Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus 35mm Primes

Available At:
EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus

Telephoto lens with a soft focus feature. It can give razor-sharp images as well as soft focus photos that do not look blurry.

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
undieyatch   Intermediate [Nov 09, 2006]
Strength:

Optional natural optical soft focus, subtle to strong; lightweight; economical; very good colour and contrast; very good prime lense sharpness at fast f2.8 max aperture, sharper at f4; superior bokeh.

Weakness:

Reliable autofocus but legacy style; prone to lens flare w/o shade; long minimum focus distance

Useful & versatile portrait lense.
A special lense, can be used as a fast prime but also incorporates a dial for
continuous soft focus effect, with engraved setting stops at zero for no soft effect; setting 1 is for half effect; and setting 2 is for full effect. Placement of a setting between the stops is also appropriate. Chosen setting soft focus intensity will also be mitagated by aperture and appears to be less conspicuous above f5.6.
Software can create soft focus in a reliable way and may be a better option for some, but this lense provides a on camera control which may have merit for some requirements.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Skyman   Expert [Dec 19, 2005]
Strength:

sharp! not to soft when the soft focus is turned on.

Weakness:

af system is slow and i did eventually develop a problem where the manual focus ring slipped

This lens is far sharper than i thought it would be. in fact bench testing it against the canon 70-200 f4L it comes up trumps in the sharpness department. The soft focus takes a lot of getting used to and despite having 2 levels of softness the effective softness of a shot changes with the aperture (canon got it right when they said the best results will be achieved between f2.8 and f4). i have noticed that you get a more pleasing soft effect if there is a strong source of light somewhere in the image. the focusing system is a little sluggish at times but then this lens is not built for sports. overall i am happy and for a long time this lens was a favourite in my quiver.

Customer Service

never had a problem

Similar Products Used: 70-200mm f4L 200mm f2.8L
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Lionheart   Intermediate [Dec 15, 2004]
Strength:

Small, light, razor sharp, although not edge to edge like the big brother "L".

Weakness:

Lens flare is very pronounced even with a hood against even slightly backlit subjects. Build is cheap. Not a lens I would take through a rough outing.

Great lens to pick up if you can find it cheap used. Easily a match for its big brother in the "L" gang, but not wide open. Very nice soft focus feature, razor sharp when off, dreamy effects when dialed in.

Customer Service

na

Similar Products Used: 135 f2L
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
ichiu   Intermediate [Mar 11, 2004]
Strength:

Sharp wide open and stopped down! inexpensive, small filter size, metal hood mount, bokeh is silky smooth, great portrait and midtelephoto lens.

Weakness:

Plastic barrel, AF motor a little whiney and not as fast as USM, long minimum focus distance of 4 feet

Great Value for a nice portrait lens. I spent couple days shooting a couple hundred pictures with this lens mounted on the Canon 10D. The images are sharp, the bokeh is smooth, what more do you want from a portrait lens. The 1.6X crop factor does make you stand a little farther from your subject. This lens has been over shadowed by it's 135mm f2"L" brother and the other midtelephoto USM lenses. But for less money you can get the same quality of pictures. Highly recommended lens, especially if you're on a tight budget... well, even if you're not.

Customer Service

Canon customer service has been okay in the past.

Similar Products Used: Canon 85 f1.8 Canon 135 f2 Tamron 90 f2.8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
baldur   Expert [Jan 10, 2004]
Strength:

it's a cheap and cheerful 135mm lens. Quite sharp. F2.8 is good enough.

Weakness:

No weakness you can said in this price range.

In a summary, a sharp 135mm lens when you don't use the soft focus feature. To the soft focus, it's totally depend on your taste, someone love it so much and someone don't like the effect. It's better to judge it yourself. Built quality is average, focus speed is OK.

Customer Service

No Need for 10 years of service.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Hannu Eskelinen   Intermediate [Nov 25, 2003]
Strength:

* Weight * Price * Very usable

Weakness:

* Soft focus is pretty vain... makes slight effect. If you want good soft focus effect, then buy Cokin filter for example.

This is very good lens for portraits. It's usually very cheap if you buy it second hand. Not even robbery if you buy new one. I was shooting with it last night and i can't notice huge difference compared to EF 50 MM f/1.8 Mk II, They both are working very nice with my Hensel Vario B 400 Monoflashes. Image that EF 135 MM f/2.8 produces is razor sharp and saturation is very natural. I am using it with my Canon EOS 10 D and it's well working compination. Best used with apertures 8 or smaller. Fine still at f/16. Here's example: http://www.kolumbus.fi/hannueskelinen/minna/minna1.jpg

Customer Service

Never needed.

Similar Products Used: * Canon EF 200 mm f/1.8 L Ultrasonic lens * Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MK II lens * Sigma Super Wide 24mm f/2.8 macro lens * Mamiya Sekor Zoom E 35mm~105mm 1:3.5~4.3 variable macro lens * Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
joe capobianco   Expert [Oct 30, 2002]
Strength:

Sharp beyond 100ft focusing, decent autofocus speed, good contrast. Cheap used.

Weakness:

Poor sharpness up close, 1/2 stop underexposure throughout, warm color balance.

This lens performs best at infinity, close focusing is mediocre at best. Its not up to my 105mm Nikkor or even my $20 promaster 135mm when it comes to sharpness within 6 feet, But use it for landscapes and you will be pleased.

Customer Service

not yet

Similar Products Used: 12 Canon ef lenses, 4 Nikkor AIS(very sharp), 5 generics.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
lei2k   Intermediate [Dec 11, 2001]
Strength:

sharpness, good color rendition, nice softfocus effect, lightweight, inexpensive

Weakness:

some abberation at wide open not an USM, so no full time manual focus

I bought this lens for the softfocus effect and it didn''t piss me off. It took some trial and failure to figure out how to achieve the right amount of softness but it well worths it. Besides, if you switch the softness slide to "0" it is tack sharp and the color rendition is fantastic. This is not an USM :( but the focus is not slow and not noisy, either.

Customer Service

I''m happy that I don''t have to use it so far.

Similar Products Used: Canon EF 35-135mm Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Canon EF 70-200mm F4L Canon EF 85mm F1.8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lei   Intermediate [Dec 11, 2001]
Strength:

sharpness, good color rendition, nice softfocus effect, lightweight, inexpensive

Weakness:

some abberation at wide open not an USM, so no full time manual focus

I bought this lens for the softfocus effect and it didn''t piss me off. It took some trial and failure to figure out how to achieve the right amount of softness but it well worths it. Besides, if you switch the softness slide to "0" it is tack sharp and the color rendition is fantastic. This is not an USM :( but the focus is not slow and not noisy, either.

Customer Service

I''m happy that I don''t have to use it so far.

Similar Products Used: Canon EF 35-135mm Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Canon EF 70-200mm F4L Canon EF 85mm F1.8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Nick R   Expert [Nov 14, 2001]
Strength:

Cheap second hand, pretty sharp, SF sometimes useful, not at all heavy.

Weakness:

None, for the price. It''s almost as fast and quiet as USM. Tendancy to flare in contre jour lighting is the biggest problem.

I have always had a soft spot for the 135mm lens, ever since I first bought one over 20 years ago. True, there are more versatile focal lengths, but that East German Zeiss lens was a cracker. When I saw one of these for sale second hand and cheap, I checked the reviews here and bought it. Guess what? The reviews are spot on. This is a pretty sharp, light lens which focuses quickly and quietly but can be prone to flare. Soft focus setting 1 is just about perfect for portraits, 2 is great for pictorial landscapes. It''s a nice lens, it works well with my Sigma EX 1.4x converter and I''m very happy to take it when I don''t want to carry my 70-200 f2.8 zoom

Customer Service

Not required.

Similar Products Used: Carl Zeiss Jena 135 f3.5, Mamiya 645 210 f4.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 18  
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