DPReview's Rishi Sanyal surprised most photo enthusiasts when he chose the Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master lens as his Gear Of The Year for 2019. In addition to being a photographer and journalist, Rishi has a Ph.D in biophysics. He's well known for his deep knowledge on the subjects of camera and lens technology, attention to detail and his fondness for wide-angle photography. It seems the telephoto 135mm f/1.8 G Master won him over. "Perhaps it's just that I needed something different," Rishi writes. "Spice up my life, venture beyond 35mm, you know, my favorite 'telephoto' lens. Or, maybe Sony just made an amazing lens in the 135mm GM. Perhaps it's a bit of both."
DPReview's Rishi Sanyal surprises with his 2019 Gear Of The Year pick.
In his assessment of the 135mm G Master, Rishi writes, "Technically, the FE 135mm GM lens is superb. Optically, the lens is literally the sharpest lens our friend Roger Cicala at LensRentals has ever tested. That's at least in part due to the XA (extreme aspherical) element designed to minimize spherical aberration."
Rishi also notes that the lens isn't just extremely sharp, it performs well under pressure. "Just as important as optical quality," he writes, "is the focus performance: especially for candid portraiture. And here the FE 135mm GM is industry leading: focus is lightning fast thanks in part to its four XD ('extreme dynamic') linear induction motors. These motors are far faster than the previous piezoelectric design of Sony's 'Direct Drive SSM' system, and are capable of moving larger, heavier elements."
The Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master was designed from the ground up for the Sony Alpha mirrorless system and Rishi notes that its performance in extremely challenging real-world situations, namely photographing toddlers, is excellent. "Paired with the excellent autofocus system of Sony's recent cameras such as the α7R Mark IV," he writes, "focus is fast enough that I could easily nail focus on the eyes of erratically running toddlers, even with the aperture wide open at F1.8."
See the full review at DPReview.com.