Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
4 39838 1/11/2007
Recommended By Average Purchase
100% of reviewers $295.00
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Canon EF Tele Prime 35mm Defocus


Registered: October 2005
Posts: 6
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus review by psulonen
Review Date: 1/11/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $295.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, cheap, optically excellent, fast-focusing, funky soft-focus effect
Cons: Dated build and feature set, hexagonal iris.

The lens's main strengths are in the optics and the compact size and discreet appearance. Wide-open sharpness is very good in the center and good in the corners. Center sharpness improves to excellent at f/4 and peaks at f/5.6. Corner sharpness improves to excellent at f/5.6 and peaks at f/8. Flare resistance is excellent at all apertures. Bokeh is neutral, but improves to pleasing with even small amounts of soft-focus dialed in -- try 1 notch at f/4 or two notches at f/5.6. The soft-focus effect cannot be effectively duplicated in software; uncorrected spherical aberration behaves very differently from a gauze filter.

Focus speed and precision are very good, and for an AFD lens it's not particularly noisy.

The lens's biggest problem is the company it's in -- the 85/1.8 and 100/2.0 have comparable optical quality and roughly similar price, but are brighter and have more modern builds with ring USM; the 135/2.0L is a stop brighter and a hair sharper wide-open (although twice as big and three times as expensive).

OTOH, if you want the unique mix of features this lens brings to the table, you're unlikely to be disappointed. It has no hidden flaws and one hidden strength -- namely, the options that subtle use of the soft-focus effect will give you.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 16
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus review by silverbluemx
Review Date: 1/4/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, light, nice soft focus effect, relatively sharp.
Cons: A little too long on a APS-C DSLR

For its price, this is a very good lens.
Sharpness is good even at 2.8, and the soft focus gives a dreamy effect to your pictures (but I guess you can have it with software too).
On a APS-C DSLR, its 200mm equivalent focal lenght is a little too long for portraits, but then is perfect for sports.

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 62
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus review by gadgetguy
Review Date: 12/13/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: nice portrait FL, relatively cheap, sharp
Cons: a bit too long on APS-C DSLR

This is one FUNKY lens with the soft focus activated. It creates a very 70's or 80's looking glam shot (think Alexis Carrington from Dynasty!).

When not using the soft focus feature, this lens is sharp - as you would expect from any prime portrait lens. It may be a bit too long for portraits on a APS-C DSLR, though.

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 3
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus review by nspur
Review Date: 11/6/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, bright, good soft focus effect if required.
Cons: None I can think of.

This lens is a hidden gem. You will only find it on the shelves of specialist dealers. It's less than a third of the price of Canon's 135 f2L and comparable optically.

Without the soft focus engaged the lens is sharp over the frame. On an APS-C camera it has a field of view equivalent to 200 mm so you can use it for sports and it will take Canon (or Sigma) teleconverters to extend the reach. On full-frame it is an ideal portrait lens and useful for street candid shots. It's fairly light (390g) and unobtrusive.

The soft focus effect only works at apertures from f2.8 to f4. The soft focus ring has two click settings but you can set it between the stops. A setting of 1 at f4 produces a dreamy but focused effect that's hard to achieve with software.

I also use it as a macro lens with an extension tube.


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.