Canon 135mm F/2L

The 135mm f/2L telephoto lens is admittedly more of a specialty lens that isn’t required for a landscape photographer.  When there are days I’m looking to cut weight out of my pack for a day hike, this and the 85mm f/1.8 are the first two I leave at home, unfortunately.  That being said, this lens is an absolute showstopper for what it does best and a steal price-wise compared to the uber expensive alternative prime lenses that all range from hundreds to thousands more.

The 135mm focal length is fairly long, and frankly much closer to 200mm in appearance than 70mm. This lens is lightweight, relatively compact, and delivers unbeatable sharpness.  But the bokeh rendered is unlike any other lens I’ve used.  While it’s true that I tend to not use this lens as often on my landscape trips, I have captured some amazing shots every time I mount it.

If portraiture is your specialty, then this lens is a must.   It can deliver amazing head shots as well as perfect subject isolation at any distance.  The results can be simply breathtaking without appearing overly dreamy like some of the shorter focal length portrait oriented lenses.  I only wish I had this one sooner!  There are photo shoots I’ve done that would have really benefitted with this lens as an option.

I picked my copy up second hand for a ridiculously great value for an L lens.  If you prefer a new model, it can be had for less than $1,000.  While the lens design hasn’t been updated for what seems like an eternity, there’s a great reason for that.  It’s already done right.