REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 610 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (573)

  • 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 (534)
  • Nice bokeh (406)
  • Strong construction (383)
  • Consistent output (378)
  • Durable (321)

Cons

  • Heavy (52)
  • No IS (12)
  • Slow focus (6)
  • No image stabilization (5)
  • Poor in low light (5)

Best Uses

  • Weddings (319)
  • Low light (307)
  • Sports/action (284)
  • Night photography (165)
  • Wildlife photos (123)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (167), Pro photographer (154), Photo enthusiast (134), Professional (30), Semi-professional (29)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (417), 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

 

Shallow DOF, but not really that sharp

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...Read complete review

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.

Reviewed by 610 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great for dark churches

By Danielle

from Western MA

Verified Buyer

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

This lens helped me deliver great ceremony shots from a dark church with super tall ceilings that I couldn't bounce my flash off of, and I'm so glad I had it in my bag. I started the ceremony using my 70-200 2.8L lens, but I switched to the 135 quickly to let in more light. The only thing that was tricky for me to get used to was the lack of internal stabilization- my 70-200 has it, so I've become accustomed to going a bit lower in shutter speed which I can't do with the 135 without risking blurry photos.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love this lens!

By Marie

from Eugene, Oregon

Verified Buyer

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

I got this lens a couple weeks ago and did a couple shoots with it for a couple people. This lens is so clear it's hard to believe, and boy does it have nice blur! I have a Canon cropped frame camera and it works beautifully on it. Yes, it makes it a bigger zoom, but it is not an issue for me in the least. This is by far my favorite lens. At the price point for a prime lens of this caliber, i would highly recommend it. My go to lens is my 70-200, but for portraits and sports, this will be the one I will grab most of the time.

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5.0

A Great Addition!

By JBZ

from Saint Paul, MN

Verified Buyer

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

I had not given this 135mm F2 any consideration until recently. I stumbled upon many stellar reviews and I thought it would be a good lightweight alternative (although somewhat more limiting) than the 70-200 2.8 IS.

I've just had this a few weeks shooting it with my Canon 6D. The results are stellar. Although this lens has been around a while, it delivers on build quality, ergonomics, and sharpness. It is great for portraits and I will explore it's other uses.

I feel this is a very high value lens and I'm looking forward to years of use.

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5.0

The best!!

By Cris M Photography

from Mexico

Verified Buyer

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

The bokeh and the sharpness are amazing. I love this lens for outdoor sessions such as maternity and family. Very nice lens

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5.0

New favorite lens!

By Julia

from Nyc

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

I bought this lens a few weeks ago and so far it is my favorite one! It gives me 3 things I was looking for. 1. Very sharp images
2. Super creamy bookeh
3. Amazing in low light
I would highly recommend it!

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Super sharp

By Avoidingcupid

from South carolina

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

Couldn't belive how sharp. Will use often.

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5.0

Great lens!!

By AndyB

from Tampa

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

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

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

    Wasn't sure about the focal length at first, but for the price it was worth a try. Turns out I love it, it's great for pet photography, sports, closer portraits (babies too). It's not very heavy either.
    This lens is one of my go-to lenses now, has a great viewpoint on various subject matter.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Portraits when there's space

    By Next Level Photography

    from New Castle, PA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

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

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

    Love this lens. So sharp, fast focus, beautiful, creamy bokeh.. Just make sure you have the room you need, you have to be about 20" away at f/2 to get 1' in focus. So worth it though. Would buy this again and again. Say goodbye to distracting backgrounds.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Great lens

    By PJC Imagery

    from Jacksonville

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Portraits
      • Weddings/Events

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

      Only had it for about a month but shot with it enough to give it 5 stars. I use it primarily on my 6D for outdoor Portrait work and will also use it for weddings at the ceremony and reception. Indoors it may by to long but should work for headshots. Gives great background separation for portraits and is fast for low light situations. Size and weight is comparable to the 24-105mm. Peace!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Game changer

      By World traveler

      from Guam

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

      This lens speaks for itself and is Ideal for portrait photography. The sharpness and quality is amazing and I feel like amateurs could even see the difference.

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      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....

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      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

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        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

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          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.

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          (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

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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

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              (4 of 4 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

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                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

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                  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

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                  (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.

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