Nikon has unveiled a new high-end medium-telephoto prime lens, the Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena. It’s only the firm’s second lens to receive a specific name, after the 50mm f/0.95 ‘Noct’ that’s built for shooting in extremely low light. Supposedly, the ‘Plena’ label comes from the Latin ‘plenus’, meaning complete or full, with the implication being that the lens completely illuminates the sensor from corner to corner.

Nikon says the lens has been optimised to give flawless bokeh for both stills and movie use, along with practically non-existent vignetting. As such, it should be a great choice for situations where the photographer’s aim is to separate a sharp, in-focus subject from a heavily blurred background. This should make it ideal for subjects such as portrait, fashion, and nature photography.

Technical details include an optical construction of 16 elements in 14 groups, which includes the use of SR glass and aspherical elements to combat aberrations. Nikon’s Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO Coat are applied to minimise flare. The minimum focus distance is 82cm and the lens accepts 82mm filters.

In design terms, the lens incorporates two F-Fn buttons for landscape and portrait format shooting, plus a smoothly rotating lens dial that can be used to control exposure settings such as the aperture. The barrel is sealed against dirt, dust and moisture, including a rubber gasket around the mount. It’s a sizeable beast, measuring  98mm in diameter and 139.5mm in length, while weighing in at 995g.

Nikon Z 135mm F1.8 S Plena lens in use

Nikon Z 135mm F1.8 S Plena lens in use. Credit: Nikon

The Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena is due to be available from the middle of October, priced at £2699.

From Nikon:


Nikon Z 135mm F1.8 S Plena lens

Nikon Z 135mm F1.8 S Plena lens. Credit: Nikon/Amateur Photographer

London, United Kingdom, 27th September 2023: Today, Nikon takes S-Line optical excellence to new heights with the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena. Stills to movies, this premium full-frame medium-telephoto lens delivers the ultimate in flawless bokeh. From fine-art photography to portraiture, high fashion, nature, and more, discerning photographers can create images of incredible depth and artistry.

The very character of Plena is all-round optical perfection. The wide Nikon Z mount has opened new possibilities for lens design, and Plena takes advantage of them all to deliver truly circular bokeh even in the furthest corners of the frame. Combined with the compression of the 135mm focal length, subject separation is truly striking. Even when shooting wide open against complex backgrounds or at close range, the finest details can be isolated with crystalline sharpness against the ethereal bokeh.

Plena boasts the highest overall rendering power of any S-Line lens as well as peripheral brightness that surpasses any other S-Line lens at f/1.8. Combined with its 11-blade rounded aperture and complex optical construction, aberrations are thoroughly countered: there’s no need to stop down to avoid vignetting. Even when shooting wide open, point light sources like stars or city lights are sharp, round, and clear, and backlit bokeh is free of sagittal coma and flare.

In addition, Plena’s fast, precise autofocus makes this fine-art S-Line prime lens exceptionally smooth to handle. Focus is quickly acquired at any focusing distance, and even at the widest aperture where the focal plane is thinner. Weighing just shy of a kilo and with customisable controls, Plena is also beautifully manageable whether shooting handheld or rigged.

Dirk Jasper, Product Manager, Nikon Europe says: “Nikon engineers have outdone themselves with Plena. Photographers who want to create flawless bokeh now have the perfect lens at their disposal. After Noct, this is only the second lens in Nikon’s history to be given its own name, which shows just how special it is. Coming from the Latin ‘plenus’, meaning to be ‘complete’ or ‘full’, it’s perfect for a lens that delivers bokeh as exquisite as this.

Summary of key features: NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

Flawless bokeh: perfectly round circles of bokeh are visible even in the furthest corners of the frame. There’s no onion-ring or cat-eye bokeh, and no discernible colour fringing or vignetting.

Masterful optical design: 11 rounded aperture blades and an optical formula that consists of 16 elements in 14 groups combine to minimise diffraction and counter sagittal coma and spherical aberrations. Cutting-edge optics include Nikon’s SR glass and an aspherical lens element.

Exquisite rendering: whether shooting at f/1.8 or stopped down, images display pin-sharp in-focus details with smoothly graded background and foreground bokeh. Colour and contrast are exceptional, even around high- contrast edges.

Abundant peripheral light even at f/1.8: brightness is perfectly even across the entire frame with no visible light fall-off at the edges, even when shooting wide open.

Superb anti-reflection and backlight control: Nikon’s exclusive Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO Coat counter glare and lens flare by eliminating incidental light coming from any direction.

Fast, meticulous autofocus: Plena acquires focus quickly and quietly at all focusing distances: from close range to infinity. The minimum focus distance is just 0.82 m.

Premium S-Line build: shaped for perfect balance, constructed entirely from tough yet lightweight metal, and engraved with the Plena name.

Effortless handling: two L-fn buttons are perfectly placed for horizontal and vertical shooting. The large, knurled focus ring actuates smoothly with just the right amount of torque.

Location ready: extensive sealing around the joints and buttons, and a rubber gasket on the lens mount, keep dust, dirt, and moisture at bay.

Accepts 82 mm filters: the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena accepts the same wide range of 82 mm screw-on filters as S-Line f/1.2 lenses.

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