Back in November, Canon announced the RF 135mm f/1.8L IS USM, a powerful lens designed for serious portrait and event photographers – and now, over two months later, Canon Rumors is reporting a January 26th ship date.
The new lens is available for preorder, though it doesn’t come cheap; you can grab it for a sizable $2099, nearly double the cost of Sigma’s 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens (which is designed for Canon DSLR cameras). The price will undoubtedly be prohibitive for beginners and most intermediate shooters, but those who do fork over the cash are bound to be impressed.
For one, the RF 135mm f/1.8L IS USM promises outstanding optics. Canon’s press release notes the “exceptional image quality across the entire frame” as well as “accurate color reproduction and reduce[d] chromatic aberrations” – and while we haven’t tested the lens ourselves, Canon’s L-designated primes do tend to be breathtakingly sharp. You shouldn’t have a problem capturing pro-level portrait, event, and photojournalistic shots (assuming your technique is sound, of course!).
Then there’s the Nano USM autofocus motor, which boasts impressive AF speeds and should be perfect for fast-paced events like wedding parties and even sports; the top-notch build quality, which includes weather resistance in case you need to photograph in rain or snow; and powerful close-focusing capabilities, so you can capture detailed shots of dresses, jewelry, place-settings, and more.
But what makes the RF 135mm f/1.8L really shine is the wide maximum aperture. At f/1.8, you can maintain detailed exposures in low light while using a fast shutter speed, and you can create gorgeous background bokeh that’ll enhance nearly any portrait. If you’re a frequent indoor or nighttime event shooter, you’ll also appreciate the image stabilization, which prevents camera shake when handholding and is highly useful in low-light scenarios that feature stationary subjects.
Before you go out and grab the 135mm f/1.8L IS, however, it’s important to recognize the lens’s limitations. While the telephoto focal length is outstanding for headshots and intimate event photos, you’ll struggle to capture wider images at 135mm – so if you’re after a do-everything portrait or event photography lens, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you need a pro-level lens that offers decent reach, can handle low-light scenarios, and produces gorgeous bokeh, check out the Canon RF 135mm f/1.8L IS; you can preorder the lens from B&H, or you can wait until next week’s release.
Now over to you:
What do you think of the 135mm f/1.8L IS? Will you buy it? Put it on your wishlist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!