135mm - where are you?

The classic focal length for portraits is 135mm. This focal length on film or full-frame cameras is very suitable for shooting portraits of people - one of the most popular genres in modern photography. But the problem is that there are practically no modern 135mm discrete lenses.

What happened to 135mm fixes?

What happened to 135mm fixes?

In the history of each brand specialized in the sale of lenses, you can find a lot of old non-autofocus lenses of 135 / 2.8 class. Such lenses have moderate aperture, small size and excellent image quality.

For example, take Nikon. Throughout its history, it has released at least 10 different modifications of 135-ok. Mainly with aperture 3.5 and 2.8. The production of the first 135 / 3,5 began in 1959. The last 135 / 2,8 grade lens was released in 2005 and has never been upgraded to an autofocus version. Nikon simply doesn't have an affordable 135mm autofocus lens. Since 1990, only the very expensive 135/2 DC has been produced - this is a lens of a completely different class, and, accordingly, a different price category.

If we take other manufacturers, the situation is the same - neither for Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus and other brands. no ordinary 135 / 2.8 class lens available, there are only some specialized versions, the price of which sometimes just rolls over:

  1. Sigma 135mm 1: 1.8 DG A
  2. Canon Lens EF 135mm 1: 2 L Ultrasonic
  3. Canon Lens RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM
  4. Sony FE 1.8/135GM (SEL135F18GM)
  5. Carl Zeiss Sonnar 1.8/135 ZA T* (SAL135F18Z)
  6. Nikon 135mm 1: 2D AF DC-Nikkor
  7. Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm 1:1.8 S Plena
  8. Samyang AF 135 / 1.8 FE

Of the more “simple” autofocus 135-current, I found only Minolta Maxum AF 135mm 1: 2.8 (22), Sony 135STF (Smooth Trans Focus) [T4.5], ZEISS APO Sonnar 2.8/135 T* (Batis 2.8 / 135) and Canon Lens EF 135mm 1:2.8 Softfocus.

Most likely, the fact that there used to be many manual 135s, but now there’s simply nothing to choose from, suggests that this is done on purpose... I suspect that manufacturers are not making 135s just to sell more expensive 80-200 / 2.8 or 70-200 / 2.8 class lenses, because one tiny 135 can be a replacement for a bulky and expensive zoom telephoto. 135mm is just the middle in the 70-200mm range, and therefore 135mm is a very popular lens.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 101, on topic: 135mm - where are you?

  • Vadiuhin

    An interesting point: the ancient manual SuperAlbinar 135 2,8 on a 10MP kenon matrix is ​​soap-soap, acceptable with f = 4, or even 5,6. On Nikonovsky 7000 - unexpectedly sharp with an open one, and this is through an adapter with a lens.

    • Vadiuhin


    • Arkady Shapoval


  • Michael

    I use pentax f 135 / 2.8. There is also fa135 / 2.8, unfortunately both lenses have long been discontinued. Weight about 400 grams, sharp and contrasting!

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