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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540412 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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BrumJam
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Registered: Aug 16, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
Review Date: Sep 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, superb contrast and colours, Great FF portrait length, fast focusing, incredible value for money
Cons:
Nothing.

A simply outstanding piece of glass, certainly one of Canon's very best portrait lenses. I use it for weddings and it's my main lens for bride and groom shots. The bokeh is superb and there is a quality to the colours and contrast which must be seen to be believed.


Sep 26, 2010
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markbastick
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Registered: Sep 26, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, Light, Amazing contrast, pin-sharp, cheap for an 'L' lens
Cons:
...none!

I love this lens, it's so sharp, the contract and colours are amazing, and it's defiantly value for money. It's not too heavy and with the 5D mk 11 is a great combination. I also use a 50mm 1.4 and 24-70 L 2.8, the 135 is my favourite by far!

Sep 26, 2010
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retrofocus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 4029
Review Date: Sep 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast lens, beautiful bokeh with f2.0, fast AF performance, Canon teleconverters can be added
Cons:
none

Bought this lens used and got it as 2007 model in mint condition. I wanted to add it to my fast prime collection with 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.8.

At f2.0 this lens delivers fantastic results and crystal-sharp images. Even with the older AF system in the 5D II, the AF focus was always super fast and accurate. AF is better at f2.0 compared to my 85 f1.8 lens at the same aperture.

The bokeh wide open is beautiful but not different from the 85 f1.8 mm lens at f1.8 or f2.0 (tested it accurately with the same photo composition, only changing the camera-object distance accordingly to have the same field of view).

The big advantage of the 135 mm lens is the option to blur the background against a close object in front of it with f2.0. No other lens can do this easily for similar compositions.

Use Kenko extension tubes and you have plenty of closeup options with this lens, too.

The Canon 135 mm f2.0 L lens is the smallest Canon tele prime lens which can be fully used with both Canon teleconverters.

The lens is well built but not very heavy either. It also looks less suspicious than any of the white 70-200 zoom lenses.

At smaller apertures and longer exposure times additional tripod support might be recommended. But I mostly use this lens at fast speeds anyway.

I recommend to look out for a cheaper used version of this lens. Often people replace this lens with either a fast 85 mm lens or a version of the 70-200 f2.8 lens.


Sep 20, 2010
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beeber00
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Registered: Jul 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 741
Review Date: Sep 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, F 2.0 Quality, Size.
Cons:
Attention: Lack of IS is NOT a negative.

I hate to be an echo of all the other reviews, but this lens is just that good.

I used it on a 1d body, and it focused real, real fast. The focus ring is really nice, too.

Build - nice and solid. It feels great on the cameras I've used it on. Not too big and not too small. Its about the size of a 100 2.8 Macro, if you've used that.

Its 135mm, so you've got working distance. I like it because you don't have to zoom or do anything to get your subject in the right spot. I've had 'glate success' with candids.

Colors and contrast from this lens are very rich. You'll be able to tell youre using a 135 when you look at the photos.

Sure, 1000$ new could cost ya. But use Fred Miranda! Go subscribe to the B/S boards and you can get a used one for around 900. If you've never had a long prime lens, this one will change you for the better. Keep in mind, prosumers - 135 on your camera will be kinda long, so indoor shots of your crazy cats could be a problem.

Anywho. 10/10.


Sep 19, 2010
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Sarah McDonnel
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Registered: Sep 17, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic bokeh, contrast and colour saturation, plus sharp and not too heavy.
Cons:
None really

Just acquired this lens and really impressed with the images from it. Compared to my 24-70L the images just seem to ooze quality. It's a combination of factors, but the end result is amazing. I was also considering the 70-200 2.8 IS II but I'm so glad I went with this one now.

You can see some test images on my <a href="http://sarahmcdonnell.co.uk">wedding photography blog</a>.


Sep 17, 2010
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melchiorsen
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Registered: Sep 12, 2010
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $780.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp at all apertures. Great color rendition and perfect bokeh.
Cons:
none whatsoever

Together with my Canon 5D this is a perfect portrait lens. Performance is consistent @ all apertures and the results are stunning. Highly recommended

Sep 12, 2010
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LPrimeFreak
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Registered: Jul 29, 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fastest AF ever, f2 bokeh, lowlight, supersharp, exellent candid portrait-lens for fullframe, compact, black, great built quality
Cons:
fixed focal length, on a 1.6 cropcam is 216mm noman's land

In my 40D age, I had a difficult relationship with this toplens, to sell or not to sell : with 1.6 crop 216mm was nomans land.

Now on my 5D2, it's the best candid portrait lens ever, it's focuses superfast, it's razorsharp, compact and a great lowlight lens.

I have Canon's other "golden two" (85 1.2L & 200 2.8L).
As high quality portrait lenses are expensive, I planned to keep only one (85 1.2L), but I found out the 135L is complementary so I have to keep it!

The AF is superfast in comparison with the 85 1.2L (even the 85L II stays slow cause it has so much glass to move).

When you click the shutter, the 135L immediately focuses and takes pictures ultrafast without any delays, also in lowlight no hunting or any trouble.

I use it to take pictures of my daughter from a further distance or other candid pictures. A lot of people use it for sports also. With the 85L you're closer to your model, which can result in less natural pictures. But with the 85L you can do amazing things, thanks to the 1.2 DOF.

I doubted to sell my 135L for a 70-200 f4 IS, but I don't like long white lenses + i'm afraid i will dislike the f4 bokeh.

I could also buy the 70-200 f2.8 II IS but I'd rather work with the 85 1.2L - 135 2L - 200 2.8L. I don't bother changing lenses in favour of image-quality, bokeh, compactness.

So this topprime is really a keeper, made for fullframe portraiture.


Jul 29, 2010
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webman06
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 50
Review Date: Jul 27, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The BEST portrait lens i've used
Cons:
None

This lens hold all its promises. The bokeh is awesome, the image quality, contrast, AF and aperture control are outstanding.
One of my all-time favorites !!!


Jul 27, 2010
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AlainPhoto
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Registered: Jun 13, 2006
Location: France
Posts: 482
Review Date: Jul 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: fantastic tool, very good to excelent performance, lightweight and cheap compared to other options, long range on APS-C, great value for money overall
Cons:
corner sharpness and vigneting could be improved, no IS, could be f1.8 or 1.4 for more DOF control

Hello

This is obviously an excelent lens that pelases it users a lot and does what it is made for. It will not fail you and is - and will stay - a very good buy. Do not hesitate !

Still, I will only give it an 8 for my needs. Here is why :

As of today I have a few points to raise and hope canon will make a new version (not replace the current one because price may rise quite a lot unfortunately).

I happen to use a lot 85II and 200 2.0. I dropped the 70-200 that are very good workhouse of excelent level but do not allow the DOF control I am looking for. The latest 70-200 also has great IS and at 2.8 has similar sharpness to the 135 (but more vignetting), the 200 2.0 also shows how much the latest lens versions can deliver : the 135 starts to show its age.

I wish I had something intermediate : IS, great DOF control, sharpness of the 200 2.0, macro ability. I bought the 100 IS but only use it for object close up since the DOF control is not so great for my needs.

So I wish for a "baby 200 2.0" or a "85II on steroids" : latest 4-speed IS (200 2.0 style), sealed (85 is not), great DOF control (1.8 or 1.4), reasonable weight (1.5kg max) and size, some close up ability (not a pure macro), latest sharpness performance (200 2.0 style).

Once again it does NOT means current version is bad, on the contrary at its performance level it should be in any bag and the price level only add more arguments to that ! Just try it and love it !

It simply means Canon could do significantly better and has shown it in the latest lens. So I hope for a new version.

I hope that helps

Alain
http://www.alaindavreux.com


Jul 17, 2010
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Delpartal
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Registered: Jun 3, 2010
Location: Spain
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Todo, simplemente es maravilloso, creo que este objetivo tiene algo mágico. Excelente luminosidad, comportamiento con duplicadores, precio y tamaño, 100% recomendado.
Cons:
Nada, pero de tener IS sería una ruina para Canon, creo que por eso no lo tiene, pero está en el límite que aún no hace mucha falta el IS.

Es maravilloso, para todo, pero para algo tan complicado con estas fotos simplemente elegí al mejor.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arojo/4734495413/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arojo/4301056251/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arojo/4310452581/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arojo/4294217100/

Fotos de alta velocidad sincronizadas por sofisticados medios electrónicos.

Saludos a todos


Jul 4, 2010
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erikburd
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Registered: Feb 3, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 577
Review Date: Jun 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp, even wide open at f/2. Fast focus speed, excellent color contrast, incredible bokeh. This lens is simply perfect!
Cons:
None whatsoever!

This lens is simply incredible. I use this with an XSi, and it works very well for telephoto and portrait use. It lives up to its reputation as a sharp lens - I get incredibly sharp pictures at f/2 with no post processing.

The colors are very nice, and the bokeh is jaw-dropping good. This is a must have for a lens kit. Money well spent.


Jun 21, 2010
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felipin
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Registered: Dec 1, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 41
Review Date: Jun 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast aperture, size, weight, fast and accurate AF, sharpness, sharpness wide open, color, contrast, bokeh, PRICE!... EVERYTHING!
Cons:
are you kidding, aren't you?

Perhaps this is the best value in all the Canon L lenses line-up. A superb performer with an incredibly good price. If you haven't got it yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

Jun 16, 2010
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haringo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jun 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, relatively cheap, bookeh, contrast, deep colors, simply better than the more expensive big brother the 70-200 2.8 IS.
Cons:
not as flexible - no 70mm end, you need a second camera if you don't want to change the lens all the time

I got this lens from somebody who replaced this with a 70-200 2.8 IS. I think he regrets it by now. This is one of my sharpest lens. Nowadays I tend to give the 70-200 to my wife and I keep this one for me whenever I need this range. I hope she doesn't read this review...! Smile
This lens is much faster (even without IS) and sharper than the 70-200. I love the candid street pictures I take with this lens.
the funny thing is that everybody is buying the new 70-200 and the price of this lens further dropped...! This is GOOD news for you! You can get this under $900 nowadays used. Don't hesitate buying it, you wont regret it. This lens creates beautiful magic!!!
You can see some sample images on my blog: www.haringphotography.com/blog
or on my flash website: www.haringphotography.com
I hope it helps!


Jun 12, 2010
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leftheaded
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Registered: May 2, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 7, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: $999.00

 
Pros:
Cons:

also wanted to add that I use this with the Canon 1.4x extender if & when I want a bit more reach. it was either this combo or get a 70-200 zoom, which I probably would have opted for, but since i was making the purchase for a holiday/trip i went with the smaller & lighter option. turns out to be a fantastic 135/190mm setup, and i have no plans to get the telezoom for a while.

the only thing that could make this lens better (imo) would be image stabilization. however, that's really just rhetoric and theory. in practice i'm getting really sharp photos and don't feel like i "need" IS. in fact, i did some test shots of paper currency when doing microadjustments for various lenses (24/1.4L II, 35/1.4L, 85/1.8, 16-35/2.8L II, 24-105/4L IS)... i thought for sure the 135L would be softer than some, but it was clearly the sharpest lens i've got. would i take a version with IS assuming the image quality didn't go down? absolutely! Smile


Jun 7, 2010
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leftheaded
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Registered: May 2, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: bokeh fast sharp
Cons:
none

simply superb. i can't add any positive anecdotes that you haven't already read. it's all true - the lens delivers

Jun 7, 2010
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DAphoto
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Registered: May 24, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 66
Review Date: Jun 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful color, contrast, bokeh, and build.
Cons:
difficult to handhold in low light. focal length takes getting used to (not really a con, it IS a prime)

AMAZING contrast, color, and bokeh. I read MANY reviews before purchasing this lens. I sold my 70-200f4 IS which I loved (great lens) and bought this one. I feel the fixed focal length forces me to be more creative, which is what I needed. but wow, the contrast on this thing is INSANE. I literally thought i accidentally changed my in camera settings looking at my first shots with it. Colors are deep and vibrant. I've heard people rave and say this is the closest canon lenses get to ziess glass, and although i've never used a ziess lens, I can totally see a difference in my other lenses (35L, 24-105L, and my late 70-200f4 IS). Pictures with this lens just have a different feel to them. If you're debating on this lens just BUY IT. I think every canon user needs to at least try it out. Plus the resale value is very good that buying then eventually selling may be cheaper than even renting.

(I love this lens so much that this is the first online review i've written for ANY purchase I have ever made. People on the fence just need to know how wonderful this lens is. I use it on a 5DmarkII)


Jun 6, 2010
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 540412 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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