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Customer Reviews for EF 135mm f/2L USM

EF 135mm f/2L USM

Ideal for indoor sports and portraits with pleasing background blur Two UD-glass elements correct secondary spectrum for outstanding sharpness and color Compatible with Extender EF 1.4x II and 2x II Rear focusing system with USM
Average Customer Rating:
4.885 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(26 Reviews) 26
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (26 reviews)
5 stars
23
4 stars
3
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
26 out of 26(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Review 1 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Mr. B
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Used this product for: 3 to 6 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: No

Pretty Great

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:January 29, 2014
Of course it is fine quality, fast focusing, and tack sharp. I knew all that before I bought it. What has continually stood out to me about my 135 is how BEAUTIFUL my photos turn out; so very pleasing to the eye. For my needs (and low light photography is one of the things I really enjoy) IS would not be a meaningful addition to this lens.
This lens is a bargain. It is also a specialist. It will not do everything of course, but even when you stretch it outside of its forte the result can still be impressive.
The rare annoyance: Make no mistake this lens is NOT a substitute for a 70-200. You will be kind of frustrated if you are trying to use it in place of the 70-200. If you're one of those people trying to choose between the two and are only going to buy one of them, get the zoom (2.8mk2 of course). But seriously, at half the price/size/weight, when you're using the 135 really well, you may never care that you didn't have your big white zoom.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: AlexOK
Location: Oklahoma
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Canon Enthusiast: 1 to 5 years
Product replacement: No

all of the rumors are true...

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:January 23, 2014
Pros: sharpness, strong build, weight, fast af
I had read for years that this was perhaps Canon's sharpest prime. After shooting with it for several months now, I have to agree. The focal length is a little bit of an adjustment when shooting casually on a hike or in the street, especially if you are used to a 50mm or zoom, but once you get comfortable, this lens will hardly leave your camera. With a still subject, such as an arranged portrait, this lens shines. The f/2 is plenty big to work with in 95% of conditions, and the lack of IS is not big deal. I would think the focal length would be a bit funny on a crop sensor, but have not tried it yet. I opted for this in place of a 70-200, and have not thought twice about it since. With this price tag, especially with a rebate, every serious shooter should have one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: HomelessFotoGuy
Location: Milwaukee,WI
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Portraits
Canon Enthusiast: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

My fave lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:May 6, 2013
Pros: pricepoint
Portraiture is everything to me and I love working the streets with this lens and my 5D3, My only complaint is that Canon choose to use a plastic filter thread on this lens,Extra care must be given to prevent crossthreading. As for weatherproofing, How many folks shoot portraits in the rain? As for IS, I seriously dont believe that the same image IQ could be maintained by adding extra lens elements that IS would require and then pay extra to boot? I believe this lens will go down in history as a classic based on it"s own merits.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: ultrafox
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Mostly used for: Portraits
Canon Enthusiast: 1 to 5 years
Product replacement: No

Amazing lens!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:November 9, 2012
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images, great bokeh
This is without a doubt the best lens I've ever used. I have owned this lens for around 6 months now, and it's a dream to use. I primarily shoot portraits with it. The bokeh it produces wide open is simply amazing. Even though it's not as wide as a 1.8, 1.4, or 1.2 lens, there is something special and unique about the bokeh it creates. The value of this lens is unparalleled for an L-lens in my opinion. I'm really surprised at how cheap it is compared to other prime, L-lenes. You also get a pretty close focusing distance as well, which is nice. If you want a great portrait L-lens, then this should be at the top of your list. The bang for your buck is terrific.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: lemontwist
Location: Toronto
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Portraits
Canon Enthusiast: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

Amazing lens.

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 17, 2012
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: no weather seal, no is
This lens was introduced in 1997. It's super sharp, fast auto-focus. much lighter than 70-200 f2.8 IS II. The bokeh is so smooth. I've been using a lot of Canon L Lens. This one is my favourite. The only thing is miss is the weather seal and IS. But on the side, if it does have those feathers, the price might be double.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Chicago Al
Location: Chicago IL
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: No

Dream Lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:July 4, 2012
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
Cons: no image stabilization, heavy, no weather seals
I shoot wide open at F2.0 using a 5D3. I think it would be a waste of money and glass if you stop this lens down beyond F2.8. Images are very sharp at F2.0. Bokeh is creamy and pleasant. I really wish it had IS. Lack of IS means you have to have very steady hands. Having said this, in order to isolate my subject, I shoot wide open at F2. To minimize camera shake, I use Auto ISO with minimum shutter speed of 250. Shallow depth of field means you have to have proper focus exactly where you want. If you do everything right, your subject will look better in pictures than in real life. I love this lens.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Swiss Frank
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Canon Enthusiast: 11 to 20 years
Product replacement: No

Not too flexible but incredible when you need exac

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:May 13, 2012
In terms of image quality this is as good as Canon gets, and really about as good as Mamiya 7 even.
First bokeh: bokeh comes from aperture size, not f-stop. The 200/2.8, 135/2, and 85/1.2 all have about a 72mm aperture for the light to go in, which basically determines the size of an out-of-focus highlight behind a given subject at a given distance. In other words, if a highlight circle is half your subject's head size with one of these, it will be with the other two too. (In comparison, 50/1.0 only has 50mm aperture and a blurred highlight only half the blur. Think about that: this is twice as blurry as a 50/1.0.) That said, while the 200mm/2.8 puts a nice blur behind your subject, the 135/2, with same subject at same distance, gives the same blur but over twice the area of scene. This means you can pick out your subject in focus against a HUGE wall of bokeh, which is much more impressive. Another way to think of it is 2x blurrier than 135/2.8, such as the L zoom. (The 85mm/1.2 bokeh turns into football shapes off-center, so while it makes killer images the bokeh's lacks the perfection of the 135/2 or 200/2.8.) Yet another way to describe the bokeh is that people are a bit more used to seeing 200/2.8 because the L zooms do that shot. People are NOT used to seeing perfect bokeh on a shot of twice the area, because only this rarely-used lens can get this shot.
As far as image quality: as long as your shutter is high and you're exactly in focus, even at f/2 this is as sharp as lenses get. Even corners are excellent. But its hard not to talk more about bokeh: even when the background is near, it can still be out of focus enough to make your subject really stand out in a 3D look. Its not only beautiful but very very rare as only this lens can do it.
Now the down-sides: with no IS, its not really usable at night. At 135mm you have to be very far from your subject for interiors to work at all. You have to be able to decide the distance from your subject so you may find its too short or long for the few well-lit interior events such as a volleyball game unless you can crawl up and down the bleachers to find your shot.. The main interior shot you could get might be weddings in a large venue where you can control the distance and maybe use some flash.
One note: lens design involves tradeoffs, and taking an already-complicated design and adding another 4-7 elements to get IS will hurt image quality a bit, as well as making it bigger, heavier, a bit more fragile, etc. And even then its not going to be easy to use simply because its a long prime. Please don't think that Canon could have just snapped their fingers and added IS to this while maintaining all its good points.
In summary, this is not a commonly used lens for me (out of like 12 lenses ranging from fisheye zoom to 600mm) but its probably the one I'm most excited to be able to use.
51 of 55 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Drathaar
Location: Lakewood, WA
Used this product for: 6 to 12 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: Yes

Great Lens

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:March 16, 2012
Pros: awesome iq, great bokeh, fast focus
This is my favorite lens, its the one that stays on my camera when its in the bag. If I need my camera right away, I want this lens on it. I love people shots and this works great. The image quality is amazing, the bokeh smooth as silk. For me, I use this for head and shoulders, then pull out my 300mm f/4L for headshots. I have shot headshots with this lens as well, and you will still get great shots. I use this on a 5D Mark II. Works great for animals too. My dogs have been well photographed with this beauty.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: sy
Location: colorado
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: No

Amazed By Its Bokeh

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:January 6, 2012
Pros: bokeh, sharp, f2, lighter weight for l
I've read so many reviews how sharp this lens is but I wasn't too impressed with its sharpness. I have other lenses that are as sharp as this lens is. (Don't get me wrong. It is still pretty sharp from f2. Or another thought would be this is as sharp as any lens gets.) I rather amazed by nice creamy bokeh, which makes this lens a definitely great portrait lens. This generation of digital convenience cries out for IS and just like cell phones, we hardly remember how we live without them. Even though I admit that it's hard not to shoot blurry photo under 1/100 shutter speed without any support, I still love the simplicity of this lens. I believe focus speed depends on which camera you use. In my opinion with 5D Mk II it feels slower especially in low light. Cropped sensor 50D does much better focus job but then that's camera not lens. The results from the full-frame sensor is still astounding. I've used 70-200mm f2.8 IS L II and I cannot deny that's one of the greatest lens. Though I like the convenience of zoom and image stabilizer but I still prefer 135mm f2 L. I guess I started understanding the beauty of prime lenses.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Silkline
Location: Phoenix. AZ
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

Takes a little getting used too!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:October 29, 2010
After the initial differences, it's a great lens to have around.
5 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: VB Pics
Location: California
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

Great for portrait photos

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:October 13, 2010
Pros: beautiful for portraits
Cons: not for sport-action shots
I have the 2.8 70mm-200mm and bought this lense for volleyball photos inside a gym. It's very good for still photos--beautiful and clear for low light. Does not compare to the 2.8 70mm-200mm on my 1D MKIII for action shots and overall versitility. Don't buy this lense for action shots in a gym--go for the 2.8 70mm-200mm. IS would be a very nice addition.
24 of 33 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Photo Expressions
Location: Rochester NY
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

Simply Incredable

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:September 20, 2010
Pros: super fast, light, use with extenders, cheap, image quality
Cons: no is
I bought this lens, pulled it out of the box, and shot two weddings over the weekend. It is an amazing lens. Shooting at f2. just makes what you want to pop out in the photo, show more. If you use an extender on it like the 1.4 it is only f2.8 and the image quality is almost as good as the 70-200 f2.8 IS. It is super light and feels good on front of the camera (1D MK4). The only down side is you have to crank up the shutter, no IS.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: pilot2969
Location: Toledo, OH
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

BUY THIS LENS!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 23, 2010
Pros: fast af, unsurpassed iq, excellent build quality
The 135mm is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used. On my 5D and 1D MKII the images are just mind blowing. This thing is TACK sharp, doesn't matter if you're at f2.0 or f4.0.
AF speed is awesome on the 1DMKII, even in low light with all focus point activated.
I've seen comments about how IS would be helpful, and although I agree, I would hate to see the IQ suffer from this addition. I just make sure that I am using fast enough shutter speeds to eliminate hand shake. I usually aim for 1/160th of a second or faster, and every image I shoot is a keeper.
I own the 70-200 2.8L IS, and this lens beats it every time. I have become a prime lens convert... now I just need the 35L and I'll have the perfect setup.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Mark-E-Mark
Location: San Deigo, CA
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

The Best!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 7, 2010
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
If you like a superb portriat lens, this is it! The best head shots! Super for low light indoors! DOF is the best, not the best for group shots of course unless your 50 feet away!
Great for wedding an kids without being in their face. Its my favorite lens from Canon.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Vich
Location: So Cal
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Product replacement: No

Wonderful - IS would be better

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 5, 2010
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images, amazing iq
Cons: no is, af could be improved
It would be hard to improve on IQ, although it could be done. For example; I noticed a few non-round bokeh circles on a few.
For sharpness; I compared an F2 image with F8 of same subject (girl's face). I believe the F2 was maybe a tiny bit sharper on the eyelash it was focused on.
IQ, bokeh quality, the transition from sharp-to-bokeh, all amazing.
AF is a tad slow for fast moving subjects but still very adequate if light is good; in low light (AF poor in very low light on my 7D.
All that said; this lens is in need of update for latest AF and addition of IS. If they do that without messing up the amazing IQ, it will be worth upgrading.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Review 16 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: unclemat

Awesome lens, but needs stabilization

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:May 28, 2010
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Super-sharp images
Cons: lacks is
Sharp, fantastic picture quality, fast AF, but desperately needs IMAGE STABLIZATION!!
2 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Review 17 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Srimano
Location: Camrbidge, MA
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Product replacement: No

Good, after a while.

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:May 23, 2010
Pros: Fast auto-focus, Superior build quality, Super-sharp images
As soon as I bought this, I was waiting to see how amazing this lens was. Loaded the ammunition and went around the city shooting people, including my wife.
For the first week, I was disappointed. Images were blurry, AF failed many times, and with out a tripod it was worse. The B+W UV filter that I had order came in after few days and I screwed it in. And voila, the lens for some reason become very sharp -- yes, this sound absurd. I suspect I might have pressured the lens while screwing the filter, and this put the lens into good shape?? I have no idea.
Whatever it is, I am now satisfied and thrilled to see the results. At F/2, this lens produces very crisp subject-in-focus and very smooth bokeh of out-of-focus area, resulting in a majestic looking picture. Even a donkey looks like a lion.
Now that I have seen this lens in full glory (I believe so), I do have some cons to report:
1. Low-light focusing is still hard even with f/2. 135mm telephoto demands a good 20' distance from a human subject (I have a cropped EOS body). Small hand shake can worsen AF in low-light.
*Image-Stabilization would have really really helped here.
2. For human subjects, I end up being about 10-30 feet away. The lens should have had more operating room for this range of focus. 10-30 feet gets covered by turning the focus ring by about 10 degrees. This means, it is hard to achieve fine control over the focus. Most of the focus ring's rotation is covered from 3-10 feet, which is not a very useful range for this lens.
3. AF is fast, but not as fast as in 24-105 or 24-70mm. It did matter when I was trying to capture a trespassing raccoon.
* I definitely recommend buying this lens *. If you have or planning to have 70-200 F/2.8 IS, then do try before you buy this lens.
Disclaimer: I am an armature photographer. I've taken grad courses in optics and I have some idea of science behind it.
5 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Review 18 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: Anonymous
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur

One of Canon's Best

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:February 14, 2010
Pros: Superior build quality, Super-sharp images, great bokeh, easy focus, size and weight
Cons: no rubber seal
After owning 10 canon L lenses, the 135mm f2 and the 35mm f1.4 are my favorites on a full-frame body, especially for travel and as walk around lenses. The 135MM has amazing bokeh and contrast, and much better DOF control than the 85mm f1.2 for portraits. Images are consistenly sharper with this zoom than with most of my other lenses, even those with IS, thanks to its wider f stop and faster shooting speeds. Its size and weight are also a great advantage over other L telephotos and zooms. Only minor improvement would be rubber sealing, but even without it I still find it my #1 choice.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Review 19 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: EOS4me
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Used this product for: more than 1 year
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

Heads and indoor sports lens supreme!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:August 7, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus, quiet focus, incredible bokeh
Cons: cost
If you shoot a FF EOS body for indoor sports or a lot of head shots this is an amazingly useful lens! Fast! Smooth pretty bokeh and shallow DOF are hallmarks of this lens. Stop it down and if you have a tripod this lens can produce images that are as sharp as my old EF 200 1.8L USM, unbelieveable detail and contrast but you have to have a high pixel body or fine grained chrome film to get the best out of it. Fantastic lens built old school Canon which is to say heavy enough to ward off a NYC mugger or an Alaskan grizzly bear. But the image quality is worth the pain to carry, the pain to your wallet and the narrow range of subjects and situations this lens is at its most usefull.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Review 20 for EF 135mm f/2L USM
Nickname: amfoto1
Location: San Jose, CA
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Product replacement: No

Simply a stunning lens!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:July 7, 2009
Pros: Super-sharp images, Superior build quality, Fast auto-focus, lovely bokeh
Cons: no image stabilization
I recently got this lens and have been using it on 50Ds and 5D Mark II.... It's great on either full frame or crop sensor.
Others have noted it's very sharp and I agree. But what does that really mean? Well, using it alongside other lenses in my kit, under identical circumstances, I find more fine detail in images than you will see with, say, 70-200/2.8 IS. Not that the zoom is a slouch in any way. It's not! Fantastic lens too... for a zoom. But the 135/2 will out-resolve it or any other zoom every time, no matter what camera you use it on.
The 135/2 is no lightweight. You know immediately when you pick it up that there is some impressive glass inside! It feels very solid and overall handles quite well. Build quaility is high-end, L-Series. The lens hood is big, but works well.
AF is plenty fast, color rendition and fidelity are super, and there are few lenses that will render a nicer out of focus background (300/2.8 and 500/4 can, and certainly had better... and maybe the 85/1.2 and 200/2, but I don't have them to compare). But, at this focal length, it's got to be the best lens available, bar none.
The 135/2 is also the shortest Canon tele that can use the 1.4X II and 2X II. In particular, the 1.4X will be useful on it, giving an effective 189mm f2.8 lens. I haven't tried the combo yet, but hear that it works well.
Probably the only thing lacking from this lens is Image Stabilization. If it had IS, it would be just about perfect and even more useful on crop sensor cameras and/or with teleconverters. It is still plenty useful on a crop sensor camera, just watch your minimum shutter speed stays around 1/200 or better when handheld, or use a tripod/monopod.
IS with this particular focal length probably is not as critical on full frame. Plus higher ISO capable cameras can help keep shutter speeds faster, too. But, Image Stabilization is a great feature on most any telephoto lens, regardless. It would be nice to see it on this lens.
Otherwise, don't mess with this super lens, Canon!
38 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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