Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2005

Special thanks to Markus Stamm (owner 2nd lens), Marcel van Leeuwen (owner 1st lens) and Sander Vermeulen for providing and helping to test this lens!


The Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM is one of the high performance portrait lenses in the Canon lens line-up. The primary scope remains valid on APS-C DSLRs where the field-of-view is equivalent to 216mm on full frame cameras.

The optical design of the lens is made of 10 elements in 8 groups including two UD elements. The min. focus distance is 0.9m resulting in a max. object magnification of ~1:5. The aperture mechanism features 8 aperture blades. With a size of 83x112mm it's fairly compact but due to the big glass elements required for the ultra-large max. aperture it is a quite heavy lens at 750g. The filter size is 72mm.

The lens accepts all Canon EF tele-converters resulting either in a 189mm f/2.8 (135mm + 1.4x) or 270mm f/4 (135mm + EF 2x) combination. This resulting max. aperture is still fairly large so AF is retained on all EOS cameras.

The mechanical quality of the lens is excellent with the outer barrel made of metal and a smooth and well damped rubberized focus ring. The lens is a true IF design so it doesn't change its length during focusing.
The AF speed is extremely fast so the build-in focus limiter isn't really necessary. Thanks to the ring-type USM drive the AF operation is near silent and full-time manual focusing remains possible in one-shot AF mode.