NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena: The Pinnacle of Portrait-Length Primes

09/27/2023Link7

Introduced as “a new visual experience,” Nikon has just announced the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lens for its mirrorless Z system. This short-telephoto prime is all about being the quintessential portrait lens; it emphasizes accurate rendering, smooth bokeh, and high sharpness, along with a focal length that flatters subjects and allows for an ideal amount of subject-background separation.

NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena Lens
NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena Lens

The lens is called “Plena,” which translates to “full.” With “full” in mind, referring to performance, the advanced optics help to achieve high resolution, consistent and even peripheral illumination, and especially round, well-controlled bokeh void of rings or fringing—all traits that make up an ideal lens for portraiture. And, as an S-Line lens with Meso Amorphous and ARNEO Coats, the Plena offers Nikon’s most controlled point-light reproduction, color rendering, and high anti-reflective qualities.

This is a lens that will feel at home in a photographer’s bag, but it’s also a lens that has been optimized for video creators with internal focusing that inherently suppresses focus breathing and offers smooth, silent AF performance. Also, the 11-blade diaphragm uses an electro-magnetic mechanism for stable aperture changes.

Physically, the lens is an evolution of S-Line lenses: it is dust and drip resistant and features a relatively lightweight, portable form factor, considering the focal length and large maximum aperture—it weighs just about 2.2 lb, has an 82mm filter diameter, and is evenly tapered for balanced handling. There is a large manual focus ring and a secondary Control Ring toward the base of the lens that can be programmed to adjust a variety of settings. There is also a top Fn button, which Nikon indicates is a design decision that will be part of all S-Line lenses going forward. An aesthetic choice by Nikon, the lens has an engraved “Plena” script logo on the top barrel, which is reminiscent of the Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct and indicates the unique performance tier for this special lens.

For more information about the new lens, including additional features, specs, and highlights, be sure to check out the detailed product page for the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena. Or drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to reply to your comments and questions.

Comments

7 Comments

All the lens over 5” I can’t take to football or volleyball or basketball games. Thanks for designing another lens that’s half an inch too long. I guess I’l put away my Nikon and get an iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The sample picture with the toy bicycle...

I have ALWAYS wanted to take pictures like that. Sadly, I never quite figured out how to set that up. Aside from getting this lens, how do I actually set up the lighting for that shot please?

You need some fairy lights, something with a wide open aperture and a very narrow depth of field, and a lens that makes nice bokeh, like this one, there are others that could do it I'm sure. and that's it really. If you don't have a lens that can make bokeh like this so close to the focal plane, you can try moving the light sources closer and farther away from the subject, that will increase the size and blur of the bokeh. 

You'll have to shoot wide open, and be somewhat close to the subject, then just move the light sources closer or farther from the focal plane until you get the look you want. 

I really hope Nikon releases a Z 135mm f/1.2 lens with TC compatibility to yield a 189mm /1.7 medium tele. I would not mind a Z 135mm f/1.4 with TC compatibility to yield a 189mm f/2 tele either.

Now, counting the days until the Nikon Z 35/1.2S ...

This lens costs less and weights less than I thought it would. So glad ! And so sad also . Knowing this lens was coming out I still purchased the Sigma Art 135mm f/1.8 . I really like it but if I’d had known in advance the price I’d have waited for the Nikon . Oh well I’ll get one someday. First another Nikon Z body as a companion to my Z9 . Then maybe the 14-25 Z f/2.8 S and or the 100-400 Z f/4.5-5.6 S 

Same exact situation here!  I just bought the Sigma 135 f/1.8 ART lens to capture photos of my daughter competing at the World championship powerlifting meet in Romania (that Sigma lens is awesome, btw), but I have been waiting for Nikon to release a new 135 lens literally for decades now!  This release looks like it will definitely not disappoint!  I have never placed a pre-order for a product before-this is a lens that has broken that trend-so excited!  This lens will be perfect for creating beautiful portraits, but also capturing indoor sports as well.  Plus it is smaller and lighter than carrying a 70-200 lens, so it will make a compact travel kit.  Thank you Nikon for producing a sure to be legend, like a 'mini 200 f/2' lens!  Can't wait for this lens to arrive!  A great day to be a Nikon system owner...