Reviewed: Canon EF 135mm F/2L USM

Here’s our concise review of the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM prime telephoto lens…

Canon EF 135mm F/2L USM

by Kirk Schwarz |
Updated on

Verdict: This lens has a deserved reputation as the king of portrait lenses due to its sharp results and amazing bokeh. It has the longest focal length in test but when shooting wide-open vignetting is noticeable. It’s a very heavy lens but feels balanced on-camera.

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Canon’s L series has a well-deserved reputation for quality, and this 135mm (216mm on APS-C cameras) is living proof.

It’s the longest focal length in test and is known for its sharpness, with the centre of images being sharp at f/2 and the corners becoming impressively sharp from f/2.8 until f/16. There is no obvious chromatic aberration to be found, though vignetting is noticeable when shooting wide-open but lessens from f/2.8.

The build quality is also good, with a robust and sturdy plastic body and pleasingly chunky rubber focusing ring, great for anybody wanting to focus manually (via a switch on the side). There is also a limiting switch to let the AF know the range you’re working in which reduces hunting for focal points.

At 750g this lens is far from light, but it feels very balanced on-camera. Its uses may not be as varied as others here, but it has a deserved reputation as the king of portrait lenses, thanks to sharp results and amazing bokeh.

Pros

Excellent sharpness

Perfect portrait focal length

Build quality

Cons

Limited uses

Heavy

No IS

Want to see more lenses? We've rounded up 10 of the best wide-aperture lenses for under £1000.

Alternative retailers
Walmart$874.50View offer

Spec

Max aperture: f/2

Min aperture: f/32

Elements/groups: 10/8

Min focusing distance: 90cm

DxL: 83x112mm

Weight: 750g

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Kirk Schwarz is a tech-addicted photographer with over a decade's experience; Kirk’s used to putting new gear through extreme field testing. He's previously written for Practical Photography.

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