Video Chat with a Photography Expert - Live

Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Lens

BH #SO13518 • MFR #SAL135F18Z
Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Lens
Key Features
  • A-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/22
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating
Regarded as one of the best telephoto primes for portraits, Sony's Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Lens boasts one of the fastest apertures available at this focal length as well as outstanding resolving power across the frame. Designed for full-frame A-mount cameras and featuring an f/1.8 along with a nine-blade circular diaphragm, this lens is able to capture photographs with exceptionally shallow depth of field. Also, it uses two extra-low dispersion elements in the optical design as well as Zeiss' outstanding T* anti-reflective coating to combat aberrations and minimize flare and ghosting, respectively, in order to create crisp, clean imagery.
No Longer Available
Trade in your gear for cash: Learn more
Ask Our Experts

Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Overview

Regarded as one of the best telephoto primes for portraits, Sony's Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Lens boasts one of the fastest apertures available at this focal length as well as outstanding resolving power across the frame. Designed for full-frame A-mount cameras and featuring an f/1.8 along with a nine-blade circular diaphragm, this lens is able to capture photographs with exceptionally shallow depth of field. Also, it uses two extra-low dispersion elements in the optical design as well as Zeiss' outstanding T* anti-reflective coating to combat aberrations and minimize flare and ghosting, respectively, in order to create crisp, clean imagery.

For natural and intuitive handling, the lens is equipped with various technologies, including an Auto Clutch mechanism that prevents the focusing ring from rotating when autofocusing. It also offers a minimum focus distance of 2.4', enabling a magnification of 0.25x for close-up photos. Additionally, it is equipped with a focus hold button for rapid control over the lens during shooting.

Based on the Zeiss Sonnar optical concept, this lens uses a design with 11 elements in eight groups that helps achieve the large maximum aperture of f/1.8 while simultaneously reducing flare and improving contrast.
A telephoto prime designed for full-frame A-mount cameras, the 135mm can also be used on APS-C camera systems where it will provide a 202.5mm equivalent focal length.
The f/1.8 maximum aperture is exceptionally fast for this class of lens, allowing users to create images with shallow depth of field and work in low-light conditions with relative ease.
Zeiss T* anti-reflective coatings have been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections in order to provide greater image clarity, contrast, and color fidelity.
Two extra-low dispersion glass elements are featured in the lens design to help reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing for improved clarity and color neutrality.
An Auto Clutch mechanism prevents the focusing ring from rotating when the lens is set to autofocus, allowing for easier, and more natural feeling control over the lens.
An internal focus design helps optimize the autofocus system for faster, more reliable focusing.
A focus hold button is present for intuitive tactile control and rapid access to select settings.
A minimum focus distance of 2.4' with a relatively high 0.25x magnification allows shooters to get closer to their subject.
Rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality when employing selective focus techniques.

Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Specs

Focal Length
Maximum Aperture
Minimum Aperture
Lens Mount
Sony A
Lens Format Coverage
Angle of View
Minimum Focus Distance
2.36' / 71.93 cm
Maximum Magnification
Optical Design
11 Elements in 8 Groups
Diaphragm Blades
9, Rounded
Focus Type
Image Stabilization
Filter Size
77 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)
3.46 x 4.51" / 88 x 114.5 mm
35.1 oz / 1 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight
3.7 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
12 x 5 x 5"

Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA Reviews

Unmatched Perfection

By Bernard
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-02-10

Everything you read about this lens is true. Its a masterpiece that yields the most stunning portraits. The colors, contrast, and sharpness will amaze you. Bokeh is magical with incredible depth of field control and superior low light performance. Photographs inside without any flash are consistently excellent. I originally bought this lens for use on my a850, but have been using it with an LA-EA5 adapter on my new a7Riv. The results are impressive to say the least. Buy one while you still can. I doubt the FE 135 f/2.8 GM will ever match what this glass can produce.

Spectacular lens

By Rohan
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-08-05

I purchased this lens to use on my A7R II via a LAEA4 adapter and the results are spectacular. The sharpness and rendering of images are really special. Sony now has the GM FE 135 mm 1.8 lens for e-mount cameras, that supports eye AF and is super sharp.   But I will stick with this lens as this lens combines sharpness with spectacular contrast that is truly special.

B&H Delivers Once Again

Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-02-26

This is the fifth time I have purchased a used DSLR lens through B&H and, once again, I was blown away by the perfect condition and quality of the product. The lens was rated 9 condition, but when I opened the original box it was still packed as if the lens had never been removed from the box! Even the original warranty and inspection papers were inside as if they had never been touched. Upon further inspection it was obvious that the lens is in brand new condition. I am anxious to get out and try this beautiful piece of glass on my full frame a850. I have no doubt that it is going to be extraordinary. Thanks again to B&H for delivering a superior customer experience. I will be back for more!

Number 1 Lens

By Daniel
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-08-09

I've had this lens since 2014 and it is absolutely the best lens in my bag. I feel fortunate for being able to buy it when it first came out and that it is and A-Mount. Like everyone else says, it is big and heavy, but that's the tradeoff when you see the results. I have done Sacramental events at church without using a flash and the 135 performed admirably in the low light. Your pictures will look stunning with this lens. If you're a serious photographer then you need to try this as a rental. You will have it in your bag once you see what I'm talking about. No other lens has the great resolution that you will get. The Bokeh will stun you.

It doesn't get any better than! this

By djn001
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-07-20

The Zeiss 135 can't be beaten for color and sharpness. The bokeh is out of this world which is why it has a hefty price tag. If you have found this website and are in the market for the best lens then you must be serious about getting this lens. You won't be disappointed. The 3D effect is incredible but then again this is a Zeiss glass. You expect great results when you dole out this much money and this lens will not disappoint you.

Worth It!

By Brett V.
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-02-03

Crisp details at f/1.8!� Yes, the focal plane is razor thin, but when you nail it, it looks fantastic!� Great portrait lens, and with an extension tube, it will do a quick fill in for "on the fly" macro shots.� It has a screw drive focus, so it's a little slow, and noisy.� In low light, it will hunt the entire range of the lens. . . back and forth!� I ended up shooting manual, and with focus peaking, was able to nail a good ratio of shots.� I love it for portraits, candids, and for still life closeups.� I tend to use it mostly between f/1.8 - f/2.8, and not generally beyond f/4. � It's expensive, not weather sealed, and a bit heavy, the high quality felt lined, metal lens hood making it more so (if you're trying to get candids without drawing attention to yourself, sorry, this looks like a bazooka aimed at your head, and people will notice and might tend to freeze up a little.� Definitely a "secret weapon" lens.� That said, if you do get it, it's worth it to take a day and shoot with this lens exclusively.� You'll get amazing shots that will compensate for the sore muscles you'll get from carrying it around all day!

Masterpiece, still unequaled in 2020

By Rohan
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-12-22

This lens is a masterpiece. The optical design is astounding.  Even though it is designed for A mount cameras, I purchased it for my FE cameras to use with an adapter. The combination of rendering, colors and bokeh along with sharpness is still unrivaled. Even the more modern Sony FE 135 GM, though optically close to perfect does not bring together all the elements that I mentioned. I used to use this lens with an adapter (LA-EA4) on my A7R II. No I use it with the LA-EA5 and the A7R IV. This new adapter has no transparent mirror and unlocks the Sonnar 135 1.8 ZA’s full potential. Buy it before it’s gone! By far one of the greatest lenses made! Highly recommended!!!

Spectacular lens

By Rohan
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-08-18

Eyed this lens for a while. Purchased this with a LAEA4 for use with my A7R III. Images from this combo are spectacular. Don’t want to swap for the Sony FE 135 GM lens, as the rendering of the Sony Zeiss is special

See any errors on this page? Let us know


can i use this lens with sony A7R? i don nott mind manual focus or AF. thanks
Asked by: Anonymous
You can use the Sony 135mm f/1.8 lens on a Sony A7R with the use of the LAEA4 adapter, which will enable you to retain autofocus as well:
Answered by: Heather S.
Date published: 2018-08-27


I want to overcome my video noise troubles with my Sony NEX VG 20H which came with the E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens. I want to not use the gain feature, or as little as possible, but even with lots and lots of light (LCD if that matters) on my interviewees, I cannot with this lens. Not sure why, shutter speed is 1/60 and I have the iris open as much as it will allow me to turn to, which turns out to be like, 5.8. I meter the lights and use gels to match the Sony 5800k outdoor setting. I have to have at least 15db (or more) of gain or exposure which is just too much video noise, to even get something not completely dark.I do a lot of lengthy (1 -2 hrs) interviews indoors. Also events that I have to be rather far away, also indoors, again the noise problem due to low light issues.Will this lens fix my problem? Is there a less expensive solution? And will it fit the camera? Also, is there a difference in adapters?Any help will be so much appreciated!
Asked by: Anonymous
We can help right away with your situation. In order to brighten your lights at least 2x, remove the blue gels. (Unless you do have daylight in the scene and you have to have the blue) Then adjust your cameras White Balance to Indoor. (You could also get a white balance off a white or grey card.) This, as I said will give you 2x or one stop more of light at least out of your lights. Also if you can, bring your lights in closer to increase the intensity of the light hitting your subjects. I think you will see a big improvement.In doing interviews, I really think you need the flexibility of a zoom. And while the Sony 18-200 is slow, it is also somewhat of a miracle it exists. There had been nothing like it until about two years and there still isnt anything else in its price range. The Carl Zeiss 135mm F/1.8 will solve your low light problem and it will make beautiful images but it will introduce its own problems. One, is its cost, two, you cannot zoom thus you lose the ability to quickly change the lens size, (crucial in interviews) three, the Depth of Field is so shallow, keeping your subject in focus will be very difficult and four, it is manual, not auto, focus. Therefore, if my color and lighting suggestions do not work, I recommend getting more powerful lights.
Answered by: Dennis A L.
Date published: 2018-08-27


I am trying to make up my mind between this lens and the sigma 135 1.8 art lens which is better Im using my a6500 will is lens allow me to use eye focus on my a6500 ?which has better bokah also is this lens good for video?
Asked by: Anonymous
Zeiss all the way except when you have a sigma Art. Then sigma Art all the way.
Answered by: Rohan M.
Date published: 2018-08-27


How is the focus speed as well as focus tracking speed, considering this is one of those screw drive designs? I know its forte is portraiture on a FF body, but I was hoping that it could also serve as an indoor sports lens for basketball and volleyball where an f/2.0 would be a great jump from f/2.8 of other lenses in this focal range. But if focusing is rather slow and/or tracking was unable to keep up, compared to the SSM designed lenses (e.g. the 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G2), then the extra stop probably wouldn't be worth it. Thanks for your opinion.
Asked by: Anonymous
This is a great lens that focuses very quickly on both the Sony A99 and A7s with the Sony adapter. I use it for portraits and events, but since I rarely cover sports, I can't speak to it's ability. I would guess that it wouldn't be as responsive as SSM lenses, of which I have two.
Answered by: Tom F.
Date published: 2018-08-27


Does the La Ea3 adapter work well with this lens?
Asked by: Paul P.
You will not have auto focus with Ea3, only with the Ea4.The Ea4 is working great with this lens on the a7x, a bit slow but in good light it's ok.
Answered by: Ady S.
Date published: 2018-08-28


I wish to use this lens on a Maxxum 9 film camera as well if I go through with the purchase. I have read that Sony SSM lenses are not compatible with this camera. Is this lens a SSM lens and is it backwards compatible with the Maxxum 9?
Asked by: Ivan S.
I can recommend this lens wholeheartedly, unfortunately, I cannot answer this question as I am not familiar with Minolta AF cameras.Suggest to address this issue in a Minolta forum on the Internet. Am sure there is an answer for this already. Gerry
Answered by: Cornelis G.
Date published: 2018-08-27


Hello, I am interested in getting this lens for use in astrophotography. My question is does the lens, when in manual focus mode, hold focus when it is pointing straight up or other high angles? I have a Sony/Zeiss 85 mm 1.4 and I have to use a LensBaby rubber band to physically hold the lens in focus during the long exposures astrophotography requires because the lens elements are so heavy they slowly creep downward in the barrel losing focus (the 85mm does not stop at infiniti). Could someone who has one of these lenses try manually focusing at a cloud or the moon high in the sky, and see if it will stay in focus over at least a 30 seconds period?
Asked by: Steven
I tried this twice today, just to see if there were problems. This morning looking at clouds at about 70 degree angle and tonite at the moon, about 80 degree angle. The 135 mm f1.8 held its focus for over 5 minutes each time. Hope this answers your question.
Answered by: john b.
Date published: 2018-08-27
  • y_2022, m_3, d_24, h_20CST
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvqa, vn_bulk_3.0.23
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasquestionsanswers, tq_7
  • loc_en_US, sid_463924, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=HAS_STAFF_ANSWERS, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_bhphotovideo