The Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena is a Bright Portrait Prime



Giving a lens a devoted title in addition to a jumble of numbers suggests high-end luxurious (or maybe vanity) — and now the 50mm f0.95 Noct isn’t the one entitled luxurious optic for the Nikon Z system. The Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena is a primary lens designed to capitalize on the broader Z mount with brighter edges and clean bokeh that doesn’t cat-eye on the edges. However whereas the Plena might have a reputation just like the Noct, it nonetheless makes use of autofocus. And at a 3rd of the price, the Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena could also be precisely what photographers who can’t afford the worth or guide focus compromise of the Noct had been ready for.

The Plena emblazoned in fancy cursive on the facet of the brand new lens is a by-product of the Latin phrase plenum, which Nikon says means “the state of an area being utterly full.” Nikon says that fullness describes the brightness, bokeh, and sharpness that stretches to the perimeters of the body.

Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena key options

  • Eleven-blade aperture
  • A number of stepping motors for a sooner, quieter autofocus system
  • Focuses as shut as 2.69 ft
  • Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO coat to forestall ghosting and flare
  • Designed with 16 components in 14 teams
  • Two Fn buttons
  • 82mm filter attachments
  • Mud and drip-resistant
  • Weighs 2.2 kilos and measures 3.9 by 5.5 inches

The launch of the Nikon Z system got here with guarantees that the brand new wider Z mount would open up extra lens prospects. The Nikon Plena doesn’t create a wider aperture than present digital lenses just like the Noct did. As an alternative, it focuses on constant high quality on the perimeters. If the S within the title is any indication, the lens will possible have the stellar sharpness of the Z system’s extra high-end optics.

The 135mm focal size is favored for compression, which brings the background nearer, creating bigger bokeh balls. With an eleven-blade aperture and f1.8 aperture, bokeh is certainly the main target of the Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena. Nikon claims the bokeh is rounded all through the body with out taking over the cat-eye form that sometimes happens alongside the perimeters of most lenses. The primary picture samples that Nikon has shared from the lens help this, with bokeh on the perimeters that has solely the slightest narrowing.

Nikon Z 135mm f1.8 S Plena picture pattern offered by Nikon

However whereas the longer focal size will barely assist make up for the aperture distinction between the Noct and the Plena, together with an autofocus system will possible sway extra portrait photographers to go along with the longer and cheaper lens. Nikon constructed the lens with a number of stepping motors, which the corporate says delivers each quick and quiet autofocusing.

Nikon additionally says that the Plena has probably the most anti-reflection coatings of any lens within the firm’s historical past. These coatings are designed to scale back flare and ghosting — which might not be a superb factor for artists who love to make use of flare for inventive drama. One other oddity on this lens announcement is that Nikon is bragging concerning the lens having a “rendering of the best textures in hair and pores and skin tones.” Most portrait artists would agree with me that whereas sharp eyes and eyelashes are nice, textured pores and skin and visual pores aren’t.

The lens lacks stabilization, relying as a substitute on the in-body stabilization of many Z system cameras.

Some followers initially predicted the lens would convey again Nikon’s defocus management, however the lens lacks such a characteristic. Except for having extra coatings than every other Nikon, there’s nothing terribly modern. Sony’s 135mm f1.8 GM additionally has 11 aperture blades and focuses nearer than the brand new Plena.

The design of the lens, nonetheless, makes use of a metallic exterior and likewise options two customized Fn buttons. The lens is weather-sealed, although the mix of the lengthy focal size and metallic exterior offers the lens a weight of greater than two kilos.

The lens pushes extra for technical superiority by prioritizing flare-suppressing coatings and sharpness reasonably than traditional character just like the Noct lens impressed by classic optics of the identical title. However, the worth, autofocus, and potential for large bokeh will undoubtedly draw the attention of some Nikon photographers who’ve lengthy been envious of the Noct lens. The lens is anticipated to start delivery in mid-October for a $2,500 record worth.


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