The combination of focal length and aperture that in the titles of vintage optics listings on eBay accompanied by the designation ‘bokeh monster‘, but we are dealing with a modern autofocus lens.
Let’s talk about the new Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE. As the abbreviation clearly indicates (if you missed it here you will find our guide “Photographic Lenses: The Definitive Guide to All the Abbreviations You Find on Optics”) this is an optical which was created to accompany Sony’s full frame mirrorless with E-Mount connection. It follows on from the Samyang 135mm F2 manual optics of a few years ago and modernizes its optical design, adding a STM autofocus motor and increase the aperture.
The optics based on a scheme of 13 elements in 11 groups, with one U-ASP aspherical lens, two HR lenses and three ED lenses. Accepts 82mm filters, offers an 11-blade diaphragm, and viewing angles of 18.9 in full frame and 12.5 in APS-C format.
The optic weighs 772 grams, with a weight saving compared to optics with similar characteristics. Samyang technicians have worked hard on the Ultra-precision aspherical lens, to deliver soft, pleasing bokeh and maximize sharpness while maintaining a lower weight than competitors, also using two high-refraction HR lenses for this purpose. For comparison, the manual version weighed 830 grams, while Sony’s competitor, the FE 135mm F1.8 GM, stops the scales at 950 grams. Among the features also the minimum focusing distance of 69 centimeters with a magnification ratio of 0.243x
On the body we find a button ‘Focus hold‘ (also customizable with one of the camera’s functions, such as Eye-Tracking), a switch to limit the range of focusing distances (Full; 0.69 – 2 m: 1.5 m – infinity), as well as an additional switch that allows you to assign the silent adjustment of apertures to the main ring. Using the Lens Station docking station, it is also possible to customize the function of this switch.
In the US, the lens is priced at $999.00, about half the price of the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 G Master.