Canon 135 f2 review
The official name: Canon 135 f/2 L USM
Focal length: 135mm
Close focus distance: 0,90 m
Focus limiter: 0,9 or 1,6m
The canon 135 f2 is one of the highest reputation lens in the whole canon lineup. If Ryan Brenizer uses it for a wedding probably this lens could not be that bad. I was very much interested in this lens because it seems very similar to my Canon 200 f2,8. Both lenses use 2 ED elements and has a very similar look: black finish with red ring around the lens. The first thing to realise is the f2 aperture. This helps a lot with the iso selection. Simply using the lowest iso outside almost all the time. The f2 aperture helps a lot in the inside work as well, I often find the f2,8 aperture is not enough without a flash, but f2 can make a real change.
Why is this lens so good ?
Lets see: 1. F2 brightness an incredible feature with this optical quality at f2 aperture, I don’t know how many such lenses exist, the two ED glass helps a lot I’m sure. 2. Quick and accurate autofocus. My personal approach to lenses I interested in optical quality first, but a good autofocus system also very important, the lack of autofocus system simple kills the lens capabilities, even more important to big apertures where the depth of field is very narrow. These two abilities makes sure anything comes out of your camera with this lens attached you won’t be disappointed, if you do your part correctly.
For Full Frame the focal length is perfect for portraits on Aps-C feels a little bit long, but perhaps for concerts, sport or theatre work is just appropriate. For me the 135mm focal length on Aps-C a little bit strange. I usually use 200mm, 280mm, 400mm, 560mm and 8-100 mm focal length. Not very often use 135mm. Like I look through a tube, not wide, not long but I think for portraits the focal lenght is appropriate from a distance of 5-10m. The field of view is 1,67m from 10 metres. From 3 metres is 0,5m. Same numbers for Full Frame is 2,67m and 0,8m. The 135mm on a full frame camera is almost the same that 85mm focal length on Aps-C, perfect focal length for portraits, and compressed landscapes.
This lens has excellent optics, pictures at f2 has already very high quality. I see no fringing even at pixel level see below, nor flare problems. The lens is tack sharp at f2.8, little softer at f2.
Shot at F2, no sharpening, just in camera:
Same picture at 100% crop as it is, consider Depth of field extremely narrow:
The lens has excellent ergonomics, nice focus ring, but the 700 g lens not small or light (depends on perspective or what we comparing). Not so big considered the f2 aperture.
Autofocus is very quick and almost silent.
Perhaps this lens doesn’t compare to anything else, If I compare to the many ways similar Canon 200 f2.8, the autofocus of the 135L is more agressive. The bokeh of the 135L is better.
Pictures with the lens attached to canon 30D unless noted all picture at f2.
More pictures with the 135 f2 on Flickr
www.flickr.com canon 135 f/2 L