Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon 135mm f2 L


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here

This was until recently the best lens I own. (The 35mm f1.4 probably wins now) and remains my favourite. I love the 135mm focal length with the 5D in the same way as 85mm is great with the 350D.

Focussing is very fast and the quality is great even wide open, though the shallow depth of field requires careful handling. This is the classic focal length for head and shoulder portraits where it gives a very flattering perspective. It is also good for children when you want more distance from the subjects.

Now I have this lens I have sold my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens. I’d bought the Sigma because I couldn’t face carrying one of the white Canon lenses. Optically the Sigma lens was excellent but it was just too big to carry and younger subjects found it very intimidating due to the size.

I have used this lens on the EOS 350D and the results were stunning - far more detail visible in shots than with slide film. On the 5D the 135mm is a much more frequently used focal length and I'm really pleased to have it back 'as it was meant to be'.

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