Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM Lens (Review)

The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is a prime telephoto lens designed for Canon’s full-frame mirrorless RF-mount cameras. As a part of Canon’s prestigious L-series (Luxury) line of lenses, it is intended for professional photographers and advanced enthusiasts who demand high optical quality and performance. This lens offers several notable features that make it a standout option for portrait, wedding, and event photography, as well as other creative applications.

Key Features and Specifications:

  1. Focal Length and Aperture: The 135mm focal length is favored by many photographers for its ability to capture stunning portraits with a flattering compression effect and beautiful background separation. The large maximum aperture of f/1.8 allows for excellent subject isolation and low-light performance, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor shooting.

  2. Image Stabilization (IS): The inclusion of Image Stabilization is a significant advantage, especially in a telephoto lens. IS compensates for camera shake, allowing you to capture sharper images at slower shutter speeds, even when shooting handheld or in challenging lighting conditions.

  3. Optical Quality: The L-series designation signifies top-tier optical performance. The lens is constructed with a combination of special glass elements and coatings to minimize aberrations, distortions, and flare. This results in sharp, high-contrast images with accurate colors and minimal chromatic aberrations.

  4. Ultra Sonic Motor (USM): The lens features a fast and quiet Ultra Sonic Motor for quick and accurate autofocus. This is particularly useful when capturing moving subjects or when shooting video.

  5. Weather Sealing: As with most L-series lenses, the RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is weather-sealed, providing protection against dust and moisture. This makes it a versatile option for outdoor photography in various conditions.

  6. Bokeh and Background Blur: The wide aperture of f/1.8 combined with the 135mm focal length produces a creamy, dreamy bokeh that helps subjects stand out from their surroundings, making it an excellent choice for portraiture and artistic shots.

  7. Build Quality: The lens is built to withstand the rigors of professional use. It boasts a robust and durable construction, featuring a metal lens barrel.


The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens has received positive reviews for its exceptional image quality, with sharpness extending to the corners of the frame even when shooting wide open. The image stabilization is highly effective, allowing photographers to capture sharp images at slower shutter speeds, reducing the need for a tripod or monopod in many situations.

Portrait photographers particularly appreciate the lens for its ability to isolate subjects with stunning bokeh, and its focal length allows for comfortable shooting distances, resulting in flattering compositions. The quick and accurate autofocus ensures that photographers can capture spontaneous moments without hesitation.