Nikon thinks its new lens is so good, it has even given it a special name!

Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lens held in a hand in a field
(Image credit: Nikon)

Not since the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct has Nikon decided that one of its lenses was so good it deserved its own name, but with its latest release the company is ready to introduce the Nikon Plena to the world.

Fancy names aside, the Nikon Plena lens is actually its long-awaited 135mm portrait lens for the Nikon Z mount – officially titled the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena.

But what does Plena mean? Well, according to Nikon, a few things, but Plena is apparently based around the word "plenty", meaning that the lens overflows with quality in terms of it is build and image quality, aiming to deliver the ultimate sharpness even wide open with perfect bokeh. 

Reading the specs list for the Plena, it looks like Nikon has spared nothing in the creation of this lens, and it looks destined to earn its place next to the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct as one of the best Nikon Z lenses

The lens has Plena engraved in the side in Nikon's cursive font (Image credit: Nikon)

The Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena has a wide open aperture of f/1.8, which coupled with its 11 aperture blades should render almost perfectly round bokeh. Nikon appears especially proud of the bokeh this lens can produce, describing it as "ethereal" in its press release. 

In the marketing images Nikon has provided, the quality of the bokeh initially looks very impressive, although we will reserve judgment until we test it for ourselves.

You can see the sharpness of the lens and the bokeh shape in the background of this image supplied by Nikon (Image credit: Nikon)

Example photo supplied by Nikon showing the bokeh shape (Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon has made the bold claim that the lens will show its full sharpness all the way down to f/1.8, with the Plena also having a minimum aperture of f/16. The manufacturer also promises that the Plena will show absolutely no vignetting, even fully open, so it will be interesting to get this into our lab and put this to the test.

To achieve all this optical goodness, the lens is constructed of 14 groups made up of 16 elements, including ED aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements, which should reduce aberrations, sagittal coma, and flare. And for that perfect bokeh, the lens apparently produces no onion ring effect.

In terms of build, the Nikon Plena has two custom function buttons on its body and an 82mm filter thread. The Plena is a pretty substantial piece of glass, weighing in at a whopping 995g (2.2 lbs) and measuring 139.5 x 98 mm (5.49 x 3.86 in). While this is a lens that will be most commonly used in the studio, out in the field this will certainly be a notable weight to carry around for long periods. Though for outside use, the lens is fully weather-sealed and comes with a lens hood and case.

(Image credit: Nikon)

The Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena will be available in-store starting in October, although pre-orders are live now. The lens will cost $2,499 / £2,699 / AU$4,299 at launch.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.