The Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S 'Plena' is Nikon's second named Z-mount lens, following in the footsteps of 2019's Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S 'Noct.'

Photo credit: Nikon

Nikon has announced the Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S 'Plena' lens, a mid-telephoto portrait prime for Nikon's Z-series cameras. This turns out to be the product teased in a video last week, showing a glimpse of what appeared to be a hefty lens with a large front element.

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The lens is Nikon's second Z-mount lens with a unique moniker, joining 2019's Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct. Plena derives its name from the Latin 'plenum,' which is loosely defined as a vase or space that is full. Nikon has interpreted the term as a lens that is full of a user's creativity thanks to a 'superior light gathering capability.'

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Like the Noct, which was purpose built for low light and night photography, Nikon says the 'Plena' was built with goals for sharpness, edge-to-edge brightness, round bokeh throughout with minimal cats eye and a 'superior' light gathering quality. To aid the latter, Nikon has included two types of anti-reflection coating that promise to 'prevent' reflections and a coating that addresses ghosting and flaring.

The 'Plena' has a focus mode switch and two custom function buttons on the barrel.

Photo credit: Nikon

Nikon highlights one use for the lens as a portrait lens, which they tout as having exceptional clarity and sharpness to enable fine detail hair and skin tone capture. They also mention a 'mystical pop of three-dimensionality,' which is something we'll have to try to look for in the images. Night photography and other scenarios with limited sources of light should also benefit thanks to a fast aperture and the Z-mount's large rear element.

The 'Plena' has 16 elements in 14 groups, with 1 aspherical, 1 SR and 4 ED elements. Focus is driven by two stepping motors and Nikon says focusing is fast and quiet, making the lens a usable option for video. The SR element has a higher refractive index for blue and short wavelength light, which should help control axial chromatic aberration.

This 135mm prime is expected to be the second to last new Nikon Z lens releasing this year, according to Nikon's latest lens roadmap update from June.

Photo credit: Nikon

Pricing and availability

The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S 'Plena' lens arrives October 2023 for a suggested retail price of $2500.

Sample Gallery

As it was a pre-production sample, Nikon restricted our sharing of lens images to out-of-camera JPEG images only in our sample gallery. JPEG only limits how useful the samples are, and we plan to reserve our final assessment until we get our hands on a production model to produce Raw images in multiple lighting situations and conditions.

Note: Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter/magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review); we do so in good faith, so please don't abuse it.

The splendor of full radiance: Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

Melville, New York, September 27, 2023–Today Nikon Inc. announced the release of the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, an impressively unique lens for Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras. This new mid-telephoto prime lens bestows astonishingly high resolution, edge-to-edge brightness, incredible sharpness and spectacularly dramatic bokeh, all while elevating the threshold of what’s possible with optical technology.

The name "Plena" is derived from the Latin term plenum, which denotes the state of a space being completely full. This name was chosen to reflect the lens’ ability to fulfill the user’s creative vision with superior light gathering capability, beautiful, well-rounded bokeh and outstanding sharpness and clarity throughout the frame. Following in the footsteps of the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, this distinctively brilliant portrait prime is only the second Nikon lens to be granted a dedicated name, with the hope that it will be highly regarded by users for many years to come.

"The Plena is a beautiful lens in every way. From the premium metal exterior to the brightness and image rendering that’s nothing short of breathtaking, this is a lens that needs to be experienced," said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. "This is exactly the kind of incredible optical innovation that our engineers promised was in our future, which could only be developed with the wider diameter and shorter flange distance of the next generation Z mount."

This truly special optic is engineered with a focus on superior peripheral illumination, which is the ability to deliver the maximum amount of light to the far edges of the frame. The result is abundant brightness from edge-to-edge, with clear, bright subject distinction throughout. The combination of brightness, bokeh quality and extreme sharpness makes for vibrant images with a mystical pop of three-dimensionality. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is part of the S-Line[1] and takes advantage of the Z mount system’s large-diameter mount, which unlocks further possibilities of lens design, as well as the potential for light gathering.

In addition to enhanced brightness, the optical formula and larger rear element helps to realize beautiful, well-rounded bokeh throughout the entire frame, even from maximum aperture. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena also affords users outstanding sharpness and clarity, regardless of the shooting distance with a close minimum focusing distance of only 0.82 m/2.69 ft. This enables a fantastic dreamlike expression that combines delicate textures and beautiful bokeh in portraits, landscapes and more.

The lens’ luxurious exterior design is intended to match its superior optical performance. Along with the adoption of metal components, the lens features an engraved "Plena" logo similar to the cursive font and yellow color of the Noct logo. Additional features include a fully weather sealed body for durability and the addition of two L-Fn buttons for customization.

Primary Features of the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

  • Beautiful, well-rounded bokeh is achieved throughout the entire frame, while supporting a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture.
  • Eleven-blade diaphragm and larger rear element contribute to exceptionally circular bokeh for dreamlike expression that accentuates the three-dimensionality of the subject with smooth gradation.
  • The large amount of peripheral light at the f/1.8 maximum aperture ensures a consistently bright image all the way to the extreme corners of the frame for a sense of transparency and brilliance in images.
  • The outstanding sharpness and clarity, characteristic of S-Line lenses, enables rendering of the finest textures in hair and skin tones, while excellent point-light reproduction capabilities achieve brilliant night and urban landscape imagery.
  • A multi-focusing system uses stepping motors (STMs) for fast, accurate and quiet autofocus drive for still images and video.
  • In addition to Meso Amorphous Coat, the most effective anti-reflection coating in Nikon history that prevents reflections regardless of the direction from which light enters the lens, Nikon’s original ARNEO Coat is also used to effectively reduce instances of ghosting and flaring.
  • Optical construction consists of 16 elements in 14 groups, with four ED elements, one aspherical element and one SR lens element.
  • A design that takes video recording into consideration with quiet operation and stable exposure.
  • The lens body features two lens Fn buttons, to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned. One is positioned on the top of the lens enabling smooth adjustment of settings even when shooting in vertical orientation.
  • The versatile 82mm filter attachment size enables the use of various lens filters designed to satisfy users’ creative intent.
  • Designed to achieve superior dust and drip-resistant performance[2].
  • Well balanced with a dimension of 3.9"x 5.5", and a weight of 2.2 lbs /995 g.

Price and Availability

The new NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena will be available in mid-October for a suggested retail price of $2499.95.* For more information about the latest Nikon products, including the vast collection of NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire line of Z series cameras, please visit

[1] The S-line is a grade of NIKKOR Z lenses that demonstrate outstanding optical performance, adhering to a high standard of design principles and quality control.

[2] Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.