REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonEF 135mm f/2L USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 600 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (563)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (531)
  • Nice bokeh (403)
  • Strong construction (381)
  • Consistent output (376)
  • Durable (320)

Cons

  • Heavy (51)
  • No IS (12)
  • Slow focus (6)
  • No image stabilization (5)
  • Poor in low light (5)

Best Uses

  • Weddings (316)
  • Low light (304)
  • Sports/action (282)
  • Night photography (165)
  • Wildlife photos (122)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (165), Pro photographer (153), Photo enthusiast (134), Professional (30), Semi-professional (29)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (414), Yes (13)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

True Lord of the Red Rings

This is one sick lens. Large aperture so great for shooting in low light. Long focal length for more candid shots. I use it for weddings and event photography and the super fast...Read complete review

This is one sick lens. Large aperture so great for shooting in low light. Long focal length for more candid shots. I use it for weddings and event photography and the super fast AF allows me to get the perfect shot every time.

I would recommend this to be used on a full framed camera, since a cropped sensor would give a 216mm focal length and could get a little too shaky handheld since it does not have IS.

The image I included was shot wide open (Canon 5D Mark II - 135mm - F2 -1/160 sec - ISO 800) to demonstrate the bokeh characteristics.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Jury still out...

I bought this lens because so many people said they used it for sports in a gym with a crop sensor. That gets them close to 200mm without investing in a 70-200mm. I...Read complete review

I bought this lens because so many people said they used it for sports in a gym with a crop sensor. That gets them close to 200mm without investing in a 70-200mm. I shoot XC, and Indoor and outdoor track and field. I use my 70-200mm with 5DMarkIII for running events and a 7D with the 135mm for field events. I've only used it once, so I'm not making a clear judgement yet, but I did not find it such a snappy focusing lens. I would say 50-60% of my shots were out of focus. I made adjustments to the focusing on the camera thinking that was the problem, but that yielded a rate of about 40-50% out of focus shots. Some were back focused so maybe a micro adjustment is needed? I did not just love this lens at first use like I did my 70-200mm. I plan on more use and an update of this review, but wanted to get my thoughts out.
It is lightweight, and sharp when shooting static subjects. Color is good, and I did not see any CA.

Reviewed by 600 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Worth the investment!!

By Sam

from New York, New York

Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

Love this lens a bit of a learning curve well worth learning the lens.
Love the image quality and oh the bokeh....

Share this reviewHelp Icon

 
5.0

I would buy this product again and again.

By BIgM

from Huntsville, AL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

    I would buy this product again and again

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    I've wanted one for years

    By Jim

    from Willits CA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Sports/Action
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

      Finally bought one! I use mainly for portraits, but recently tried it out (on a 7D) at a little league game. Good sports lens where you're reasonably close. Great bokeh. Can't think of any negatives. In short, I love this lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Crisp, beautiful photos

      By Mrs. Coach

      from Tennessee

      Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

      This lens is incredible for portraits. The aperture is very lovely and the image is
      Very crisp.

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Sharp & Fast

      By Cobalt71

      from Azerbaijan, Baku

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Portait
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

        I have Canon 70-200 (f 2.8) Mark II and love this lense.
        I have decided to by Canon 135 (f2) after reviewing a lot of forums and feedbacks. I am really happy with 135 lense performance and picures quality. It is fantastic lense for portrait shots. It has bekame my favorite lense now. You just need to have enough distance in order to use it's full capability.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        One of a kind

        By West Virginia Max

        from Morgantown, WV

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

          I use my EF 135mm f/2L on a EOS 6D body. It is a creative, artistic lens, which is also excels in every imaginable technical aspect. It is my common choice for taking portraits, or for any other situation when I need to isolate an object from the background. Many of my best images were obtained with this lens. I will never let it go.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent

          By ERG

          from San Juan, PR

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Lightweight
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action
            • Video

            Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

            In love with this lens!! I use for photojournalism and is so impressed with the quality and sharpness.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Amazing lens for Portraits

            By Valerie

            from Kansas

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Portraits
              • Seniors
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

              I rented this lens for an outdoor portrait session and was buying it here a week later. It's so creamy and the compression is awesome. It is quick to focus too! I cannot say enough good things about it. If you photograph seniors, portraits or weddings, get it in your bag!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Excellent portrait and event lens!

              By BeckyCarp

              from Milwaukee WI

              Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

              Excellent portrait and event lens! Love the 2.0 aperture, excellent depth of field, quick focus

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              A real beauty

              By D

              from Virginia

              Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

              I use a 6D. I thought my camera was a bit sluggish to focus in sports until I put this lens on it. The focusing with this lens is fast! Being able to open up to f2 (had been shooting at 2.8) in a dim gym got me up to much faster shutter speeds, which also made a world of difference in final quality. I had almost all keepers (over the 70-200 2.8L and the 100 2.8L). The focal range felt about right for me in a gym, but opinions on its use for sports will vary since this is a fixed length. I miss having IS but since I can open it up so much I can shoot faster to help make up for that. My copy of this lens was dead on and needed no microfocus calibration. It's pretty sharp. I'm anxious to start using it for portrait work soon. I have seen absolutely beautiful results others have been able to produce with it for that. Overall, the use of this is a bit specialized, but there is no way I could give this lens up now that I have used it.

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent Lens!

              By lisaglamphotography

              from Delray Beach, FL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Familychild Photography

                Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                Love this lens as it gives you the best bokeh without the 200mm weight, The closest to it!
                Highly recommend!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Love It!

                By Lu

                from lititz, pa

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                • Slow Focus

                Best Uses

                • Macro Photography
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                I just took this lens out of the box and wa-la! I took two pics and loved it instantly! Took it outside for the first time and loved the results on the frost. I can only expect to get better results as I get more familiar with this lens!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Sharp as a tack

                By Picczar

                from Oshkosh, WI

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                What this lens lacks in zoom, it makes up for in sharpness and wonderful bokeh. The "upgrade" from my 70-200 2.8 to this for portraits is amazing.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Wonderful lens!

                By Meghannngene

                from Leesburg, VA

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                    I shoot with a Canon 6D and was convinced that there would not be another lens that I loved more than my Sigma ART 35... until I bought this. The gorgeous compression, the lightning speed focus, and the sharpness is unreal. I don't know how I survived life before owning it!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    5.0

                    "I would buy this product again and again"

                    By D13g0

                    from New York City

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                      I use this lens for portraits and dance photoshoots outdoors and its one of the most amazing lenses that i ever had.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Thrilled with my purchase

                      By Michelle Rose

                      from Cleveland, MN

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Distance From Subject
                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Low Light
                      • Outdoor
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                      I am a photographer and absolutely love the look this lens gives me. I prefer to use it for seniors and engagement sessions, but have difficulty with young children as you have to be so far away from them to get the shot.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                       
                      5.0

                      in love!

                      By adb

                      from Maryland

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Low Light
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Portrait

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                        beautiful lens! as long as you don't mind being the zoom, this is a great lens!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this reviewHelp Icon

                         
                        5.0

                        Buy it. The best lens I have ever used.

                        By Ed Dittenhoefer Photography

                        from Ithaca, NY

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Macro Photography
                          • Night Photography
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Weddings/Events
                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                          Probably the sharpest and fastest focusing lens Canon has ever made. Creamy bokeh, blazing AF, perfect lens. Doesn't need an update.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                          (18 of 47 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          3.0

                          Shallow DOF, but not really that sharp

                          By Dave

                          from Detroit, mi

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Nice Bokeh

                          Cons

                          • Slow Focus

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                          Don't let newbs fool you. This 20 year old lens is NOT up to par with current offerings. If you're coming from a kit lens, then sure this lens will make you get on here and write awesome reviews.I've owed two of these, one here from BH years ago. Just used another one that my friend owns. Because of it's focal length AND F2.0 aperture you can blur out background very easily.However, this makes it seem like what's in focus is sharp, because it's such a difference between what's in focus and OOF (out of focus).This lens was made in the 90s, since then Canon has came out with a few lenses which can beat this lens in terms of sharpness, but not background blur.The 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM II, only the version 2 can beat this lens in sharpness at 135mm, any other f2.8 version is so old and slow...don't even bother.It is very well documented that canon's sharpest 70-200mm is the f4 L IS USM lens. I can only agree. I have pretty deep pockets, so I'm lucky enough to be able to afford any lens I want. I've own several. Nothing compares to the F4 L IS II in terms of sharpness. Nothing at all. Not even close. Yeah... every single shot is sharper than anything I've used, ever. Out of 30+ lenses. Even the 200 f2.0 L IS at 200mm @f4. Trust me, I owed that lens too for a few years.Ok lets talk about focus speed. Something from the early to mid 90s just can't keep up. If you're thinking indoor sports, you'll be sad to see a low hit rate. I've shot 1000s of NCAA bball games and this lens is good, but it's not REAL GOOD. Go with the 85 f1.8 USM, that one is still very good despite it's similar age.This lens is good for weddings where you don't need a ton of speed with the AF and you need that F2 for fast shutter speeds. Or where you need background blur at the cost of sharpness when compared to lenses which are 15-20 years newer. If this lens got a re-fresh with EITHER the AF speed of the 70-200's that came out in 2007 and 2010 (the F4L IS II and F2.8 L IS II) or the sharpness of much newer lenses, then that would be killer.If a refresh came out with sharper image quality and up-to-date AF speed this would be a total game changer.OK....and yes..... if it had faster AF, better sharpness AND IS..... I'd argue this be in sports/wedding/portrait bags everywhere.Bottom line, this is the best lens for the money for background blur. I'd compare it's background blurring ability to the canon 85 f1.2L II. Which is awesome. But there's a sharpness and AF speed trade off. This lens does focus much faster than my 85 f1.2....way faster, but not fast enough for sports, you can do better with the 85mm f1.8.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Should've gotten this lens sooner.

                          By Hangbot

                          from Honolulu, HI

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Macro Photography
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens:

                            Always had my eye on this lens but couldn't pull the trigger. For years I used the 70-200/2.8 IS and didn't feel the need for the 135L, even after hearing about it's amazing bokeh and sharpness. At the time, the versatility of the zoom mattered more. Now that I travel more, I find the weight of the 70-200 more of a burden, rather than a testament to the tech and quality that goes into its design. On my last trip to NYC, I stopped by B&H and picked up the Canon 5DS & 135L. While the 5DS was exciting to get, the 135L stole the show. The bokeh really is awesome. It's sharp when and where you want it to be. It's weight and size makes me want to travel with it.

                            Depending on what other lenses you have, or what you shoot, I highly recomend the 135L!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this reviewHelp Icon

                            Displaying reviews 1-20

                            Back to top

                            Previous | Next »