You should know in advance before purchasing a 135mm lens

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For many photographers, the 135mm lens is a magnificent marvel. It is a long lens—possibly the longest portrait lens that is usable. Many photographers adored the lens in the past for uses more than simply portraiture. With this candid lens, you may get close to a subject without being seen. And depending on your photographic style, it may never leave your camera. The 135mm lens has many appealing features, but let’s go over a few things first before you commit.

Many photographers believe that the 135mm is the ideal focal length for portraiture. No one appears horrible from an optical standpoint when seen through this lens. It provides the appropriate amount of compression to faces, bodies, heads, cheeks, nostrils, etc. The 135mm has improved over the years, yet some modern photographers may find them to be a little too clinical. Canon’s 135mm f/2 L lens, Sigma’s 135mm f/1.8, Sony’s 135mm f/1.8 G Master, Sony’s 135mm f/1.8 A-Mount, and Zeiss’s 135mm Milvus lens are some legendary examples of this focal length. All of them have been put to work in the studio and outside. You must approach photography differently than you would with any other lens while using a 135mm lens. If it scares you, you should probably go now.

If not, read on to see some of the top 135mm lenses we’ve tested.

They are lengthy
To start, when you connect a 135mm lens to your camera, you’ll see that it is very long and narrow. The primary lens is enormous. If you’re the kind of photographer who prefers smaller lenses, steer clear of the 135mm and instead for an 85mm. (Eighty-fives are great; they resemble a 55mm lens.) Additionally, adding a lens hood makes a 135mm even longer, therefore I recommend shooting without one. I’d apply a polarizing filter to bring out the colors a little bit more since the most recent ones are much more clinical. Other options include the PrismFX products that we have tested.


Getting sharp focus with 135mm lenses is notoriously difficult. Fix the focusing point and be careful not to move if you’re using a DSLR. Face and eye recognition is possible with mirrorless cameras. Once it is in focus, you must turn tracking on so that the eye or face will always be tracked. They are quite challenging to concentrate on at f1.8. The Zeiss Batis 135mm f2.8 is perhaps the simplest 135mm lens I’ve ever used. It is the slowest autofocus lens in the group. But the render is also rather great.

Handshakes are often unsteady. They’ll most likely use burst mode to take photographs and then sort through hundreds or perhaps thousands of pictures. Alternately, you might use a tripod and pay close attention to focus. You won’t have any problems if you’re skilled at handling a lens in your hands.


If you don’t have much space, 135mm lenses produce very tight images. Make sure there is at least 10 feet between you and a subject while shooting indoors. The best course of action could be to shoot outdoors. You have more possibilities for where to shoot if you shoot outdoors. Of course, you don’t have the same level of control that indoor shootings provide.

135mm lenses often cause more trouble than they are worth. But I will concede that they can produce stunning images.

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