Is the Sony 135mm STF the KING of bokeh?

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Read pretty much every review out there on this lens and I have the opportunity to pick an A850 at a good price.

I've been really thinking about just using one lens with this body, the Sony 135mm F2.8 [t4.5] STF.

For those that don't know, this is a special purpose lens that is manual focus only. It has a lot of compromises including just 4.5 light gathering power but it's designed for 1 purpose, super creamy bokeh.

Am I insane for picking up this lens/body tomorrow or should I just be saving up for the inevitable D800?

My current collection is the F2.8 105mm VR, Sigma 8-16mm, and the Sigma 30mm F1.4. I'll be selling my AF-D 50mm F1.4 and 70-300mm VR since I am never really happy with the images I get from them to help fund this.
 
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I do not know much about the Sony - but if I can offer some advice I would say....Go for what you can shoot with now - D800 is vapor at this point
 
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Maybe you're a bit confused. The Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 is the crazy bokeh lens, and the one I'd absolutely buy an A900 or A850 to use if I shot portraits professionally. Of course the Nikon 200 f/2 looks amazing, but the Sony would be less intimiating, easier to use, and you could buy the lens and camera for less than the price of the big Nikkor.
 
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Do you really need that level of bokeh (which is highly subjective)?

Rather than pulling in another system, why not just use the money (or save some of it) and get some of the Nikon lenses that are well-known for having excellent bokeh (or the Sigmas, for that matter)?

What would you really be using the lens for?
 
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wonder how much the nikon 200 f2 version 1 is going for used nowadays .
might sell some lenses and kidney soon , i wanna try this lens out .
 
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the OP isnt confused at all, it is in fact the 135/2.8 STF, not the zeiss 135/1.8. and yes it is widely regarded by most as one of the best bokeh producing lens available due to the apodisation technique used in its construction.

the 200/2 is a conventional lens with conventional single aperture/ element construction so its unlikely that even as good as it is, it will produce the same quality of OOF effect.
 
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wonder how much the nikon 200 f2 version 1 is going for used nowadays .
might sell some lenses and kidney soon , i wanna try this lens out .
Bought mine for $3400 in MINT condition off the buy/sell forum on here, haven't seen many (any?) lower than that. Still a FANTASTIC investment at that price.
 
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Bought mine for $3400 in MINT condition off the buy/sell forum on here, haven't seen many (any?) lower than that. Still a FANTASTIC investment at that price.

i might just settle for a 24g , 85 1.4 sigma and the nikon 200 f2

ill sell the other lenses in my sig to fund it .
 
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I'd love to see a direct comparison.
not sure the comparison really matters much. i suggest you read up about how the lens is constructed which is what generates the bokeh im talking about. its a specific lens made for this purpose much the same as a tilt shift lens for example.
 
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The 135 STF is indeed the King of Bokeh. It delivers super smooth bokeh where even highly regarded lenses like the AF-S 85 or the 200 VR struggle (mainly in the transition zone from in-focus to OOF, but also the blur quality of further distance subjects is more pleasing to many eyes). Technically, this is as good as it gets regarding bokeh. Especially since the lens delivers equally high quality behind and in front of the focus plane (not many lenses do so).

However, the step above other great lenses is small, at least for every day subjects, and you would have to deal with a new body, a second system and most of all manual focus. Plus, the handling of the secondary aperture may take some time to get used to.

If bokeh quality is your primary interest, it still might be worth it, though.

-- Markus
-- Nikon lens reviews, photozone.de
 
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not sure the comparison really matters much. i suggest you read up about how the lens is constructed which is what generates the bokeh im talking about. its a specific lens made for this purpose much the same as a tilt shift lens for example.
I'm surprised that you, of all people, would say that, as the proof is always in the pudding. I've done some image searching on this 135, and it indeed produces some very soft bokeh, but being a 135 ƒ2.8, it's certainly the underdog, as it has to overcome a longer FL and wider aperture in the 200 ƒ2.
 
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Let's make sure not to mix two different things here: the amount of background blur, where the 200/2 certainly has an advantage, is not the same as the quality of a lens' bokeh.

-- Markus
-- Nikon lens reviews, photozone.de
 
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