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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
389 528633 Sep 25, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,295.68
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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klutterbooks
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Registered: Sep 4, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 25, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Portable, sharp and reliable.
Cons:
None

I've had this lens for a little while now, and I'm still getting to know it. I'm making the transition to the 135mm prime from my 200mm prime as a day to day lens on my 5DII. I used the 200mm f2.8 quite a bit before getting this lens, and I still like it, but I wanted a lens that was more useful in low light, indoors and close up(ish). In my hands the 135mm delivers fewer hits than the 200mm, but that's more a reflection of my ability at this focal length, and the kind of shots I'm trying to get. Obviously, the 135mm is sharper and faster than the 200mm, although not *that* sharp (by modern standards) if you believe the data on the dxo mark site. In fact, my 100mm is supposed to be sharper (you might wonder why I bothered with a 135mm if I already had a 100mm - it really is a great lens. Quick answer - speed, IS doesn't deal with motion blur created by too low a shutter speed at an ISO you don't want to go above). Anyway, great lens. Sample: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgooday/9881102013/

Sep 25, 2013
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trumpetjohn
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Registered: Sep 24, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 24, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, fast focus, light weight, image quality
Cons:

For around a $1,000 this is an amazing portrait lens! I have used it for family and engagement portrait sessions and it delivers images that are incredible. The subject just seems to pop in the image, which goes beyond just shallow depth of field. The subject has a vibrancy in color/contrast that is great. It is difficult to use this lens for events where I do not have enough room to move around. The 70-200 2.8 ii is a better choice for event coverage, but the images don't have the same sparkle or amazing out of focus areas. The 135 is great for kids photography, since they are smaller and you can get in a little closer.

Sep 24, 2013
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John57
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Aug 7, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $695.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, weight, not white ! f2 ... Cost.
Cons:
No 'IS'. Sharp but not as sharp as I expected given some reviews.

This lens is very good, as you have probably read from the numerous reviews on it by others (which I too read prior to purchasing it).
It focuses quietly, smoothly and quickly. It does not weigh much compared to other L lenses. It is black as opposed to white (I hate white lenses as everyone looks when you use it!).
It is quite sharp, but not as sharp as my 85 f1.2 nor quite as sharp as I expected - but is excellent nonetheless. f2 is wonderful to isolate and the background bokeh predictably excellent. I was expecting a lens with the sharpness of my old 180mm Macro after reading many reviews - but it is not that sharp. I think the 85 and 180 are the sharpest lenses I have ever used but that is to say they are truly superb as opposed to this bad in any way!
Colour and contrast are great.
Watch your shutter speeds as there is no IS. I am finding 160th of a second is not enough for me to get shots without movement being evident (something I don't normally find a problem.
It is great on my 5D Mk 3 and I would recommend it, especially if looking for this focal length and not wanting to pay for or use a large white 70-200 Smile


Aug 7, 2013
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yffic
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Registered: Mar 9, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 21
Review Date: Jul 8, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, wonderful bokeh, usable at full aperture
Cons:
Not at this time

It's my first review. It's not my first L lens but this is the firs who gives me the Waouhh effect: it's so sharp and this lens has a wonderful bokeh. What is awesome with this lens is the quality at full aperture.
Of course it's a prime and not so usable than a zoom by I definitly prefer the 135/2 than the 70-200/2.8


Jul 8, 2013
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barnwellh
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Registered: Apr 26, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 30, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, sleek, non-descript , vivid and contrasty images and fantastic bokeh
Cons:
N/A

To round out my kit with a telephoto lens, I sincerely believed that I needed the EF 70-200mm 2.8 II L IS!…All the amateurs and pros that I admire had one in their kit, the countless product reviews touted the importance of versatility of a zoom and the need for image stabilization – right?!?…instead of making the 2K purchase I opted to rent one for a week…I was excited for less than 10 minutes after mounting that glass to my camera body: the weight, the beige color, the massive lens hood, the limitation of the 2.8 aperture simply did not click for me...yeah it captured those moments but there was no pop / sizzle (even at 200mm) - man I knew there was another lens that was: faster, sharper, sleeker, non-descript , produced vivid, contrasty images and delivered creamy marshmallowy bokeh that Adobe / Nik Software can't even replicate!!…Yes I'm talking about the "Lord of the Red Rings" aka the Canon EF 135MM f2.0 L. This is the review that you hoped you would read – I was once like you on the outside looking in – unsure of the capabilities of this lens / lack of versatility…I can testify that the construction is tough, its auto-focus is wicked fast, the images are sharp, constrasty, vivid, the bokeh is what everyone desires..who cares if you have to zoom with your feet?!? Utilizing this fixed focal length opens up new creative possibilities for you!! This lens goes monkey banana's wide open at f2.0, is a slam dunk at f2.2 / 2.5, offers tactical beauty at f3.2, and at f9.0 makes Scott Kelby wish he owned Canon glass. Obviously it's all relative to your photography style and or budget – I recommend reading the product reviews here at Fred Miranda of this lens, checking out the Canon 135mm image pools on 500px, Flickr and renting one for a weekend or week. Thanks for reading.

May 30, 2013
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oldshutterhand
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 30, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very good optical quality, good contrast, nice colours, good built quality, very quick autofocus system, f2 brightness
Cons:
Not really has a bad aspect, just a price little high for an amateur, perhaps a plastic filter thread is the weakest point


This lens is very good optically and mechanically as well, f2 brightness is really helps to keep the quality high. A really useful tool for portraits, and other kinds of photography with this focal lenght.

See my review with samples at www.oldshutterhand.com/equipment-reviews/canon-135-f2/


May 30, 2013
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agnesleung
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Registered: Dec 12, 2010
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 20, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: built and handling, price, f2.0, bokeh, color, contrast, auto focus speed, minimum focus distance, it's black (not white).
Cons:
no weather sealing, a little bit heavy.

My very first Canon prime was the prime pipe: Canon EF200 f2.8L, this lens looks identical to it (only a bit shorter) which is also a very solid built lens. Both lenses produce very similar color and their image quality is excellent. The 135L is a little bit lighter and a little faster.

I also have the canon 35mm f1.4L and the canon 100 2.8L macro, both are wonderful prime lenses, the 135L is totally on par with the color and sharpness of these two lenses, and produces even better bokeh in my taste. Though my go to lens is always my 35L for it's range and extreme low light usability.

This lens is a very well regarded portrait lens in Canon's camp, and I think one should not confine the usage of this lens to portraits only, for it is actually excellent in shooting all things in open space, especially in fine weather. I can set the iso of the camera to 50, to get very sharp and clean images hand held, wide open at f2.0, the bokeh is simply stunning, creamy and delicious. With extension tubes added, it can turn into a wonderful macro lens, though it is not as flexible and as easy to use compare to true macro lenses.

The following albums for your reference:

1) A test shot with the lens wide open at f2.0

http://agnesleung.com/2013/05/farewell-to-spring-2013/#more-2578

2) With Kenko extension tubes added:

http://agnesleung.com/2013/04/peonies/

3) http://agnesleung.com/tag/canon-135mm-f2l/





May 20, 2013
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chmod
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Registered: May 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 43
Review Date: Apr 30, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Predictability, focus lock, vibrancy
Cons:
nothing which matters

After reading many long, and arduous threads pertaining to the new Zeiss 135, I felt compelled to share my perspective on the Canon 135.

For my purposes, this is a spectacular lens. I need fast auto-focus, predictable focus lock and natural, vibrant color rendition. This lens provides all of these requirements.

Do I wish it were manufactured with metal? Sure, that would be swell...but it doesn't impact how it performs for my purposes.

I rarely shoot static landscapes or posed images. For that I would investigate alternatives, just to make sure. I do not believe one lens works perfectly for all circumstances, after all.

My work requires auto-focus. I do not use burst mode, but the lens would produce movie-like frames. In fact, it might be fun to try!

On a full frame body, I rely upon this lens and it does not disappoint.

A recent stage show using this lens exclusively...

http://www.idyll.com/laneysat


Apr 30, 2013
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rbussmann
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Registered: Apr 11, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic lens, wonderful color rendition, tough built.
Cons:
A bit long for interior work in small spaces.

Exceptional lens if you have enough work space, great bokeh.

Apr 23, 2013
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kyerthenomad
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Registered: Nov 29, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 16, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,000.00

 
Pros: who doesn't like this lens? the best L for the money, great candid lens
Cons:
it's not as practical a portait lens as the 85

Love it love it love it! (who doesn't) it works well with my 50mm 1.2 for weddings and events.

Feb 16, 2013
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Stoffer
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Registered: Jan 27, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 561
Review Date: Feb 8, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extreme sharp, superb bokeh, fast AF, outstanding value
Cons:
None

An outstanding gem in the Canon lens-lineup. Extreme sharp even wide open, wonderful bokeh to kill for, fast autofocus all at an great price. Great on both APS-C and full-frame. Good MFD.

I'm adding an EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II to my lens setup because I need the shorter focal range and IS when shooting indoors in low light, but it is much more heavy. The 135 F2.0L is way more stealthy when you need the for candid street shooting.


Feb 8, 2013
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paulw
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Registered: Apr 19, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 14, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compared to 70-200 f/2.8isII it's so light, and pin sharp at f/2 after careful AFMA
Cons:
I miss the IS. In some respects the f/2 advantage is diminished by this.

Out of curiosity I tracked the focal length used for portaits over a four week period using the 70-200 f/2.8isII. A staggeringly high percentage were in the 120-150mm range. So that quickly turned my attention to the 135 f/2. AF is very fast but doesn't seem quite up to the 70-200 f/2.8isII.

After autofocus microadjustment (AFMA) on my 1D4 and 5D3 it's settled in just fine delivering stunning files even at f/2. BTW the AFMA for both bodies needed -9.


Dec 14, 2012
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kyerthenomad
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Registered: Nov 29, 2012
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Canon's best L lens for the money. Size and weight. It's a an excellent candid lens
Cons:
not much... perhaps it's not as practical for portraits as the 85 1.2.



Nov 29, 2012
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vaflower
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Registered: Oct 21, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Review Date: Nov 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Nov 27, 2012
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sgtbueno
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Registered: Jun 30, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 360
Review Date: Nov 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price!! Image quality, bokeh
Cons:
None

This is an amazing lens, I just can't believe that is so inexpensive.

Dont worry about non IS, this lens is great, my keeper rate with this lens on my 5dm11 is above 95%, and thats amazing with any lens on the mkii.

It is sharp and prodice an amazing bokeh,you will not find anything to hate about this lens, along with the 35L, is all you need for any wedding or event.


Nov 25, 2012
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Rob Holloway
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Registered: Oct 28, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 28, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color rendition Contrast Speed of focus Bokeh Balance
Cons:
None

The first L lens I purchased. Every time I looked through shots from a weekend these just shined. The lens yields great blacks and my keep rate is very high.

135mm might seem like a focal length you won't use. On a FF body it's awesome for portraits without being in the subjects face.

Bokeh is wonderful!

Another important point for me is that the lens is not white and obtrusive.

I have about 13 lenses and this is always in my bag.


Oct 28, 2012
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
389 528633 Sep 25, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,295.68
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.79
9.40
9.9
ef135mmf_2l_1_


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