No chatter about the new RF 135f1.8L IS nanomotor lens?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 7,566
RF 135mmL: Expensively unnecessary

noggin2k1 wrote:

I'll most likely be buying it. I think there's a few reasons why it won't get masses of chatter about it:

  • 135mm is a bit of a niche focal length. For casual users, they'll likely carry on with their EF 135's.

Indeed. It was one of the so-called "Holy Grail Primes" yet it required plenty of room to work with when indoors, especially on an APS-C sensor. For a portrait lens, it was on the long end but the bokeh and lens character were uniquely beautiful for the EF 135mmL lens.  Wildlife, landscapes and other subjects worked with with the EF lens.

  • For those who are all about a mega shallow DoF, they've probably already got the RF 85/1.2.

I'd say that the RF 85mm f/1.2L lens offers similar bokeh to the RF 70-200mmL lens (when zoomed to 200mm) and also the RF 135mm f/1.8L. But the benefits of the RF 85mmL lens include a fast f/1.2L aperture, the ability to push out the best bokeh at closer distances than 200mm or 135mm. There's also the BR Spectrum optics on the RF 85mmL lens which handled CA and LOCA problems like a champ.  Why deprive the new RF 135mmL lens the Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, especially at this high price??

  • It's difficult to speculate until real reviews are out. I want to see how the AF performs, how it tracks, all that fun stuff.

The reviews should be interesting. But something rarely noted is the huge price increase on the new RF135mm f/1.8L lens over the older EF 135mm f/2L lens. I spent some time testing out the EF 135mmL lens on the EOS R6 when the camera body was released and it's like a brand new lens on the new R-series cameras. It's fast with the f/2 aperture and is precise with the R-Series AF. But it was one of Canon's cheapest L-series lenses for quite a few years... until discontinuation recently. I often recommended it to people for this reason, not to mention the beautiful bokeh. I'd swear the new RF model is 4x the price that the EF version was selling for before it was discontinued.

There's not a lot to talk about when all outlets are only sharing the heavily scripted waffle, and we've not seen any images where it can properly stretch its legs yet.

I've seen around 10 images from the new lens that were posted online and they lacked a lot of the "magic".  Presumably lens character has changed with the aperture that the RF lens now delivers.  But it could also be the lack of skill from the photographer posting them.  I'd say the RF model should produce good results based on the pre-release information and early tester experiences... but they are usually reading from Canon's provided information sheets.
The Price is definitely going to kill sales for such a niche lens.  And the absolute lack of interest is notable... as you've noticed.  Perhaps they want to own the anticipated lack of sales by offsetting it with a high price?  Shipping costs have gone up in the last two years but this doesn't explain such a raise in the RRP.  These high prices might be in line with Canon's future marketing but the public were begging for an RF 35mmL lens with BR optics to match the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens... which is one of the top lenses in demand by photojournalists.  This is a critical focal length and aperture for their work... but no, Canon threw out the RF 135mmL lens instead, which nobody was asking for, at a price that won't allow it to sell with the current economic crisis... and not with an f/1.4 aperture as "promised" by all the leakers online (and as delivered by rival companies).
One of the issues with the RF 135mmL lens is that the wide aperture on the EF 135mmL predecessor was quite prone to chromatic aberration, especially Purple Fringing in scenes with high contrast.  I was surprised the RF version was not gifted with Canon's BR Optics, like the new RF 85mmL lenses were, in order to overcome this because the new RF lens has a slightly wider aperture.
And it appears Canon did not see fit to allow an Extender with the RF lens, unlike the EF 135mm lens which allowed the use of Extenders.   
Check out these links for a Chuckle... because Canon apparently did patent an RF 135mm f/1.4 lens.  Not that I expect to ever see one:

Sounds like something didn't quite work out.  Either that or there's ANOTHER (White?) L-series lens on the way sometime down the track... (eg in the design of the EF 200mm f/2 lens) or their patent didn't quite work as expected when applied in real world physics.

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Marco Nero.

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