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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.

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    • No

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    (5 of 5 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).

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    • 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.

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    • No

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    (4 of 4 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.

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      • 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!!

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        • No

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        (19 of 19 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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        (15 of 18 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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        (2 of 13 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.

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          • No

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          (7 of 31 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.

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              • 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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