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Author Topic: 135mm f/2L USM, any other option for this range lens for 5d? in zeiss or canon?  (Read 11393 times)

7enderbender

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For photography the Canon 135L is probably one of the best lenses for anything that is smaller than medium format. Other than it being an EF autofocus lens (I always prefered manual focus FD lenses in the film days, but that's no longer an option...) I don't see how anyone could have any beef with it.

I don't know if it works for video. For video (if I have to) I use a designated video camera and call it a day. But from what I've heard and read you really want old manual focus/manual aperture lenses for that (old Nikons for example) - and then a bunch of other gizmos and contraptions to deal with the fact that SLRs aren't video cameras.
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neuroanatomist

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The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view, and the more pronounced the effect of shake.  That's the basis for the 1/focal length rule for still images (e.g. with a 135mm lens you need a shutter speed of at least 1/135 s, meaning 1/125-1/160 s, to avoid blur from camera shake) - the same logic applies to video.
Very true for pictures, but not applicable to video at all. 1/160s shuttertime in video will only make your image look worse unless you plan to use your footage for slowmotion.

Thanks for the clarification!

The 135 f2 is the sharpest lens Canon make, quite frankly not to buy it is madness. It is the quality of that lens alone that keeps me with my EOS set up.

If in doubt check out Photozone's review of it, it is one of very few lenses that gets their green thumbs up rating. http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/430-canon_135_2_5d?start=2

The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 135mm is actually slightly sharper across the frame at comparable apertures, compared to the 135L.  Check out the Photozome review.  Plus, it has the flexibility of a zoom, and has IS.  If I need f/2 for portraits or stopping action inlow light, I use my 135L, but otherwise, I find the 70-200mm II more useful and versatile.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 12:51:50 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Chewy734

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The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 135mm is actually slightly sharper across the frame at comparable apertures, compared to the 135L.  Check out the Photozome review.  Plus, it has the flexibility of a zoom, and has IS.  If I need f/2 for portraits or stopping action inlow light, I use my 135L, but otherwise, I find the 70-200mm II more useful and versatile.

I guess it depends what you use it for.  The 70-200mm II IS is friggin' huge...  nearly twice and long and weighs twice as much as the 135mm f/2.

epsiloneri

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The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 135mm is actually slightly sharper across the frame at comparable apertures, compared to the 135L.  Check out the Photozome review.  Plus, it has the flexibility of a zoom, and has IS.  If I need f/2 for portraits or stopping action inlow light, I use my 135L, but otherwise, I find the 70-200mm II more useful and versatile.

Another important aspect is that the 135mm is much less intimidating. The 70-200/2.8 tends to draw attention, unfortunately. That is actually often the deciding reason when I leave the 70-200/2.8 at home (+size/weight) for the benefit of the 135mm.

Flake

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If you are the kind of person for whom gear is more important than results then go for the 135mm f/2 L however if you're a photographer who works in the real world, the SF is a great feature.  Peoples skins aren't perfect especially the older they get, and while it works on guys the girls don't like even the smallest crows feet.  So many people have body issues that one pretty girl I know cannot even have her photo taken by anyone, so phobic is she about the way she looks, which is a shame because she's quite a looker.  On with the SF turned up to 2 and it returns an image she's happy with straight from the camera, - no messing about in Photoshop because she'd never manage to even view the image if it was from the 135mm f/2 and brutally sharp.

The SF is just another tool to have in the bag, it makes people happy, and because the gear heads all want the f/2 they miss the money shots.  Not many people currently use soft focus, so it's something of a Wow factor when used sparingly.

If I want sharp I'll use the 70 - 200mm f/2.8 IS L MkII

Only you can make the decision as to the type of photography you want to take, but 135mm is bang in the portrait focal length

neuroanatomist

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If you are the kind of person for whom gear is more important than results then go for the 135mm f/2 L however if you're a photographer who works in the real world, the SF is a great feature. 

I agree - and if you don't want to do the work in post, you can always screw a soft focus filter onto the end of the 135L.  For low-light action, I need fast and sharp, and the 135 SF is not as fast or as sharp. 

From my personal experience, the 70-200mm doesn't attract significant extra attention, compared to the 135L (the large gripped body does most of the job).
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Mt Spokane Photography

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I received my refurbished 70-200mm f/2.8 L II thursday and have tried it out with some closeups of flowers, and on some autofocus test charts.  So far, everything is perfect on my 5D MK II and the used 40d I picked up the same day locally.

I've yet to test it with my 1D MK III.  It is heavy, and I'm wondering why I bought the monster, It will never replace my 135mm where about 80% of my use is with moving subjects in very low light at f/2.

I wonder if Canon will take it back, and I'll get another prime like the 85mm f/1.2.


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epsiloneri

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Interesting, in my experience the difference between the 135/2.0L and 70-200/2.8L IS on the camera is quite obvious in how people react. The 135/2.0L is much more discrete, and the same size as a big consumer zoom (say EF-S 18-200), while the white 70-200/2.8L screams "professional lens". I guess the white colour is something that does give it away.

Flake, I know the type you're describing, people that are "scared" by the camera. Sometimes they can be converted once they see the results and learn to trust the photographer, but other times they just refuse to even make an attempt. Sure makes you sad as a photographer, but there's not much to do apart from respecting their wishes and move on. I haven't thought about using soft focus for this purpose, but I must say that I'm a bit skeptical that it will help much in general. Good that it helped in your case.

dr croubie

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hello,

it seems i have only 2 options in 135mm range lens
135mm f/2L USM or 135mm f/2.8 soft focus.

is there any better lens than both? (no zooms)
zeiss or sigma or canon?

If you're looking at Zeiss, you obviously don't care much about AF, so have you considered other older versions? (i'll guess you're doing portraits with liveview MF?)

the zeiss sonnar 180 f2.8 has a reputation of one of the sharpest lenses they ever made, with a very smooth bokeh. but then you'll need a bigger studio to pull your camera a few more meters from the subject. was made in pentaconsix and m42 mounts afaik, maybe other rarer versions, €1-200ish on ebay.

the biometar 120/2.8 is almost as good, it'll beat most other MF 120-135 f2.8 flavours, but not sure how it compares to any newer AF versions like the EF SoftFocus. a lot cheaper around €100ish.


but if you can afford it, or if your work depends on it, the EF 135 f2 is the one to get...
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Flake

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You might also consider the 100mm f/2 which also gets a highly recommended at Photozone and is probably the equal of the 135mm L optically, the difference is it's less than half the price.  If you can live with the loss of a stop there's the 100mm H-IS L f2.8 Macro which again is optically at least the equal of the 135mm L.

It's often said that composing with a prime is done using your feet so the loss of 35mm should not really be much of an issue in portrait photography.

Joaquox

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The 135 f2 is the sharpest lens Canon make, quite frankly not to buy it is madness. It is the quality of that lens alone that keeps me with my EOS set up.

If in doubt check out Photozone's review of it, it is one of very few lenses that gets their green thumbs up rating. http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/430-canon_135_2_5d?start=2
Sorry to dissapoint, but the EF 200/2.0L IS is the sharpest lens in the current Canon lineup.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=458&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=108&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

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