October 25, 2014, 06:37:40 PM

Author Topic: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM  (Read 185585 times)

wsheldon

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #495 on: February 08, 2014, 07:09:47 PM »
I just used this lens for a set of portraits for a high school drama program with a 6D and 3-light setup. Beautiful color and bokeh with wonderful DOF control. Just love this lens.

Thank you for posting this perfect sample of using the lens for what it's meant for. Very helpful :) Would it be possible to see larger resolution samples?

Those links are from a gallery of prints for sale (to parents) so they're size-limited online, but here's one example you can view at 100% if you click on it. This was shot at f2.8 at ISO 200 and cropped from a 1/2-body portrait. I had to actually try to reduce sharpness in post-processing with LR 5, by setting clarity = -24, sharpness = 0 and luminance noise reduction to 40 (despite no visible noise in the image) to avoid accentuating minor skin imperfections. Focus was obviously on the eyes. For later portraits I switch to f3.5-f4.0 and moved the kids further from the background to avoid OOF ears and losing detail in jewelry.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 03:06:44 PM by wsheldon »
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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #495 on: February 08, 2014, 07:09:47 PM »

flowers

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #496 on: February 08, 2014, 07:15:25 PM »
I just used this lens for a set of portraits for a high school drama program with a 6D and 3-light setup. Beautiful color and bokeh with wonderful DOF control. Just love this lens.

Thank you for posting this perfect sample of using the lens for what it's meant for. Very helpful :) Would it be possible to see larger resolution samples?

Those links are from a gallery of prints for sale (to parents) so they're size-limited online, but here's one example you can view at 100%



Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

wsheldon

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #497 on: February 08, 2014, 09:30:56 PM »
Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

Sorry - I've just had this lens a couple of months and my one outdoor session didn't include any open sky. I'm sure some online reviews cover that aspect.
Canon 6D & 50D, nice set of lenses

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #498 on: February 09, 2014, 02:53:31 PM »
Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

Sorry - I've just had this lens a couple of months and my one outdoor session didn't include any open sky. I'm sure some online reviews cover that aspect.
Sure, I will look it up online. Thanks. :)

CarlTN

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #499 on: February 17, 2014, 05:51:34 AM »
Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

Sorry - I've just had this lens a couple of months and my one outdoor session didn't include any open sky. I'm sure some online reviews cover that aspect.
Sure, I will look it up online. Thanks. :)

I've had my 135 for almost 5 years, and I don't recall ever seeing flare.  I'm sure it has some, but I've not noticed it.  I'll try to get a shot of some over the next week or so, if you like.

The 70-300L is supposed to be very flare resistant, but I'm pretty sure I made it produce flare. 

flowers

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #500 on: February 17, 2014, 06:12:23 AM »
Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

Sorry - I've just had this lens a couple of months and my one outdoor session didn't include any open sky. I'm sure some online reviews cover that aspect.
Sure, I will look it up online. Thanks. :)

I've had my 135 for almost 5 years, and I don't recall ever seeing flare.  I'm sure it has some, but I've not noticed it.  I'll try to get a shot of some over the next week or so, if you like.

The 70-300L is supposed to be very flare resistant, but I'm pretty sure I made it produce flare.
I have two things in mind when it comes to flare: how flare resistant is it, and if it flares, how pretty is the flare? :)
I looked up some examples on flickr, you don't have to bother. Thank you for offering :) it flares but not in a bad way, I find the flare pretty pleasing.

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #501 on: February 17, 2014, 05:25:59 PM »
Of course, I understand :) Thank you very much, that shows exactly what I wanted to see. If it's not too much to ask, could you produce flare with the lens and post a sample of that? Just when you have the time, or if you have a sample ready.

Sorry - I've just had this lens a couple of months and my one outdoor session didn't include any open sky. I'm sure some online reviews cover that aspect.
Sure, I will look it up online. Thanks. :)

I've had my 135 for almost 5 years, and I don't recall ever seeing flare.  I'm sure it has some, but I've not noticed it.  I'll try to get a shot of some over the next week or so, if you like.

The 70-300L is supposed to be very flare resistant, but I'm pretty sure I made it produce flare.
I have two things in mind when it comes to flare: how flare resistant is it, and if it flares, how pretty is the flare? :)
I looked up some examples on flickr, you don't have to bother. Thank you for offering :) it flares but not in a bad way, I find the flare pretty pleasing.

Ok.  Do you not find that telephoto lenses generally do not flare as bad as wide angle lenses?  Seems to me it has to do with the angle of light and field of view, relative to the focal length.  Even my Sigma 120-400 does not seem to have much flare.

Everything about the 135 f/2's image quality is "pretty", most especially the bokeh.  I've tried 2 lenses with as good or better color palette, and one that I currently own (the Cosina Voigtlander 58mm) has better color.  However, the contrast, longitudinal CA, and bokeh quality are quite a bit better on the 135 f/2 (and these count for a lot).  Of course the focal lengths are different by a factor of two, so it's not really an even comparison.  I suppose the color of the 135 is also more neutral than that of the 85 f/1.2L that I rented...it was too purple, and wide open the warm colors were also a tad too saturated.  Both amazing lenses though.  If Canon decide to stop making f/1.2 lenses, I will do my best to buy the 85 in the future, before it goes out of production.

If you are just trying to decide between a 100mm macro f/2.8, and the 135 f/2...they're really intended for different uses.

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #501 on: February 17, 2014, 05:25:59 PM »

flowers

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #502 on: February 18, 2014, 01:29:15 AM »


Everything about the 135 f/2's image quality is "pretty", most especially the bokeh.  I've tried 2 lenses with as good or better color palette, and one that I currently own (the Cosina Voigtlander 58mm) has better color.  However, the contrast, longitudinal CA, and bokeh quality are quite a bit better on the 135 f/2 (and these count for a lot).  Of course the focal lengths are different by a factor of two, so it's not really an even comparison.  I suppose the color of the 135 is also more neutral than that of the 85 f/1.2L that I rented...it was too purple, and wide open the warm colors were also a tad too saturated.  Both amazing lenses though.  If Canon decide to stop making f/1.2 lenses, I will do my best to buy the 85 in the future, before it goes out of production.

If you are just trying to decide between a 100mm macro f/2.8, and the 135 f/2...they're really intended for different uses.

Wanting a 135 portrait lens, the decision is more between this and the 135/2.8 soft focus. I really like the fact that you can turn the soft focus on when you need it and off when you don't. It has three levels: 0, 1 and 2. The rendering is also nice, the bokeh is so smooth. Of course the f/2 is sharper, sharper wide open, sharper at f/2.8 and has less purple fringing... And just looks better, so it's not really much of a fight.
What you say is generally true, but I have an older 135/2.8 lens that flares and loses contrast worse than many wide angles! Of course it's from the 80's but it still proves a point :) Good lens design can produce great flare control and aberration control at any focal length. Try Samyang 16 f/2 or 14/2.8 on for size. Canon most likely will produce no more f/1.2 lenses. These lenses were made because the need for them was driven by the fact that you couldn't push your iso up to crazy numbers like 12800 or beyond. Now there's no need, most people seem happy using high ISOs rather than paying more for fast lenses and the people who are willing to spend the money on the fast lenses can't make it profitable enough for Canon (or any other manufacturer). Pretty soon the fastest lenses you can buy are f/2, then f/2.8... Unless something radical happens that makes it cheaper/easier to design and make good f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses. We can always hope.

A glimpse of hope: Samyang is producing their first f/1.2 lens this year. Sigma might also start producing f/1.2 lenses if enough people want it, they're already competing for the money of Canon shooters (and I think Nikon too) and make excellent lenses, they just might take on the ef 85/1.2L and 50/1.2L next. We'll see! Then again, f/1.2 is less than half a stop faster than f/1.4 so there might not be enough of a reason to make more of the very special f/1.2 lenses. It depends on how many people are really willing to pay for them.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 01:38:06 AM by flowers »

CarlTN

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #503 on: February 18, 2014, 03:29:38 AM »


Everything about the 135 f/2's image quality is "pretty", most especially the bokeh.  I've tried 2 lenses with as good or better color palette, and one that I currently own (the Cosina Voigtlander 58mm) has better color.  However, the contrast, longitudinal CA, and bokeh quality are quite a bit better on the 135 f/2 (and these count for a lot).  Of course the focal lengths are different by a factor of two, so it's not really an even comparison.  I suppose the color of the 135 is also more neutral than that of the 85 f/1.2L that I rented...it was too purple, and wide open the warm colors were also a tad too saturated.  Both amazing lenses though.  If Canon decide to stop making f/1.2 lenses, I will do my best to buy the 85 in the future, before it goes out of production.

If you are just trying to decide between a 100mm macro f/2.8, and the 135 f/2...they're really intended for different uses.

Wanting a 135 portrait lens, the decision is more between this and the 135/2.8 soft focus. I really like the fact that you can turn the soft focus on when you need it and off when you don't. It has three levels: 0, 1 and 2. The rendering is also nice, the bokeh is so smooth. Of course the f/2 is sharper, sharper wide open, sharper at f/2.8 and has less purple fringing... And just looks better, so it's not really much of a fight.
What you say is generally true, but I have an older 135/2.8 lens that flares and loses contrast worse than many wide angles! Of course it's from the 80's but it still proves a point :) Good lens design can produce great flare control and aberration control at any focal length. Try Samyang 16 f/2 or 14/2.8 on for size. Canon most likely will produce no more f/1.2 lenses. These lenses were made because the need for them was driven by the fact that you couldn't push your iso up to crazy numbers like 12800 or beyond. Now there's no need, most people seem happy using high ISOs rather than paying more for fast lenses and the people who are willing to spend the money on the fast lenses can't make it profitable enough for Canon (or any other manufacturer). Pretty soon the fastest lenses you can buy are f/2, then f/2.8... Unless something radical happens that makes it cheaper/easier to design and make good f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses. We can always hope.

A glimpse of hope: Samyang is producing their first f/1.2 lens this year. Sigma might also start producing f/1.2 lenses if enough people want it, they're already competing for the money of Canon shooters (and I think Nikon too) and make excellent lenses, they just might take on the ef 85/1.2L and 50/1.2L next. We'll see! Then again, f/1.2 is less than half a stop faster than f/1.4 so there might not be enough of a reason to make more of the very special f/1.2 lenses. It depends on how many people are really willing to pay for them.

I guess the solution would be to just make an even faster, more specialized lens.  Perhaps a zoom...an f/0.8 zoom would be nice.  Or 2 or 3 of them.  One that covers 28-50mm, one that's 55-110, and one that's 115-175mm (this longest one could be an f/1.0-f/1.6).  The 5mm gap in the middle would be intentional, to help justify owning all three lenses.  They could charge $4500 for the two shorter ones and $5500 for the longer one, all having IS and weather sealing.  Most of the well healed canon bigshots would buy at least one of them, I suspect.  Maybe not as many as would buy a super telephoto lens, but perhaps a good percentage of that number.  Who knows?

Which lens is Samyang making at f/1.2?  I may have seen this but I forget now.  I'm considering purchasing their 14mm, because it is obviously excellent.  However, I would really prefer 16 or 18mm, as 14mm is too extreme...has too much rectilinear projection distortion (I would wind up cropping and correcting...and losing resolution in the process).  I considered the Tokina 16-28 as well.  Not interested in the Canon wide zooms...unless they come out with a new one.

I disagree that few if any lenses will be faster than f/2.8 in the future, as you assert.  I don't care how good the ISO performance is, there are still qualities the fast apertures give, that nothing else does.  Besides, ISO performance is probably not going to be radically better than it is now, for the next decade or so...if ever...especially if all but pro DSLR's (such as the 1 series) somehow become extinct...replaced with a mirrorless phone mounted on the wrist or eyeglasses or something. 

I would really enjoy those three lenses I suggest...

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #504 on: February 18, 2014, 05:15:51 AM »


I guess the solution would be to just make an even faster, more specialized lens.  Perhaps a zoom...an f/0.8 zoom would be nice.  Or 2 or 3 of them.  One that covers 28-50mm, one that's 55-110, and one that's 115-175mm (this longest one could be an f/1.0-f/1.6).  The 5mm gap in the middle would be intentional, to help justify owning all three lenses.  They could charge $4500 for the two shorter ones and $5500 for the longer one, all having IS and weather sealing.  Most of the well healed canon bigshots would buy at least one of them, I suspect.  Maybe not as many as would buy a super telephoto lens, but perhaps a good percentage of that number.  Who knows?

Which lens is Samyang making at f/1.2?  I may have seen this but I forget now.  I'm considering purchasing their 14mm, because it is obviously excellent.  However, I would really prefer 16 or 18mm, as 14mm is too extreme...has too much rectilinear projection distortion (I would wind up cropping and correcting...and losing resolution in the process).  I considered the Tokina 16-28 as well.  Not interested in the Canon wide zooms...unless they come out with a new one.

I disagree that few if any lenses will be faster than f/2.8 in the future, as you assert.  I don't care how good the ISO performance is, there are still qualities the fast apertures give, that nothing else does.  Besides, ISO performance is probably not going to be radically better than it is now, for the next decade or so...if ever...especially if all but pro DSLR's (such as the 1 series) somehow become extinct...replaced with a mirrorless phone mounted on the wrist or eyeglasses or something. 

I would really enjoy those three lenses I suggest...

I wasn't sure if you were joking or not... f/1.2 or under zooms won't get produced, mostly because they would all weigh over 5kg / 10lbs, some of the lenses you suggest would weigh dozens of kg/lbs. At any decent weight they'd have horrible aberrations, to make them optically good through and though expect 50 lbs lenses.

Why would you need IS in a fast lens? Use a larger aperture or a tripod when using smaller apertures. For telephotos use a gimbal head and a proper tripod.

 The problem is the risk the investment carries. Designing and making those lenses cost a lot of money. What guarantee beyond your words does Canon have that they get their investment back?

It would be nice if more fast lenses were designed and made but it doesn't seem too likely, especially from Canon whose business decisions are very conservative.

Samyang is making a 50/1.2.

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #505 on: February 19, 2014, 11:04:15 PM »
with the 600D  :)
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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #506 on: February 20, 2014, 03:41:07 AM »
with the 600D  :)
Very pleasing image ... I'm assuming, that's at f/2?
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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #507 on: February 20, 2014, 05:14:40 AM »
with the 600D  :)
Very pleasing image ... I'm assuming, that's at f/2?

Thanks ... Yes, this is at f/2.
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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #507 on: February 20, 2014, 05:14:40 AM »

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #508 on: February 20, 2014, 03:27:22 PM »
with the 600D  :)

Damn you J.R.! I just had myself convinced to patiently wait for somebody's (maybe Sigma's) version of an IS 135. And then I see this beautiful picture...
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 03:29:44 PM by JustMeOregon »

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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #509 on: February 21, 2014, 04:03:59 AM »
I guess the solution would be to just make an even faster, more specialized lens.  Perhaps a zoom...an f/0.8 zoom would be nice.  Or 2 or 3 of them.  One that covers 28-50mm, one that's 55-110, and one that's 115-175mm (this longest one could be an f/1.0-f/1.6).  The 5mm gap in the middle would be intentional, to help justify owning all three lenses.  They could charge $4500 for the two shorter ones and $5500 for the longer one, all having IS and weather sealing.  Most of the well healed canon bigshots would buy at least one of them, I suspect.  Maybe not as many as would buy a super telephoto lens, but perhaps a good percentage of that number.  Who knows?

I hope you are joking. But since there are no smileys should we assume you are serious???

As a comparison the 200mm f/2 lens is 127mm wide and weighs 2.54 kg (5.6 lb). Your proposed 115-175mm f/0.8 would have a massive aperture. 175/0.8 = 218mm. Bear in mind that the lens would need to be even wider. Best case scenario would be a wide aperture prime in terms of weight. Assuming the length of the lens is similar to the 200 f/2, I'd estimate the weight a prime would be close to 4 times as heavy, around 10 kg. Now factor in zoom optics and weight goes up, up, up... So while a f/0.8 medium-tele zoom is a nice thought, it's simply not practical.
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Re: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM
« Reply #509 on: February 21, 2014, 04:03:59 AM »