Lensrentals Confirms Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens Is Sharpest of Its Kind

Lensrentals Confirms Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens Is Sharpest of Its Kind

In February, I began my first-impressions review of the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM by saying it was "the sharpest lens I've ever used." And according to bench testing over at Lensrentals by optics guru Roger Cicala, it now turns out my own impression was spot on.

Today, Cicala, founder of Lensrentals, published his early findings after performing MTF bench tests on 10 copies of the soon-to-be-released Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM. The results? It's "the sharpest lens we’ve tested" said Cicala of the over 300 MTF bench tests they have performed. In the Lensrentals report, direct comparisons are also documented against the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art and the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8. Be sure to head over to the Lensrentals blog to see all the MTF charts from their various testing and get the full scoop on what they found.

The FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master is the 31st full-frame mirrorless lens from Sony and features an "extreme aspherical" element for cleaner bokeh, four XD linear autofocus motors, and weighs just 2.09 pounds. It's priced at $1,898 and is available to preorder now. Shipments will begin on April 30. Stay tuned for my full review of this lens coming in mid April.

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It's not the sharpest of its kind. It's the sharpest of any kind.

Michael Jin's picture

No, there are sharper lenses. Just not on consumer cameras.

They did say it's sharper than some huge secret prototype lens meant for a 150mp? sensor, so don't know about that. Besides, the article probably meant 135mm lens or portrait lens by 'of its kind'.

Michael Jin's picture

I was clearly being pedantic and replying to the "sharpest of any kind" part of it. Not all lenses are designed for cameras that people buy. You have lenses in instruments for scientific purposes, industrial purposes, military purposes, etc.

Michael Aubrey's picture

The sharpest they've tested, which does include lenses people can't buy.

Michael Jin's picture

Funny. The Department of Defense and research institutions across the world spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on various optics. I guess they really should have been calling Sony who could do it better for $2000.

"The sharpest they've tested" is different from "the sharpest of any kind". For some reason, I don't think that Lens Rentals is testing a whole lot of lenses that aren't meant to end up in consumer hands, whether it's high end consumers or low end consumers. We'll just call it a hunch on my part, but feel free to believe that the sharpest lens in the entire world of any type can be had for under $2000 if it makes you happy.

Michael Aubrey's picture

Your condescending tone aside...

Don't put words in other people's mouths. "The sharpest they've tested" doesn't mean "the sharpest lens in the entire world of any type." I don't know how many lenses they test that aren't consumer lenses, but anyone who regularly reads their blog knows that Roger also runs a related company that consults and provides lens testing for other entities.That's why they are able to talk about how the only lens they've tested that has come close to this Sony is a prototype lens that isn't available to consumers.

Cheers. Buy yourself a beer.

Michael Jin's picture

Quote I was originally replying to (and the quote, which by replying to me you were defending): "It's not the sharpest of its kind. It's the sharpest of any kind."

Yeah... So what words am I putting into whose mouth again?

Sorry you don't appreciate my condescending tone. If only people weren't stupid, I wouldn't feel the need to condescend. Feel free to interpret that however you want. Regardless, if you read the actual blog post, all of the qualifiers he puts into it prior to that headline grabbing statement at the end seems to suggest that he is aware that there are sharper lenses out there.

Oh, and I got myself a Guiness at the supermarket today. Thanks. Have a fantastic day.

Michael Aubrey's picture

I'm sorry that you don't understand how context clues or language work.

Michael Jin's picture

You know, there's always a very clear way to test the sharpness of glass. Maybe you should go run some experiments...

Seriously, dude. I think it's pretty clear we're done here.

Jeff Diffner's picture

I wish Sony would stop making gear for me to lust over. ;)

Sony would make great scientific lenses but I don't find the rendering that flattering for portraits. Make sure you bring along a MUA.

Michael Jin's picture

You can take a sharp image and soften it, but you can't take a soft image and sharpen it. All things considered, if I had the choice, I'd rather have a sharp lens than a soft one. You'd be hard pressed to find a company at this point that's going to release high end lenses that are soft even if it might make for less re-touching work and more pleasing portraiture.

Michael Comeau's picture


Michael Jin's picture

I don't think that anyone actually said this... The only thing it means is that for the same FL and aperture, Sony lenses have to be more complex to achieve similar performance as bigger mounts. They are also more susceptible to vignetting and having issues with corner performance due to the sensor size in relation to the mount diameter. It doesn't mean that they won't make good lenses. It just means that it's more challenging to do so.