That's when I first laid my grubby-ass hands on the Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM lens! It was love at first sight. I was interested in a telephoto lens for travel and initially looked at the two versions of the 70-200mm lenses. After my co-worker Phil told me about the horrors of lugging a Nikkor 70-200mm VR II lens around Japan, I was convinced that I needed something light. He showed me the Canon 135mm and it was love at first shutter!
Here are some test shots that I took with the lens around town. Well, I guess they're not entirely test shots because I did add a little STV spice to the photos, but one miraculous thing is that I didn't even bother fooling around with sharpness; the lens is so sharp and accurate that it's not even necessary! Check em out:
Like I said, the lens is very VERY sharp whether it's the center, corners or extreme edges. The Ultra Sonic Motor is super intelligent making for some extremely accurate auto-focusing. The shot below was taken with my 5DmkII in track focusing mode while aiming through a metal fence. I couldn't believe the results considering the challenges of this shot.
The 135mm focal length is a great working distance without compressing too much of your scene. In fact, this lens is great for street photography. It gives me tonnes of distance from my subject so I can float around unnoticed or at least have a running head start when I'm seen! Very Ninja-esque!
If you haven't seen this guy do his thing on Stephen Ave., he's really talented!
While 135mm is not a focal length commonly used for architecture it is an interesting way of focusing in on certain features that you would want to exploit which would otherwise be lost with a wider angle lens. While skyscrapers aren't exactly its strong suit, as can be seen with the photo of The Bow, it does expose some great architectural details!
The aperture of the 135 is an f/2.0. Prime lenses are always going to be faster than zooms and the benefits are low light capability and high speed photography. Yup, I have examples of both!
Last but certainly not least is the bokeh (out of focus blur) that the lens produces. It is by far the most creamy smooth bokeh of any lens I have fiddled around with to date. The very shallow depth of field makes for a very dramatic effect. Perfect for portraits; this is one of the main reasons I opted for this serious piece of glass!
Well, that's my little "fan boy" moment over the 135mm f/2.0 lens. Hope you enjoyed the little review and the photos!