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Canon 135mm f2 for sports?

  
 
Robin Smith
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


I think the FPS is impaired using the 135mm EF lens on the R6/R5. No? Down to 5 FPS or so I think. But someone will correct me. Great lens despite all the whinging from the above. Great price and weight and beautiful bokeh for other uses.


May 16, 2022 at 10:23 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


I'm still wondering precisely what our OP means by "sports" here, given the reference to his toddler.

The best solution for a parent photographing their kid's (important!) activities and little league, etc. probably won't be the same as the best solution for, say, photographing NFL or NBA games from the sidelines! ;-)

Having used the EF 135mm f/2, I thought it was an excellent lens of its type. I also have a sort of nostalgic predisposition to such lenses. For the right use it can be a fine tool.

I'm just not sure if this is really the ideal tool for whatever our OP is going to do. (In most cases, I think parents photographing their kids are likely to be best served by something more flexible, likely a zoom lens — though there can be exceptions.)

Dan



May 16, 2022 at 10:38 AM
Uarctos
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


A fast lens is invaluable for sports. I am using the original EF35mm f1.4 L for shooting sports, so 135mm f2 can be a great lens, if that focal length is appropriate.


May 16, 2022 at 10:49 AM
jedibrain
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


Robin Smith wrote:
I think the FPS is impaired using the 135mm EF lens on the R6/R5. No? Down to 5 FPS or so I think. But someone will correct me. Great lens despite all the whinging from the above. Great price and weight and beautiful bokeh for other uses.


Around 8 or so MS mode. Maybe a little less unless you are wide open. I tried it for indoor soccer. ES mode gets the full 20fps as far as I care to count.

Its a good lens at its price point for many things. Since OP's 'sport' appears to be chasing little kids around, I think it will work great, and double as a SUPERB portrait lens. In the price range, I don't know if there is anything as good. The V1 70-200 2.8s are heavy and not as well regarded optically as the v2 and v3. The v2 would cost more, but be a good lens for many things as well. The v3 is optically the same as the v2 save for a coatings change, and would be another good option, but they still sell for a pretty high price. The latest Sigma 70-200 2.8 is regarded well, but heavy. I think it is usually priced around the Canon v2 on the used market, or a little more since it is a newer design.

-Brian



May 16, 2022 at 01:09 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?



jedibrain wrote:
Around 8 or so MS mode. Maybe a little less unless you are wide open. I tried it for indoor soccer. ES mode gets the full 20fps as far as I care to count.

Its a good lens at its price point for many things. Since OP's 'sport' appears to be chasing little kids around, I think it will work great, and double as a SUPERB portrait lens. In the price range, I don't know if there is anything as good. The V1 70-200 2.8s are heavy and not as well regarded optically as the v2 and v3. The v2
...Show more

That's a great point, the op didn't mention the version considered, and if they can get a v2 IS, that's supposed to be really good. However, the non IS is still supposed to be pretty good, and you should be able to get 3rd party or that under $1k.

Still think that 135/2 is a good choice, too though.



May 16, 2022 at 01:21 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


Keep in mind the 135/2 is compatible with the Canon EF teleconverters. The 1.4x is the better match for it and gives you 189/2.8. This gives the 135 some additional versatility. But for the OP shooting RF and looking at this as a stop-gap, the additional cost of a TC pretty much puts the combo into the 70-200/2.8 v2 used price range, but with less versatility than that offered by the zoom.

From personal experience shooting a lot of sports, I'd skip the 70-200/2.8 IS v1. I used it in the 2000s and was never overly happy with my results with it on 1D series APS-H sensor cameras. I used the 85/1.8 or 135/2 instead, whenever possible. Once it became available, I ended up just using the 70-200/4 IS instead. Because it's much lighter, I found it much easier/faster to bring up to the eye when on a second camera for sudden close action.

If you're mostly outside and games are during the day, you could get away with something like a 100-400. It would provide much more reach and therefore better field coverage, especially for smaller kids.



May 16, 2022 at 07:54 PM
Llewtwo
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


I agree with your assessment of the two. I have both lenses and the 135 f/2 seems a little slower to acquire focus. The 135 f/1.8 is one of the best values in photography. It's an excellent portrait lens but a super lens for indoor sports at its focal length. I love the 135 f/2 but haven't used it since picking up the Sigma. The Sigma is a kind of poor man's version of the 200 f/1.8 when I use it the crop mode on my R5 which leaves me enough mega pixels for most applications.


May 17, 2022 at 11:41 AM
Robin Smith
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


No question a 70-200mm is generally more useful than a 135mm. But most 70-200mm f2.8s are big, and generally expensive. Given the DSLR issues with non-OM lenses, picking a 3rd party zoom was a bit of a gamble. I think on an R this is not so important, so I would look out for a 3rd party (Tamron or Sigma) 70-200mm for sport, maybe a non-latest generation. In general, for sports or portraiture, perfection in image quality is not as vital as with landscapes or similar. "Sport" is a bit of general term. If you mean soccer or baseball outside in daylight then an f4 zoom will be fine too. The f2.8 is only essential when the light levels get really low and they have to be really low to make an f4 too slow. A lot will depend on what you consider low light, but to me really low means having to shooting at 16,000 or higher, when it gets like that the 135 f2 is useful. If your child is still little then I would suggest an 85 1.8 might be a better, or as good a choice.


May 17, 2022 at 02:51 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


A fast 135mm for sports provides some interesting perspectives.






May 17, 2022 at 09:38 PM
 


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HuskerFan96
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


We tried using the 135 F2 for indoor sports, but it is just not fast enough. Maybe our copy is not great. BUT we bought it new thinking that we wouldn't have to lug around our 200 F2 for indoor sports. We were wrong


May 18, 2022 at 08:20 AM
Robin Smith
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


"but it is just not fast enough."

What does this mean? Are you talking about AF?



May 18, 2022 at 09:35 AM
artsupreme
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


The 135 f/2 works very well for everything under the sun. It's especially great for chasing toddlers around and shooting portraits of them. I choose this lens over much more expensive Canon lenses (and the sigma ARTs) for portability, size, weight, and IQ (and it's very cheap used). You cannot beat this lens from that perspective. I hope Canon makes an RF version that's the same size/weight some day. I've shot field sports, action sports, equestrian, motorsports, kids, animals, fashion, product, lifestyle, models, travel, and a lot more with this lens so if someone is saying it doesn't work for something, it's not the lens.

One of my LR catalogs:









May 18, 2022 at 11:34 AM
jedibrain
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


Robin Smith wrote:
"but it is just not fast enough."

What does this mean? Are you talking about AF?


I can't speak for the poster, but I have used the 135/2 for indoor soccer and its been fine. It doesn't focus as fast as newer designs, but I don't recall missing any shots because of it.

-Brian



May 18, 2022 at 12:02 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


The Sigma AF is very fast and accurate, no issues at all for anything I have thrown at it


May 18, 2022 at 06:17 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


^ Are you using the Sigma on DSLRs or mirrorless? Sigma's rep for AF inconsistency on DSLRs was something that always dissuaded me in the past.

HuskerFan96 wrote:
We tried using the 135 F2 for indoor sports, but it is just not fast enough. Maybe our copy is not great. BUT we bought it new thinking that we wouldn't have to lug around our 200 F2 for indoor sports. We were wrong


If you're referring to AF, it could be your copy. I've owned my 135L now for 15+ years and have had the USM replaced a couple times. And it's starting to act up again. I'd have to re-test it to get the exact situation where it malfunctions, but depending on its orientation (landscape vs. portrait) and if tilted up or down somewhat (I need to check which), the USM doesn't properly engage with the focusing group its supposed to move, resulting in missed focus.

One reason I bought it back in the mid 2000s was my displeasure with AF consistency of the 70-200/2.8 IS v1 on various 1D bodies of the era. The 135 was definitely faster and more consistent.



May 19, 2022 at 12:29 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


I am using the sigma on both, dslr and mirrorless. It is also their ART line. I have had many sigma lenses in the past, with really no issues of inconsistent focus other than some were not really fast in their initial acquisition of subject focus, but tracking after that has been good.

These include
o sigma 50 1.4
o sigma 105 and 150 macro
o sigma 50-500
o sigma 150-600



May 19, 2022 at 03:17 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


OK, thanks for the additional information. And now with Sigma on Canon mirrorless, is there any improvement in initial acquisition speed? Feedback I've casually noted from others using Sigma EF mount lenses adapted to RF appears to indicate that focus accuracy and consistency is a non-issue.


May 19, 2022 at 09:38 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Canon 135mm f2 for sports?


I no longer have any sigma lenses other than the 135. When I had the 150-600 on the R6, it seemed to be at least as good, if not a bit better, with wildlife. I ended up moving to the 100-400II and TC since it was a bit lighter and smaller and produced about the same results I was getting from the Sigma.

The Sigma 135 1.8, will likely stay in my bag. I picked it up for cheap ($700), and thought I would resell it later, but that was almost 2 years ago now. It is quite stellar at portraiture, and it has come out for a few sport events too for a unique look to the field over the 70-200 f2.8 or other lenses I own.



May 19, 2022 at 09:45 AM
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