WPPI 2019: Sony Announces FE 135mm f/1.8 Portrait Prime

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Besides the classic 85mm, the 135mm is another brilliant focal length for portraits. So it makes perfect sense that Sony has decided to release the FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens at WPPI 2019. This lens takes to heart the “portrait” aspect of WPPI and promises beautiful bokeh, brilliant sharpness, and outstanding speed, in terms of autofocus and its f/1.8 aperture. It’ll be a perfect match for your full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras, as well as APS-C systems, where it serves as a 202.5mm equivalent.

Sony has already been known for a 135mm f/1.8, since it first created one for the A-mount system. Today, mirrorless shooters reap the benefits because the lens has been improved as part of the G Master lineup. The optical design uses XA and Super ED elements in the front group to eliminate nearly all aberrations, while a Nano AR Coating will combat flare and ghosting. There is also an 11-bladed circular diaphragm for smooth bokeh.

Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens
Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens

Speedy operation is provided by a new autofocus system that uses four XD linear motors, two in each group, for fast and reliable tracking. It’ll focus as close as 2.3' for a maximum magnification of 0.25x for added versatility. Professionals will appreciate a durable magnesium-alloy chassis, as well as dust and moisture resistance. Additionally, the design has a Linear Response MF, a focus range limiter switch, two focus hold buttons, and an AF/MF switch, as well as a de-clickable aperture ring.

Another smaller announcement today is Sony’s launch of a full lineup of Circular Polarizer Filters. They claim these filters are twice as good as their previous versions and they feature the Zeiss T* Coating for minimizing flare. They are also slim to avoid vignetting. You can pick them up in 49mm, 55mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm sizes.

Moving away from lenses, a new RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote Commander is available. Using Bluetooth technology, this commander can connect to the latest camera models without any receiver, meaning no cables or extra pieces. It is also fast, with a 0.05-second release time, and it has an LED light to indicate operating status. It is dust- and moisture resistant. Other benefits include focus buttons for manual control, a programmable C1 button, start/stop movie recording, and power-zoom control. There is also a Bulb mode that can be set to open and close the shutter with separate clicks, for easier use. This combination of functions makes it useful for stills and video.

Is this 135mm f/1.8 the portrait lens you have been dreaming of? Or do you prefer another focal length? Drop a line in the Comments section below with your thoughts on this latest release, and be sure to stay tuned to B&H Explora for news from WPPI and CP+ 2019.

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I have nothing against the 135mm focal length, but as an owner of the amazing Sigma 105 f1.4 it will take a lot to convince me that this is worth adding to my arsenal.  Still, congrats to Sony for this development; definitely something all 85mm portrait shooters should strongly consider.

Hi Jack,

It's an interesting segment of portrait lenses since shooters can be super preferential to specific focal lengths. I totally agree about it being a nice addition to an 85mm setup, but I'm guessing a lot of people are of your mindset and don't see it adding all that much if you have an ultra-fast 105mm. I assume this will be popular but it will make the decision of which portrait prime to pick much more difficult. But, more choices is better, right?

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