Before I continue with the review, I would like to say this: an 135mm prime lens was a widely used and interesting lens that could be used for various purposes, such as portrait, still life and even landscape. But then we are talking about 35mm film or Full Frame. Using an 135mm lens on an APS-C camera with crop factor 1.5 or on M4/3 with crop factor 2 is something completely different. In the former case it becomes an equivalent of a 200mm lens, in the latter it is 270mm. The angle of view of a prime lens of 200mm or 270mm is much more limited to use, for me personally I find it too strong for portraits and the like, and just too short for birding or animal photography.
Much more interesting and easy to find is a standard lens of the past, like a 50mm to 55mm – respectively on APS-C from 75 to 82.5mm, and M4/3 from 100 to 110mm. Also in this category, a light-sensitive lens of f1.8 & f1.4 is a lot cheaper.
But now the Porst 135mm f1.8 :
First go to my Gallery and view the photo results I made with the Porst 135mm, click here or click on the picture below :
First a series of pictures of a mushroom, taken with an aperture starting from f1.8 all the way up to f16, the aperture values are written with the pictures.
Then I took some comparative photos,
one at f1.8 and one at f4.0.
The reason for this is simple, and also why I bought this lens in the first place.
If you want to buy this lens, or one of the many other brand names under which it is made, you are doing it for the light sensitivity of this lens, isn’t it?
Because why else would you buy a lens that weighs 814gr and has a diameter of 85mm and 90mm long?
Seriously, this lens is big and heavy !
It looks well on my E-M1 in terms of view, but the weight completely throws the whole thing out of balance.
And this aside, this lens is very expensive ! Count on a minimum of €300 up to €500 to €600.
Build quality is solid and well finished.
Smooth working focus ring, this regardless of any other review on this, it just depends on the copy you have, as it always does with old lenses.
Good clicking aperture
Ok, about the lens results then.
This lens is light sensitive, and I’ve used it in sunny conditions, and that didn’t work out well – makes sense.
But it did give me the opportunity to see how well you could focus it, and that doesn’t work very well, especially at f1.8.
I noticed that I kept turning the focus ring up and down, and still couldn’t find focus.
If you think you have focus, then I think the result is sad.
It seems as if the photos are a little over exposed, or there is some sort of haze over them, but from f2.8 that disappears.
The lens has a severe lack of contrast at f1.8, and photos definitely needs editing.
From f2.8 everything gets better, and from f4.0 she reacts like any other 135mm.
I also took some shots where there was less light, and then the results in terms of the blur and contrast are better, but they still look a bit out of focus – others say “dreamy”.
Well, and that’s where it stops,
if you’re looking for a lens with bokeh or a dreamy effect, it does, but don’t expect sharp photos.
From f2.8 – f4.0 she gives nicer results, but then why use a lens of 814gr ?
As a portrait lens on APS-C or M4/3 – way too powerful ! unless of course you like to do portrait photography with heavy 200mm equivalent lenses 🙂
You will find nice pictures on the internet, but I strongly doubt they were taken wide open at f1.8.
If you’re only doing it for her photosensitivity, don’t buy!
You can better buy any other vintage 135mm f2.8,
at a fraction of the price, size and weight.
Other sites about the Porst 135mm f1.8 :
Now on La Gallerie !
“Black Swans Video” & “Cygnus Atratus“
The photo gallery of Open Source Photography, Olympus micro 4/3 system, Vintage Lens Photograpy, Film Simulation, PictureFX, HDR – Photographer : Marc R.