The ULTIMATE PORTRAIT LENS? :: Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master

The Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master lens is the 31st lens in Sony’s full-frame, e-mount lineup.

I quickly fell in love with this lens – it is outstanding. Designed for longer portraits, this has some of the best optical rendering that I’ve seen on any lens to date. This is the ultimate portrait lens. Bokeh is excellent, it has outstanding sharpness and the autofocus speeds are impressive. This has the same XD linear drive system that is found in the Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master as well as the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master lenses.

One correction – around 03:17 I say there’s little spherical aberration at small apertures when in face I meant to say diffraction. This is where the sharpness softens in the lens and for most lenses this starts around f/16. Its been a long week – sorry for the confusion.

Check out my other videos:
• Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master Lens Review
• Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master Lens Review
• Why Sony Is Absolutely Killing It Right Now
• Sony RX100 V :: Wow
• Sony a5100 :: The Best Deal In Photography?

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* Sony paid for my hotel and flight to come use this lens. No financial compensation was made and the opinions here are my own.

Ted Forbes
The Art of Photography
2830 S. Hulen, Studio 133
Fort Worth, TX 76109
US of A


The Art of Photography says:

Pricing and further specs –

Clint Johnson says:

FINALLY.. we get to see some of your images,,,Wonderful stuff and WAY too infrequent,,This lens looks like a winner. I’m glad you commented on the 85 Sony G as well.. I recently did a video shoot where we leased an A7II and had the Rokinons as part of the rental “kit”. The rental manager had just gotten in a 24mm 1.4 G and offered to let me use it as well.. It was amazing.. then we ended up doing reshoots later and the Rokinon kit was out on another lease ,, but they had picked up the 85 G Master and we were given a nice deal on that. I was just remembering how the word “clunky” echoed through my head as you said it on the video,,,The image quality was very good,,but we did all manual focus set-ups,,(which I do about 70% anyway),,and it looked great,,but very excited and encouraged to see what this new beastie will do in the wild,, Thanks again for great info and commentary,,And post more of your work!!

Bartlomiej KUBAcki says:

How would you compare this lens to an A-mount Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135 mm f/1.8?

JJack says:

My Gods, the light on that Sony set was just out of this world.
Do you know by any chance what LED panels they used?
(btw, you sold me on this lens)

Arvizas TIPSLT2 - Reviews, Gameplay & Vlogs says:

Amazing video, I like it. Great model.

Vijeesh M says:

probably the best review of SONY 135 GM …… Thanks man

Question everything says:

Best portrait lens is my Tokina 11-16mm @ 11mm. Shoot as close as possible at f/22, real talk.

Frank Wu says:

The lighting in the testing studio looks stunning! and that BOKEH looks so goooood.

Jeremy Poland says:

Very helpful video. Thank you!! I’m slowly migrating from the Canon world, and primarily shoot high school senior portraits. Canon’s 135mm is one of my go-to focal lengths for the closeups and the full body shots. Switching to Sony has been great, but they haven’t had too many options in that focal range. Excited to try it!!

Christopher Mahoney says:

These are the best photography videos around- I wait for your take every time i see a new lens announced. Thank you!

Jenny Gavin-Wear says:

Canon 135mm F2 L.

D Lit says:

Ted is your Tshirt on sale?

Frank Wu says:

I have the 85 GM, should I get this lens?

Dan Potter says:

I love the 135mm focal length, I have the Canon !35mm f2 and the Fuji X 90mm (135 equivalent) f2, I’d be very interested to try this Sony lens , the focus speed sounds amazing. Thanks for the video Ted.

Mike H. says:

Never really shoot at 135, but I do hope they continue to bring the aperture rings to other future lenses. Was a big feature I was missing from Fuji.

Niel Lambrechts says:

I just started shooting with the awesome Fuji 90mm f/2 and after watching this I am blown away – that the Fuji can be had for only $700! I would love for anyone to present an objective comparison, will a paying customer be able to tell the difference (outside of low light) or not? The Fuji requires a little bit of hand-holding discipline but that Sony is much heavier, it is going to be much harder to manage during a shoot. PS. Not a hater of Sony or full-frame at all.

astcell says:

135 is a bit long. I want a 105/1.4 and sigma has that already. Then there is the Mitakon 135/1.4….

Ian Marker says:

I thinkTed brings up a good point about the GM lenses being something special. If you watch comparisons between FE 85 1.8 and 1.4GM it almost looks as if, pixel for pixel, the 1.8 is sharper. But the GM gives the skin this smooth, warm and creamy look. It has character! Sure Sony can make a $600 razor-sharp lens, but they’re also producing glass that has personality and character.

Emad nejati says:

But in my opinion 85mm F1.8 FE is just amazing 600$ lens it’s superbly sharp and it’s in the top 15 lenses in DXOmark

Luke French says:

I love my Sekor C 90mm 3.5. That’s my ultimate portrait lens.

Michael Large says:

Be great for outside adlib portrait shots such as a parade or concert

Nate Diemer says:

I’ll stick with the Sigma 135mm 1.8 I got off eBay for $700, that’s just about 1/3 of the price of this new Sony. I’ll save $1,200 and have slower autofocus (though still have eye-AF with the MC-11). IMO don’t get this lens unless you have money to throw around or need fast autofocus. Christopher Frost photography claims the Sigma is one the sharpest lenses he’s ever shot, and he’s tested hundreds of lenses; in this case you’re not missing out on optical quality by saving money, just having your glass be “native.”

Bill Daniels says:

Interesting lens… although I believe that 135mm is a bit on the long side for portrait photography. But, then, YMMV. I also just read today that Sigma announced a bucketful of new Art lenses (including a 135mm f1.8) in L mount. That didn’t take long…

SONY Adicto says:

The cat eye bokeh shape is disappointing but I guess that unless there are single points of light towards the corners, it really doesn’t matter. It could produce swirly bokeh though

Michael Jandavs says:

I’ve waited sooo long for this lens.

André Lousada, Conductor says:

Uhhhh!!!! Thats a big piece of glass!

Marco Gruebler says:

i really love working with my Sony FE 85mm 1.8 – still best value/money IMO.
would also really wish for something equivalent to that in the 35mm and maybe 105-135 range (or all ranges for that matter).
still, the FE 24mm 1.4 is already on my wishlist, as well as this 135 will land there until i feel the need or have some cash to drop on it 😀
since i am mainly doing portrait style work, i am very intrigued by the look this new 135 lens offers; but that also is true for the 24mm 😉

Brett K says:

What I really want from Sony is a 105mm 1.4 GM. On the fence about Sigma’s despite loving the images it produces, because of the size and weight. I know Sony’s offering, if they were to make one, would be lighter, a little more reliable in low light, and produce images on par, if not better than the Sigma. Especially where bokeh is concerned due to there likely being 11 aperture blades. Would really love to hear this announcement from Sony before the end of the year.

Stephen Gatley says:

My favourite lens of all time is the Sigma 135mm 1.8, this is just a better remake of the 135mm 1.8 for the A mount looks nice but not really new!. Sony marketing has got to be more reasonable with pricing their fantastic plastic just isn’t worth it!.

Deathbynature says:

It’s so pretty and sharp.

A View to the World says:

I like how you compose the shots!

Cesar Vargas says:

I wonder how much better can YOU get from using this lens or it is just bragging rights? What about other cheaper options?

killer0178 says:

Is it just me or the transition between the focused areas to the blur seems a bit harsh? The background blur is gorgeous no doubt but I find those transitions way to harsh

Warren3327 says:

The only thing that I’m seeing that I don’t like about this lens is the Bokeh from f/1.8 to f/2.4 , it’s “Football” Shaped. I know it is perfectly round at f/2.8, but with 11 Rounded Aperture Blades, you’d think that it would be perfectly round at f/1.8 even more so than at f/2.8. (Still learning though)

yomeros says:

Don’t understand what happend with youtube with subtitles… I mean… russian?!?

Abhishesh Sharma says:

can we use this lens with teleconverter 1.4x

Daniel Camacho says:

Those short video shots are fantastic. It’s definitely amazing for close ups/medium shots.

Michael Cook says:

I use 135mm quite a bit for landscape, street and portraits. I have the Sigma f1.8 for Nikon.

Noealz Photo says:

Dang that’s a beautiful looking lens, although I told myself sometime back that I would stop buying gear and instead focus on doing my best with the gear I have already. Thx for another video man – hope to meet you in Texas someday~

KoalaMeatPie says:

Reminds me of the Nikor 135 f/1.8 – Excellent with a Fotodiox adaptor on my Fuji X-T20

Sebastian Kisiel says:

I wasn’t interested in this 135mm and still not, but just wanted to watch some AOP content.
But, I am hyped for that 24mm GM and you did this to me, with that Andromeda. Now I am saving to afford it for my a6300 😀

Paul Harding says:

A portrait / sports lens my be .

Ian M says:

I’d rather use an 85mm lens where if youre cramped for space to take a portrait, youre not having issues moving back into a wall to get a focused image of the face. Plus the price point for a G master lens is too high for me. Its nice, but I can get away with more using a vintage lens at the expense of foresaking Auto focus. Just my 2 cents.

Konstantin Pugachev says:

Focusing speed is like “Beakon B10 has the fastest autofocus in the world (asterisk: among Beakon B1x lineup) that is 0.1s (asterisk: when it is that bright you can’t open your eyes) (asterisk: when using the kit lens) (asterisk: with a battery grip)”
What if they just turned off the lights in just one location to test real indoor conditions?

Lando CreamCheese says:

You have a younger Doppelgänger, Josh from Flite Test…check him out.

Frank Wu says:

I have the 85 GM, I would say yeah the autofocus on that is not that good, even on A7R3. Compared to 2470 GM, it falls behind by a lot

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