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Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount

You Pay: $2,122.00
Product Highlights
  • 135mm Telephoto Prime Lens
  • Fits Canon EF Mount Cameras
  • Aperture Range: f/2-22
  • Minimum Focus Distance of 2.62' (0.8 m)
  • Apochromat Lens; Minimal Aberrations
  • Nine Blade Circular Aperture
  • Anti-reflective Coatings
  • Precise Manual Focus
  • Compact Design; All-Metal Barrel

The 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount from Zeiss is medium telephoto lens that offers a wide maximum aperture, vibrant color rendition and attractive out-of-focus background. It maximum aperture of f/2 provides substantial light gathering for sharp, high resolution imaging and lovely shallow depth of field photography. A nine-blade circular aperture will offer harmonious background blur when shooting with minimal depth of focus. Special anomalous partial dispersion glass minimizes chromatic aberrations in this apochromat lens and anti-reflective coating reduces reflections and ghosting. It is a compact lens for its focal length and its "floating elements" optical design consists of 11 lens elements in 8 groups with minimal glass-to-air surfaces. The lens design ensures consistent imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range as well as sharpness to the periphery of the image. A rotation angle of 268º enables precise manual focusing and its all-metal barrel provides longevity and protection for its high-quality design.

A focal length of 135mm provides medium distance telephoto imaging and is also an oft-chosen length for portraiture.
The maximum aperture of f/2 allows for substantial light gathering at faster shutter speeds and offers shallow depth of field.
A nine-blade circular aperture contributes to attractive out-of-focus and transitional areas within the image.
The lens design ensures consistent imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range as well as sharpness to the periphery of the image. Its minimum focusing distance is 2.62' (0.8 m).
An "apochromat" lens built with anomalous partial dispersion glass, it will minimize chromatic aberrations for sharply detailed, high contrast images free of color artifacts.
Anti-reflective lens coatings and a deep-black special lacquer treatment on the element's edges reduce reflections and the negative effects of stray light.
A wide rotation angle of 268º enables precise manual focusing.
Performance
Focal Length 135mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Canon (APS-C)
Angle of View 18° 7'
Minimum Focus Distance 2.62' (.80 m)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:4
Elements/Groups 11/8
Diaphragm Blades 9
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar No
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread Front:77 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.31 x 4.25" (84 x 108 mm)
Weight 2.05 lb (930 g)
Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount
  • Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
  • Reversible Metal Lens Hood
  • Limited 2-year Warranty (Extended to 3-year with Registration)
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Zeiss135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount
     
    4.9

    (based on 13 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (12)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Nice bokeh (13)
    • Strong construction (12)
    • Consistent output (10)
    • Durable (10)
    • Rugged (8)

    Cons

    • Heavy (9)

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/scenery (10)
    • Low light (5)
    • Wildlife photos (4)
    • Macro photography (3)
    • Night photography (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Semi-pro photographer (6), Pro photographer (4), Photo enthusiast (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (13)

    Reviewed by 13 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-13

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    5.0

    I haven't used my other lenses since

    By Trash Man

    from Boston MA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Artful Design
    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Precise
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Night Photography

      Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      As advertised, this is a sharp glass. As a street photographer who has never used any lens in this class before, I am unaccustomed to its level of clarity and light gathering ability. I have been especially happy with the results it has given in portraiture where the subject holds still. I love the heft, the mechanism and the build...this is a beautiful, precision instrument.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      So Sharp

      By Enormus

      from Beaverton, OR

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro Photography
      • Sports/Action
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      I thought the sharpest lens I've ever owned was the 90mm Schneider T/S Makro. It was until I got the Zeiss 135mm f2.0 Apo. OMG, this lens is amazing! Even at f2.0, this thing is incredibly sharp. It's a great lens for landscapes and portraits. Contrast, color, no chromatic aberration make this lens a stellar performer. I attached it to my new Sony a7R and achieved remarkable results. It's a bit heavy, but I like that because the added mass keeps movement down, and I really dislike cheap-feeling plastic lenses. It's not a macro, but will give you .25x magnification (which is what the Schneider produces).

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Fabuolous lens

      By susan

      from NJ

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Portrait

      Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

      Beautiful color, razor sharp.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Sharpest Lens on the Planet

      By Enormus

      from Beaverton, OR

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Sharpness
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Macro Photography
        • Portraits
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

        Just got this thing yesterday and took it out for a test run. The images are unbelievable. Even wide open, this thing outperforms every other lens I've ever owned, including my Schneider T/S 90mm Makro. I can't wait to use it in the field. This lens simply blows everything else out of the water (with the exception of the 55mm Otus). I highly recommend this amazing piece of equipment.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        UNBELIEVABLE LENS!!

        By RonMotz

        from Queens, NY

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

          Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

          I own a Canon 85mm 1.2, which I absolutely love and adore. I recently purchased the 135mm f/2 Zeiss lens to add to my portrait lenses, and I was absolutely blown away. The sharpness, contrast and clarity are on levels that are in the stratosphere!!

          Once you get past the manual focusing, the lens is magnificent. I have the Canon 5d Mark 3, and I use the focus verification beep with great success. Not that many OUF throw aways.

          The lens is built like a tank, is a little heavy, but actually feels good in your hands.

          I love the lens!!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A stunning optical achievement

          By desertdragon

          from Charlotte, NC

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Almost Zero Ca
          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction
          • Ultra sharp

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Macro Photography
          • Portraiture
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

          There are lots of very good lenses you can put on your Canon EF mount body, and there are a few really great lenses for the Canon too - Canon's own 135mm f2.0 being one of them. It offers superb sharpness across all apetures, has autofocus, is reasonably lightweight, and is modestly priced for a Canon L series prime lens. So why would anyone want a 135mm lens that weighs almost twice as much, is twice the price and doesn't even have an AF motor?

          Because very rarely, a lens comes along that crosses over from the land of the merely great to the realm of the truly astonishing. I know that sounds like ridiculous hyperbole, but the Zeiss 135mm apo f2.0 is one of those rare lenses... It's so astounding in so many ways that it's hard to know where to begin when describing it.

          I guess the first and most obvious quality of this lens is its sharpness, and not just its sharpness when stopped down comfortably around f5.6 or so - even wide open at f2.0, from the center to the corner, the Zeiss trounces the Canon in sharpness - and remember, the Canon is a fantastic lens. Distortion is expectedly very low too, matching the Canon 135mm in this respect.

          But perhaps most remarkable is the Zeiss's chromatic aberration, or almost complete lack thereof. With a measured CA of 2um, the Zeiss 135mm produces less CA than literally any other lens made for the Canon - ever, period. Not even the Zeiss Otus lenses can match that. This lens is so good optically that I seriously wonder if even Zeiss were surprised by how well their design manifested itself. What does a CA that's almost non-existent mean? Absolutely astonishing, mind-blowing color rendering to go along with the absolutely astonishing, mind-blowing sharpness, that's what. This lens literally opens up a world of color that I had no idea existed, or that at least could be captured by a camera.

          Just a note too regarding the manual focus on the Zeiss - the 135mm has the trademark Zeiss super-smooth and deliciously damped focus ring, and despite the focal length it is remarkably easy to focus, even with my 5D Mk II's primitive 9 point AF confirmation. If you have the 5D Mk III or the 1Dx (lucky you!) then focusing the 135mm will be a non-issue. You probably won't be doing sports photography with it, but beautifully focused handheld portraiture or landscape shots will be a breeze.

          And then there's the Zeiss 'character' that is imbued across their line of lenses, and is quintessentially represented in the 135mm - fantastic microcontrast, deep, rich color rendering, and that undefinable atmosphere that is the hallmark of Zeiss images, and what made me love Zeiss to begin with.

          Let me close by saying this: I know that most folks will end up with the Canon 135mm - it's practical, reasonably priced, and optically wonderful. But if you can live without the autofocus, can handle the not-insubstantial weight of this gorgeous beast of a lens, and are fortunate enough to be able to afford it, The Zeiss 135mm apo f2.0 will not only reward you with some truly amazing images, but it will inspire you to want to live up to its limitless potential - it certainly has inspired me.

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          (14 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Performance Off The Charts

          By Fret Spider

          from Chicago, IL, USA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Aberration Free
          • Color Saturation
          • Consistent Output
          • Distortion free
          • Durable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Sharpness
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Expensive
          • Heavy
          • Manual-focus Only

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Portraits

          Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

          Let's get the potential detractors for some buyers out of the way ... this lens is manual-focus only (not a good lens for action). It is heavy and expensive. The rest is pure optical reverie and exhalation.

          The build, feel, and optical quality of this lens are all beyond reproach. It is practically aberration & distortion free with a sharpness (even wide open) that will out-resolve any sensor in production, now and for years to come.

          The lens, while having a long, nearly 300-degree throw to pinpoint focus, sometimes I wish it had a little more for close-ups. Minimum focus distance is around 0.8 meters, providing a nice magnification of 0.25x.

          The nine rounded-blades of the aperture keep bokeh and out-of-focus areas beautifully rendered even when the aperture is clamped down significantly. Color saturation is incredible. In this review I have added a few photos taken wide-open. Notice on the scarecrow how there are single straw fibers with no fringing with razor-sharp resolution, again with the lens wide open, something the Canon version (while a great lens in itself) falls a bit short.

          I have been renting quite a few Zeiss lenses lately and have dedicated a set with more examples of those lenses on that flick-site under the user name - Fret Spider. Please enjoy! I had rented this lens a few months ago and liked it so much that I decided to pick one up. While I could try to sell everyone of the opinion that a manual-focus lens connects the photographer more their camera, it is mostly a personal preference. My only real suggestion is rent this lens and find out if this shooting style suits you. If manual lenses are your thing and you have the funds, this lens will not disappoint in any way.

          Happy shooting!

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          • No

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          (1 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          As good as they say it is!

          By MJT

          from Cincinnati, OH

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction
          • Very Sharp Focus

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

            Just added this lens to my Zeiss glass collection. I use my Zeiss lenses on my Sony NEX FS100 with Metabones NEX to EF and speed-booster adaptors to shoot video. The focus ring on the 135mm turns through a large angle providing for very sharp focusing. A very pleasing bokeh is obtained at wide aperture. Like all Zeiss lenses, this lens is assembled in a sturdy high quality metal case. I am very pleased with this lens and my four other Zeiss lenses! I find their construction and image quality irresistible. If you can afford them, I definitely recommend adding them to your kit.

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            • No

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            (6 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            My new favorite lens

            By Doc Fluty Automotive Photography

            from Dallas/Gulf coast

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

            I use this lens on my 5d Mark III and love it.

            I have the zeiss 21mm, 35mm 1.4 and 50mm 2.0 and all of them have benefited from the auto-confrm (beep when focused) focus of the 5dIII over my old 5d II.

            Using this lens (and those others) I can get sharp shots handheld at f/2.

            I primarily shoot automobiles and use a tripod and live view often. Using this lens at 2.0 I get zero CA which it often a problem on chrome parts of cars and trucks.

            This lens is much thinker than my other ZE lenses and the hood is no joke. It adds a few inches to the end of this lens.

            You can go else where to see the specs of the lens... but it really is awesome.

            I literally try to find locations that I can use the lens in and try to coerce my clients there just so I can use this lens over my other zeiss lenses.

            Obviously the negatives are that is is manual focus only, heavy and thick.

            But you are getting a professional piece of equipment with no internal moving parts that should last you decades.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 30 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Field use 135mm f/2 APO Sonnar T* ZE

            By MBS

            from Detroit, MI

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

            Fantastic lens build quality and sharpness, particularly for an f/2. Used for landscape and some portrait work.

            Pro-
            -Sharp and fast
            -CA non existent
            -Very low flare
            -Excellent color rendition
            -Excellent contrast
            -Probably best image quality of any Zeiss lens
            -Build quality is superb

            Con-
            -Can be a little difficult to focus on a Canon 5DMK3 due to standard focus screen not optimized for manual focus - can switch to 3rd party focus screen with split prism OR can use the live-view method. Recommend a tripod if possible with this lens.
            -Heavy with a very long focus throw. This adds to the sharp focusing ability but makes it poor for action photography
            -Can be both a positive and a negative but this lens has a very fine depth of field at f/2.

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            • No

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            (52 of 62 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            IN SHOCK

            By P. MACRO

            from SACRAMENTO, CA.

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Contrast and color
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                MOSTLY USED IN NEW PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY,IT VERY SHARP,GREAT COLOR AND CONTRAST.BETTER THAN CANON 135MM.IT'S REALLY SHARP JUST A BETTER LENS.ON 5DIII IN VERY LOW LIGHT IT'S HARD TO FOCUS AND IS VERY HEAVY LENS.BUT A LITTLE LIGHT I DON'T HAVE A BETTER LENS.ALSO USED ON A STREET SHOOT I'M IN SHOCK COLOR AND CONTRAST AND BOKEH CAN'T BE BEAT. BUT YOU STILL NEED AN AUTO FOCUS LENS THAT WILL FOCUS FAST I USE A CONON 135MM.

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                • No

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                (15 of 48 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Star Performer Sharp Wide Open

                By Starrider

                from Bradenton, Florida

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography

                Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                The Zeiss 135mm F/2 easily bests my Canon 135mm F/2 in sharpness, contrast, and clarity. In my side-by-side comparison, my Canon 135mm F/2 could not match the performance of the Zeiss lens until it was stopped all the way down to F/8. From F/8 to F/22 both lenses performed similarly. I haven't had a chance to check for chromatic aberration yet, but so far the Zeiss lens is a stellar performer.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (6 of 45 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Best CZ lens (IMO) for Canon mount

                By Permundum

                from Tristate

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Nice Bokeh
                • No Chromatic Aberration
                • No Distortion
                • Rugged
                • Sharp
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Cityscape
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Portrait
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens for Canon EF Mount:

                I own the 21mm and 50mm CZ lenses, and used to own the 85mm lens. Using this lens on a Canon 5D Mark III. This lens IMO is the best lens in the CZ lineup for Canon mount. Lens is very sharp from edge to edge, No distortion, low/no chromatic aberration. As with all CZ lenses, this one is all-metal and very strong construction / high quality. Lens also produces smooth bokeh wide open. Manual focusing is smooth, smooth focusing ring. Worth every penny. Using this lens for portraits, street photography and city/landscapes.

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