Canon 135mm f2L USM review: An oldie but a goodie

By Paul Carroll - Thursday December 27 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens performance | Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM versus competition | Conclusion

Canon 135mm f/2L USM: A solid performer and a good deal second hand?

16 years on from its launch the 135mm f/2L USM is still a solid option for portrait, sport and low-light photography. That said as lens development continues to evolve recent telephoto primes like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM and Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM do demonstrate notable improvements in Sharpness. Although performing well in all our DxOMark Lens Metric Scores the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM only ranks 5th for EF mount telephoto primes on the EOS 5D Mark II and new in terms of quality to price ratio the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is noticeably sharper and a couple of hundred pounds cheaper. If you can pick up a Canon EF 135mm f/2L for a good price second-hand however then this very capable telephoto prime lens could be a bit of a bargain.

Ranking sharpness vs. age the trend in the main demonstrates newer telephoto primes have the edge but buying the 135mm f/2L USM second-hand could be a bargain for a very capable lens.