Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens Review: ALMOST Perfect

Are you a photography enthusiast searching for the perfect lens to elevate your skills? Look no further than the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens. With its exceptional image quality and astounding versatility, this lens is a true game-changer for professionals and hobbyists alike. In this comprehensive review, we explore the lens’s features, performance, and overall suitability for various photography genres. We also delve into its minor drawbacks, ensuring you have all the information needed to make an informed purchase decision. Join us as we dive into the details of this remarkable lens, and discover why it’s considered “almost perfect” by many photographers.

Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens Review: ALMOST Perfect

Hey everyone, today I am so excited to be using the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena lens. Today we’re going to be doing a portrait photo shoot with this lens on the Nikon Z8. I’m going to be sharing with you lots of unedited photos, my thoughts on this lens, and some video tests as well, so let’s get started.

Impressive Image Quality

My first thought when I started flicking through the photos I captured is wow, this lens is impressive. This 135mm produces high-quality images with beautiful clarity and sharpness. There is a nice amount of contrast throughout the frames, and the colors are rich and true to life. This lens is super flattering for portraits, as it has a good level of sharpness where you can see plenty of details while still retaining lots of character.

Autofocus Performance

In terms of autofocus performance, I was letting the camera and lens do all the work to see how well it can perform. I found autofocus to be extremely sticky on my subject, as I was able to completely rely on it throughout the entire photo shoot. Focus accuracy is fantastic in this lens as well, with most photos having focus directly on the iris.

Physical Design and Handling

The Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena lens weighs around 995g, which is pretty standard for a fast telephoto prime like this. It features an AF to MF switch, two customizable buttons, a focus ring, and a customizable aperture ring. However, I would love to see Nikon add a physical lock button for the aperture ring in the future, as it is easy to accidentally move it without realizing.


One thing to consider about this lens is its weight when paired with the Nikon Z8. It can be quite heavy to shoot with for extended periods of time, especially for wedding photographers who use the lens all day. Pairing it with a smaller or lighter camera body like the ZF or Z6 series would make it more manageable.

Stunning Bokeh

The bucket (bokeh) produced by this lens is absolutely stunning. There is a beautiful amount of background to foreground separation, and the out-of-focus areas have a smooth transition. The lens features 11 rounded diaphragm blades, resulting in round and clean bokeh. Even at wider apertures like f2 and f2.5, the bokeh remains beautiful.

No Chromatic Aberration

From my test images, this lens also has no chromatic aberration that I could find. This means that you won’t see any color fringing or distortion in your photos.

Overall, the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena lens is a fantastic choice for portrait photography. Its impressive image quality, reliable autofocus, and stunning bokeh make it a great tool for capturing beautiful portraits. Just keep in mind its weight when paired with a heavier camera body.

Q: What is the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens?
A: The Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens is a high-quality lens designed for Nikon cameras. It offers a fixed focal length of 135mm and a maximum aperture of f1.8.
Q: What makes this lens special?
A: This lens is renowned for its excellent optics, providing sharp and clear images with beautiful bokeh. Its wide maximum aperture of f1.8 enables impressive low-light performance and the ability to achieve a shallow depth of field for stunning background blur.
Q: What type of photography is this lens suitable for?
A: The Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens is a versatile option that excels in portrait photography, capturing detailed shots with excellent subject separation. It also performs well for sports, events, and wildlife photography, thanks to its long focal length and fast aperture.
Q: Is it compatible with all Nikon cameras?
A: Yes, this lens is designed for Nikon cameras with an F-mount, making it compatible with a wide range of Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras with an adapter.
Q: Does this lens have image stabilization?
A: No, the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens does not have built-in image stabilization. However, many Nikon camera bodies feature in-body image stabilization, which can compensate for any camera shake.
Q: Are there any downsides to this lens?
A: While the Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens is highly regarded, it does come with a few considerations. It is a large and heavy lens, which may not be ideal for extended handheld shooting or traveling. Additionally, the price point of this lens is higher compared to others in its class.

I hope you find useful my article Nikon 135mm f1.8 Plena Lens Review: ALMOST Perfect, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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