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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
393 538867 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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hatch1921
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Registered: May 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4556
Review Date: Dec 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $915.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Isn't heavy IMO | Fast focusing | SUPER SHARP! | great color and contrast | truly a wonderful lens!
Cons:
Slight vignette on the 5d @ f/2.0 which isn't really a negative for me... I add one to most of my shots anyway. But others might think it is a negative.

I knew the moment I tried this lens last month I would have to own one. I've owned or own several L's and this one is exceptional!!!

I like the 85L (rented one a couple of times...shot friends) but I love the reach and compression you get out of the 135L. The bokeh/color/contrast/ sharpness @ f/2.0 and beyond are right there with the 85L. Where I think the 85 excels is being a little faster...of course the F/1.2 if you need it. But the AF on the 135L BLOWS the 85L out of the water.

On the 5D the lens is magic... love everything about it. Even the slight vignette at F/2.0

The bokeh is amazing and the images are very sharp wide open.

Buy this lens...don't look back.

Hatch


Dec 14, 2008
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Jo Dilbeck
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Registered: Dec 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2399
Review Date: Nov 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, Bokeh, Bokeh
Cons:
Just wish it had IS

OK, I get it now. I just spent the afternoon with the 135 locked onto my 5D and I'm SO impressed! The 24-105 may never see the light of day again, especially since I have the 35 1.4 and 85 1.8 also!

The 135 F2 is all they say it is, and worth so much more than the under $1000 price. Maybe it's just because it's an overcast day and the fall colors are just popping, but this lens just isolates the subject so nicely. For me, it's better on a tripod because I have a slight shake to my hand, but it's ok because of the pictures you get. I also tried it with the middle extension tube (of a set of 3), and I may just replace my 100 macro with this lens.

If you are a tele person, and considering this lens, JUST GO FOR IT. I promise, you won't regret it. It may take a while before you "get it" like I did (I've had the lens for about 3-4 months), but once you do, WOWSA! I almost sold it a month or so ago and my husband, who knows nothing about photography except that this lens is one of the holy trinity, begged my not to sell it.


Nov 8, 2008
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Igor N
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Registered: May 30, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Oct 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, light (relatively), large aperture does not affect performance much, great colours, contrast
Cons:
on the long side (physically), fixed focal length, expensive

I must admit that it a little bit misguiding to constantly highlight the indoor sport environment for this lens. I think its usefulness is much higher. For instance, street as well as nature (not landscapes necessarily) scenes become slightly easier to do as the long focal length allows you to stand back and not be in the scene. Portraiture is great with this lens as well as studio shooting (food for instance). The lens is super sharp but at f2 not too sharp for portraits, in fact it allows me to get the eyes so crystal clean. It beats lenses such as 70-200 f2.8 IS USM L hands down and it compensates for the lack of choice of the focal range with better size, weight as well as the fact it costs half the price. Give it a try.

Oct 26, 2008
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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16455
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness from wide open, incredible contrast and colors, tied for most accurately focusing of all my lenses, very sharp even used with a 1.4x TC
Cons:
can get a touch of purple/green around oof areas under certain circumstances

a realy fantastic lens, just amazingly sharp right from wide open at f/2 and fantastic contrast that makes colors seem incredibly rich and saturated. extremely accurate focusing, even at f/2 (this is no 50mm 1.4).

Oct 13, 2008
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Jeroen Kransen
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Registered: Oct 2, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrasts, colours, bokeh, sharpness, fast AF, it makes you feel good about yourself
Cons:
No IS; I need a 5D now; my other lenses look pale

I bought this lens with the thought in mind of buying a cheap (second-hand) 5D soon. My favourite lens at the moment, 50mm f/1.4, would not be a tele anymore for portraits. This 135mm certainly is a bit long on a crop camera like my 30D.

As I read that this is one of the best Canon lens, I really had my expectations high up. Still, seeing the photos on my monitor just blew me away. The colours and contrasts are amazing!

The images are so much better than with any of my zooms, that I simply try to leave it on the body.
At the end of the day, having images that just pop out outweighs the value of the versatility of zoom. Don't they say it's the photographer that makes good pictures? Not with this lens, it really doesn't matter what you point it at! :-D

It's totally sharp even at f/2, giving a
beautiful bokeh:
If you want more DoF, and stop it down, its sharpness simply outperforms my sensor:

If there is anything to wish for, it would still be IS. But maybe this lens just deserves a tripod all the time.

Don't hesitate. As you came here, you KNOW you want it...


Oct 13, 2008
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macsfstop
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Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Sep 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Legendary IQ, Colors, Contrast, AF Speed, Bright viewfinder, Excellent low light capability, Bokeh at f/2, light weight, Very Affordable "L"
Cons:
Addictive

Renowned for portraits, indoor and night events and sports. If you rent it for a weekend, you'll likely realize it's worth and importance in your arsenal.

Sep 28, 2008
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5231
Review Date: Sep 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp at F2, excellent for low lights, superfast AF, colors/contrast!!! Not heavy and large, black colored. Price tag is greate in compare to other telephoto L's
Cons:
Don't like huge hood

One of the lenses I would not sell under any conditions, 35L is second to this Smile
I think this lens is best on FF body like 5D, I hope it well be as good on mk II I am waiting now to buy. I shot anything with it from sports to shows, portraits to landscapes. All stunning in results, especially like low light results.
Amazing prime overall!!!


Sep 28, 2008
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DubRepublic
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Registered: Jul 17, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 292
Review Date: Sep 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF Speed, Size, Weight, Brightness, Colouring, Contrast, Sharpness, pretty much everything about it.
Cons:
The filter size is 72 rather than 77mm so it requires a different set of filters or a step down ring to use my existing filter collection.

After picking up this lens I 'get it' now. This lens has completely blown away and set a whole new benchmark for my standard of a quality lens. The images from this lens are simply remarkable. It makes all my other L lenses pale in comparison. Putting this lens on my camera makes it seem like someone turned on the lights in my viewfinder. The autofocus snaps sharp at a blazinig speed. The images are tack sharp all the way to wide open.

I really can't say enough for this lens. I need one of these in every focal lenght.


Sep 24, 2008
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dennisvillegas
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Blazing AF, Dreamy Bokeh, Wonderful Colors, One of Canon's sharpest lenses, meaning it belongs to the same class as the high-end Canon telephotos(like the 200 1.8), sharper than the 200 2.8L, lightweight.
Cons:
None. Maybe should have IS.

I owned two copies of this lens. Both are very accurate and very sharp.

I switched to Nikon a few years ago but had to go back to Canon simply because Nikon doesn't have an equivalent of this 135L. Now I promised to be always a Canon user just because of this lens.

I always enjoy using this lens. It makes me feel a better photographer. A wonderful, wonderful lens. Buy one if you have the means top afford it.

You will not regret it. Very highly recommended!

Here are two recent shots made with this lens and a Canon 1000D.

http://dennisvillegas.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-was-walking-along-in-plaza-miranda.html


Sep 20, 2008
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erwin bosman-polus
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Registered: Sep 13, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: How could I ever have lived without it?
Cons:
none

I got the lens today, and I was from the first image blown away by the sharpness at 2.0
This is simply amazing.


Sep 13, 2008
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lubutterfly
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Registered: Sep 6, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Sharp at F2, Price.
Cons:
None

Plus

One of the best indoor sports lens money can buy.

Its sharp all the way down to F2, even with TC 1.4X 189mm at F2.8.

Very Fast AF, Does well even with limited light on a pro body.

Price is value for money. one of my cheapest Ls just above the 70-200 F4 and 17-40 F4.

Downside.

Abit Far on a 1.6FOV Body but that has nothing to do with the lens.





Sep 6, 2008
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michiphoto
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Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp even at 2.0, beautiful colours(!), fast AF - perfect sports lens!!
Cons:
absolutely none!

I sold my 70-200mm 2.8L after I bought this lens!!

Itīs a statement - as I had loved the 70/200..was my first L lens ever. Still, it didn`t hurt to sell it after all, because the 135/2.0L is a Canon masterpiece.

*The* indoor sports lens IMHO, but also a reliable companion for street photography, weddings,...

Tack sharp even at 2.0, very fast AF and beautiful colours (same league as my 300/4L)- what else can I say?
I love this lens...it makes one understand what that whole "prime" hype is all about - if you think your zoom lens is great, try this one and be amazed!


Aug 22, 2008
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Brendan Rouse
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Registered: Sep 20, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 194
Review Date: Aug 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, reasonable cost, build, IQ, sharpness, colours, did I say sharpness
Cons:
none

Wow Wow Wow
Don't think about buying it, just do it


Aug 17, 2008
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iliko
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Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,067.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low cost, excellent build, color reproduction, sharpness, weight, focusing system
Cons:
None

An excellent lens, the very best lens from he canon lineup. Totally worth its price! It's really fast, and by fast i mean totally fast! Very sharp, perhaps a bit too sharp for portrait, which doesn't really matters if you use a good make-up artist.

Excellent bokeh, doesn't looks like cotton wool from 85 f/1.2 - its much much better - with soul inside Smile

Able to work under strongest conditions - holds well against flare and ghosting - a very good sample of this you can find here http://szche.ru/photo/68 - and that's almost direct sun!


Jul 31, 2008
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ciocc
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Registered: Aug 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 52
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, fast, light weight and sharp
Cons:
Demand a steady hand in low light for sharp results.

This is a very sharp lens. The focal length works very well on a 5D, but a little too long on a crop sensor. The bokeh is beautiful due to large aperture and long focal length. Colors and contrast are great too.

The drawback is that this lens need very good technique to perform well in low light when the shutter speed is low. Because the DOF is thin when wide open, you need a steady hand to get sharp results.

I give it a 9/10 build quality because it is not weather seal. There is no rubber ring at the lens mount area.


Jul 18, 2008
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AeroEight
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Registered: Aug 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great quality, good for low light, fast focus. sharp at f/2!
Cons:
a little long on a crop, hard to use in cramped room

to say this lens is great is an understatement. someone said stellar. and that is what it really is. Stellar. I have to admit, it is really hard use for me because i don't need this long of a lens, but when i do use it, i always remember why its there. its sharp at f/2 where i use it the most. previously on the crop body it was way too long, especially for indoor stuff [i'm talking about in a house, not a stadium/ concert, its great for concerts] But now on a 5d, it really shines. Great for portraits. Focus is the fastest out of my line up. definitely a keeper and when you think about what you're really getting out of the lens, its worth every penny on it.

Jul 13, 2008
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
393 538867 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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