First of all, I decided to write a review here on this piece of gem because I could not find a proper review for it on full frame. Quite frustrating though due to many versions of this Minolta MD 135mm F/2.8 in the old times (mine probably from the 1970s). Bear in mind these are not professional lab type of review:
Side view: The entire build was made to last for decades, made from glass and metal and yes, it is heavy (heavier than my Sony A7 body). The focus ring is well dampened and smooth. The aperture shuts down and opens up very well smoothly.
Wide Open at F2.8. Performance: The color rendition has some unique blend of vintage compared to the modern lens due to lack of high quality coating on it. It is sharp even at its widest aperture and the bokeh is creamy smooth. Check out my samples below: I noticed it has some light falloff at the edges at F/2.8 but sometimes it goes unnoticed.
Wide open and 100% crop
F/4 at the minimum focus distance (about 1.5m away)
F/4 at the minimum focus distance (about 1.5m away) – 100% crop
Shot at F/4
Light fall off at F/2.8 is quite visible in this shot
Light fall off at F/2.8 is quite visible in this shot – 100% crop
Stopped down to F/8.
Focus to infinity at F/2.8
100% cropped. Sharpness is still acceptable.
See the top left corner. I noticed that when the subject is shot at certain angle, there is this weird reflection (even with the hood extended) on the top corner. Not sure what causing that though and there was no filter screwed onto the lens in this review.
View of my A7 with this lens
I am very impressed with its build and sharpness at its widest aperture. However, the cons of it are prone to flares and its weight. For those who a looking for a vintage budget portrait prime, you may want to consider this.
A passionate and avid travel photographer specializing in providing photoshooting services for actual day weddings, outdoor portraits, and baby portraits. Living by his motto of “Smile, Travel, Moment”, he strives to deliver the best for his clients. He is currently based in Klang, Malaysia.