Whatever happened to the 135mm f/2.8 lens?

In the days of 35mm SLR film cameras, there used to be a classic 3-lens set. The 50mm f/1.7 or f/1.8 that usually came with the camera, a 28mm f/2.8 and a 135mm f/2.8. While the first two are still around the 135mm's have virtually disappeared. There are no 67.5mm f/2.8 lenses for m4/3 or 90mm f/2.8 lenses for APS-C cameras and I think this is an omission. A lens of this type would be great for the mirrorless systems currently around. They could be relatively light and small, with no need for any lens IS and they could be relatively cheap as well. The Sony FE range could certainly benefit from something of this focal length and speed.

The focal length has of course been absorbed into zooms these days, but these are generally pretty slow and no amount of IS can make up for the usefulness of fast shutter speeds. I have no optimism whatsoever that this focal length and it's smaller sensor approximations will make a comeback, I suspect it's gone for ever. But certainly as far as I'm concerned it will be missed.

N.B. The picture at the top shows an old manual focus Nikon 135mm f/2.8 on a Canon DSLR. I used it on all sorts of cameras and it was optically very good indeed, built like a tank and incredibly useful.


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