My main lens is the Canon 24-105mm, it is on the Canon 7D most of the time and I have no complaints, it works perfectly for the type of photography I’m usually doing, street photography. But there is one Canon lens that seems to always receive good reviews, both by professional and amateur photographers, it is the Canon 135mm f2. And I’ve been tempted to get one for quite some time.
The reason being that, besides street photography, I also like portrait photography, and the photos you can find on the internet, taken with the Canon 135mm f2, sure look better than the ones I’m taking with the Canon 24-105mm. But isn’t the 135mm a bit long when used on a 7D? 135mm x 1.6 is 216mm, pretty long for a portrait lens. So I held on for as long as I could, up to the time I could not resist anymore and bought it, second-hand, in Bangkok. And here are my first impressions on this lens.
First, the lens looks pretty solid and nice, with a lot of glass, you can actually predict you’ll get nice photos just looking through it. And when on the 7D, you can’t really notice the difference with the Canon 24-105mm, about the same weight and the same size. So you do not really need to learn how to hold the camera with it, in my case anyway. But there is a difference in diameter, it is not the usual 77mm for Canon L lenses but 72mm, hence you won’t be able to share the filters in between the two lenses. And 72mm is quite uncommon actually, so you probably won’t be able to share the Canon 135mm filters with any of your other Canon lenses. Here is a photo of the Canon 7D with the Canon lens 135mm f2 and the Canon 24-105mm f4 next to it. The photo was taken with a Blackberry phone, not really a phone designed to take pictures.
So now it is time to test it in the real world. Let’s go for a walk in the streets of Bangkok. But this time, instead of the trusted Canon 24-105mm, let’s go out with the Canon 7D and the Canon 135mm f2. We’ll be using it first as a telephoto lens, not a portrait lens.
We first met a small squirrel in our garden, on our way to the streets. It was looking at the leaf as if it was some kind of competitor.
I do not live very far from the Channel 3 building in Bangkok and I kind of like the blue colors of their building. So the next photo is the top of the Channel 3 building on Rama 4 in Bangkok
From there we go to Sukhumvit road, the Thonglor BTS station, where you can take some pictures from an elevated position. Here is a girl looking for a motorbike taxi, plenty of moto taxis in Bangkok, and always quite a few next to a skytrain station.
Going down on the other side of Sukhumvit road, you also have the people waiting for the bus, not everybody likes to take the motorbikes. A girl waiting for the bus with slippers I actually would not want to wear for a walk in Bangkok.
A bith further on Sukhumvit, a guy is putting the sandbags in inner Bangkok to some useful use, he just sits on them. At the time I’m posting this, they’re still there because I guess everybody is now wondering what to do with them. The flooding did not come to downtown Bangkok, what should we do with the bags?
From Sukhumvit, I went back to Rama 4 via New Ratchadapisek road. And on the sidewalk, there was a little girl playing. Her parents were cooking food a few feet away from her.
On my way back home I found the kids playing next to the swimming pool.
And back home, we have a few monks living with us, their temple is flooded. Here is one checking the news on the internet, when will the flooding in Bangkok stop?
And since the Canon 135mm f2 is also a portrait lens, even with the crop sensor on the 7D, you just need to be a bit further away from the subject, here are two portrait pictures taken recently.
The first one is outside, next to a swimming pool
And the second one is inside the house, no problem doing it without a flash thanks to the f2 aperture.
In conclusion, what I think about the Canon 135mm f2 can be summarized by the time it spends on the Canon 7D. Before having the 135mm, it was the 24-105mm 90% of the time on the camera, these days, the 135mm is on the camera half of the time. So expect more photos on this blog taken with the Canon 135mm f2 in the future.
And for the French speaking people and others, some more portrait photos taken with the Canon 7D and the Canon lens 135mm f2 on our French blog