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Keywords: Canon EF Tele Prime 35mm L USM Tested


JPMuller

Registered: June 2010
Posts: 12
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by JPMuller
Review Date: 8/19/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP! BOKEH! Accurate Focus
Cons: none

I love this lens. Super sharp and renders beautiful creamy bokeh. It's bokeh is comparable to the 85mm 1.2 but IMO not as nice.


It also focuses really fast and accurate and is light. I mainly use for head shot photography.


I have done a review comparing the sharpness and quality of bokeh to the Canon 70-200 2.8.


Click on following link to view images


http://johncarnessali.com/camera-lens-tests/5109
telecommuter

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 8
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by telecommuter
Review Date: 4/30/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: focus speed, image quality, predictability
Cons: none

After reading too many long, and arduous threads pertaining to the new Zeiss 135, I felt compelled to share my perspective on the wonderful Canon 135.


For my purposes, this is a spectacular lens. I need fast auto-focus, predictable focus lock and natural, vibrant color rendition. This lens provides all of these requirements.


Do I wish it were manufactured with metal? Sure, that would be swell...but it doesn't matter with regard to how it performs.


I rarely shoot static landscapes or posed, composed images. For that I would investigate alternatives just to make sure. My work requires auto-focus. I do not use burst mode, but the lens would produce movie-like frames. In fact, it might be fun to try!


On a full frame body, I rely upon this lens and it does not disappoint. If you shoot things in motion on a Canon body, and need some reach without massive bulk, this is the one I recommend.


A coupe of stage shows, one very recent, and a random collection using this lens exclusively...


http://www.idyll.com/laneysat


http://www.idyll.com/laney2014


http://www.idyll.com/135
hdhani

Registered: March 2013
Posts: 14
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by hdhani
Review Date: 3/26/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, build like a tank, focus ring, weight
Cons: No IS

This is one of the sharpest lens i've ever owned. It's not the most versatile lens, but it's very great for tight portrait shoots; background blur is creamy IMO; one of the best 'bokeh' lens. Image quality is great, it is tack-sharp wide-open even though for partraiture, a little bit of softness is needed. Built quality is wonderful, focus ring is well-damped. The only reason i sell this lens is because of versatility. I mount it on my APS-C camera and the focal length literally becomes 216 mm, which is too tight.
Otherwise, on FF body this lens is wonderful.
dugong5pm

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/9/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $899.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f/2, fast-accurate-silent focus, (relatively) small & light, super sharp!!
Cons: IS version could be nice

I wish every lens was this good!!


I just love the lightning fast & accurate focus of this lens. It focuses within a blink of an eye, instantly. Focus are dead on with my Fullframe or APS system. It's an ideal portrait lens. Bokeh is buttery smooth, best you can get from a 135mm.


I prefer this lens than the 70-200/2.8. This lens is simply lighter, cheaper & faster (f/2.0 vs f/2.8). If canon puts an IS on this lens, it would be perfect!
lensreporter

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 12
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by lensreporter
Review Date: 3/19/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f2, very sharp, virtually without CA´s, contrast, colour, lightwight, buildings
Cons: 135mm may not be very versatil

One of my very best lenses! Sharp, handy, strong colours and contrast. Perfect lens on the same level as CZ!
kaci

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 10
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by kaci
Review Date: 4/15/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $970.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: everything
Cons: all other lenses seems to be like toys

If You can afford it, buy it! You will see why. If You can not, buy Canon EF 85/1.8, which delivers quite similar results.
Definetely the most sharpest lens which I have ever seen. Trully sharp accross whole frame from f2 on 5d. Amazing colours, contrast, bokeh, everything!
No more inside shooting with flash! Smile
ghost

Registered: September 2007
Posts: 2
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by ghost
Review Date: 3/17/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Typical L construction. Large focus ring. Has a good weight to it. Not heavy like the white tele-zooms. Crazy fast AF!
Cons: AF ring feels loose compared to my other L lenses. Large hood.

I got this lens because of portraiture. It is fantastic on my old 5d. Creamy smooth bokeh. Tack sharp even at wide open aperture.
One thing I am most stun is its AF performance. I've owned a few L lenses and while their USM motors have always been quick to snap in focus, this 135mm is on a different level. From far to near, the AF is instantaneous.
Colour and contrast is great. Really like the large focusing ring.


On a crop camera like my 7D, this lens make for a wonderful indoor lens for sports, concert, etc...


I'm not a fan of the large hood. But will live with it as it provides good protection of the front element.
serg

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 4
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by serg
Review Date: 3/15/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: weight, super sharp on 2.0,
Cons: no weather sealed

best lens, blur, sharp-super, no CA, minimal shading.
manuelek

Registered: February 2010
Posts: 2
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by manuelek
Review Date: 2/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,625.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, vignetting
Cons: No weather sealing

This is one of my all time favourites. Already wide open this lens produce some high quality photos. Sharpness, contrast and the natural vignetting on full-frame cameras is awesome! Some people may disagree with the vignetting being a good thing or not, but thats a matter of taste I guess.


I have found myself shooting wide open almost all the time. Because it manage to do so. Yes, there is some sharpness added when stopping down to f4 or f5.6 but after that it doesn't get better. This leaves you with a buttery bokeh and an object in perfect focus.


On FF I use this lens for both tight portraits and landscape shots. Its a joy to work with every time.


Only con I can think of, and that may be a big one depending on how you plan to use the lens is the lack of weather sealing. No rubber sealing against the camera body tend to give me the creeps when shooting in the wet. Perhaps it's not a big thing, but for a L-graded lens this feature should be expected.
SETI

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 20
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by SETI
Review Date: 1/27/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Optics quality, sharp,very special picture
Cons: build quality

Great lens, but I can't understand why Canon can't control quality. In 3 months I got loosy focus ring. And it's not the one problem from my L lenses... very sad =(
jajambo

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 4
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by jajambo
Review Date: 8/12/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, clarity, weight, fast, accurate AF (fringe benefit of f/2), price
Cons: no IS, makes you regret buying any zoom lenses

My favourite lens, hands down.
USM works so quickly and accurately, it puts my 24-70/f2.8L to shame.
Great reach for street shots.
Tack sharp at f/2.
A tiny bit of fringing, but that would only be noticed by pixel-peepers.
Great looking lens, if you ever saw it from the front.
Light weight and robust.
f/2! Beautiful portrait lens.


Some real life images from my photoblog: http://hellabella.de
RadiantLite

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 16
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by RadiantLite
Review Date: 6/13/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: compact, very sharp wide open, good color contrast, bokeh
Cons: lack of stabilization

One of the best and sharpest lens around. Great for portraits.


Check out
http://www.radiantlite.com/2009/01/canon-135mm-f2l-usm-mini-review.html


for sample photos and video tour
Wojtek

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 8
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by Wojtek
Review Date: 2/9/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, low in distortions, high contrast
Cons: none

This is simply the best Canon prime lens that I have tested. Must have if you're serious about portraits. My tests on it are described on http://pikespeakphoto.com/tests/canonlens135.html
bobrock

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 4
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by bobrock
Review Date: 10/5/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: this is the lens. it is crisp, fast, and awsome
Cons: none

i have never been a prime lens fan, just seems to leave you feeling trapped in a single dimension. But this lens changed my mind. I use it to photograph highschool basketball in poor light. You will never be able to beat this lense, believe me, i have tried them all. It is by far the fastest focusing, best bokeh, and lowest light lens you will ever find.


I have taken some of the coolest photos with this lens on a canon mark III which shoots ten frames per second. if you really want to get the best gym photos that can be taken, use it and enjoy what you will see. I love this lens
Badmono

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 15
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by Badmono
Review Date: 8/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $650.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ-IQ - Bokeh - Very competitive Price
Cons: Nothing obvious

The Sharpest Lens available for Eos cameras IMO
A Bargain, very competively priced
If you own an EOS Camera - It's a no Brainer, Buy one
Fantastic IQ & Bokeh
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by lextalionis
Review Date: 7/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $940.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, IQ, Performance all 10 of 10!
Cons: None!

You shouldn't have any second thoughts about this lens...you won't be disappointed!


Best place for this lens in indoor/low light concert/hall photography, indoor sports as well.


Here are some sample shots taken with a Canon EOS 5D


-Lex
digiteye

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 1
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by digiteye
Review Date: 6/6/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful, smooth bokeh. Sharp without being harsh. Contrasty, saturated, nice colours. Fast.
Cons: No IS

I bought it for its bokeh. The background blur is amazingly creamy with this lens. It is sharp but somehow not that analytic way as a macro lens. That's why I really enjoy shooting portraits with it. Sharp but smooth at the same time. Smooth but contrasty. Contrasty but not harsh. Well saturated but neutral. Neutral yet very nice colours. Best lens for portraiture I've ever tried. AF is accurate and very fast. Build quality: excellent. CAs: a little in the OOF area - not disturbing anyway.
garys

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 12
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by garys
Review Date: 1/1/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: modest cost for "L" series, wonderful optics and fast speed
Cons: nitpicking, but not a circular aperature and no weather sealing

(on a full frame camera)Wonderful lens for some portraiture applications, sporting events and candids at a party or event. It is the lens I use as a reference point to compare all new lens acquisitions to after purchase to determine if they need to be returned for repair or replacement. The lens is so crisp that the diaphragm blade pattern is visible on point light sources shot at large aperature. Excellent color and saturation, a virtually perfect lens.
mebailey

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 21
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by mebailey
Review Date: 12/14/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $899.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast focus, Super sharp, Well built, Awesome for low light. Not too heavy.
Cons: None Ive found

One of Canon's best lenses for a reasonable price. Its a no brainer if you use this focal length. Really excels as indoor sports lens on a crop camera.
killersnowman

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 10
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by killersnowman
Review Date: 12/9/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, Sharpness, Price, Color, Contrast
Cons: n/a

This lens is one of canons finest lenses i have ever used. the lens is built strong, very strong. when you hold the lens in your hand you know you are holding a fine peice of optical equipment.


image quality wise it is by far one the sharpest lenses ive ever used.


here are some links to some pics taken with the lens:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/tbrigham/314771597/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tbrigham/284303834/
terryf

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 10
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by terryf
Review Date: 12/4/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $890.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great sharpness, nice bokeh
Cons: Lens shade/cap

There is no doubt that the 135L deserves it excellent reputation for image quality. My 24-70L needs to be stopped down to f5.6 to begin to match the sharpness of my 135L at f2.0 (the test shots were of the portrait of Andrew Jackson on a $20 bill). However, when my Canon "L" lenses are used at f8 they are all very sharp and the 135L does not blow the others away. My only complaint about this lens is that the depth of the lens shade forces me to remove the shade in order to remove or replace the lens cap (my hands are fairly large). This is so annoying that I intend to replace the Canon lens cap with a Tamron cap. Still, all things considered, I prize this lens very highly and can not imagine giving it up.
freetoken

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 9
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by freetoken
Review Date: 11/19/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: You don't have to worry about shopping for a better lens anymore
Cons: creates lens-lust

So, let's see where it falls short of perfection:


1. Lens hood - when I bought this lens years ago the included hood was rather cheap (perhaps Canon has updated the hood) by comparison with other hoods. Just plain black plastic (no interior felt as in newer lens hoods). Plus it is harder to attach than other lens hoods.


2. No rear seals - since the 17-40 Canon has added rear seals to L lenses, to help in weather sealing. On the 135/2 all you've got is the bare metal.


So there - it is not a perfect object.


I used this lens quite a bit years ago as my main working lens. The side effect of using this lens is that many of my other lenses don't seem so good anymore....
TomK

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 7
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by TomK
Review Date: 7/17/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $845.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: One of the world's 'perfect' lenses
Cons: None

The Precious - sharp images, fast focus, perfect weight, reference-quality build. At under 900USD, it's a steal. I've owned nice SLR gear since 1976, and am normally a wide angle shooter ... this is my favorite lens, of all time. How's that for an endorsement?
Magdy Kamel

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 3
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by Magdy Kamel
Review Date: 6/25/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I enjoied the use of this lens many years before the DSLR
hellofacanon

Registered: February 2006
Posts: 3
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by hellofacanon
Review Date: 3/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super Sharp.Super Fast AF. Big F-value.Light.
Cons: None

This is an amazing lens.Very sharp wide open and no improvement when stopped own.
JAM

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 2
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by JAM
Review Date: 11/16/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $890.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great image quality, fast, well built
Cons:

One of Canon's best primes
perpera

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 13
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by perpera
Review Date: 10/26/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp wide open, excellent bokeh, value for money
Cons: none

Excellent build quality, fast auto focus, and its fast.
But for me, the reason to get this lens is the Bokeh and DOF control.


Be careful with the focus. I've missed shots at wide apertures because the DOF is so extremely thin.
AHAB

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 8
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM review by AHAB
Review Date: 10/21/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $900.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very fast, sharp, gorgeous background blur, world class lens
Cons: At around $900 US very good price for quality... no IS. It is so sharp it makes you rethink the use of your zoom lenses.

This is a stunning lens, clearly one of the very best lenses that Canon produces, this is in the same world class as the 35 1.4, 85 1.2 L lenses. At $900 US it a relative steal. In photoshop I love to zoom 200, 300 and even 400% to see the extreme details it is an absolutely amazing lens, great backround blur, great for low light weddings with available light. Amazing for portraits, easily fast enough for indoor sports. With this lens you don't need to do much if any post processing. If you can afford it buy this lens, you will love it. The only thing that could possibly make this better would be to add IS.
A con is that it really makes you rethink the use of your zoom lenses.
Oh yes, and it leads to lusting after other primes!
AHAB


 






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