Bronica 135mm f/4 PE lens
I'm looking for a medium tele primarily for landscapes (but also occasional portraiture) and I haven't been able to find much information about the 135mm f/4 PE. From the brochure it has a closer minimum focus distance (1m) than the 150 f/3.5 (1.5m), as well as slightly better MTF and less light fall-off. The minimum focus distance could be useful when shooting detail since I don't have a macro lens. The formula (6 elements in 4 groups) and weight (750g) are identical to the 135 f/4 PS lens, so it may be a near copy (which might explain why there is less light fall-off if it was originally designed for the larger image circle of the SQ).
I'd be interested to know the history of this lens, and how it performs compared with the more common 150/3.5 (which got an excellent write-up in Stewart Bell's review of the PE lenses which unfortunately does not cover the 135/4).
Last edited by andrew.roos; 05-27-2012 at 04:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The 150mm lens was more commonly used for individual portraiture with the ETRS, but at times its 1.5m Minimum Focus Distance was a bit too long for tight shots with an 18" x 24" FOV, so you needed to use the E-14 extension tube with it in order to get in really tight.
Later the 180mm PE was introduced, and it had a more suitable 1.0m MFD for tight shots and a 8"x11" FOV without bothering with an extension tube. Were I shopping for my first portraiture lens for 645, I would opt for the 180mm rather than the 150mm which I have! The 150mm seems to be fine for couples portraits.
The 135mm PE lens also has a 1.0m MFD, which would frame 11"x15".
There is a very slight contrast advantage of the 135mm over the 150mm; at the Edge of the frame the 135mm has a notable disadvantage in sagittal resolution when wide open!
Last edited by wiltw; 05-27-2012 at 04:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Wiltw many thanks for your response. I can see that the 150/3.5 might not best meet my needs since at least some of the portraits will be of my young children, so the 18 x 24" FOV might be a bit large on occasion. For portraiture I agree that the 180/4 would probably be the best option. However it's a bit long for my primary landscape requirements - hence considering the 135/4 since it gives me a smaller FOV at close focus while being a focal length that I think I would use more for landscapes, but being a reasonable length for portraits (about 85mm equivalent in 135 format). I agree about the edge of frame resolution wide open, although typically this wouldn't be an issue for landscapes provided it is resolved by f/8 or so. I might be better off separating the landscape and portraiture requirement, which suggests a 135 and 180 combo, since the 150 will probably be redundant if I have both of these.
Since I currently have the 40 PE, and plan to get one of the 75s (EII or PE) next in line after the 135 or 150, this would give me a 40 / 75 / 135 / 180 set in the long term, which might be a nice combo. Thoughts?