question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions
alanlinde
Regular MemberPosts: 244
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question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
Feb 9, 2013

For quite a while I've been coveting the 135 1.8 lens but I've postponed getting one at least partly because there have been rumors about a new version with SSM focusing. Yes, I know that that is illogical (to put it politely) but may I ask for information on a couple of aspects?

1. how fast/slow is the focusing of the 135 1.8 compared with say the 24-70 2.8?

2. how fast/slow is the 135 cf say the non-ssm 85 1.4?

3. if Sony were in fact to release an updated version of the lens, what times of the year are most likely for that to happen?

I'd really like to hear from those of you who have the lens and how happy or not you are in terms of focusing speed. I do understand that optically this is a really great lens and I don't question that aspect.

Thanks, Alan

robert614
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to alanlinde, Feb 9, 2013

alanlinde wrote:

For quite a while I've been coveting the 135 1.8 lens but I've postponed getting one at least partly because there have been rumors about a new version with SSM focusing. Yes, I know that that is illogical (to put it politely) but may I ask for information on a couple of aspects?

1. how fast/slow is the focusing of the 135 1.8 compared with say the 24-70 2.8?

2. how fast/slow is the 135 cf say the non-ssm 85 1.4?

3. if Sony were in fact to release an updated version of the lens, what times of the year are most likely for that to happen?

I'd really like to hear from those of you who have the lens and how happy or not you are in terms of focusing speed. I do understand that optically this is a really great lens and I don't question that aspect.

Thanks, Alan

Hello Alan,

I own all three lenses you're asking about.The 135 is a little slower than the 2470,but it is by no means slow.It is quite snappy in AF actually.Noisy yes,because of the lack of SSM.

The 85mm is probably the slowest of the bunch.And it is noisier in AF than the 135 because the 135 is internal focusing.

Keep in mind these observations pertain to the lenses on an A99.The screw drive on the A99 body is very snappy,so there is little penalty in terms of AF speed on either the 135 or the 85mm.

I've heard wishes from people that Sony would update the 135 and 85 zeiss' to SSM drive but nothing concrete beyond that.According to SAR,a zeiss 50mm,and version II of the 70-200f2.8 and 70400g are the only high end lenses to be released in the foreseeable future.So if Sony ever decides to update the 135 and 85,I doubt it will be anytime soon.

I would say go ahead and buy the lens now.I think it is the sharpest lens I own.You can always sell it later.Good luck in your decision.

Robert

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to alanlinde, Feb 9, 2013

CZ 135/1.8 has rear focusing gear so in theory it should be fast. I have this lens and I use it far more often than Sony 70-200/2.8 SSM simply because its a whole stop brighter than f2.8 and image is totally useable (sharp!) at wide aperture, thus give me much needed shutter speed. But it's not blazing fast in terms of AF speed (CZ 24-70 is truly fast). I won't use it for sports tracking or BIF. It's fast enough for street, event, wedding, portraiture, etc.

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +11 more
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robert614
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Feb 9, 2013

Hello Amateur Sony Shooter,

Speaking of AF speed,I remember reading in another thread that you thought the 70400g may be faster in AF on the A99.I think you may be right.I remember the AF was a little slower on the A77 I had before.I don't have the A77 anymore,so I can't do a side by side comparison.But the AF with the A99/70400g combo feels a little quicker.

Sorry to Alanlinde for hijacking your thread.

Robert

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to robert614, Feb 9, 2013

Hi Robert, that's exactly how I feel, 70-400G is totally different lens now. It's almost as quick as Sony 300/2.8 G (first version) that I briefly tested. My 70-200G doesn't have much AF speed boost, my Tamron 70-300 USD feels bit slower than before. Weird? Maybe but I set AF speed to "slow" maybe I need to switch to "fast" and see if that will make any difference.

Sorry to Alanlinde too. Yes the 135/1.8 prime behaves the same as my previous A55/900. Decent but not super fast.

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +11 more
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alanlinde
Regular MemberPosts: 244
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Feb 9, 2013

Hey guys, no apology necessary; all info is helpful. I have the 900 so I wonder if anyone can tell about their experience of the 135 1.8 with the 900. Oops, sorry I missed the bit about the 900. Do you mean that the lens focuses quickly with the 900? OK, 2nd edit! So how happy were you with the 135 +900?

Alan

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GuyMcKie
Contributing MemberPosts: 534
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Re: question about focusing speed of the sony 135 1.8
In reply to alanlinde, Feb 9, 2013

I like the combination with the a900. Fast and faster with the latest firmware update.

In low light, LEV -3.5:

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