In my ongoing series on vintage/older lenses today I’m looking at the Minolta 135mm f2.8.
Lens : Minolta 135mm f2.8
Manufactured : around 1985
Price paid : app 250,00 EURO
Place bought : Marktplaats/Ebay
This lens I bought to use as a alternative for the Sony 70-200 f2.8 which I use a lot in the studio, now there is nothing wrong with the 70-200 but sometimes I just want something else and I love the way that lenses will give you a different look and the 135mm Minolta does that. Now online you hear a lot about Minolta colors and looks and when I started with this “project” I was looking forward to seeing these differences and I have to be honest I love it. During the review I shot a few images in the studio but also took the lens out for some natural light shots.
The 135mm f2.8 does not disappoint, for the 250.00 EURO I got a lens that is reasonable fast with AF, with sports it’s probably just a bit slow but for portrait work it’s just as fast as you need, it clicks into focus very quickly and is very accurate. I did need a little bit of adjustment in the camera for mircofocus but after that the lens is incredibly accurate.
The lens is also very nice to use with bright backgrounds and light spreading around the model, this is a technique I love to use sometimes and there are a lot of lenses out there that will “destroy” an image like this, the 135mm did very very well.
For the outside part of the test I shot wide open, the only problem was the weather, no real sun just cloudy skies but as you can see in the following two examples you can see that the lens also renders everything beautifully outside and has some great depth, which is harder to see for some in the studio, although when you look at the images on top you can see what I love about the lens (depth and smoothness).
Overall I’m very impressed with this lens.
In the studio stopped down the lens is incredibly sharp and outside wide open it’s more than acceptable sharp.
I love the colors in the lens and the rendering of the transitions, this is something that’s probably very difficult to really explain but somehow when I look at the images I loved the “smoothness” and 3D look of the glass. It’s a small lens that you can carry around very easily and doesn’t break the bank at 250.00 EURO.
Minolta : 135mm F2.8 Highly recommended.
If you own a Sony camera this must be in your bag.