You are looking for a tele lens with a sensational image quality? You want to shoot portraits or landscapes or you are engaged in product, still life or night photography? Then the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 could be the right lens for you!

The Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is one of the Zeiss classic lenses for Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras. The price tag of this lens is about 1.900.- Euro, compared to a Zeiss Otus lens this is a bargain! BUT – in an interview Dr. Nasse from Zeiss reveals, that the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 could be a Otus lens …. have a look at this YouTube video (minutes 31 to 32)

The 135 mm Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is known for his stunning image quality; in the WWW you can find a lot of reviews with resolution charts (like this: lenstip.com). We do not want to praise the image quality again, but we want to have a look at other topics, especially for product and night photography.

The Zeiss is a manual focusing lens! You have to turn the focus ring for about 270 degrees from the nearest point to infinitely. This range allows an absolutely fine and accurate focusing, especially when shooting at night and using life-view focusing. What we absolutely like is the fact, that infinite on the scale is really infinite – so you must not care about sharp stars on your images! But other far-away objects like mountains are sharp just before the infinite stop, this fact needs a careful focusing and dealing with depth of field.

Another aspect is the capability for isolating subjects. The combination of image quality, 135 mm focal length and a fast f/2.0 aperture is ideal for this purpose – resulting in great out-of-focus zones.

Stunning image quality, super fine manual focusing, excellent build quality – what are the weak points of the Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135? You could claim the weight (about 920 g), especially when you have some more Zeiss lenses in you bag or when shooting with a tripod, because this heavy lens lacks a tripod collar – so you must use a high quality ball head like the Acratech GP.

Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135: Example Images

Nikon D600 and Zeiss Distagon 2,8/15 mm

Image 1, Nikon D600 and Zeiss Distagon 2,8/15: Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, Nikon D750, tripod, f/2.2, 1/15s, ISO 200, no sharpening and no noise reduction in DXO and Photoshop, DXO export as tiff, Photoshop save for web (jpeg, quality 50%, 1.200 x 800 pixel)

TomTom Bandit Action-Cam

Image 2, TomTom Bandit action camera: Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, Nikon D600, tripod, f/5.6, 30s, ISO 800, no sharpening and no noise reduction in DXO and Photoshop, DXO export as tiff, Photoshop save for web (jpeg, quality 50%, 1.200 x 800 pixel)

Locus Gear Khufu Sil

Image 3, Locus Gear tent: Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, Nikon D750, tripod, f/5.0, 1/20s, ISO 200, no sharpening and no noise reduction in DXO and Photoshop, DXO export as tiff, Photoshop save for web (jpeg, quality 50%, 1.200 x 800 pixel)

Star trails & chapel, Bavaria, Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135

Image 3, Aidling chapel, Bavaria: Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135, Nikon D750, tripod, f/4.0, 15s, ISO 3.200, composition of 35 images, some sharpening and noise reduction in Photoshop, Photoshop save for web (jpeg, 1.200 x 800 pixel)

Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 Review: Conclusions

You get what you pay for – the Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is worth every cent! This lens is a pleasure for portrait, landscape, night and product photographers and is delivering stunning images.

Your Zeiss Apo Sonnar rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (27 votes, average: 4.74 out of 5)

Pros

  • Rugged and solid
  • Sensational image quality
  • Smooth manual focusing
  • Infinite is infinite on the scale
  • Isolating subjects
  • Close range image ratio 1:4

Cons

  • Quite heavy (920 g)
  • Tripod use is recommended
Review: Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 – An extraordinary lens for night photography was last modified: September 19th, 2018 by Joachim Bardua