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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540437 Oct 10, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,285.99
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.79
9.40
9.9
ef135mmf_2l_1_

Specifications:
The Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of advanced amateurs and professionals. A ten element optical formula with two UD-glass elements serves to correct residual aberrations, resulting in superb sharpness and high image quality. It is also able to obtain superior background blur with the f/2 wide aperture. The EF 135mm f/2L USM is fully compatible for AF with Extenders 1.4x and 2x. A stellar portrait and available light lens.

Filter Size 72mm
f/Stop Range 2.0-32
Minimum Focus Distance 3'
Magnification 1:5.3
Zoom/Focus Control Not applicable
Angle of View 18 Degrees
Groups/Elements 8/10
Tripod Collar No
Length 4.4"
Maximum Diameter 3.3"
Weight 1.64 lb


 


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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Jun 7, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $800.00

Pros: Hands down. The single best portrait lens you can have on a Full Frame camera.
Cons:
It can be difficult to resist using it wide open despite the narrow DOF. My girlfriend gets embarrassed when I put a little knit cap on it and take it on walks in a pram.

It feels a tad bit long (on 5D) when you first put it on but with enough room to work it quickly feels right.
The colors are rich and saturated, the images very sharp and detailed while still keep a magical sort of creamy, dreaminess to them.

For portraits this simply can't be beat and at less than half what you'd pay for an 85 1.2 I can't see why you wouldn't use this. (except on a 1.6 crop in which case I imagine this would be great for indoor sports or wild life ((although these aren't my forte)) ).

This is my favorite lens.
(Thanks Joe, you poor b*stard. :P)


Jun 7, 2006
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junlin18
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Registered: May 18, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, great colour, fast focus, F2!
Cons:
wish it comes with IS, guess you can have it all.

Very good wide open
Become excellent from 2.8 onwards!


http://www.pbase.com/image/60364770
http://www.pbase.com/junlin18/image/60506350


May 20, 2006
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keefer112
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Registered: Apr 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $0.73 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast autofocus, decent low-light, inconspicuous matte black, sweet bokah, solid build
Cons:
Pricey, Inconvenience of Sneaker Zoom,

Labored long and hard over picking this up--it's almost worth more than the rest of my kit combined. But at the end of the day, I gave in, and am pleased with my decision. After shooting for a couple of days, I've ended up with a good number of shots that border on the magical. I guess I'm an L believer, or at least ascribe to the order of the One Thirty-Five. Amazing bokah, contrast, etc...optically unimpeachable. The only true qualm I have, which others may experience, is that you'll start to more notice the limited resolution of a Rebel XT--it just can't keep up. Time for a 6D, I guess, whenever that comes out.

May 9, 2006
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gpfmartin
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 172
Review Date: May 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: bokeh, contrast, sharpness, size, length, price, build, low CA, min. vignetting, focusing speed
Cons:
It's not a f/1.2 (just kidding)



May 4, 2006
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cookielida
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Registered: Jul 10, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Sharp, Sharp (Details and lots of them!), Color rendition, Fast, Buttery OOF background, Fast & Silent focusing USM, Huge Lens Hood
Cons:
Nothing serious - weight (750 gr! Lots of glass inside!) and Huge Lens Hood

Just wanted to say, that I am closing a circle here:
I planned to buy a cobo, the 17-40 f/4L and the 70-200 f/4L, but I was annoyed by the size and white colored 70-200 (why Canon, why white?! so everyone can spot the camera-man!?).
So, I looked for the equiv. of 200mm on a 1.6x crop body, and heck, I stumbled upon this gem here in this forum...and I want to tell you all, fellas, I read EVERY review (and there are lots of them here), and by the time I got to the last review, I already decided I gotta have this glass. My first L, and what an L at that!!
So, if you want a gem, save the approx. 900 USD and put it on the table for this baby. yeah, it would make you walk forward and backward, but MAN, once you take that shot, ha, only super feedback!
Me and my friend did a not too fair comparison with his 100-300 f/4.5-5.6, and even though the zoom was not such a sucker for the prime, from a mile you can point the L over the consumer/prosumer zoom...
Check it out here:
Crop 100% of Center frame:
http://static.flickr.com/55/140407399_e00280fc80.jpg
Crop 100% of Side frame:
http://static.flickr.com/52/140407970_2192edd349.jpg
Take into account that these comparison was NOT performed at the same day (one day later actually), not at the same aperture and at a 1.6x crop (i.e. you see the sweet spot of both cameras, an advantage for the zoom over the superior prime but still...)
From here, people, there is no turning back - only L on my Canon bodies!


May 4, 2006
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tomasson
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Registered: Mar 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $939.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent in every respect... speed, contrast, sharpness, bokeh, and even price considering the quality.
Cons:
None that I can think of.

It doesn't get much better than this Smile

May 2, 2006
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lord_malone
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Registered: Oct 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 496
Review Date: Apr 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $870.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, size, lightweight, black, build, focal range, bokeh, colors, contrast, close focusing switch, lens hood
Cons:
Nothing. It's perfect.

What can I really say about this lens that hasn't already been said? If you don't mind zooming with your feet, I would recommend this over any zoom any day. But if you need the versatility of a telephoto zoom, I recommend not getting this lens. This has got to be one of the sharpest lenses in the Canon prime line-up. For the price, what could be better?

Apr 11, 2006
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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Gorgeous! Has that flattering sharpness that's hard to describe but impossible to miss.
Cons:
Seems to hunt a bit more than any of my other lenses.

Images are wonderfully sharp, with beautifully, buttery saturation.
Focal length would be too long for my tastes on a 1.6 crop, but on my new 5d, it's stellar!
I have found that it seems to hunt more than my other lenses, but again the 5d saves things handily. With the increased view finder, manual focus is easy and newly satisfying. Not to say that manual focus is that bad, but I do like to shoot in low light and that coupled with smoother surfaces would give any lens a hard time.
I might agree with the faster aperture comments that I've read, but honestly at 2 the depth of field is as thin as I could really imagine working with.
Doesn't really need to be repeated, but the 135 is a wonderful, wonderful lens!


Apr 10, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent, buttery smooth foreground and background blur. Tremendous and true color. Very good sharpness at and near wide open and fantastic at 4 and 5.6. A truly great head/shoulders portrait lens on a full frame as well as a fantastic tele for indoor or outdoor sports applications on a 1.3x or 1.6x body.
Cons:
Difficult to be critical, but it would be even better if it were a smidge faster; f1.8. Can I get a truly solid hood, my 24mm TSE has one.

What an absolute gem of a lens. While others have mentioned and rightfully so, the sharpness of this lens, sharpness is not its most empressive feature. The brutally honest rendition of color and buttery smooth fore and background blur, set this fixed focal tele in a class by itself.
I have been at this art nearly 20 years, and while I love the world of digital, I have been mostly unimpressed with lens build and image quality, since putting down my finicky old Blad and 80 Planar and CZeiss portrait lenses.
However, I now have found a lens with more that reasonable build and truly impressive image quality. To those of you who are relatively new to this hobby or profession, sharpness is being attained by zooms by not only Canon and Nikon, but also third party types, the Sigmas and Tamrons. True, brutally honest color, is a criterion that splits the great and merely good. This lens has the color right. It also gives great blur, lesser lenses give good to poor blur.
This is a great FF head/shoulders portrait lens and on a 1.3x or especially a 1.6x body is a wonderful head only portrait lens and a great performer as an indoor sports lens.
A truly wonderful lens for less that a grand.


Apr 3, 2006
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caveman_lee
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Registered: Sep 12, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, fast AF speed, good contrast and color.
Cons:
None so far.

I have waited for this lens for a long time (always out of stock in Hong Kong). It is a wonderful lens. As mentioned by others, the 135F2L is one of the sharpest lenses of Canon. This one is a must if you are a prime lover.

The 135F2L delivers very good images even using my old 300D. Should have wonderful result if it is mounted on a 5D or 1D series body.

You may check out some of my below par shots using this lens from my gallery.

Caveman
http://www.pbase.com/caveman_lee


Mar 27, 2006
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corny
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Registered: Feb 16, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
Review Date: Mar 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp at all apertures, fast focusing, great value for money.
Cons:
None

Excellent lens.

I have used this for weddings, portraits with excellent results with 1.6 and 1.3 crop factors. I have also used the 85mm f1.2 and in my case get better results with this lens.

If there was a shaprness per rating this would be the best lens Canon make by some way.


Mar 14, 2006
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rendra
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Registered: May 21, 2003
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 25
Review Date: Feb 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, Nice color rendition, Relative small size
Cons:
none

The best lenses I've own so far. Terrific if you combine with fast body such 1v, 20D since you will not miss any shots those you like !

Feb 25, 2006
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b-man
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 708
Review Date: Feb 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, SHARP, incredibly pleasing bokeh, fast focusing, focus limiter, big manual-focus ring, strong build, everything that should come with the price...
Cons:
Massive lens hood

I bought this lens initially for basketball, but it's a bit too long on my 20D. However, it is incredible for just about everything else. F/2 is a huge asset for poorly lit speeches, etc. A great lens for sharpness, bokeh, everything I mentioned in pros. Go out and buy one if you're interested in a great lens!

Feb 12, 2006
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terminator
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Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 275
Review Date: Feb 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP!
Cons:
Canon needs better quality control!

Photos by this amazing lens state it all. So I will not repeat all the beautiful things about this lens again.

Just to tell my story about this lens. I bought it from Amazon, and found a receipt with a different name on it. It seemed to be a returned item. I throughly inspected the lens and did not find anything wrong. Then I cut out the UPC and sent it to Canon Rebate Center. After several days I heard from a friend that he found a big dust inside of his brand new Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens. Then I re-examined the lens under strong light and found two unpleasant marks inside of the front element. Both are about 3-4mm in the length. So I sent it to Canon Irvine for a repair. Two weeks after, I received the lens again. Guess what? I found a much longer mark this time - 15-20mm in the length! Fortunately it is not a scratch. It looks much like the mark after one cleans the glass with some wet fibre. It does not affect image quality as far as I can tell. However it is annoying to think of the fact that for $900 you get an imperfect piece of glass from Canon! I would fire the quality control employees if I am the manager in Canon.


Feb 8, 2006
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Liquidpics
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Registered: Jun 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1107
Review Date: Feb 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fast, Awesome Bokeh! Great performer in low light situations! The best portrait lens out there for a full frame camera!
Cons:
This lens really hooks you into the "gotta have" more fast L's phenomenom.



Feb 3, 2006
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Al_10D
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1797
Review Date: Jan 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $706.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, excellent colors and bokeh.
Cons:
None

So far it is the best lens I ever owned.

Jan 13, 2006
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540437 Oct 10, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,285.99
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.79
9.40
9.9
ef135mmf_2l_1_


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