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Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM 35mm Primes

4.93 star rating
                      4.93 / 5 (40 Reviews)
MSRP : $989.00

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  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Focal Length135mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/2
    Min Aperturef/32
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    Closest Focusing Distance36 in
    Picture Angle18 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size72 mm
    Groups / Elements10 Elements in 8 Groups
    Diameter3.2 in
    Length4.4 in
    Weight27.2 oz
    Product ID20724013

Product Description

The fastest 135mm telephoto lens in its class. Ideal for indoor sports and portraits with background blur. Two UD-glass elements correct secondary spectrum for outstanding sharpness and color. Compatible with Extender EF 1.4x and 2x.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (40 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Leo a Expert

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2013

Strengths:    Maybe one of the best lenses Canon makes. Sharp, fast, very good build. Overall IQ out of this world.

Weaknesses:    Vignetting to much at F2.0 when use on FF.

Bottom Line:   
135 mm is not my most used prime. But every time I use this lens I am very happy :)

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $750.00

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joel a Expert

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2009

Strengths:    SHARP, black body (not white and obvious), huge focus ring, long hood, very strong, SHARP at F2, sharper as you stop it down, perfect indoor / dark lens. Focuses very fast.

It makes beautiful portraits across the board. Focus on the inside corner of the eyes and watch their eyes just pop out of the frame with amazing color, clarity and sharpness. Get the lighting right and there is no post-processing.

Weaknesses:    ** crickets **

Bottom Line:   
My first L, my first love. This lens is phenomenal. It always delivers, I can always rely on it to get the shot I need. I've owned this lens for about 3 years now and have used it exclusively on a 20D; until this week. I upgraded to a 5DII and it's like getting the lens all over again. It is unbelievably sharp.

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Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Enche Tjin a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2009

Strengths:    sharpness wide open, built-quality, appealing bokeh

Weaknesses:    not very versatile (prime lens), slow AF tracking

Bottom Line:   
is regarded as one of the best three prime lenses that Canon produce (Along with 85mm f/1.2 L USM and 35mm f/1.4 L USM).

The images from this lens are very sharp, contrasty and show a lot of details even in wide open at f/2. The depth of field is very shallow at f/2. As a result, the background will be compressed.

Because of that features, Canon 135mm is ideal for portrait, especially candid portrait, street photography and indoor sports.

Build quality is very good, the best Canon can made. The lens is not as big and heavy as telephoto zoom.

But unfortunately, this lens does not have Image Stabilization built-in. Image stabilization in telephoto is quite important so you can shoot with shutter speed lower than the focal length X crop multiplier. For example, when you attach this lens into crop sensor camera such as Canon Rebel series or 0XD series, then you need to set a shutter speed to at least 1/200 or greater to get a tack sharp result. It is also depend on how steady your hand is. If you have steady hand, then 1/160 will be adequate.

This lens have a decent closing focus (1m) this is better than most of the telephoto zoom range. You can also get a extension tube to get the focusing even closer (.6m with 2x extension tube).
Therefore, this lens will be quite good for macro photography.

The application of the lens will be quiet narrow. Candid photography is one in my mind when I think about this lens. It is because the telephoto range, maximum aperture, and the size is not that big and obtrusive.

The second one will be close-up and head-shoulder portraiture, and then for indoor sports such as volleyball, basketball and so on.

The downside
This lens does not have a wide range of application because the inflexibility of fixed focal length lens (prime lens).


Although the focusing is quite fast, but it is not as fast as EF 50mm f/1.4 USM or EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. So in the fast action sport, expect to miss some shots.

Other alternatives:
Other lens that you might consider to buy is Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L or 70-200mm f/4 IS.

They are similar in price. the 70-200mm f/2.8 has more flexibility but bigger. The 70-200 f/4 L IS is great because it has IS but you don't have the luxury of big aperture. The weight of f4L lens is almost the same, but the length is slightly longer.

Other 'budget' telephoto primes alternatives: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 and 100mm f/2. Both are not as sharp and detailed as the Canon 135mm f/2 but when stopped own to f/2.8-4 they will impressed you.

In conclusion
You will love this lens if you are into close-up portrait, candid photography and indoor sports shooters. With extension tube, you can transform this lens into a super sharp macro lens.

Is it worth it? This lens has a narrow application, so if you are specialized in candid portraiture or indoor sports and want the sharpest lens. This lens is definitely for you.

If you are looking for more versatile lens, then investing on high quality telephoto zoom lens will be better. Check out my website, www.radiantlite.com for more reviews, sample photos and video tour.

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Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Amazon

Similar Products Used:   Canon 85mm f/1.8, Nikon 85mm f/1.8

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kirk1 a Professional

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2008

Strengths:    Best prime I have tested to date. @ f2 it is amazingly sharp, @ anything above that its just gets better...need I say more

Bottom Line:   
Sharp, sharp sharp, and takes converters well

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   bH

Similar Products Used:   85L

Type of photography:   Sports

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dajon a Expert

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2006

Strengths:    well made / sharp sharp sharp! / fast af!

Weaknesses:    none what so ever

Bottom Line:   
I borrowed this lens from a friend and all i have to say is : sharpest lens I have ever used! I use the 70-200f4L and the 300f4L both are great but i did find the fixed 135 a tad bit sharper...just a tad though.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Similar Products Used:   70-200f4L

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (40 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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