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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Jul 2013 (Thursday) 00:15
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135L/EF-S 18-135mm STM Comparo

 
yogestee
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Jul 04, 2013 00:15 |  #1

I don't normally compare my lenses side by side but in this case, between the 135L and EF-S 18-135mm STM I had to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

I bought the EF-S 18-135mm STM for shooting videos on my EOS M, where it performs well. I tried the lens on both my 50D and 20D and came back very surprised. This lens performs and produces some amazing images. This is coming from a fast prime lover and someone who isn't all that keen on kit lenses.

Enter my trusty 135L. As we all know, the 135L is one of the sharpest lenses made by Canon, so I decided to compare the two side by side.

The EF-S 18-135mm STM having a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at 135mm, I decided to shoot the 135L at f/5.6 also. At f/5.6, the 135L should be somewhere in its sweet spot. The EF-S 18-135mm STM wide open. Should be interesting. All shots were tripod mounted at 100 ISO. All pic were shot in RAW, no sharpening added, then converted to jpeg and resized.

First pic, the 135L at f/5.6
Second pic EF-S 18-135mm STM

Please don't ask for 100% crops. I'm trying to keep this in the realm of 'real' photography.


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yogestee
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Jul 04, 2013 00:19 |  #2

Now for edge definition.

135L first pic,, EF-S 18-135mm STM second pic


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tkbslc
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Jul 04, 2013 00:24 |  #3

Well I hate to ask for 100% after you said not to, but these are way too small to make any meaningful observations. And I even have a 27" monitor.


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kin2son
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Jul 04, 2013 00:28 |  #4
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In real life situation no one uses their 135L @ f5.6 ;)


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yogestee
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Jul 04, 2013 00:34 |  #5

tkbslc wrote in post #16089612 (external link)
Well I hate to ask for 100% after you said not to, but these are way too small to make any meaningful observations. And I even have a 27" monitor.

OK,, when I get back on my main computer,, I'll do a couple or crops ;)


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Jul 04, 2013 02:01 |  #6

Have both lenses too, and even that the 18-135mm stm is a good lens, the 135mm L is the most stunning lens ive ever used and is a tack sharper, color repro is better and overall image quality is outstanding.

I couldnt compare the 2 lenses, they are too different. While i use the 135L for high-end portraits i use the 18-135 more as a travel lens on the t4i or as a video lens because its range and the STM.


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Jul 04, 2013 02:30 |  #7

kin2son wrote in post #16089616 (external link)
In real life situation no one uses their 135L @ f5.6 ;)

Don't you have to take the 135/2 apart and apply some sort of solvent to the aperture blades just to get it to stop down to even f2.2?


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yogestee
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Jul 04, 2013 03:25 as a reply to  @ FEChariot's post |  #8

A couple of crops from the centre.

135L first pic.


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Romax12
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Jul 04, 2013 05:25 |  #9

I have the 18-135 non-stm version and just got a used 70-200 f2.8 is mark 1.
Like you, I find the IQ of the kit lens to be as good as canon's pro-level lenses. Though my 18-135 never got out from my bag since I got my hands on the 70-200. The build quality, focus, bokeh, everything just feels like a different level. my 18-135 looks like a toy compared to the white beast.
I will never purchase another non-L lens after this one.


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Mark-B
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Jul 04, 2013 07:41 |  #10

yogestee wrote in post #16089603 (external link)
I bought the EF-S 18-135mm STM for shooting videos on my EOS M, where it performs well. I tried the lens on both my 50D and 20D and came back very surprised. This lens performs and produces some amazing images.

You should have posted some of those amazing images instead of these boring ones. I'm sure this comparison is of very limited interest to anyone considering the 135.

Enter my trusty 135L. As we all know, the 135L is one of the sharpest lenses made by Canon, so I decided to compare the two side by side.

Compared in a way that no one would actually use the 135. People pay for that lens to use wide open at f/2 and to get the sharpness and bokeh that comes with it. Just like the 70-200 f/2.8, the 35mm f/1.4, or any other fast lens - you buy it to use wide open.

At f/5.6, the 135L should be somewhere in its sweet spot.

The sweet spot on the 135 is f/2


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Asroma
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Jul 04, 2013 07:49 as a reply to  @ Mark-B's post |  #11

Yes. Compare at wide open. That is the key strength of the 135L.;)


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TweakMDS
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Jul 04, 2013 15:31 |  #12

Apart from all of the above, that's quite the impressive wide open performance from the 18-135mm.
Although I have personal issues accepting the term "wide open" for f/3.5-5.6 lenses :)

Since you're in the business of comparisons, I'd love to see some shots with very harsh contrasts / backlight and see how they compare with flare/ca/distortions. A better foreground / background separation (that is: background that's further away) would also be nice to compare the OOF areas.


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Xcelx
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Jul 05, 2013 02:03 |  #13

I think the comparison is quite biased since the lighting conditions changed between the shots. The 18-135 shot is sunlit.




  
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gacon1
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Jul 05, 2013 02:53 |  #14

yogestee wrote in post #16089911 (external link)
A couple of crops from the centre.

135L first pic.

The first pic has a lot of details compare to the second one.
The second one looks flat and "fake" to me (especially the green color).

But if you are happy with the 18-135mm then go for it, sell your 135L 2.0 :D




  
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bratkinson
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Jul 05, 2013 05:57 |  #15

You mean the 135 actually CAN be stopped down? I thought it only did f2.0!!! That's where mine stays all the time!

Actually, I'm rather surprised there seems to be little diffence between your 135 and 18-135 STM. I would have expected the IQ difference to be instantly noticable. I'm wondering if you did the comparison using your 20D and the lower number of megapixels effectively 'downgraded' the 135. It could also be re-sizing for this web site. Compared to the other 5 L lenses I have/had, the 135 has always been my sharpest. But then, that's with my 60D and now 5D3.


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135L/EF-S 18-135mm STM Comparo
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