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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
393 538976 Sep 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,285.99
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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chounchai
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: Thailand
Posts: 13
Review Date: Apr 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness is perfect (combine together very well on contrast and resolution, it remind me the character of Leica M lens), boken is exelences (very smooth as silk, especially combination with lowest noise character of 1D MarkII), color renting is neutral(becareful the reflex of color source light that may effected to your subject)
Cons:
if it posible to inculde the hood with the lens would be perfect for the design.

I'm not really need portrait lens, so I'm always using other lens for this purpose, but after try this lens, I would say it remind me the time using Leica M with their lens.
It so perfect on sharpness until never need to high up the sharpness on processing state and it DOF keep smooth skin as it need for portrait.
The sample of photo I took for my wife which she did not make up her face much when I would take her picture, she really don't want to the out come but this lens make her so happy.
(see this link for some sample)
http://www.pbase.com/chounws3/canon_ef_135_f2_l


Apr 24, 2005
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robbrown99
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Registered: Apr 15, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 42
Review Date: Apr 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1. f2 at 135mm! Enough said 2. Bokeh - is divine 3. Great focal length for portrature and street work on 35mm or full-frame digital.
Cons:
1. Not many really - wouldn't give it up even though I've had a problem with it.

This is my favourite lens. I bought it last year as I was getting more serious about my photography and wanted sharper, more pleasing images than my (now sold) 75-300 IS could deliver. I almost bought the 70-200 f4L, but after reading reviews on here I was swayed towards this. I must say I am extremely pleased with this decision - I believe this lens has really changed the way that I approach my photography. Having used a 28-135 IS most of the time I found it really enjoyable having to think about framing my subjects and positioning myself instead of using a zoom and mis-framing by including too much of the subject.

The detail you can get from this lens is astonishing. I was blown away when I got my first set of trannies back from the lab! Not only is it capable of drawing minute details onto film or digital, but also faithfully reproduces colours and tones. The out-of-focus backgrounds at f2 are lovely and for portraiture I believe this is a really solid piece of equipment to own. Such a wide maximum aperture gives you so much extra light that it is possible to hold in low lighting. Perhaps one drawback is that at 135mm you can see wobble if you drop your shutter speed too low. I have steady hands, but would only dare to shoot down to maybe 1/60 sec for a keepsake, or 1/125 sec for a real keeper.

I've had one problem with this lens - just after I bought it I noticed that the manual focus ring was not functioning properly - autofocus was fine, but the tensioning was not correct - the ring would turn but the focussing element would not! I was a bit annoyed, but sent it back for warranty and got it back in good time. To be honest that was 8 months ago and I'd forgotten about that until I started writing!

Anyway, a great lens - buy one if you can! Forget that whopping white 70-200 2.8 IS - this lens is small (weighty), super sharp and super versatile. The 1.4 extender works well with it too. I was a film devotee and still am. Last week I got myself a 1Ds after debating about the various merits of the other cameras in Canon's digital lineup - I didn't want to change this focal length. For those of you with 1.3x or 1.6x crops who grumble about this focal length: you are really missing the point! This was ( I think) developed for a 35mm frame - I just wouldn't find anything longer that useful. This is the one lens that I own that made me hold off digital for so long and now I have my full-frame 1Ds I am a very, very content man Smile


Apr 15, 2005
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Barry F.
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Registered: Apr 10, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp even with the 1.4 converter
Cons:
None at all

Combined with any of my SLR's this outperforms any of the lenses I own for sharpness and contrast. Without doubt the best lens I own.

Apr 10, 2005
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Jay Ouellet
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Registered: Mar 13, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 4, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: -135+1.4X combo:wonderful -portable,sharp platform
Cons:

UPDATE: EF 135 f:2L
I recently brought along this lens with the 1.4X on a trip to beautiful Vancouver...I transfered my memory card to my Epson P-2000 card reader and viewer...it was immediately apparent how well this 135 +1.4X combo works.Wonderfully sharp and contrasty images in a light package.
Gotta remember:w/20D and other 1.6 sensors,your shooting with an effective FL of 300mm...so keep that shutter speed high.


Apr 4, 2005
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Jia Wang
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Registered: Apr 2, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 120
Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, excellent bokeh, reasonably priced (for an L lens)
Cons:
A little heavy (but not something that's difficult to handle)

Before I got this lens, whenever I shoot portraits where I need this focal length, I'd be using my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO HSM. The Sigma does a wonderful job for me as well, but the weight is a bit of a let down especially when I need to handhold and shoot portraits for a long period of time...

I've not shot with this lens extensively yet, but the test shots I did with the 135mm f2L has been very satisfying...
I've uploaded some of my test shots at:
http://www.pbase.com/jiawang/135mm_testshots

I'll post another review once I've shot more human portraits.


Apr 2, 2005
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d10d
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1090
Review Date: Mar 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast and sharp!... great bokeh... 'comfortable' to hand-hold
Cons:
none really... (wish list - closer focusing distance... but i would say that about all of my lenses except the 100 macro, 17-40, and 28-75 XR)

This is a great lens that I am starting to absolutely love... I have slowly switched over to primes (with a couple of exceptions) and the 135 f2 another reason to do so... it is super quick and ever so sharp! The image results are stunning... at first i just noticed that images with this lens were 'different' (based on test subjects that i have shot with my other lenses)... when I got a chance to zoom in in post processing then I saw the difference!!...

I also find the size 'comfortable' to work with... it is on the larger side but a little easier to manage than the 200 f2.8...

I definitely look forward to getting better at shooting with this lens!

expensive... but highly recommended!


Mar 25, 2005
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jimyd
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Registered: Mar 23, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: this lens behaves and feels like a lens should. I cant fault this lens.
Cons:
none

Brilliant..better than my 300F2.8L...a tad sharper..not by much but. On a fuul frame digital camera this is the best walk around lens...street stuff

Mar 23, 2005
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Jay Ouellet
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Registered: Mar 13, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra-sharp at all apertures,light,super-fast at f:2.
Cons:
Expensive

Just bought it.Absolutely first-rate optics.I need fast lenses which are sharp wide open.This complements my 200:1.8 wonderfully.As a bonus,it doesn't weigh 7 lbs...so I will be using this as my pick-up-and-go lens.A MUST for those demanding pin-point sharpness wide open...and highly portable.
I have only partially star-tested this lens,but so far I find no reason to doubt this is Canon's second sharpest optic,behind the 200:1.8.
Star Test:
Enlarging a star's image is the ultimate test one can perform on a lens.By taking 3 exposures: one in focus,and the other two inside and outside of focus.Then upon enlargement,check the shape of the Airy disk. It should be uniformly round,not eliptical.
Spherical and chromatic aberations on the 135:2 and 200:1.8 are simply outstanding.
By comparison, my 300:4L and 28-135 IS show significant spherical aberation.For example,the 200:1.8@1.8 reveals considerably more and sharper craters than the 300:4@4,despite having a 2/3rd image scale.
Both the 135:2 and 200:1.8 are very expensive but worth the money if you intend on producing large,detailed prints.


Mar 13, 2005
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justruss
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Registered: Jul 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4495
Review Date: Mar 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. Color, contrast, sharpness, speed...
Cons:
zip, zero, ziltch

Not much to say really. One of canon's best lenses, up there with the 85 1.2, and 200 1.8.

Pretty much a razor at 2.0, thin dof, bokeh to die for.

Focues on a dime, great build. It's my benchmark lens.


Russ


Mar 7, 2005
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IraGraham
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Registered: Oct 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 622
Review Date: Mar 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $830.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Excellent Color, Wonderful bokeh, fast focus, great contrast
Cons:
None, worth the price. To see the images quality will make you a believer in this lens. A must have lens for the serious portrait photographer.

Buy this lens, you will finally see what the big deal is about "L" lenses. This is the sharpest lens I have ever had with the best colors and contrast.

Mar 5, 2005
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Chris Procter
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Registered: Jul 2, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 873
Review Date: Feb 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp - Sharp - Sharp Superb bokeh
Cons:
None

This has been my Fav Lens for a long while now.. I really like the way my pictures jump out at you, with the Superb bokeh

plus the its great for low light stuff, I like to take lots of street candids and this Lens is good for that, as its very stealthy - not like having a great white lens which is pretty unmissable
also combined with the Converters its a great tool

Cant praise it highly enough 'BUY IT NOW'


Feb 18, 2005
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coreypolis
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Registered: Oct 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1754
Review Date: Feb 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $830.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp! Great colors and bokeh
Cons:
Really have to watch out for the small DOF at close range, a little long on the 1.6x's

Debated between the 70-200 F/2.8 and this, sure glad I got it. Its so sharp its ridiculous. Couldn't be happier, especially when I upgrade to a 1.3x from a 1.6x

Feb 18, 2005
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Kirk77
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Registered: Dec 5, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Review Date: Feb 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small Quick SHARP....SHARP....very good detail rendition.
Cons:
NONE.

Best valu for money in "L" glass...closely followed by 17-40L and 70 200f4L.
Top results from this piece lens. at ALL aperatures. I mainly use it @ 2 to about 4..and the consistent sharpness and clarity amazes me every time. Its a little crisper than my 300f2.8L.
I Love it.


Feb 17, 2005
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Feb 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb bokeh, Very sharp @ f2, Superfast autofocus,even in low light. Big plus that you can attach extenders to this lens.
Cons:
slight flare when pointed towards the sun without the hood...easily fixed...use the hood.

I have had this lens before....5 years ago....kept it for a week used it and sold it to get the 70-200f2.8L IS.
I regretted selling this lens...it was superb, and i havent been able to get this quality from my other lenses.
I purchased a "Grey" version of B&H and it is every bit as good as the one I had 5 years ago. In fact I paid half the price for this one..and I am very pleased indeed....HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Feb 7, 2005
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joe mama
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Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4618
Review Date: Jan 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, fast (aperture and AF), beautiful color, contrast, and bokeh.
Cons:
No IS version of it.

No doubt my favorite lens. Previous favorite was 35 / 1.4L. Not that you can use the 135 like a 35, but I'd rather take pics at 135 than 35 now! : )

Anyway, the lens is perfect all the way around. My only complaint, if you can even call it a complaint, is that there is no IS version of it. Yeah, I know -- waaah. But seriously, I do use it indoors (often), and even ISO 800 is still about 1/60 sec. Of course, there are ISOs 1600 and 3200, and yes, I do use them (a grainy sharp pic is better than a smooth blurred pic!), but honestly, IS would be so, so, so very helpful. Since Canon is seeming uninterested in an AS body like Minolta, they need produce an IS 135 / 2L *without* sacrificing IQ (image quality).

Costs too much, though. Yeah, you should get it, but why is it only $300 less than a 300 / 4L IS and $200 more than a 200 / 2.8L? Of course, if I'm gonna bitch about that, may as well drag that 35 / 1.4L into the discussion! : )

Oh yeah -- one more complaint: doesn't fit in my camera bag with the hood on. Misses by one inch. So the lens, or hood, should be an inch shorter! : )

Bottom line: get it. If you don't find it's for you, sell it for almost what you paid for it. If you don't get one, you'll never know what you're missing. Make sure you use it at f / 2 often, though -- that's what you're paying for!

Too long indoors? I think not!

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/38371894


Jan 18, 2005
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2911
Review Date: Jan 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00

 
Pros: Fast AF. Compact. Noticeably sharper than the 70-200L IS, and more useable in wedding photography's dark churches.
Cons:
Too long for meaningful photojournalism or portraits. Great for indoor sports shooters like volleyball or basketball, or stage photography.

Overrated focal length, even on a 1.3 crop. Very nice for traveling with due to it's small (relative) size, but I'd think twice before getting this lens again because I felt a little crass using it for street photography.

Also for portraits it compresses a bit too much, giving a removed, rather distant feel to the image.

I guess this is more a criticism of the focal length, because as a lens I suppose it's very nice. Well-enough built, light weight, ridiculously sharp, and extremely fast focusing.


Jan 9, 2005
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
393 538976 Sep 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,285.99
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.80
9.40
9.9
ef135mmf_2l_1_


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