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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
389 529089 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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Daniel Buck
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Registered: Jan 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3458
Review Date: Dec 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $839.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp (even wide open!) small and light (compared to the 70-200 2.8 zooms), build quality
Cons:
Close focus distance maybe? less than 3 feet would be nice, but I can hardly call that a "negative" aspect.

I absolutly love this lens, for many reasons:

#1. Focal length. It's a perfect focal length for many things: Vehicle photography (both still and in motion), concerts, portraits, and so on.

#2. Build quality. A very solid lens, nice feel and size to the focus ring feels right at home on a 1-series camera.

#3. Optics. Very sharp, even wide open. I notice a bit of contrast loss and maybe some slight bluring of the colors at f2.0, but still very sharp. Very good contrast and seems to handle flares good (especially with the lens hood on). The background Bokeh is super smooth, and for objects a bit away from the lens shot wide open you can get a nice "3d" effect to isolate objects very good from the blurred background.


Works very well with a circular polarizer. The only funky thing about that is the fact that you can't really use a polarizer with the lens hood attached. That would be very nice!


This lens is on my camera (both digital EOS-1D and film EOS-1) more than any other lens. It's a perfect fit for me. I'm usually shooting at either f2.0 or f4.5 for automotive photography. On my 300d, it seemed a bit unbalanced, but then again the 300d does not weigh much.

If I were to find one "negative" aspect of this lens, I would have to say maybe that it's closest focus distance is about 3 feet. Thats not to bad considering it's 135mm, but being as sharp as this lens is and how beautiful the background Bokeh is, it would make for some very interesting shots even closer than 3 feet!


Dec 2, 2004
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baoluanle
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Registered: Mar 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 103
Review Date: Dec 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $775.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: nothing else comes close, perfect! one of the best primes ever made by canon.
Cons:
none

others said it all already. one more thing this lens our-resolves the 10D above f2. i can't tell the difference in sharpness from f2-f11, hence the limiting factor is my 10D.

Dec 2, 2004
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CarlG
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Registered: Mar 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 6282
Review Date: Nov 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Hands down, the BEST lens I have ever owned! Sharpness, contrast, colors and bokeh are out of this world! Need I say more? Focus is fast, quiet and accurate. Handholding is a pleasure.
Cons:
Absolutely nothing!

By far, the best lens I have ever owned! I did own the 85 f/1.2 at one time and thought is was very good but did not even come close to this lens as far as sharpness and focus speed are concerned! From what I hear from other FM'ers, the 135 f/2 will hold its own against the 200 f/1.8 - never owned that to compare, though.

The images from this lens as so stellar - even shot wide open at f/2.0. I am using this lens on a 1D Mark II and even at f/2.0, I do not need to add much (if any) USM in PS. The Mark II is known for its softer image files (not that I am bashing the Mark II - the best D-SLR I've owned to date!) but with the 135 f/2, you would never know the images were never sharpened.

If you do not already own this lens, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Go get one and see what all the other owners are experiencing! A real GEM!

Carl


Nov 23, 2004
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maljo
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Registered: Mar 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 439
Review Date: Nov 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: one of the finest lenses ever made
Cons:
none

A joy to hold and use.
Bring your eye to the viewfinder and: bright, sharp, contrasty, beautiful.
The MTF curves are amazing, almost perfect.
This is one of the best, highest performing lenses ever made by anyone.

No matter how good the D2X turns out to be, it would be hard to change back
to Nikon and give up this lens.


Nov 6, 2004
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mateo_
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Registered: Jan 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 688
Review Date: Nov 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color, AF, works with 1.4 exceptionally well, size, weight, red ring, Everything.
Cons:
IS would be a dream, lens hood doesn't have the red dot to help you put it on ;)

I've shot with the lens for a just a week, covering HS sports, and I'm in love with it. I had contemplated the 70-200 IS, but the 135 is more flexible IMHO, despite being a prime. Its focal length and aperture are perfect for indoor sports, and with a 1.4 TC you can do field sports quite decently, although you're occassionally short. I also love shooting with primes, so it fits my style. There's nothing bad I can say about this lens, and everything good about it has been said. If you need anything in this area, get the lens. Period.

Nov 2, 2004
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sippinsoma
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Registered: Aug 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1474
Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $775.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp even at f/2, perfect bokeh, great on a 1.6x unlike many say
Cons:
Lens is a good size by itself, but with the hood it becomes pretty gigantic for a 135 in my opinion.

This is my walk-around lens for candids right now and I love it!

Oct 24, 2004
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bankroll
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Registered: Feb 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 862
Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $860.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. Seriously.
Cons:
Depending on sensor crop, a bit awkward focal length

This lens is nothing short of amazing. Definitely lives up to the hype. The only thing against it is that with cropped sensors (1.6x in particular) it is a bit of an odd focal length; usually coming up too long or too short.

I shoot mostly fashion/glamour type shots and this is what I use for headshots. If shooting outdoors and there is enough working room I will try to use it for everything (from full body to close-up) since it's that good. For studio work if you have a cropped sensor you probably won't reach for this lens too often since it's relatively long, unless of course you have a huge studio, which most people don't.


Oct 6, 2004
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chinatown
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Registered: Feb 6, 2003
Location: China
Posts: 132
Review Date: Sep 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $794.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp even at wide open, fast AF, acceptable weight.
Cons:
I have to get used to using this focal length 135x1.3=175.5 (this is my own problem)

this is the sharpest lens i have come across, and i am quite happy with bringing along with it, though it is not a zoom lens.

Sep 29, 2004
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jayemcee
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Registered: Jul 22, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 265
Review Date: Sep 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Lightweight, Practical, Available light capabilities, Extreme sharpness, smooth and creamy out of focus highlights, Price
Cons:
None found

An outstanding lens in every respect. I highly recommend this lens to any user and I would say that "if you can buy this lens, then you should do so". Furthermore, if you can only afford one lens for your EF lens mount camera, I believe that this should be the one lens that you should buy. A fantastic lens that is capable of serving many diverse applications.

Sep 2, 2004
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drisley
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Registered: Jul 12, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1527
Review Date: Aug 22, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Technically flawless! Sharpest lens I've ever used. Small, light, built like a tank, and it's black. Much nicer than the big white zooms. As sharp at F2.0 as it is at F8!
Cons:
None!

I wanted a replacement for the big, white, 70-200F4L as it attracted too much attention, and wasnt fast enough for indoor, low light situations.
The 135F2L exceeded my already high expectations! It's sharper at F2 than any other lens I've seen at any aperture. Absolutely no chromatic abberation, even wide open under extreme conditions. The background blur is beautiful, and the contrast is perfect.
I've viewed images at 100% taken with the EF 1.4x EXTENDER, and there is NO quality loss. Even with the extender, the images are visbly sharper than even the 70-200F4L.
The autofocus is blazingly fast, again the best of any lens I've used.
It's almost impossible to take a bad shot with this lens.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!


Aug 22, 2004
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vbacon
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Registered: Mar 30, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 308
Review Date: Jun 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, beautiful bokeh
Cons:
Haven't found any yet.

I love this lens! I was using other lenses (100-400 and 100/2.8) to shoot in this range. I was blown away at how much sharper this lens is and how much quicker it focuses. On my 10D I get excellent reach. I notice little or no degradation when adding the 1.4x. I feel like I got the 200/2.8 thrown in as a free bonus.

The only 'problem' is trying to shoot a lot wide open in action situations. You're dealing with a thin DOF which means an amateur like me gets a lot of out of focus shots. It's challenged me to get better at focusing in these situations. When you get the focus right, you get stunning photos. Or you can stop it down to 2.8 or 4 and still get very decent photos with a little less challenge.

I consider this a poor man's (well at $900 it's not really!) sports lens. I can't afford something like a 300/2.8 but this is a good compromise. At f2, you can even do indoor sports well while a larger lens (i.e. 100-400 5.6) just isn't fast enough.


Jun 29, 2004
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Location: United States
Review Date: Jun 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $920.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp even wide open, color & contrast
Cons:
-----

Very sharp wide open. Fast AF.

Jun 14, 2004
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christo™
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Registered: Apr 20, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1676
Review Date: May 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $840.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: F2 @135mm FL !!!, color, bokeh, AF performance, unobtrusive for such an FL
Cons:
none really

If you're into L class primes, I'd say this is the first "must have" in the Canon L line. As everyone says, the optics are fantastic in all criteria and the AF performance is as good as any in the Canon lineup, and that's not a slouchy lineup in the AF department.

If you're used to this FL on FF, you know what it does for head shots, and it's a regular portrait lens, with this model being the best in that FL I've used.

On a 1.6x, I found it just too long for most posed people shooting, but it makes a nice stealth candid shooter at outdoor events -- you are far enough away the subject isn't concious of the lens, and this lens doesn't attract anywhere near the attention of the Big Whites. It makes a heck of a big cage zoo lens on a 1.6x.

On a 1.3x, I find it useful for some nice shallow DOF headshot work outdoors, things like having all but one head in a group of people out of focus.

This lens with a 1.4x teleconverter is a nice lightweight fast 200mm, and still sharp enough.


May 25, 2004
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Velu01
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Registered: Aug 24, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2586
Review Date: Apr 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, Sharp, Size,Weight...
Cons:
None

Such a fast and sharp lens.
I love the way, ya can "create" such nice bokeh. Lot's a glass !
Built quality is superb.
I'm very happy I finnaly managed to get this one !


Recommended highly !!!


Apr 3, 2004
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Location: Belgium
Review Date: Apr 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It's perfect! The 135L f/2 has the perfect size, weight, speed, and lens color. It is razor sharp wide open and has a dreamy type of color and bokeh that you will absolutely fall in love with. LOL!
Cons:
It is razor sharp! You have been warned. :-)

The Canon 135mmL f/2 is my favorite lens. I love everything about it. It's fast, small, light, and BLACK. Unlike many of it's "L" lens brothers. Everytime I shoot, this lense goes with me. And most of the time, it's on one of my cameras!

Pictures from this lens seem to take on an almost dreamy quality. It's as if you are looking through a huge window when taking pictures. The colors are bright and vivid and the bokeh is wonderfully pleasing. The lens is also razor sharp at f/2. At times, this is a beautiful thing. You couldn't ask for more. But there are times where this fabulous lense can get you in trouble with female portrait subjects. The 135L f/2 will show you everything there is to know about their faces. EVERYTHING! You have been warned!

In my opinion, the 135L f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses. And no self respecting Canon lover should be without one. LOL! I really think that every Canon lover should find room in their camera bag for this superb lense. It's well worth the price of admission.

Highly recommended!



DCNETBOY


Apr 2, 2004
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Location: Belgium
Review Date: Apr 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $770.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp! Sharp! Sharp! Unbelieveable bokeh at f/2
Cons:
doesn't zoom (but you knew that already) maybe a less usefull focal lenght for the 1.6x crowd.

One of the premiere Canon lenses that unfortunatly gets overlooked because it's not as convenient to use as the 70-200 zooms. The sharpness has to be seen to believe. It will put every other lens you own to shame. The bokeh at f/2 is otherworldly. Not quite the same as the 85mm f/1.2, but a close second.

Apr 2, 2004
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
389 529089 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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