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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: DrDeano on November 14, 2012, 05:25:09 PM

Title: 135mm L
Post by: DrDeano on November 14, 2012, 05:25:09 PM
Question:

I have a pretty decent array of lenses and prefer to shoot with primes. I am covered on the wide end with primes, but for longer focal lengths I end up using my 70-200 IS II. I have the 85 1.2 and LOVE it, but I was looking through Lightroom EXIF data and realized I do a ton of shooting in the 120-155mm range with the 70-200.

I really like tight face shots, and I like the bokeh of the 85 1.2. For those that have both the 70-200 and the 135 f/2 would you say it's worth getting the prime? I see people here talking about how much they LOVE their 135 and I see some of the shots and they look fantastic, but I often wonder if they have the 70-200 or not and which would they use if they had to choose.

Anyone have any thoughts? The price on the 135 is one of the more reasonably priced primes and I can't decide if it's a MUST have or if if would be something that gathers dust.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: IIIHobbs on November 14, 2012, 05:28:48 PM
For me the 135 f2 replaced my 70-200
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: drjlo on November 14, 2012, 05:35:48 PM
I have both 135L and 70-200 f/2.8 II, and the latter is plenty of lens for most situations, superior even, when longer shutter speed is needed due to the IS.  70-200 certainly is not lacking in sharpness, either.

What 135L has is bokeh, magical bokeh, with great center sharpness wide open at f/2.  Below was shot with 5DIII with 135L at f/2.  The next photo is a crop in the middle to show the sharpness.


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7080/7239060814_cbd71c93f1_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239060814/)
World Melting (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239060814/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7220/7239059962_12280fb1f5_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239059962/)
100% Crop! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239059962/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Crapking on November 14, 2012, 05:57:03 PM
I regularly use both lenses and each has strengths/weaknesses-though the decision to use each is usually based on what I am hoping to achieve at a particular shoot. No two photographers will ever agree on which is 'better', but like any tool, each has its' role.
For an indoor sports/low light shooter, lighting/distance to target play huge role. Angle/background/bokeh also factor in my decision.  Shutter speed, need for IS might also prompt me to grab the zoom and in some venues, the situation may require discretion in size of lens, so the 135 may be more acceptable.
For awhile I didn't have the prime and was happy/successful. After investing/expanding my style and tradecraft with the prime, I am capable of a few more things/styles of shots.
The value of this investment was worth it for me, but only you can answer that in your situation.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: nonac on November 14, 2012, 06:15:52 PM
I have the 70-200 2.8. II and just bought the 135 about 3 weeks ago. They both serve specific purposes for me. The 135 is great for indoor sports, ie basketball and volleyball where the action is not too spread out. Get some great net shots in volleyball. The 70-200 works better outside on the sidelines of football and soccer games.  The bokeh on the 135 is amazing, even on some if my indoor sports shots. I am glad I bought it.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: EOBeav on November 14, 2012, 06:26:02 PM
I have the 70-200, but it's the f/4. I am renting a 135mm f/2 for some upcoming events (basketball and winter programs) where I need some long, fast glass. The 135 seemed just the ticket.  If it produces images on my 5DmkII like I think it will, I just may end up selling a kidney to get one.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Cosk on November 14, 2012, 07:24:18 PM
After I bought my 135L, I eventually sold my 70-200 f/4IS for lack of use.  Both lenses produce magical images, but the 135 is so compact and easy to handle, I stopped grabbing the 70-200.  (And that's the little f/4 - you're going to love the liberation over the 2.8.)  I do miss IS... yet the 135 has become my street photography lens.  You can grab wonderful, candid portraits that show every eyelash, from across the street.  And it doesn't draw attention. 

Plus, you can put a 1.4x extender on it and have 190 f/2.8.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on November 14, 2012, 07:36:38 PM
For me the 135 f2 replaced my 70-200
I also kept my 135mmL and sent back the 70-200 MK II.  Its a wonderful lens, but heavy and the f/2 of my 135mmL makes a big difference in extreme low light.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Standard on November 14, 2012, 07:40:29 PM
If you love shooting with primes, the 135L will not disappoint. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure you'll kick yourself for not picking it up sooner. It produces silky smooth bokeh and can see much better in the dark than any zoom lens. As you already have the 85L, you already know the latter. However the 135L is very responsive, much faster than the 85L.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: dirtcastle on November 14, 2012, 08:04:30 PM
The relatively low weight and size of the 135mm f/2 makes the shooting experience very pleasant. I think a lot of people will agree that the size/performance ratio of the 135mm is nearly perfect, especially since the performance is so good at f/2.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: DonHorne on November 14, 2012, 09:31:29 PM
The 135L was the main reason for me switching to Canon back in 2010 and it was everything I wanted and more. Stunningly sharp wide open, quick to focus and under $1K, it's by far the best lens purchase I've made.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: distant.star on November 14, 2012, 11:15:00 PM

.
I suggest you buy two of them -- immediately.

Can't imagine not having the 135!!
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: kbmelb on November 14, 2012, 11:31:44 PM
I have never shot with the 70-200 2.8 IS II but I owned the mkI and thought it was pretty good but I wasn't blown away by the images out of it. I sold it to help pay for my 85 1.2II. After a short period of time I realized I wanted something longer and as fast as possible. The 200 2.0 just wasn't in the cards so I went 135L and I have been in love ever since.

It is super sharp and the bokeh is very very nice. I love going on assignments and finding spots where I can use this lens just because the shots are so intimate and beautiful.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: candyman on November 15, 2012, 12:53:52 AM
Question:

I have a pretty decent array of lenses and prefer to shoot with primes. I am covered on the wide end with primes, but for longer focal lengths I end up using my 70-200 IS II. I have the 85 1.2 and LOVE it, but I was looking through Lightroom EXIF data and realized I do a ton of shooting in the 120-155mm range with the 70-200.

I really like tight face shots, and I like the bokeh of the 85 1.2. For those that have both the 70-200 and the 135 f/2 would you say it's worth getting the prime? I see people here talking about how much they LOVE their 135 and I see some of the shots and they look fantastic, but I often wonder if they have the 70-200 or not and which would they use if they had to choose.

Anyone have any thoughts? The price on the 135 is one of the more reasonably priced primes and I can't decide if it's a MUST have or if if would be something that gathers dust.

You mention that you do a ton of shooting in the range of 120-155mm. And you like tight face shots + bokeh. Those are very well THE reasons for buying the 135mm f/2 L
It is a lens easier to handle and not so prominent visible as the 70-200mm f/28 MK II. Though the latter is a great lens.
 
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: TexasBadger on November 15, 2012, 01:47:08 AM
Best lens I have ever owned.  Buy it and enjoy!
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: DrDeano on November 15, 2012, 09:28:33 AM
Wow!

Overwhelming response and all suggest getting the 135L.

Thanks guys, it's now at the top of my wish list.

Time to start working on the wife ;)
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 15, 2012, 09:38:38 AM
Thanks guys, it's now at the top of my wish list.

Good choice, and good luck...   ;)

I bought a 135L after owning the 70-200/2.8L IS II for a while.  For general use, I grab the zoom.  When I know I'm going to be shooting portraits or low-light action, I grab the 135L. 
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: RLPhoto on November 15, 2012, 10:13:57 AM
The 135L is a magic Black Tube with AF. I prefer it over the 70-200MM for light excursions.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: lastcoyote on February 28, 2013, 04:39:23 PM
135L on it's way to me Saturday  :P
super excited. so much so i've already added it to my signature :)
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Cfunkexplosion on February 28, 2013, 05:15:13 PM
Lastcoyote, I see that you have the 100L as well.  I've been debating on the purchase of the 135L.  I'm really not interested in the 70-200 due to its size, weight, and conspicuousness.  I'd be curious to see what your thoughts are regarding having both the 100L and 135L, and if there is enough to justify both in one's camera bag.  Obviously, one doesn't go to f/2 and one doesn't do macro, but I figured I'd ask given the similar focal length.  Cheers, and good luck with the lens.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: CarlTN on February 28, 2013, 06:15:21 PM
Drjlo, excellent shots...showcases the bokeh for sure.

To the original poster, it's definitely worth buying the 135, in my opinion it's the best all around lens Canon makes.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: lastcoyote on February 28, 2013, 07:43:59 PM
Lastcoyote, I see that you have the 100L as well.  I've been debating on the purchase of the 135L.  I'm really not interested in the 70-200 due to its size, weight, and conspicuousness.  I'd be curious to see what your thoughts are regarding having both the 100L and 135L, and if there is enough to justify both in one's camera bag.  Obviously, one doesn't go to f/2 and one doesn't do macro, but I figured I'd ask given the similar focal length.  Cheers, and good luck with the lens.

yeah i debated getting the 135L for a while now considering i have the 100L.
actually from reading lots on various forums on the web it's quite surprising how many people do have both of these lenses.

as you can see from my sig i'm rather in to my macro photography. started off with the 100L and then got the MP-E 65 which is of course a very specialised bit of kit indeed. i've used these lenses on my 40D for quite a while now.

now I have the 5D MK III i was really looking for a good close portrait lens. the 100L does ok for this but from what I've read of the 135L i think i'll just love it and will prefer that extra bit of reach on the full frame. i'm quite a shallow DOF lover and like to use it as much as I can for creative effect. photography is my hobby so I can take shots just how I want rather than to please others which is nice :)

the faster AF of the 135L will be handy. also i'm hoping to use this for gigs/theater etc.
the reputation of this lens is certainly a motivating factor too. but overall i think it'll be useful for various aspects of my photography desires.

for you it may possibly be a slightly more difficult decision as you not only have the 100L but the 85L as well.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Crapking on February 28, 2013, 07:54:27 PM
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8111/8516402369_517d363822.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvc2012/8516402369/)
BBSV0053 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvc2012/8516402369/#) by PVC 2012 (http://www.flickr.com/people/pvc2012/), on Flickr

Love this lens :)
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Bigfoot71 on March 01, 2013, 12:03:15 PM
For me it depends on what I am shooting, for indoors I almost always use the 85 or the 135, once I get outside I change over to either the 200 or my 70-200, the 135 gives me excellent bokeh indoors that you cannot hardly get with any other piece of glass.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: lastcoyote on March 02, 2013, 08:28:55 AM
good grief this things sharp!  :o  :P
my lovely shiney new 135L turned up today. Fired off some shots and boy does this thing live up to the hype.
Can't quite get my head around how it can be so sharp across the whole frame wide open at f2! stunning.
when i first took the lens cap off and was greeted by that big front element i couldn't hold back a big cheesy grin  :D

can't wait to go out and start shooting with this thing on my 5D3. oh yeah and the af is super quick and build is quality.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: alexanderferdinand on March 02, 2013, 08:52:12 AM
Yes, a lovely little tele. Black, anonymous compared to the white teles. Only 72mm diameter, but looking at the front end, you can a feeling about f2.0 on 135mm.
Very sharp. Nice bokeh.

Enjoy it.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Kernuak on March 02, 2013, 11:43:12 AM
good grief this things sharp!  :o  :P
my lovely shiney new 135L turned up today. Fired off some shots and boy does this thing live up to the hype.
Can't quite get my head around how it can be so sharp across the whole frame wide open at f2! stunning.
when i first took the lens cap off and was greeted by that big front element i couldn't hold back a big cheesy grin  :D

can't wait to go out and start shooting with this thing on my 5D3. oh yeah and the af is super quick and build is quality.
Congratulations. For me it isn't just the sharpness of the lens, but also the look of the images. There is just something special about the way they look.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: lastcoyote on March 02, 2013, 01:40:59 PM
good grief this things sharp!  :o  :P
my lovely shiney new 135L turned up today. Fired off some shots and boy does this thing live up to the hype.
Can't quite get my head around how it can be so sharp across the whole frame wide open at f2! stunning.
when i first took the lens cap off and was greeted by that big front element i couldn't hold back a big cheesy grin  :D

can't wait to go out and start shooting with this thing on my 5D3. oh yeah and the af is super quick and build is quality.
Congratulations. For me it isn't just the sharpness of the lens, but also the look of the images. There is just something special about the way they look.

yeah i've heard that said before about this lens. just from testing it i can already see what you mean.
look forward to seeing this even more as i get some good use out of it.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: ksagomonyants on March 02, 2013, 02:26:02 PM
I have both 135L and 70-200 f/2.8 II, and the latter is plenty of lens for most situations, superior even, when longer shutter speed is needed due to the IS.  70-200 certainly is not lacking in sharpness, either.

What 135L has is bokeh, magical bokeh, with great center sharpness wide open at f/2.  Below was shot with 5DIII with 135L at f/2.  The next photo is a crop in the middle to show the sharpness.


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7080/7239060814_cbd71c93f1_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239060814/)
World Melting (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239060814/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7220/7239059962_12280fb1f5_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239059962/)
100% Crop! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7239059962/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr

Very nice! It does have a magical look!
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: bdunbar79 on March 02, 2013, 07:27:22 PM
Heavy crop, terrible lighting. 
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: phixional ninja on March 02, 2013, 08:29:14 PM
So I spent the past couple of weeks researching portrait lenses (mostly this one and the 85mm f1.2), and partly as a result of this thread, I picked up the 135mm this afternoon.  I can't wait to get out with it a bit tomorrow.  I think my fiancée will really enjoy not waiting around for the slow focus of the 100mm f2.8L... fewer frozen smiles, here we come!
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: RLPhoto on March 02, 2013, 09:51:17 PM
So I spent the past couple of weeks researching portrait lenses (mostly this one and the 85mm f1.2), and partly as a result of this thread, I picked up the 135mm this afternoon.  I can't wait to get out with it a bit tomorrow.  I think my fiancée will really enjoy not waiting around for the slow focus of the 100mm f2.8L... fewer frozen smiles, here we come!

http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review (http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review)
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: CarlTN on March 05, 2013, 11:31:28 PM
I'll reiterate, pretty much everybody needs to just buy this lens and forget about researching it.  Every time I put it on the camera...it's magic.  It doesn't care what it's aimed at, the result will be art, at least on some level. 

40 minutes after sunset (well into the "blue hour"), hand-held, center point autofocus (then re-compose), 1/100 second, f/2, ISO 400, my front yard, cropped about 60%, distance to deer about 250 yards.  This obviously doesn't showcase any bokeh or much color saturation...but I recently was looking at some of my snow shots, and still got a kick out of this one.  (sorry for the small web size). 
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: azezal on March 05, 2013, 11:47:07 PM
Nobody hates the 135L I think that's enough proof
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: pierceography on March 06, 2013, 12:06:09 AM
So I spent the past couple of weeks researching portrait lenses (mostly this one and the 85mm f1.2), and partly as a result of this thread, I picked up the 135mm this afternoon.  I can't wait to get out with it a bit tomorrow.  I think my fiancée will really enjoy not waiting around for the slow focus of the 100mm f2.8L... fewer frozen smiles, here we come!

http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review (http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review)

I recently read your review of the 50L and found it very informative.  There is someone in my area who has the 50L on Craigslist for a very tempting price.  I already own the 85 1.2 and plan to buy the 135L in the very near future.  I currently own the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, but have that red ring addiction.  With my current obsession with primes, the 50 1.2 seems like the next logical upgrade... If the price is right, of course. :-)

Has anyone had experience shooting babies with the 135L?  I ask because I'm expecting my first child in less than two months, and have been "upgrading" my lens lineup from wide angle architecture to fast primes in anticipation of my kid being my new photographic muse.  Already picked up the 85L for its spectacular DoF and bokeh.  I've been sold on the 135 for awhile now, given all the raves reviews.  Just need to squirrel away the money. ;-)
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: CarlTN on March 06, 2013, 12:12:12 AM
Pierce, I have shot children with my 135L, but not infants.  I'm not sure there would be as much advantage with the angle of view and DOF, but I'm sure you could get good results.  Hope all goes well with your baby.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: NorthDallas40 on March 08, 2013, 08:38:12 AM
I've been on the fence for some time about buying this lens.  Reading this thread convinced me to pull the trigger.  I ordered one from B&H last night!  I'll post some pics shortly after it arrives. 
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: bholliman on March 08, 2013, 08:50:43 AM
I have both the 135L and 70-200 2.8 II that I use on a 6D.  There is a place for both lenses in you bag.  I use the 70-200 when I need versatility and am in situations when I can't "zoom with my feet" fast enough to get the shot.

The 135 is great when I want a lighter, more discrete lens.  It does have awesome bokeh and a special look.  It's my primary portrait lens.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: Zv on March 11, 2013, 12:54:53 AM
Just received my 135L today. Lookin fwd to testing it out this weekend! Been wanting this lens for a while. I hope it doesn't render my 70-200 f/4 IS useless as I really love that lens!
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: phixional ninja on March 11, 2013, 02:35:52 PM
Woo!  Finally got out for some (sadly brief) shooting with the 135mm! This is my favorite shot from the set so far:

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8391/8549821402_84a1b2ccfd_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/phixional_ninja/8549821402/in/photostream/lightbox/)
5D3  135mm  f/2.0  1/500s  ISO400

I know it's a tad sharper stopped down, but I'm just thrilled with the sharpness and subject isolation wide open.
Title: Re: 135mm L
Post by: CarlTN on March 13, 2013, 02:29:59 PM
It won't be any sharper stopped down from wide open on a (current) full frame camera, you will only increase the depth of focus.  You aren't remotely seeing the full detail-resolving power of the lens on a 5D3.