great lens but isn't necessary for the most part otherwise.


Jul 03, 2022 at 01:21 PM
chad hites
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I own both and use both very differently. The 70-200 is a work horse. It has never let me down. I've shot portraits, events, sports, landscape, street, etc. and it is always performs. Being a zoom it is much more versatile. I can cover wider and longer than the 135. If I had to reduce my lens line up to only 2 lenses the 70-200 would be one of them.

Now the 135 is to me is an artists lens. I love the sharpness and contrast and the render at 1.8 is spectacularl! If I am doing an outdoor portrait session the 135 is by far my favorite. It is as many people say "something special" but it could never replace the versatility of the 70-200.

You state you are not a portrait photographer so they most important use for the lens to me is not a concern at all for you. The 135 will give you a "pop" that the 70-200 won't but is it worth the cost if you already own the amazing 70-200? Only you can make that decision.




Jul 03, 2022 at 02:00 PM
InFocus2014
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


While the GM 70-200mm f2.8II is the most amazing zoom lens I have ever shot, the GM 135 just produces more pleasing portraits, for me, so that is why I keep it around (although I actually prefer the Sigma 105mm f1.4 to the 135mm).

I did a lot of careful sharpness testing between these lenses. While the zoom is outstanding (really outstanding), my copy of the prime is even slightly sharper and the excessive-compulsive side of me just won't let me part with it.

If I sold my GM 135mm, I just know that one, or more, of my grandkids would be involved in some sort of low-light indoor sports or dance competition where I would prefer to have f1.8.

I find white lenses from Sony (and Canon) to just be annoying, after shooting Nikon black lenses for so many years. It is tough to go incognito with a white lens. I can shoot the 135 almost unnoticed. I have Alphagvrd skins on all my lenses, but have avoided using black covers on white lenses due to all the funky white seams that show-thru.

At the end of the day, keeping my 135mm is probably a pure luxury that my GAS tells me I can afford, even though I probably do not really need it.




Jul 03, 2022 at 04:27 PM
Jochenb
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I don't really understand why you're asking others, since you already owned the 135 GM yourself.
That means you know both lenses.
I'd make up your own mind and see if the 135GM would still add something for your shooting style.
You sold it before, so it might not be a "must-have" lens for you.



Jul 03, 2022 at 04:41 PM
smpetty
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


Jochenb wrote:
I don't really understand why you're asking others, since you already owned the 135 GM yourself.
That means you know both lenses.
I'd make up your own mind and see if the 135GM would still add something for your shooting style.
You sold it before, so it might not be a "must-have" lens for you.


If I was able to decide based on my own experience, I wouldn't waste my time, or other FM members' time, asking for opinions.
I haven't used the 135 GM in a couple of years, and comparing the two in hand would be helpful.
What isn't helpful is a response that suggests that I "make up my own mind."
The tone of responses like yours is condescending, at best.




Jul 04, 2022 at 08:48 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


InFocus2014 wrote:
While the GM 70-200mm f2.8II is the most amazing zoom lens I have ever shot, the GM 135 just produces more pleasing portraits, for me, so that is why I keep it around (although I actually prefer the Sigma 105mm f1.4 to the 135mm).

I did a lot of careful sharpness testing between these lenses. While the zoom is outstanding (really outstanding), my copy of the prime is even slightly sharper and the excessive-compulsive side of me just won't let me part with it.

If I sold my GM 135mm, I just know that one, or more, of my grandkids would
...Show more

Thanks so much. The 135 GM images from a year or two ago do seem to be slightly sharper and have some sort of pop that I don't see in the 780-200 GM II. I'm glad to know that someone with your experience feels the same.

The point about GAS being a factor is true. I don't have other expensive hobbies, I work my butt off, and I may just treat myself to the guilty pleasure of one of Sony's best lenses.




Jul 04, 2022 at 08:50 AM
j4nu
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I don't have 70-200GM II, but I also wonder from time to time if I "need" 135GM when I have 150/2.8 available. The thing is, however, I can see pretty clearly the difference in background blur between the f/1.8 and f/2.8 in my case. In the case of 200/2.8 vs 135/1.8, the background blur will be very, very close (withthe same subject size) - not sure if possible to distinguish in any real-life shooting scenarios.
So, you basically get thinner DoF, a bit more than a stop leeway in low light conditions and a smaller, less conspicuous lens. Character-wise, think both 135 and 70-200 are very similar, in that they priorize sharpness over rendering... Maybe try the new Samyang for something different .



Jul 04, 2022 at 10:03 AM
aCuria
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?




j4nu wrote:
I don't have 70-200GM II, but I also wonder from time to time if I "need" 135GM when I have 150/2.8 available. The thing is, however, I can see pretty clearly the difference in background blur between the f/1.8 and f/2.8 in my case. In the case of 200/2.8 vs 135/1.8, the background blur will be very, very close (withthe same subject size) - not sure if possible to distinguish in any real-life shooting scenarios.
So, you basically get thinner DoF, a bit more than a stop leeway in low light conditions and a smaller, less conspicuous lens. Character-wise, think both
...Show more


He’s right, 135/1.8 and 200/2.8 should give you similar amounts of bokeh, but 135/1.8 needs less working distance

Interestingly, a 85/1.2 will also give the same amount of bokeh, and even less working distance is needed

I suspect both Sony and Sigma are working independently on a 85/1.2…. There are rumors that indicate this



Jul 04, 2022 at 10:33 AM
osv2
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


it's helpful to see the differences between background blur vs. dof vs. bokeh.

roughly speaking, with the same framing and aperture the longer focal length will have more background blur, and i'd expect that to be somewhat noticeable at 135mm vs. 200mm: https://photographylife.com/what-is-depth-of-field#focal-length-of-the-lens

there is a thin dof advantage with the 135mm lens, but that's not background blur... the point here is that dof does not change with focal length, given the same fov.

bokeh is a lens characteristic, so i'm not sure that it should be part of a dof vs. background blur comparison.



Jul 04, 2022 at 10:58 AM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


Hi Scott

As an adder the 70-200 II has OSS that the 135 does not have.
Seems all that purchase the 135 shoot it wide or nearly wide open for the bokeh and I am sure that is what you too like it for for street shooting. It sounds difficult to beat the versatility of the new 70-200 II, it would take a lens like the 135 f/1.8 to give it a run or better it under certain circumstances.
Maybe the way to really look at it is if you could only have 'one' of these which would you have Then once you make that decision, just go get the other and proof yourself

Take care
Karl



Jul 04, 2022 at 11:20 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


Karl Witt wrote:
Hi Scott

As an adder the 70-200 II has OSS that the 135 does not have.
Seems all that purchase the 135 shoot it wide or nearly wide open for the bokeh and I am sure that is what you too like it for for street shooting. It sounds difficult to beat the versatility of the new 70-200 II, it would take a lens like the 135 f/1.8 to give it a run or better it under certain circumstances.
Maybe the way to really look at it is if you could only have 'one' of these which would you have Then
...Show more

!

Thanks, Karl!



Jul 04, 2022 at 11:21 AM
tschopp
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I own the 135GM and 85DN. I think the 70-200GM II is very interesting, but mostly it seems like GAS to want the zooms and primes. With those 2 primes I see very little the GM II could do that the primes can't unless you start including teleconverters. I typically know if I will need short tele or long tele and just grab one prime and crop as needed. I typically fall in the zoom camp instead of primes, but in this case I get what I want from the primes. If you regularly need beyond 200mm then the zoom with added TC seems like the right choice. If your shooting is fairly predictable and you could do without the versatility of the zoom, then I would go for the primes. I can talk myself into lots of things, but so far not both of these


Jul 04, 2022 at 03:40 PM
white
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I have both.

I use the 135 when I want a dedicated wide open lens for portraits.

The zoom is excellent for general purposes and flexibly. Most people should get the zoom first.



Jul 04, 2022 at 04:37 PM
dave unwin
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


Maybe consider the Samyang 135mm f1.8? My experience is that AF is not quite as snappy as the 135 GM but image quality is as good as or better than the GM at half the price (and marginally lighter). Flare and CA performance seem especially good.


Jul 04, 2022 at 05:20 PM
mtoroglu
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I had a similar decision crisis as to whether I should keep my 135 GM or replace it with 70-200 GM II. I kept changing my mind, purchased & sold - repurchased & resold them I know I am crazy! but at the end I settled with 70-200. I couldn't find a direct comparison test between these two lenses so I did my own test when at one point I had both of them. It is not a professional test at all, just hand held from the same spot in our backyard. I wanted to see the difference in bokeh and sharpness. I was also curious how 135 in crop mode compares to 70-200 at 200mm.

I think if both are wide open, sharpness level is on par but if you stop down 135 GM to f/2.8, it is visibly sharper than 70-200 at 135mm at the same aperture. With both wide open, of course 135's bokeh is smoother but I don't think it is a night and day difference. And 70-200's bokeh comes really close to 135's at 200mm. I feel 70-200's colors are a bit warmer, more vibrant; 135's colors are more neutral, a bit cooler. I think I prefer 70-200's colors for landscape.

135 GM was a lens that I thought I would never sell, that's why I resisted selling it but the hard truth is I wasn't using it that often, whereas I would and I am using 70-200 a lot thanks to its' versatility and also I really liked its' handling, feels lighter actually although it is not. And one last thing of my thinking, I remember when I first bought 135 GM I was really amazed by how sharp it was but I feel that my "wow" level has reduced a bit now, maybe because Sony has released a lot of super sharp lenses in the last 1-2 years and I kind of got used to it

As I said this is a super amateur test but I thought maybe it might help to give you an idea. I had to resize the pictures to 2048 long end. There are all SOOC. Uploaded from camera and exported.





70-200 GM at 135mm wide open







135 GM wide open







135 GM f/2.8







70-200 GM at 200mm wide open







135 GM in crop mode wide open







135 GM in crop mode at f/2.8




Jul 04, 2022 at 07:02 PM
aCuria
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


mtoroglu wrote:
I had a similar decision crisis as to whether I should keep my 135 GM or replace it with 70-200 GM II. I kept changing my mind, purchased & sold - repurchased & resold them I know I am crazy! but at the end I settled with 70-200. I couldn't find a direct comparison test between these two lenses so I did my own test when at one point I had both of them. It is not a professional test at all, just hand held from the same spot in our backyard. I wanted to see the difference in
...Show more

Thanks for the test shots!

I came to a similar conclusion a long time ago. As good as the 135L was, I never used it enough to justify having a dedicated 135mm.

If you have clients then you can justify it, you want some level duplication, so you can complete the assignment even when a lens or body fails



Jul 04, 2022 at 11:08 PM
LBJ2
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


smpetty wrote:
Trying to decide whether to buy the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM, as I already have a great copy of the new Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II. The weight difference is minimal (the 135 GM is just 95 grams lighter) and both lenses have top tier AF accuracy and AF speed. I am not a portrait photographer.

The only reasons that I am considering owning both are:

1) The 135 GM is a bit more discrete, and I enjoy shooting events and street without calling attention to my gear
2) The 135 GM is 1-1/3 stops faster, which might come in handy in
...Show more

Yes. I decided to take the "life is too short" decision approach 😎 Otherwise no easy answer here unless you have a very specific need for one or the other.

As others have commented, the GM 135 F1.8 is also IMO one of those especial lenses. One worth owning at least for a time. Same, for the GM 85 F1.4. Both with their own special "looks"



Jul 05, 2022 at 09:39 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I replied on the other thread but wanted to reply here too. You make good points and I’m sorry that I overreacted. Thank you for clarifying on that other thread.

Jochenb wrote:
I don't really understand why you're asking others, since you already owned the 135 GM yourself.
That means you know both lenses.
I'd make up your own mind and see if the 135GM would still add something for your shooting style.
You sold it before, so it might not be a "must-have" lens for you.




Jul 05, 2022 at 09:50 AM
Faraday
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Does anyone use both the Sony 135/1.8 GM and the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II?


I have both.

Like others, I pretty much use the 135 as a dedicated portrait lens. It's not useful for me for travel because of its limitations (a little long in the street, obviously not as versatile, etc.) so I take the 70-200. But if I know I will be doing portraits, the IQ of the 135GM is to me noticeably better. All that said, although the 135GM is sharper, the 85GM is still my portrait lens of choice.....so the 135 really is a luxury - even to me I am a little overboard GASwise for owning both 85 and 135, and I AM a portraitist.

As @LBJ2 says, the 135 is a special lens and worth owning.



Jul 05, 2022 at 10:41 AM
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