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Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Lens

BH #SO13528 • MFR #SAL135F28
Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Lens
Key Features
  • A-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 31 | T4.5 to 32
  • Apodization Elements for Smooth Bokeh
  • Manual Focus Design
Exceptionally smooth bokeh with sharp subject matter are the calling cards of the 135mm f/2.8 STF Lens from Sony. Equipped with Smooth Trans Focus technology, this lens uses apodization optics in order to diffuse the edges of out-of-focus elements, rendering them even smoother than a standard lens can produce. The f/2.8 maximum aperture assists in capture images with shallow depth of field, though with the apodization elements this functions as a T4.5. The lens also features a manual focus design with a manual focus distance of 2.9'. Additionally, it features both a ten-blade manual aperture diaphragm and a nine-blade auto aperture diaphragm, both rounded to create smooth bokeh.
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Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Overview

Exceptionally smooth bokeh with sharp subject matter are the calling cards of the 135mm f/2.8 STF Lens from Sony. Equipped with Smooth Trans Focus technology, this lens uses apodization optics in order to diffuse the edges of out-of-focus elements, rendering them even smoother than a standard lens can produce. The f/2.8 maximum aperture assists in capture images with shallow depth of field, though with the apodization elements this functions as a T4.5. The lens also features a manual focus design with a manual focus distance of 2.9'. Additionally, it features both a ten-blade manual aperture diaphragm and a nine-blade auto aperture diaphragm, both rounded to create smooth bokeh.

This telephoto prime lens is optimized for full-frame A-mount cameras, however it can be used on APS-C models where it will provide a 202.5mm equivalent focal length.
Optical design incorporates Smooth Trans Focus technology, which uses an apodization element that helps to improve the quality of bokeh. This element, which resembles a radially graduated ND filter that tapers from clear in the center to more dense around the edges, produces more circular out-of-focus highlights for more pleasing selective focus and shallow depth of field effects while still rendering the subject in sharp focus.
An aperture range of f/2.8 to f/31 is available, however the implementation of the apodization filter renders this range as T4.5 to T32.
This lens incorporates two separate aperture diaphragms in order to provide more control over operation and image quality. When shooting near wide open, from T4.5 to T6.7, the manual aperture ring offers a rounded ten-blade diaphragm for smoother and more circular bokeh. For ease of use, there is an electronically controlled aperture which has a rounded nine-blade design for smooth out-of-focus elements.
This lens uses a manual focus design to provide tactile control over focusing during use. It can also focus as close as 2.9'.
Compatible with Sony's line of teleconverters, shooters can easily add the 1.4x or 2x versions to create 189mm f/4 [T6.3] or 270mm f/5.6 [T9] optics, respectively.

Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Specs

Key Specs
Focal Length
135mm
Maximum Aperture
f/2.8
Lens Mount
Sony A
Lens Format Coverage
Full-Frame
Focus Type
Manual Focus
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
72 mm (Front)
Maximum Aperture
f/2.8
Minimum Aperture
f/31
Lens Mount
Sony A
Lens Format Coverage
Full-Frame
Angle of View
18°
Minimum Focus Distance
2.85' / 86.87 cm
Maximum Magnification
0.25x
Optical Design
8 Elements in 6 Groups
Diaphragm Blades
10, Rounded
Focus Type
Manual Focus
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
72 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)
3.15 x 3.9" / 80 x 99 mm
Weight
25.8 oz / 0.73 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight
2.9 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
11.9 x 5 x 4.9"

Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Reviews

Amazing

By Philip
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-09-23

This is almost the perfect flower lens. Ideally it would have more magnifications 0.5x would be perfect; however, it works fine with extension tubes, so not a big worry there. I use it with the Sony LA-EA3 adapter to E-Mount, which is actually ideal as the adapter also has a tripod mount.

The King of the Bokeh!

By AnonUser
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-07-28

This lens is the only reason to go with A-mount! The bokeh is extremely creamy and smooth. I guess they used 'smooth' in the name for a reason. It does take some practice to get the best out of the lens and the bokeh is best when used at 2.8 (4.5 effect) but when all the ducks are in a row and you've nailed the shot, you could find yourself staring at the photo all day long :-) I wouldn't have been able to use the lens without focus peaking function in a camera body. It helps tremendously and I don't know how people managed before without it. You may find that the lens will challenge your old way of composition. For example, instead of trying to keep distracting objects and background out of your subject, now you can consider including them to see if they become pleasing bokeh to compliment your subject. I am sure some other lenses, A-mount or not, can also produce pleasing bokeh under right conditions but based on many comparisons (you can search online), I still feel this lens comes on top. This lens is sharp and its transition from sharpness to defocused area is very smooth. If you are thinking about getting this lens, I'd say get it, learn how to it, and enjoy it.

Superb lens for flower

By N.C.
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-05-24

On my A850: Sharpness: Sony 135mm STF is sharper and with better contrast than my Minolta 135mm AF f/2.8 and Minolta 80-200 f/2.8 APO when it is accurately focused. Only my Sony 135mm f/1.8 gives higher resolution than the Sony 135mm STF. Bokeh: Sony 135mm STF show much smoother bokeh than the Sony 135mm f/1.8 when the subject has a closed and busy backgound. For example, I see much more bokeh different between 2 lenses for taking a flower picture out of a brush with a lot of leave and branch right next to the subject. However, when shooting a single rose in a vase on an empty table, I can hardly see any bokeh different between Sony 135mm STF and Sony 135mm f/1.8. Unless takeing wild flower picture is your main usage, most people would be better served with the Sony 135mm f/1.8(if only could pick one) for AF and larger aperture. For taking flower picture, I often add Canon 500D to increase magnification. I find close-up lens works better that teleconverter since it would be easiler to MF without light lost to teleconverter. Stack 2 Canon 500D would get me 1:1 but with a little softness at the frame edge. A single Canon 500D won't change sharpness much. I now mostly use the Sony 135mm STF for flower, and I would only use my Minolta 100mm Macro for moving bug.

A lens for superb bokeh!

By Kenneth
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-03-24

This lens is truly one-of-a-kind! I use this for portraits and nature (wildflowers, blossoms, etc). It's 135mm range is made for full frame on my a850, but it is just as suitable on my a700. The bokeh that is produced is creamy and delightful creating unique perspectives. The manual focus characterisitcs of the lens allow you to get the focus perspective you desire and the lens is real sharp on the in-focus subjects. The lens is made very sturdy, but you can carry it around just fine. I'm planning on taking it in my backpack on my next trip to Europe this Spring. Makes a great addition to your lens arsenal.

AMAZING LENS!!! BOKEH like nothing else!

By mob81
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2011-05-15

For Product Photography, Portrait and still life this lens is amazingly sharp and has THE BEST Bokeh EVER. Use it with Full frame or 35mm Film and you'll treat yourself with one of a kind lens. some how Easy to focus on a 35mm film due to the bright viewfinder. However, No focus confirmation of any kind!! I found this is the only problem with it. But doesn't bother me.

A great lens but not as good as Zeiss

By Peter
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2010-11-15

this is a good lens but unfortunately , it is still not better or as good as the Zeiss 135mm f1.4. The bokeh is not creamy and smoothy enough compare to the Zeiss,if you want a manual focus and you don't have a Zeiss 135mm ,this would be a good lens for you.Finally i decide to return it back to B& H.

The best bokeh ever seen!

By Thiago
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-04-24

The best bokeh ever seen! I use these lens in my A99 or via adapter with A7III. Try this lens. Great  bokeh and sharpness.

An often overlooked, but amazing lens

By macroshooter
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-09-16

I initially bought that Zeiss 135 1.8 but returned it and got the STF model instead. The Sony STF simply gives a nicer picture and it's plenty sharp. This is a great lens for people. Everyone looks a bit better when photographed with this lens. I read that this is the lens of choice for one of Sony's top lens designers. No surprise. The only downside is the lack of autofocus and you have to watch out for flare. Always use the lens with a lens shade.

See any errors on this page? Let us know

Does this have auto focus or only manual?

Does this have auto focus or only manual?
Asked by: Cari
This lens is manual focus only.
Answered by: Ryan
Date published: 2021-04-29
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