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FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews
Thread started 06 Dec 2014 (Saturday) 12:21
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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, reviewed by Mistabernie

TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Mistabernie (showing now: Mistabernie)
Overall Rating9
Overall Image Quality9
Value for Money10
Bokeh9.5
Sharpness10
Contrast9
Focusing9.5
Must Have9
Suitability to Intended Use9
Got What I Expected9.5
image
photo by JohnPh
Ownership Status: "own"

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List all reviews of Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
 
Mistabernie
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2,721 posts
Joined Mar 2010
south of Boston, MA
Dec 06, 2014 12:21 |  #1

I'm sure there are plenty of other reviews for this great lens, but I wanted to post my "everyday" person spin on it.

Focal length:
This is a great focal length on full frame bodies. I recently hurt my knee and have had difficulties (under exaggerated, torn quad) walking since September 1st. In the beginning of October, I brought my niece and her mom and sister out for senior photos, and this lens rarely left the body. Full portraits offered great isolation and clear focus consistently, and when I wanted to isolate her more for head shots, etc, the lens really shone. It's right in the sweet spot for my personal use.

By all means though, don't let this discourage crop body owners. I've used this lens on my 7D Mk I and while it's a bit tighter with the crop factor, crop sensors benefit from hitting the sweet spot of the lens, which can reduce imperfections based on perspective.


Color and vignette:
I am consistently pleased with the color and tone that this lens provides. The vignette is natural and actually at times pleasing. It can be noticeable in full frame bodies but I don't find it to be distracting.

Focusing:
In my experience, my 135L is one of my fastest and most consistent accurately focusing lenses. At times i am actually surprised how quickly this lens can grab and hold focus, making it quite capable for fast paced shooting like sports, etc.

Value:
The 135L has personally been my best bang for the buck lens, and I would be saying this even if I didn't get mine for an absolute steal (~$550 USD in cash/trade). Used in excellent condition, the lens retains a lot of value (pristine used copies can fetch upwards of $825 USD on the used market).

Overall thoughts:
Seriously, if you have the means to shoot with this great lens, do it. You will not regret it. This lens is versatile for a prime lens and consistently sharp as a tack, while not breaking the bank doing so.


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samsen
Cream of the Crop
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7,468 posts
Joined Apr 2006
LA
Dec 06, 2014 13:37 |  #2

This is one on my To DO list.


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ruskivolk
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Joined Apr 2011
Feb 10, 2015 15:36 |  #3

Have you shot much portraiture with it? I'm hearing this is a beast for great bike.

Some shots would be nice to see too.




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Mistabernie
THREAD ­ STARTER
'Camera Unicorn McSparkles'..
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2,721 posts
Joined Mar 2010
south of Boston, MA
Feb 12, 2015 07:37 |  #4

ruskivolk wrote in post #17425790external link
Have you shot much portraiture with it? I'm hearing this is a beast for great bike.

Some shots would be nice to see too.

Hi -

Yep, I've done some portraits with it, and they have come out great. I don't have releases to share them here unfortunately, but the 135L Lens Thread has some great samples of images that are captured by this lens.

I would go as far as to agree that this lens is beastly for portraits, with a single caveat - it's a little long on a crop sensor. It really shines on full frame. I'm the kind of guy that doesn't mind a little distance from my subject - I feel it makes them feel more comfortable if I'm not up in their faces, and I can get great three quarters or even head shots without being that close to people. On top of this, and this might sound odd, but I actually like effectively using more of the lens with a full frame sensor; the 'sweet spot' achieved by using a crop sensor is great, but I feel like the 135L has character that really shines through with full frame.

Portraits are really the tip of the iceberg for this lens though. I know multiple people that have this lens at the ready for most indoor sports as well because of the quick and accurate focusing, the large aperture and the fact that the focal length is really useful.


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Pkang414
Member
55 posts
Joined Feb 2012
Feb 13, 2015 10:28 |  #5

Thanks for the review! A lot of my photography friends mention that this is their favorite lens. I see some sample images online and understand why...thanks again!




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Mistabernie
THREAD ­ STARTER
'Camera Unicorn McSparkles'..
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2,721 posts
Joined Mar 2010
south of Boston, MA
Feb 13, 2015 10:51 as a reply to Pkang414's post |  #6

Thanks for the kind words! It wasn't much of a review to be completely honest, haha. I've been considering taking some time to clean it up, add some examples, etc, but thank you!


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itsallart
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Jan 2015
Near Dallas
Feb 13, 2015 16:49 |  #7

I have one of those and i agree it's one of my fastest lenses. Creamy bokeh, smooth focusing, super sharp, just love it! I only just got it and haven't shot much yet. Here are some shots taken through a very dirty window of an unsuspecting subject :) One was focused automatically, the other one manually :) I will post more on the weekend :)

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Rebelution
Senior Member
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Joined Apr 2009
Feb 14, 2015 00:06 |  #8

Had the chance to rent this len! This will most likely be my next prime. It's fantastically fast, sharp, and accurate!


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p00kienrayray
Senior Member
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Joined Feb 2014
Long Beach, CA
Mar 02, 2015 12:18 |  #9

Love this lens. Haven't had a chance to play with it much indoors bc it's a little long even on FF, but outdoors is where I see this lens really shining.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7452/15976716763_45fd076dc3_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qkNR​gR] (external link)_MG_1239.jpg (external link) by cassy.samel (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8580/16409277278_1fecfab4bd_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/r12Q​rL] (external link)_MG_1295.jpg (external link) by cassy.samel (external link), on Flickr

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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, reviewed by Mistabernie
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