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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Feb 2006 (Monday) 13:22
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Canon 135f2.8 Soft Focus ....kind of a review!

 
gorby
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Jun 24, 2007 12:41 |  #16

The zoom outshines the prime?


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MagentaJoe
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Jun 24, 2007 12:50 |  #17

Now that I've had this lens for a little while I think I can give a pretty accurate idea of what this lens is and why or why not you should have it. If you don't like the soft focus effect, don't get the 135sf. If you expect it to perform like a 135L or something like that you will be disappointed. It's sharp when not in soft focus mode, at all apertures. Not WOW sharp but still a very good performer. Focus speed is not USM fast but still pretty close. This is not a macro lens, this is not a sports lens.

The 135SF is specifically a portrait lens and on a full frame camera it is very good. On a crop body it is not so good, the focal length is just too long.

There are reviews from people who say they don't like the soft focus effect and because of that they just dismiss it and review only the sharpness. While I understand this I have to say, it's not really helpful. Any review of the 135sf lens is not complete without reviewing the actual intended use of the lens, and that's soft focus!

Whether or not a person likes soft focus is subjective and not really a thing that should be in a review. Anyway, enough ranting and to what I think of the lens.

1) For a original EF build it's very good. Of course it's no L lens but still it feels very solid.

2) The clip on hood from my 35/2.0 fits it. It obviously is not as deep as it could be but it will help.

3) Not full time manual focus. The MF feels a little, I think I've heard it called "gritty", but really is not bad at all.

4) It has a metal mount. Standard older EF lens construction here.

Something very important: You cannot duplicate this effect in any software. You can, of course, emulate it. It's not and never will be the same. The interaction of light and the flaring, ghosting, dreamy quality this lens can lend to a photo are just way to complex to duplicate.

I think, when using it in soft focus, you have to know why you are using soft focus. It's like "the tilt." Some do it because they like a tilt, some do it because they understand exactly what the tilt does for a pic and why and where it should be used. Tilt for tilts sake is a bad thing.

Blindly using soft focus is even worse. I have seen some really horrendous pics from this lens, mainly because of the soft focus for soft focus sake kind of photography.

What I find amazing about this lens is the bokeh it provides. It is so different from any other lens. The quality of the bokeh is very difficult to describe accurately. It varies so much with distance, aperture, brightness, colour. I personally find it quite beautiful. If you are expecting a photograph to be as sharp as possible and to tell a journalistic type of story about the scene and you can't get beyond that then you will be disappointed and confounded. If you can appreciate the impressionistic quality that soft focus imparts then you will be very pleased.

Here are a few pics, like them or not, taken with the 135sf.

IMAGE: http://www.ceretti.com/softfocus/SF-EXAMPLE-IMG_1120.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.ceretti.com/softfocus/SF-EXAMPLE-IMG_1118.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.ceretti.com/softfocus/SF-EXAMPLE-IMG_1114.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.ceretti.com/softfocus/PK_IMG_2145.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.ceretti.com/softfocus/IMG_6208.jpg

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folville
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Jun 24, 2007 13:27 |  #18

gorby wrote in post #3431660 (external link)
The zoom outshines the prime?

Yes, in my tests it has. I would say that it's not necessarily because the 135 SF is weak but moreso because the 70-200 is so strong. One thing to note is that the 135 has been very useful to me for situation where a small, light lens is to my advantage. I've found that I can stick this lens through a chain link fence for situation like baseball games of fenced-in exhibits at parks and zoos. Try that with a lens with a 77mm objective element.

Here is another photo to demonstrate the color and bokeh in the 135 SF can exhibit. I added no saturation and did almost no PP aside from resizing and the necessary sharpening to accomodate the resize. I have a ton more that show just how good this lens is under decent conditions.


http://imageshack.us (external link)

IMAGE: http://img451.imageshack.us/img451/8425/fieldsofpurplebyfolvillji3.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://imageshack.us  (external link)

135mm f/2.8 SF for sale

  
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gorby
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Jun 24, 2007 16:43 |  #19

Lovely samples! I will still keep this one on my list of ever changing 'potentials'.

I realize in hindsight that comparing sharpness between a $1600 to this sub-$300 lens probably isn't too fair, zoom or not!


Wonderful examples of the soft focus, magenta joe, cheers .


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folville
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Jun 24, 2007 17:28 |  #20

gorby wrote in post #3432799 (external link)
Lovely samples! I will still keep this one on my list of ever changing 'potentials'.

I realize in hindsight that comparing sharpness between a $1600 to this sub-$300 lens probably isn't too fair, zoom or not!


Wonderful examples of the soft focus, magenta joe, cheers .



yep, the comparison isn't really all that fair, but it's still nice to know that an expensive new toy is better than an old (20 year old) toy.

joe is right about the Softfocus feature. Most people try to claim that the effect can be duplicated, which - as he said - isn't really the case; it is really something different, and as his examples show (especially number 1 and 2, IMO) it can be great.


135mm f/2.8 SF for sale

  
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schmoelzel
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Jun 26, 2007 15:03 |  #21

Hey, nice to see this 'old' post resurrected!! I still prefer the 135L but the SF version was pretty good for the money.........btw, I hate the soft-focus effect since the shots always look OOF to me!




  
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tekkie
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Jul 04, 2007 16:27 |  #22

bump for more sample pics I just ordered one of these :)


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folville
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Jul 05, 2007 21:00 |  #23

All right, I suppose I could add a couple more to this archive. here I have a goat that I shot through a fence at the local zoo; the only real pp was a slight adjustment in contrast because the lighting was not quite optimal.

IMAGE: http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/6118/img6118edit7x5mx3.jpg


These are a test of the SF function.


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135mm f/2.8 SF for sale

  
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tekkie
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Jul 06, 2007 06:38 |  #24

thanks those looks pretty good :) mine will be here on monday


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Canon 500L, 100-400L
, 70-200 2.8L, 17-40L, 24-105L, 24mm 2.8,50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 135mm 2.8 SF, 100mm Macro
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tekkie
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Jul 12, 2007 17:27 |  #25

here are some pics from mine, no PP other than crops and convert from raw to jpeg, all at iso 100 from my 20D

first the 135 2.8 @ 2.8, these are 100% crops btw

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


vs the 85 1.8 @ 2.8
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


the 85 1.8 @ 1.8
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


now the 135 @ F5
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


vs the canon 100-400L set to 135mm @ F5 I think I messed up the lighting on this one a bit but you still get the point
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


here is the full pics of the tests of the 135 & 85 @ 2.8, warning these are like 5MB each
135 @ 2.8 http://tekkie.smugmug.​com/photos/172346918-O.jpg (external link)
85 @ 2.8 http://tekkie.smugmug.​com/photos/172347771-O.jpg (external link)

so I think for 200 bucks it works pretty well, off to take more pics to post of better subjects :)

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Canon 500L, 100-400L
, 70-200 2.8L, 17-40L, 24-105L, 24mm 2.8,50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 135mm 2.8 SF, 100mm Macro
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Ronald ­ S. ­ Jr.
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Jul 12, 2007 17:36 |  #26

why's the 135's shots so purple?


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Jman13
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Jul 12, 2007 17:45 |  #27

Those are (once again) great shots of Julia. Proof that cheaper lenses can indeed be used to outstanding effect. I've lived that mantra in building my lens collection, though the 135mm prime is the one spot I did splurge and get the L. :)

One question: does the 1D usually have banding like that in the shadows?


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MagentaJoe
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Jul 12, 2007 20:20 |  #28

Jman13 wrote in post #3534126 (external link)
One question: does the 1D usually have banding like that in the shadows?

It looks to me a like a little too much exposure and saturation adjustment. Great shot though.


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https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=442750

  
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schmoelzel
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Jul 12, 2007 21:36 |  #29

Jman13 wrote in post #3534126 (external link)
Those are (once again) great shots of Julia. Proof that cheaper lenses can indeed be used to outstanding effect. I've lived that mantra in building my lens collection, though the 135mm prime is the one spot I did splurge and get the L. :)

One question: does the 1D usually have banding like that in the shadows?

Wow....this thread will not die!! Thanks for the compliment and I do remember that I underexposed (accidental!) and had to boost in RAW, hence the noise and banding in the shadows. One pitfall of the 1D is that proper exposure is critical for noiseless shots......not impossible but you really have to make sure you nail the exposure.




  
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jcw122
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Nov 17, 2007 01:21 |  #30

The SF function is definitely odd to me....but I can see the dream-like feel it gives to the images being useful for some situations.


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Canon 135f2.8 Soft Focus ....kind of a review!
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