In different hands, a single piece of camera gear can produce dramatically different results. Add in a solid understanding of lighting, posing, and composition, and photographers can use their gear to its fullest potential and create incredible images. The unique qualities of some camera gear absolutely shines in skilled hands. One such piece of gear is the 135mm lens (at either f/1.8 or f/2, depending on the brand).
What Makes 135mm a Great Focal Length?
Like the 200mm f/2 lens, the 135mm takes advantage of lens compression to create beautiful, bokeh-filled works of art. The 135mm f/2 (or f/1.8) lens is also much smaller, lighter, and less cost-prohibitive than the 200mm f/2, which makes it a great go-to portrait lens.
You can find the prices and specs for various makes and models of the 135mm lenses via the links below:
135mm Lenses For Canon EF Mount Camera Bodies
- Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 ZE Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Samyang 135mm f/2 ED UMC Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
135mm Lenses For Nikon Camera Bodies
- Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2 Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
135mm Lenses For Sony Camera Bodies
- Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens for Sony E (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Rokinon 135mm f/2 ED UMC Lens for Sony E (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
We’ve curated a collection of images from five amazing global photographers to illustrate what a creative eye can bring to life using this special glass. You can find their images and links to their sites below. We highly encourage you to check out more of their work.
135mm Lens Photo Examples by Rarindra Prakarsa
About Rarindra: “It’s been 22 years since I started photography. I am basically a city man because I was born and grew up in the city of Jakarta. But somehow city isn’t my choice for photography.”
The selection of photos shot at 135mm below are simply stunning. Rarindra uses the 135mm focal length to depict incredible stories and scenes that transport the viewer to a different time and land. This is a unique use of the 135mm range, as those lenses are most often used for solo portraits.
135mm Lens Examples by Manny Ortiz
About Manny: “It was about 3 years ago when I discovered Photography. I think passion is something that cannot be faked, and its one of the most important things I bring to every wedding and photoshoot. Whats not to love? I make a living getting to take photos and document the happiest day in people’s lives.”
In the images below, Manny uses the 135mm focal length in low light golden hour to create an interesting, beautiful look and feel.
135mm Lens Examples by Francisco Hernandez
About Francisco Hernandez: “Photography to me is more than taking photos. It has literally made me see things differently, and through photography I’ve developed relationships with people I’ve never dreamed I’d communicate with. I have friends all over the world through this career! I used to be a very shy guy and now have no problems talking to complete strangers. I’ve become outgoing and love talking to people.”
Francisco is known for combining low apertures with higher focal length lenses (such as 135mm) and controlled flash photography to create a unique look. See how the subjects just pop off the background.
135mm Lens Images by Rohit Naik
Follow here: Instagram
135mm Lens Images by Adrian Wagner
About Adrian Wagner: “I grew up with a darkroom in my basement. I remember sitting under the glow of a red light with the smell of developer filling the space. I would carefully wrap the negatives around the canister – sealed in a dark bag so it had to be done by feel. If the negatives touched, they would be ruined so it was a bit of blind faith that it was done right. Then they were ready – each shot a unique moment in time that was only revealed sometimes weeks after the shoot. To be honest, when I look back at my negatives, I notice how crafted and intentioned each shot was. You only had so many – so each shot had to count.”
See how Adrian uses the 135mm focal length for wedding portraits in the images below.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like similar articles we’ve published in this series:
- The 200mm F/2.0 Lens | 15 Photos That Will Make You Need One
- 30 Tilt-Shift Lens Photos That Will Make You Need One
All of the images in this article were used with direct permission from the artists. Do NOT use or distribute the images without direct consent from the artists.