A New Legend is Born

Review by Fernando Santos

I’m so glad I received the brand-new Canon RF 135mm F1.8L IS USM lens just in time to review for this issue. As you can guess from its name, this is the new 135mm prime lens for the Canon RF system. With a large aperture of f/1.8, it includes image stabilization (IS) with up to eight stops of shake correction when paired with the EOS R series In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS). It can focus at just 2.3′ (0.70m), which is closer than the equivalent EF model. It’s also a little shorter when compared to the EF version including the EF-to-RF mount adapter; but it’s wider, at 82mm, instead of 72mm. 

Because it’s an L series lens, you can expect great weather sealing, and Canon does include the lens hood and a lens pouch inside the box. This will probably become a Canon best seller, even though the $2,099 list price is not particularly inexpensive. 

I found the lens to be razor sharp and I love the beautiful bokeh that the nine-blade design gives you. The autofocus is super-fast and quiet, which is what you’d expect from an L-series lens. Image quality is incredible, and I’m sure it will not disappoint you. 

This new RF lens has one feature that was previously only available on the super-long telephoto lens: two programmable buttons on the lens barrel, one on the left side and the other on top (which will be on the left side when you shoot in vertical mode). You can assign those buttons many functions, but not independently, as both will do the same thing. 

There’s nothing not to like about this new Canon lens, unless it’s the price; but we all know photography gear isn’t cheap, particularly the really good stuff. Weighing just 2.1 lbs (935g), this Canon RF 135mm F1.8L IS USM lens will be in my camera bag all the time.