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  Reviews by: robbrown99  

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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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.
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