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F-Stoppers has posted a comparison of two new and higher end 135mm lens options. While the classic Canon EF 135mm f/2L is getting long in the tooth, other manufacturers have stepped forward, and in the case of the Sigma, perhaps even stepped up from the 20 year old Canon lens.
There are two big differences between the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art and the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2.
- Price, the Sigma is $1399 and the Zeiss is $2199 (The Canon is $999)
- Autofocus, the Sigma has it, the Zeiss does not.
Right off the bat for me, the manual focus 135mm f/2 from Zeiss would be out of the running, especially once you consider the $800 premium above the Sigma for it. Yes it’s built well and optically it’s stellar, but the Sigma is built pretty well, optically it’s great and the autofocus seems to be fast and accurate by most accounts. The $999 Canon 135mm f/2L should also be considered, because it is still a great lens, even if it was announced back in 1996.
In the end, I would be hard-pressed to tell you should absolutely buy the Zeiss over Sigma, despite the Zeiss being a phenomenal piece of glass. I believe Zeiss veterans will pick their champion without hesitation, mostly because the Big Z fanbase is quite the fanatic, devoted bunch and are attuned to the micro-details that make Zeiss lenses, well, Zeiss lenses. But anyone who simply wants a step up from the Canon 135 2.0L should almost certainly go with the Sigma. Read the full comparison