The Canon RF 135mm F1.8 Lens for Portrait Photography

It’s here, the lens that Canon portrait and wedding photographers have been waiting for: the 135mm f/1.8. If you’ve moved from a digital SLR to a mirrorless system, this has been a gap in the lens lineup, but no longer. I got my hands on it and figured the best thing to do was to put it to the test on an actual photoshoot – AKA, new team headshots. 

Equipment Used:

Camera: Canon EOS R5
Lens: Canon RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM Lens
Light: Westcott Eyelighter 3

Team:

Photographer: Sal Cincotta 
Models: Alissa Cincotta, Ellie Plotkin, Alicia Simpson
Styling: Alissa Cincotta
HMUA: Brandi Patton, 
ReFine Beauty

Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 lens // specs

This lens has five and a half stops of image stabilization optically. When you combine that with IBIS, you’ve got eight stops of image stabilization. Why does that matter? Well, if you’re going to work in low light or shoot video, you’re going to get some of that image stabilization built right into the system. 

This is L-Series glass, and it’s fast at f/1.8. It’s also got two programmable buttons, so you can set them to do all kinds of things, depending on your preference: set ISO, focusing, manual mode and more. 

The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 lens vs. the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Sal, why do I need this lens? Can’t I just use a 70-200mm and get the same thing?” NOPE. The 135mm lens is a prime lens. More importantly, it’s a f/1.8 lens, which is going to give you a completely different look and feel. It’s milky, it’s beautiful, and I’m super happy with the results we got. Check out the portraits of the girls (and myself) below. 

The results: new team portraits

All images are SOOC (straight out of camera), no editing

Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/100, ISO 160
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/80, ISO 160
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/80, ISO 160
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/100, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/320, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/125, ISO 200
canon rf 135mm f1 8 lens portrait 8
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/200, ISO 200
Settings: f/1.8 @ 1/200, ISO 200

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