The Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4G OSS has an interesting combination of features designed for video shooters. But with a tripod collar, rectangular lens shade and 28-135mm zoom range and freedom from breathing and apparently parfocal operation, it intrigues me as an all-arounder still camera lens, so I may take a look at its suitability for stills.
At 1215 grams (presumably without tripod collar or lens shade), it is no lightweight, but compare that to 886 g for the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, or to the 1140g of the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar for perspective—and there is that 28-135mm range for those looking for such functionality.
If the lens is designed for video, will it hold up to the demands of a 42 megapixel sensor, namely, the Sony A7R II? Its overall imaging qualities may be the main bill of fare. At least I want to see what it feels like, both physically and in imaging style.
Designed to satisfy 4K production requirements, the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens is a wide-ranging zoom lens that covers wide-angle to telephoto perspectives while adding many features for your full-frame, APS-C, or E-mount camcorder or still photography camera system.
The lens features a powered zoom control with a variable speed and zoom rotation direction reversal capability. Powering the zoom function is an SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) drive that allows precision and quiet operation. Focus noise is also minimized through weight reduction of the focus element group and use of a linear motor. Iris function is also designed to be smooth and silent for cinematography demands.
Angle of view variations while focusing (breathing) and axial displacement while zooming have been reduced while five aspherical elements and three ED elements work with advanced multi-coating technology to minimize distortion and chromatic aberrations while also contributing to sharper overall imagery with enhanced contrast and clarity.
Independent control rings for zoom, focus, and iris (aperture) are provided for and the focus mode can be switched from auto to manual by sliding the focus ring forward so control is maintained at all times. All three control rings have been engineered to provide the right amount of torque for comfortable, responsive operation and the pitch of the scalloping on the rings has been designed for comfortable, slip-free control.
A constant f/4 maximum aperture offers consistent performance throughout the zoom range and is especially beneficial when working with greater zoom magnifications in low-light conditions. Also benefiting working in dim light or at the long end of the zoom range is Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which works to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed steps. Powered 8-speed zoom provides a 28-135mm focal length range, covering wide-angle to telephoto perspectives
• Power zoom designed for cinema productions and full frame cameras
• Features Sony's original Nano AR Coating technology designed to effectively suppress reflections that can cause flare and ghosting. The precisely defined regular nano-structure allows accurate light transmission, contributing to high-quality images, even more so than lenses with coatings that use an irregular nano-structure
• Three control rings (for zoom, focus, iris) offer manual control for demanding large format productions. The focus mode can be switched from auto to manual simply by sliding the focus ring forward so control is maintained at all times. Zoom speed can be precisely controlled over a wide range, with zoom rotation direction reversal capability. All three control rings have been engineered to provide ideal torque for comfortable, responsive operation. Even the pitch of the scalloping on the rings has been designed for comfortable, slip-free control.
• Sony's advanced iris control and linear AF motor drive system achieve quiet focusing that is also extremely responsive. Part of the reason that focus control is so quiet is that original Sony linear motors are contactless, with no gears or mechanical coupling to generate noise
• The world's first SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) drive in a cinema lens for quiet zoom and smooth iris control
• Maintains plane of focus while zooming and maintains field of view while focusing (important for video).
Delivers smooth tracking throughout the zoom range at any speed and eliminates any axial image shifting. Zooming is quiet as well as responsive thanks to advanced mechanical actuator design
• Features an optical design and control technology inherited from Sony's professional camcorders that ensure no breathing while focusing
• Constant f/4 maximum aperture enables greater consistency throughout the zoom range and benefits working in dim conditions with longer focal lengths
• Optical SteadyShot image stabilization works to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed steps to benefit shooting handheld in dim lighting and with greater zoom magnifications
• Three extra-low dispersion elements and five aspherical elements helps to reduce chromatic aberrations and distortion throughout the zoom range while also contributing to overall image sharpness and clarity
Eugene P writes:
I am looking forward to hear your views on the Sony 28-135. For me, this lens was quite a disappointment. I have tested 4 copies and sharpness was skewed to different extent towards the left or right side of the frame depending on focal length, for all of them.
Eventually one copy was sent back to Japan and returned perfectly aligned, but its resolution was not up to the requirement of the A7R II sensor. I reluctantly gave it back as I intended to use it for both stills and video.
DIGLLOYD: I’m at least going to educate myself on some of the core features, but time pressure is building with the Pentax K1 and some other projects, so I may not evaluate it in depth. Still, I’ll see about its general behavior and symmetry and imaging style and ability to resolve to a 42-megapixel sensor (A7R II). Quite possibly it is indeed optimized for 8 megapixels (the 3840 X 2160 of 4K video), and might not be up to the task.