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135mm Lens | 25 Photos That Will Make You Need One

By Sean Lewis on March 19th 2019

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).

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:

For Canon EF Mount Camera Bodies

For Nikon Camera Bodies

For Sony Camera Bodies

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.

Rarindra Prakarsa: Website | Instagram


Manny Ortiz: Website | Instagram | YouTube


Francisco Hernandez: Website | Instagram | YouTube


Rohit Naik: Instagram


Adrian Wagner: Website | Instagram


If you enjoyed this article, you might also like similar articles we’ve published in this series:

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.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Sean fell into photography while teaching for a non-profit. What started as a minor task – documenting guest speakers and classroom activities – grew into a major obsession, and eventually led to a position shooting with Lin & Jirsa. Nowadays, at SLR Lounge, Sean’s work as a marketing associate merges his interest in the fields of photography and education.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alwin Szeto

    All these images are stunning! I do love the compressed look of a longer focal length. 

    Question- I own a Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 for my 7DmkII-is there any real difference in functionality between what I have and a 135/200 prime, besides potentially sharper images, or can I achieve the shots above with my zoom lens? TIA.

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  2. Kyle Stauffer

    I’ve rented the Sigma 135 a few times now and it’s very likely to be my next lens purchase!! Incredibly sharp, great focus tracking, great contrast, flare control, and colors!

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    • Sean Lewis

      Great shot, Kyle! I don’t currently own this lens, but it’s definitely on my wish list.

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  3. Aroun Kesavaraj

    I am confused on which one to buy for a outdoor portraits Nikon’s  105mm or 135mm. Please suggest 

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    • Sean Lewis

      I suppose your choice will come down to a number of factors, one of the biggest of which is likely price. I’ve seen the 105mm with an f/1.4 aperture for $2k and the 135mm with an f/2 aperture for about $1300. Both will create beautiful, bokeh-filled portraits, whether indoors or out (given there’s enough space to frame the shot as intended). If possible, rent each of these lenses, test them out, and then make a choice. 

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    • Christopher Lin

      Aroun Kesavaraj if budget is not an issue, go for the 135!

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