Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2,0/135 ZF.2 (Nikon) mount lens review: Unsurpassed Moderate Telephoto

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday December 03 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Prime and moderate telephoto Prime ranking | Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 Nikon lens performance | Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition | Conclusion
Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2,0/135 ZF.2 (Nikon) mount lens review: Unsurpassed Moderate Telephoto

After testing the remarkable Otus 1,4/55 from high-end maker Carl Zeiss we were curious to see if the optical performance of the Apo Sonnar T* 2,0/135 may be close. Read on to find out how well this lens performed.

High speed, short telephoto lenses like this are useful for outdoor portraits, theater and sports under extremely poor lighting conditions. This model from Zeiss features a fast f2.0 initial aperture and an all new, more complex construction using 11 elements than the earlier high-speed designs from the late 80s and early 90s. With anomalous dispersion glass used in the design along with the firm’s Apo designation means it should be better corrected for chromatic aberration than the more common achromatic lenses.

This manual focus though aperture coupled model has ‘floating’ elements for improved image quality at short range and focuses to an unusually close 0.8m (2.62 ft.).

Available in both Canon and Nikon mounts, the Nikon mount (ZF.2) version reviewed here retains a manual aperture collar. It’s a useful addition for filmmakers but also provides backwards compatibility with older Nikon SLRs. At $2,500 and weighing 920g (2.02 lb) for the Nikon mount version, this large and heavy lens has a 77mm filter thread and measures 128mm in length. 

Prime and moderate telephoto Prime ranking 

Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 Nikon lens performance

Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 Nikon versus competition

Conclusion