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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
391 536746 Aug 4, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,290.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.80
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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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Oct 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic build quality and superb optics - widely regarded by many independent sources to be one of the finest prime lenses by any manufacturer. Nice weight and handling. Focussing fast and accurate.
Cons:
None really. Even the the price is not unreasonable for what you get.

When you use a lens like, this you'll realise just how limiting zoom lenses are compared with a fast prime. You need optics like this to do justice to a camera like the EOS 1Ds or 5D. I have tested this lens with the 5D and find no problems with CA or vignetting at any aperture - unlike some zooms I have tried (the EF 28-135 IS looks like a pin hole camera at the long end with the 5D). It's great to use this lens for available light architectural shots (e.g. distant building details) and sports (e.g. basketball) where you are close to the action.
It excels, of course with portraits. At f2.8-4.0 it's a great lens for head and shoulders or facial shots, where you don't want to be 'on top of' your subject.

One of Canon's best lenses. Just beware very limited depth of field at f2.0. On an APS camera it becomes a 210mm f2.0 prime!


Oct 28, 2005
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beerboy
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Registered: Sep 14, 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 100
Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great bokeh, great DOF control, black, reasonably discrete, excellent build
Cons:
$$$$, odd filter size


This is a nice lens, and so it should be for the price.

So far I've used it for street portaits on a trip to China, and I was surprised how useful the fixed focal length was on a 1.6 crop camera (20D).

Excellent build quality, fast auto focus, and its fast.

But for me, the reason to get this lens is the Bokeh and DOF control. If you don't already have a 85 or 70-200 2.8 (which have great bokeh too) and can live with a fixed focal length, this could be the lens to get.

With the shallow DOF you have to careful with the focus. I've missed some shots at wide apertures because the AF got it wrong or I got the manual focus wrong (easy to do on APS size camera viewfinders).

I like the black colour of this lens. If the 70-200 2.8 came in black, I would have got that instead. The 135L attracts some attention , but I don't think as much as white L lenses.

If you take pictures of people (or animals,or anything you want the background blurred) this is a good (but expensive) option. For me, it's a keeper.





Oct 19, 2005
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enricoblasi
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Registered: Oct 19, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, very fast focusing, great contrast, very nice bokeh
Cons:
none

this is a great lens!!!!

Oct 19, 2005
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rcmanoj
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Registered: Jun 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 831
Review Date: Oct 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This is an excellent lens.It produces great bokeh and the color is fantastic.
Cons:
None.

What a lens!! The bokeh it priduces will blow you away.Get this beauty.

Oct 15, 2005
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JulioBC
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Review Date: Oct 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP, fast-focus, f2.0 is VERY useable, black
Cons:

The essential indoor sports or performance lens. I fyou can't get great photos with this lens IT's YOUR FAULT Smile
Even when used with the Canon 2X TC it makes a very good f4 270mm -- although stopping down to f5.6 or f8 noticeably improves the results (so what else is new with the 2X TC?)


Oct 14, 2005
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M.Sears
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Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Oct 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, quiet and fast focus, great build quality.
Cons:
None so far.

This lens is fairly compact, fast focusing, lightweight and a joy to use. Its sharpness and contrast and color are noticeably better than most of the other lenses from canon that I have used, save maybe the 300 2.8 and 400 2.8 but thats hard to judge as they are so much longer in focal length. Out of focus backgrounds are just beautiful and subjects really pop out of them from F-2.0 - F 4.0 Its everything I was led to believe it would be by reading the reviews here. Since its so fast being F 2.0, its tempting to use it in really really low light. Just remember it is 135mm and as such you really probably need to keep shutter speeds to 125 of a second, minimum unless your really paying attention to holding still. A 60th of a second with this lens is a lot tougher than it is with the massive 70-200 2.8 IS, with the IS activated. That lens spoiled me into using very slow shutter speeds for the focal length. The 135 is so light that even on a MKII body its easy to move it around if your not careful and get some soft images. A 135 F 2.0 with IS, now that would be a low light terror.

Oct 5, 2005
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maximage
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Registered: Jan 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 112
Review Date: Oct 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great sharpness - largest aperture IS the usable aperture. Lightweight. Works with Teleconverters.
Cons:
Aperture blade not circular. Wish there's IS, and rubber gaskets for peace of mind... :)

Put this lens and the 24/1.4 (some prefer 35/1.4) in your bag and you have a light weight combo that can handle 80% of shooting situations. Works well with TCs as well. Bring two TCs along and you have 200/2.8 and 300/4 without the size and weight.

Oct 4, 2005
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dunnomuch
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Registered: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, colour, contrast and BOKEH!!!!
Cons:
i wish the hood could be smaller.

I just got this lens and i'm glad i saved up for this. i previously had a 200mm f2.8 L prime, and i really liked that one, but with a 1.6CF body it wasn't really suitable for me. i shoot mostly portraits, and the 200mm is a little long for portraits. After reading the numerous good reviews here i decided to take the plunge and get this one.

i've only owned it for a few days, but right off the top, the sharpness and contrast is much better than my 70-200mm f4 L at 135mm.

it's smaller and lighter than most of the L zooms, and is only a little bigger than my 17-40L.

Bokeh is really in a class of its own. i'd say its as good as the 200mm L prime, if not better. i've never seen or used the 200mm f1.8, so i can't compare or comment.

i think i'm going to keep this lens for a long time. i've already got the 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, the 135mm f2, the 70-200L, 17-40L and a few other less mentionable canon EF lenses. of the lot, my favorites are the 50 f1.4, the 135 f2 and the 70-200L.

lens hood is big. i know it's big because it has to be, but storing the lens in my bag with the lens hood really takes up so much space. overall the lens is amazing enough for me to live with the size of the hood.


Oct 2, 2005
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Northwesterly
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Registered: Sep 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $86,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp at all apertures. Not too heavy.
Cons:
None

My "L" lens buying spree included the purchase of the Canon L 135mm F2. After having lurked on this forum and using it for helping me make buying decisions, I have decided to post my thoughts on this incredible lens.

First off, let me say that I've been blessed with all of my lens purchases. After reading here, I know it is possible to get a bad copy of a lens, but all of the lenses that I own are wonderful. I've had no major problems with any of them. You get what you pay for in any lens purchase. I will admit that I'm now quite fond of the L series. My 50mm 1.4 and my 85mm 1.8 are fast, and I'm more comfortable using primes than I am zooms, because of how well they hande low light situations.

Let's talk about the 135 L. It's sharp, clear, bright. Autofocus is quick, smooth, and I was blown away by the colors that the L lens provided. Photos almost look 3D. My copy is sharp at F2, as well, no softness noticed in the corners. The lens is built well, feels solid, and the bokeh on wide open shots is almost dream like. Because of this, I've become more keen on my choice of backgrounds for the photographs I make. The price was good, and since I don't need a super long lens, feel that this lens rounded out my collection. I also own the big brother, the 200MM F2.8 L. I will probably look at purchasing the 24-105MM when it comes out, but only after reading and studying the reviews here. I like the convenience of the zoom, but I'm still stuck on a good fast prime lens. They are hard to stay away from!



Sep 16, 2005
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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3678
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $725.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb image quality, great weight & size & balance.
Cons:

Ever since I sold my Zeiss 100/2 Planar, I've been obssessed in finding a replacement. The Zeiss (IMHO) is as good as Canon's legendary 200L F1.8. I sold the Zeiss because I wanted AF and normal metering. As replacements I've tried: Canon 100/2, Canon 70-200L F2.8 and Canon 200l F2.8 II. None of those came close to the Zeiss.

However, the 135L... It may be better than the Zeiss! Edge to edge sharpness on the 1Ds2, great micro contrast and the color is very nice. The lens is light and has great balance, so handheld use is very natural (the Canon 200 F2.8 L was alittle nose-heavy and lens shake was a problem for me).

I guess there are 100 posts above saying how great this lens is, so no reason to write what has already been said. This a great lens and performs wonderfully on FF.


Sep 10, 2005
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jabomano
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Registered: Dec 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 99
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything about this lens is imcredible, From the focus to the tack sharp images.
Cons:
zip, nada

On my 1Ds, with my studio lights and a pretty lady this lens/camera combo is unbeatable. This image is an extreme crop.

http://www.pbase.com/image/48793337.jpg

Ray


Sep 5, 2005
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9759
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast maximum aperture, good quick focusing, sharp from f 4.5 down, not too expensive for an 'L' lens. Nice manual focus ring & decent big hood included.
Cons:
Not that great at full aperture or until f 4.5, still need contrast 'adjustment' on digital. Silly lenshood fitting - not strong enough (not the only Canon lens with this issue !).

A very good lens, but not the 'astonishing' performer I had hoped for. Much lighter and obvously faster than my 70-200 2.8L but optically not really that different. Not quite as good at or near wide open as I'd been led to believe and therefore much the same as the 70-200 when stopped down. I previously had the 135 F2 FD series lens, which was just as good if not slightly better - perhaps the lead free glass now used?

I'm not absolutely sure I will keep it. Shame, the reviews are just *so* good I had hoped for a tiny bit more.


Sep 5, 2005
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Edwingoh
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Registered: Aug 18, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $890.00

 
Pros: Really sharp @ F2, Color, Contrast are very good ! Bokeh....very good lens
Cons:
None

After i use 3 weeks, The lens is really sharp and color and contrast are really good.. The Bokeh is very good....same as my 85mm F1.2L. Very sharp even Wide open....The autofocus is very fast. This is one of the best canon prime Lens....really nice.

Aug 21, 2005
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Edwingoh
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Registered: Aug 18, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $890.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Really Sharp...even wide open, Light weight ! I have 85mm 1.2 & this lens....really good !!
Cons:
none

Just brought the lens 2 weeks....after shoot around 200 shots....found out the lens is really sharp....even at F2, just like my 85mm 1.2, autofocus is very fast....very good Prime lens of Canon. I like it so much.....

Aug 18, 2005
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coffeeshakes
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Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 542
Review Date: Aug 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color, contrast & sharpness. Balances perfectly with 1 series body. Bokeh.
Cons:
No weather sealing, cost.

Not much to say that others already have not. I wish it was sealed so I could use it in snowstorms. Pricy but worth it. Love the size on my 1D.

Good light, a pretty girl, a 1Ds, and this. Can't get better!


Aug 18, 2005
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jcmedeiros
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Registered: Jun 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 760
Review Date: Aug 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, razor sharp and very fast.
Cons:
None.

There's not much to say other than this is one fine lens. The Only my 300mm f/4.0L can compare to the razor sharp images produced by this jewel. With the aperture wide open the brokeh is phenomenal.

Aug 16, 2005
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
391 536746 Aug 4, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,290.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.80
9.40
9.9
ef135mmf_2l_1_


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