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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540521 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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Daan B
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Registered: Aug 15, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7591
Review Date: Nov 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $940.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ (especially wide open), build, AF, versatility
Cons:
Contrast and colors not up to the same level as the 35L or 85L (although still good)

I bought the 135L to accompany my 35L and 85L for shooting people. The 135L is used mainly for tight portraits on a 5D.

It is sharp already at f/2.0. It becomes really sharp at f/2.8 and stays that way up to f/11. Fantastic performance. Definitely this lens greatest strength. Contrast is good, but not as excellent as the contrast of the 35L or 85L. Same thing for the colors. In PP I find myself often tweaking contrast and colors of 135L files. Bokeh is excellent, especially at f/2.0. Distortions and fringes/CA's are no issue at all. There is a little bit vignetting at f/2.0.

The build quality is excellent. The 135L has a good size and weight, and balances well on my 5D (with grip). AF is fast as lightning and accurate. Manual focusing is a joy because of the broad rubber focus ring. The 135L is also a very versatile lens. Performance remains good when used with a 1.4x TC. With a 25mm tube it also can be used for some rather creative macro photography (DOF becomes insanely thin).

This lens asks to be used at f/2.0. Here it really shines. Although IQ is very good, it is not up to the same levels as the 35L or 85L. It misses some of that magic. But if you are in need of a fast tele prime, look no further...



Nov 26, 2007
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GeneO
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Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9098
Review Date: Nov 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, light, sharp, lovely smooth DOF transistion
Cons:
close backlight or lightsouce can flare

I bought his for shooting low light, no flash permitted, indoor sports for use with my 1D Mark IIN. It hasn't dissapointed. A little long on the 1dmk2n in some situations.

Would make a great indoor candid lens on a full frame. To long for a 1.3X, but somewhat useable for that. Great portrait lens even with the 1.3x crop body.

Looking forward to many more applications with this beauty.


Nov 25, 2007
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PJ Fish
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Registered: Nov 24, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 18
Review Date: Nov 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This is one of the 3 Nikon Kings ! its simple awesome and super sharp !
Cons:
None..

This is the king of 135 mm it got it all ;sharpness ,contrast,bokeh ,yes its simply the best for the money,i use it for soccer, handball icehokey and all kinds of sports, its definitively in a class of its own.
All the hype is true : its super!


Nov 19, 2007
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Nov 5, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Fast and Light.And its "L" Prime lens
Cons:
None

After Long useage of this lens i tend to "NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT"
Good for POTRIATS well recommended.And this is my second review.


Nov 5, 2007
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nickstills
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Registered: Nov 3, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest lens ever and great build quality.
Cons:
none

I love how sharp this lens is- even at full aperture it is brilliant. And when it is stopped down just a little bit the image quality goes to astonishing and outstanding. It must be one of the best lenses on the planet. Also the build quality is excellent.


Nov 3, 2007
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David Baldwin
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Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2840
Review Date: Nov 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superlative image quality, even at full aperture, build quality, surprisingly compact for its specification.
Cons:
A bit expensive here in the UK, but as they say "the quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten". How true.

This lens is a legend, deservedly so. I've used alot of good glass over the last 25 years or so, Zuiko, Pentax, Carl Zeiss, Nikkor etc, but nothing, nothing has impressed me as much as this Canon 135mm. In the UK we pay through the nose for our camera kit, you guys in the US get a much better deal than us, so you've got even less excuse for not buying the Canon 135. However, I think that the price I paid for the 135mm over here is still worth every penny. A keeper by any standards.

I bought this lens mainly for portraits on my 40D. The results really are something to cheer about! This is an ideal portrait lens, the images really look "expensive", sophisticated. I don't know how else to describe the effect. The difference between this lens and ordinary 135mms is quite dramatic (believe me, I've owned a few), the results wide open have a 3D punch which is really, really impressive. If you love photographing people just go out and buy this Canon classic.

If I'm feeling lazy or want to be spontaneous, I put the camera on aperture priority, set an aperture of f2 and shoot away. The lens auto focuses convincingly on the 40D.

The hood is really deep and actually fits the lens properly.

I also use this beauty for astrophotography, even at full aperture the stars look compact and sharp at the edge of my cropped frame camera images.

I can't wait to use this lens on the 5D Mk II whenever it comes out.


Nov 2, 2007
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Peter Kotsa
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 267
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, licht, quick focus
Cons:
flare

One of Canons best. without the hood the lens suffers from a bit of flare, apart from thet..perfect

Nov 1, 2007
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Cacdaddy3
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 86
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The last reviewer was wrong, it is not almost perfect, it is perfect.
Cons:
None

Shot most of the time either wide open for portraits or hockey or at about 5.6. to 6.3 for landscapes and pano's. This thing is versatile and my best focusing lens. It is also my sharpest lens being about on par with my 200 1.8 (made it easier to sell the 1.8). Have thought about going to nikon at times but this is the one lens that makes me stay put although I have been very tempted about getting a 85L.

Nov 1, 2007
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juberisk2
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Registered: Sep 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 406
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: in virtually every aspect (AF, size, sharpness, color, etc) this prime portrait lens is perfect for what it is.
Cons:
none

I don't mind using my 70-200/2.8IS. And I sometimes had fun using my 85LII. But this one? I can't wait to use it again.

Nov 1, 2007
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suzy l
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Registered: Oct 31, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Oct 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: almost perfect
Cons:
none



Oct 31, 2007
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Oct 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp and unobtrusive for candids Lovely Bokeh
Cons:
doesn't always focus accurately - 25% of shots are not spot on when shooting wide open



Oct 27, 2007
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Matt Kerby
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Registered: Jun 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 511
Review Date: Oct 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Can't say anything more than has already been said, this lens is superb in all ways
Cons:
There are Zero negative aspects to this lens...worth every penny



Oct 26, 2007
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princeeric2
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Registered: Oct 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 384
Review Date: Oct 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great bokeh! very smooth & creamy at f/2.... Sharp wide opened.
Cons:
None!

I've read all the reviews about this lens and drooled about it for sometimes. However, I was not ready to buy it because I had 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-400mm L IS, 85mm L and I wasn't looking to buy 135mm L any time soon. Then I came across a Mint-Used copy complete in original box for $700. So, I bought it instantly without a second thought.

This lens is one the best lens that I've own, par with my 85mm 1.2L. My other L zoom lenses can not duplicate the bokeh, color, sharpness... that this lens can do at f/2.

If you are having a dilema whether you should get this lens or not, because you already have the great 70-200mm L IS, or 24-70mm L 2.8, etc... In my own finding that this lens is far more superior than the L zoom lenses. A must have lens if you are shooting portrait or like to shoot in the 100mm+ range. I loved this lens!


Oct 20, 2007
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freshpage
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Registered: Nov 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Review Date: Oct 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything! Image quality, build quality, bokeh, etc.
Cons:
It's a bit expensive... but that's L glass.

I needed the ability to shoot in 'available dark' and wanted a little bit of reach... I'd read the reviews, but still didn't expect this level of quality - what a beautiful lens! Fast, tack-sharp even wide-open, gorgeous bokeh, solid build quality and reasonable size and weight.

Currently, I shoot with a 1.6 crop factor so it makes this lens a little longer than I'd prefer for portrait work, but that's why my legs still work. Smile I've played around with it on a 5D and it's perfect on a full-frame...

Highly recommended!


Oct 18, 2007
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Per Zangenberg
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Registered: Jan 17, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 11
Review Date: Oct 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, shallow DOF at f2, very sweet bokeh, black, fast focus, amazing color and contrast, smaller and lighter than 70-200 2.8, good build
Cons:
No weather sealing, can't make coffee...

I was looking for something with a more shallow DOF that my 70-200 f4 IS. The 70-200 2.8 is too big and heavy, so i bought a used 135L. When I got the first pictures on my monitor I was like "HOLLY CRAP"! I shoot pretty much only at f2 and the pics i get are just so much better than anything I ever got with the 70-200 f4 IS!

A few samples all 5D @ f2:
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=737
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=739
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=738
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=764
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=766
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=765
http://www.zangenberg.net/foto/index.php?id=759


Oct 17, 2007
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Matthew Nelson
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Registered: Sep 26, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $903.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp. Unearthly bokeh. Light weight compared to my 70-200 f/2.8L IS with much greater sharpness.
Cons:
None.

I wanted to get a portrait lense and read review after review until I decided to buy the 135 f/2L. It has taken me to a completely new dimension of photography. I have a 24-70 f/2.8L and a 70-200 f/2.8L IS which I thought were incredible, but this lense has definitely proven to be much sharper by a long shot. Previously I went for the zooms so I didn't have to move around to get a shot. Now, I don't mind shuffling my feet a bit to get the perfect shot as the images are out of this world! A must have lense.

Oct 14, 2007
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540521 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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