Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 SF - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 10:11
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As to be expected from a tele fix-focal lens the level of distortion is very low and nothing to worry about under field conditions.


The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.


On the EOS 350D with its reduced format (APS-C) the (full format) lens exhibits slight vignetting at f/2.8 which shouldn't be problem in most scenes. One stop down the issue is negligible.

MTF (resolution)

The lens may be a little dated but with disabled soft-focusing it delivers very respectable resolution figures under lab conditions. At wide-open aperture the center performance is very good with good borders. From f/4 & up the center is excellent with steadily increasing borders which reach their (also excellent) peak resolution at f/8. The lens is marginally worse than the EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro and EF 135mm f/2 USM L.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Similar to most other fix-focal lenses chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are very low and no real issue.


The Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 SF may be old but it was still able to delivery very good performance figures in all aspects. Nonetheless there´re many lenses including zooms which are capable to deliver similar and even better. So at the end of the day the only real differentiator is the soft-focus feature. On paper it may be worth a thought (if this is your thing) but if you´re into digital photography you should be able to achieve a similar effect using Photoshop. A real plus is the very affordable price though.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
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