Plena vs. Art (Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena vs. Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art)

Nikon NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lens ($2,497) vs. Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens ($1,399) comparison tested on the Nikon Z9 (with a Nikon FTZ2 adapter for the Sigma lens) by long-time [NR] contributor Dariusz Breś (InstagramFacebookFlickr, previous posts):

Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lens vs. Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens (tested on Nikon Z9)


Nikon recently released its beautiful 1.8 135mm prime, calling it Plena: “Every once in a while a lens comes along that changes everything. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lens delivers bokeh so pristine and AF so capable that you can try anything. Get to know the emotions that perfection arouses.

This is what it says on the website of the Polish branch of Nikon. And it’s true. The Plena really gives a lot and it is the first Nikkor of this class, it is an old 135 mm lens but with f/2 aperture. So it’s understandable that Nikon boasts so much about this lens.

The Plena undoubtedly produces vivid and sharp images, with quiet and fast autofocus. This glass is perfect. The problem is that Sigma has had the “plena” for 6 years… Sigma 135 1.8 Art is a masterpiece of technology. You could say it’s old because it’s so old. But look, 6 years and he still sits proudly on the throne.

That’s why I decided to compare these two 135, considering that there is quite a difference in price – over PLN 10,000.

Size, weight

Plena is a bit larger, but much lighter than Art. 995 g vs 1130 g . You also need to add FTZ to the Sigma if you want to use it on mirrorless cameras: 197 g, so we have 995 g vs 1327 g. You can already feel the difference.


Here, Plena, i.e. the native Z lens, has the advantage. SLR lenses on SWM (it doesn’t matter the brand), connected to the FTZ, “jerk” the lenses and are noisy. The difference is caused by the engines used in SLR and mirrorless systems and the algorithms.

In the mirrorless world, the basis is a stepper motor, which is silent, more precise and consumes less power, it simply works better than SWMs. And this is what Plena is, faster, more stable and quieter than Art.


A duel of imaging and visual arts. Interestingly, at closer distances, the Plena shortens the focal length compared to the Art (focus breathing), unless the Art lengthened it :). Additionally, Plena is a bit brighter on the same settings, or Art is more contrasting.

Generally, the differences are so small that it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. We come to a situation where we need to analyze pixels. In one situation Art looks better, in another Plena. This tug of war indicates that both glasses are at the same level. It’s no wonder, Nikon has already approached the Art quality with its S-line 1.2 and Plena lenses. Applause is well deserved.

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There is no point in comparing the sharpness between the Plena and the Artem, because we simply have practically the same thing. Just look at MTFs.


Plena has a bit of a difference compared to Art, but there’s no need to worry about it. Currently, all lenses for mirrorless cameras have vignetting. Some of it is handled with a profile.


We have two very good primes here, both of them give perfect images, depending only on your skills. The differences in the image are apothecary, in specific conditions Plena will give a softer bokeh, with round circles of blur in the corners and more vignette. The Plena has 11 aperture blades and the Art has 9.

Autofocus is better in Plena, it is lighter and, above all, native, you don’t have to use the FTZ. On the other hand, you have Art, which can work with both a mirror and a mirrorless camera.

As of today, the price of Plena is PLN 13,949, the cost of Sigma is PLN 3,000.

So for the price of the Plena we can have, for example, a Nikon Z and a Plena from Sigma 😉 Or have lower weight, more pleasant and quiet AF operation, nativeness and peace of mind with the FTZ.

Full quality comparison available on Flickr.

The original blog post can be found here.

Credit: Dariusz Breś (InstagramFacebookFlickr, previous posts).

Previous Plena coverage can be found here. Check lens availability at:

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