Gear Review: Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master Lens

Sony has rapidly filled out their FE lens line-up – yet one focal length remained at the top of many users wish lists. Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master Lens ($1,898 from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama) not only fills that gap – it may be Sony’s best lens to date.

The new FE 135mm F1.8 GM is Sony’s Sony’s Ninth G Master lens, 31st Fullframe FE lens and 49th E-mount lens overall. As you’d expect from Sony’s flagship G Master designation, it offers the rare combination of exceptionally high resolution and beautiful bokeh.

YOU Asked for ONE POINT EIGHT and You Got It!

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master lens

Yes, a F2 lens would have been slightly smaller, lighter and cheaper, however you all spoke very loudly that you wanted a F1.8, so that’s what I lobbied for and you got it! Sony product planners confirmed that comments on this blog played a key role in that decision.

Fast Responsive AF from Twin XD Linear Floating Focus Groups

The lens is designed with Twin XD Linear Floating Focus Groups and a total of FOUR Sony proprietary XD linear motors (two for each focus group) in order to achieve extremely fast AF tracking for sports photography and instantaneous Enhanced Eye AF ideal for portraits. The lens takes advantage of its Dual XD Floating Focus Groups which move closer together at near focus distances and farther apart at infinity for optimal focus at both near and far.

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM XD Focus

Additionally, the floating focus groups offer video shooting an added bonus as they serve to minimize focus breathing while providing smooth and nearly silent focus that’s important for video.

XA Extreme and Super ED Glass

Like all G Master lenses, FE 135mm F1.8 GM is designed for corner-to-corner sharpness using an XA Extreme aspherical lens element to suppress spherical aberrations along with a Super ED and ED lens element to suppress chromatic aberrations.

Beautiful Background Bokeh

As with all G Master lenses, FE 135mm F1.8 GM has beautiful defocussed background bokeh thanks to the combination of high precision XA Extreme aspherical lens elements and 11-Blade circular aperture…yes, Spinal Tap fans, the numbers go to ELEVEN!

Entrance to the Parker Hotel, Palm Springs photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F8 • 1/500 • ISO 100

Cast Magnesium Alloy Chassis for Extreme Durability

FE 135mm F1.8 GM features a cast magnesium alloy shell, like the one used in the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS, for durability, yet its lightweight, portable design makes it ideal for wedding and travel photography.

Lightest & Smallest in Class

FE 135mm F1.8 GM weighs in at 33.5 oz (950 grams) – that’s 10 ounces lighter and at 5 inches (127 mm) long, it’s half an inch shorter than Sigma’s FE 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Lens, so it won’t weight you down even after a long day of shooting.

Lens Controls

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master lens controls
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM features two focus hold buttons – one each for landscape and portrait orientation, a physical aperture ring and focus limit options of Full, 0.7-2 meters, 1.5 m – Infinity which allows faster focus when shooting close-ups or action.

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master lens clickless aperture control
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM can be set for either clicked or clickless aperture control.

Great Focal Length for Portraits

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM portrait
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/200 • ISO 100

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM portrait
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/80 • ISO 100

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM portrait
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/200 • ISO 400

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM portrait
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a9 • F2 • 1/250 • ISO 100


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM at Minimum Focus Distance + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/1600 • ISO 400

Floating Focus Mechanism for Improved Close Focus to 2.3 feet

FE 135mm F1.8 GM focuses down to 2.3 feet (0.7m) for a magnification factor of 0.25X which is perfect for tight portraits. The lens takes advantage of its Dual XD Floating Focus Groups which move closer together at near focus distances and farther apart at infinity for optimal focus at both near and far.


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM at Minimum Focus Distance + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/30 • ISO 100


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM at Minimum Focus Distance + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/30 • ISO 200

Flattened Perspective for Architecture

Los Angeles, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F8 • 1/125 • ISO 100

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM lens and Sony a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F8 • 1/500 • ISO 100

The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F1.8 • 1/60 • ISO 800

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Los Angeles, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F8 • 1/250 • ISO 100

Los Angeles, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F8 • 1/80 • ISO 100


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F16 • 1/15 • ISO 200


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F8 • 1/160 • ISO 200


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F8 • 1/160 • ISO 200


Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F5.6 • 1/125 • ISO 200

Smallest & Lightest in Class for Travel

Fast 135mm lenses are not exactly tiny yet at 33.5 oz (950 grams) and just 5 inches (127 mm) long, Sony’s FE 135 G Master is the lightest- and smallest-in-class so it won’t weight you down even after a long day of shooting.

Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM lens
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F8 • 1/250 • ISO 400

Palm Desert, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on IR converted Sony a7
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F5.6 • 1/320 • ISO 200

Palm Desert, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on IR converted Sony a7
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R (IR modified) • F6.3 • 1/200 • ISO 200

Palm Springs photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM lens and Sony a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F9 • 1/640 • ISO 400

Venice, California, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a9 • F1.8 • 1/8000 • ISO 100

Century City sunrise photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM | Sony a9 • F6.3 • 1/2000 • ISO 400

Brooklyn, New York, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III.
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM | Sony a7R III • F1.8 • 1/50 • ISO 800

Brooklyn, New York, photographed with Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM on a7R III.
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM + Sony a7R III • F1.8 • 1/25 • ISO 800

ORDER NOW!

Order Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master Lens from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama

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10 thoughts on “Gear Review: Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master Lens”

      1. I like all my glass to “match.” I have the full set of L Primes and I can’t give those up.

        DSLRs are too large for some people, put sized properly if you’re shooting high-end glass and use all your fingers to shoot. The lenses aren’t getting smaller, if anything they’re getting larger. It’s about so much more than just being small. The tiny cameras are problematic for button placement, balance, etc. Battery Life is already a huge problem on Mirrorless, but that’s because they have to put tiny batteries in tiny cameras.

        The advantage of mirrorless isn’t a smaller camera, that’s just a side-effect. And to many, it’s a negative one. The advantage of mirrorless is making all your pictures in focus and being able to look through a viewfinder while doing so.

  1. Just stumbled upon Travis’ comments about the need for 35 and 50 G Masters to enable him to switch. Travis – Sony and Zeiss partnered on the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon (amazing!!) and Sony/Zeiss Planar 50 1.4 (amazing!!). These lens are supreme – supremely built, supreme in their rendering. I’m sure you can see many many examples on Brian’s site. You can also see samples on mine (if appropriate, Brian!). Scott http://www.efgimage.com

      1. I’ve held them. I just don’t want to shoot pics with a playstation controller. Give me a camera that feels like a camera.

      2. Chris – I now have the 135 1.8GM – also an amazing lens… and sharper even still than any 135 that I’ve ever touched (or Lensrental has tested). In fact, I sometimes now run into moire issues b/c the lens can be too sharp! Anyone else experiencing that?

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