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Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
176 535527 Sep 11, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $390.30
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.44
8.16
7.8
ef_28-135_35_1_

Specifications:
Standard zoom lens with an Image Stabilizer and high zoom ratio. With the Image Stabilizer turned on, you can obtain sharp, natural-looking pictures in dim lighting without using flash or a tripod. Very handy for places where flash is prohibited. Uses ring-type USM for swift, silent autofocus and full-time manual focus. Closest focusing distance is 20 in. (50 cm).


 


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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1091
Review Date: Jun 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, range, IS
Cons:
Build quality, variable aperture, slow

This lens is my "starter lens," as it is for about a bajillion other people. I am extremely satisfied with this lens, and I will probably continue to use it until Canon introduces an L-quality lens with a similar wide range. I find the focal length range ideal for my D30, albeit the apertures vary (blah!) and are a bit slow for indoor use. The IS is quite amazing, and if you have no experience with it, rest assured that it works very well. My only complaints are minor: First, the lens will underexpose by about half a stop. I'm convinced this is a by-product of the variable aperture mechanism and not related to the camera since my other lenses do not underexpose. Second, the build quality is a bit lax. There is a bit of "play" in the lens when extended, and there is significant zoom creep. Overall, it is an excellent lens and I have no regrets.

Jun 10, 2003
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traveler
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3453
Review Date: May 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Amazingly versatile, IS a life saver at times, Decent color and contrast, fast to lock focus in decent light
Cons:
Lens creep, Needs some additional curve action in Photoshop to bring out the contrast a tad

Make NO mistake about it, while this is NO 'L" lens, it is THE workhorse of the Canon line. If my sources aren't far off, Canon may well sell more of this lens than any other in their line. Indeed it is perhaps one of the MOST versatile they have ever produced. Whenever I'm in a outdoor situation and am not sure how much reach I'll need this is my "Go To" lens regardless of the fact I have a bunch of "L's" in my bag. It has never let me down. With some minor touching up in Photoshop I can get some superbly sharp and color rich output from it. Focusing in darker situations is challenging if not impossible (no weddings in a chapel with this lens to be sure), but for outdoor use in decent light, you'll do just fine. Again there may have been some bad copies of this lens floating around, but once again, if you get a good copy you're all set. AT F8 this lens is about as sharp as anything out there, so for general all purpose and outdoor shooting it can be wonderful to have IS as your friend, especially if you're not the steadiest of handholders.

May 28, 2003
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Photon
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Registered: Jan 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 10160
Review Date: May 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS can be a lifesaver, optics excellent at middle apertures, great zoom range, light weight
Cons:
zoom creep, softness at wide apertures

I bought this lens within a few months of its release [6 years ago?], and it continues to be a workhorse for me. I've shot perhaps 10,000 images with it, starting on film and going through generations of DSLRs. When I used to shoot Kodak Technical Pan and make 12x18 darkroom prints, it was clear that Canon's 50/1.4 was sharper [right to the corners, even at f/4, and a knockout at 5.6-11], whereas the 28-135 was soft wide open, and even at f/11 did not quite have the contrast and resolution of the 50 [well duh!]. However, with a DSLR, even my 1Ds, the zoom is about as sharp as any lens at f/11, and for portrait work at 5.6 and 8, the center is as sharp as a tack [and who cares about the corners!], so I'm happy. There is some zoom creep when the lens is angled down, I wouldn't trust it to resist moisture (though it has withstood a few sprinkles over the years), and as you would expect, low light focusing is not as good as with an f/2.8 lens, but all in all, even if I had the full range of L lenses (I have one, and plan in time to add two more) I would grab one of these - it's a very useful lens to have! I won't give up mine unless Canon comes out with a 24-135 with IS, preferably with faster aperture and L build quality but not too much more weight!

May 23, 2003
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JDGill
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Registered: Apr 30, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 39
Review Date: May 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Decent optical quality, IS works well, good allrounder
Cons:
Zoom action very loose, always at 135mm hanging from your shoulder

Convenient but not as well built as it could be.

May 2, 2003
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rlay
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Registered: Mar 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Apr 28, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $535.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros:
  • Light weight
  • Better than most P&S digicam lenses
  • Cons:
  • not enough bokeh (blurring of background for portraits) especially on the telephoto end
  • even with IS, handholding with shutterspeeds slower than 1/45 is difficult
  • on a 1.6x crop digital SLR the wide end is not enough for group portraits

  • This is a decent travel lens for outdoor photography or indoors with a flash because of its weight. Ive read a lot of reviews about how sharp this lens is, but I dont see it. Any of the L-series zooms seem sharper to me. I sold mine last year after using it sparingly for 2 years.

    If you're on a budget, I would recommend a Sigma wide angle zoom (17-35 or 15-30), 50/1.4 and a 70-200/4L to cover this range (and beyond) more effectively.... or if you've got money to burn, go for the L-series zooms 16-35, 28-70, and 70-200.


    Apr 28, 2003
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    Hammsailor
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    Registered: Oct 17, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 0
    Review Date: Apr 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

    Pros: I would buy this lens again, and not just as a "starter lens." Excellent IS, very sharp images (despite one or two other reviewers stating that it's not the sharpest lens in the deck - perhaps they need a new monitor and/or printer). Lens did not creep on long, bouncey walks, build seems great and of course the lens extends when you zoom. Very versatile lens when you don't want to carry several. Use Cokin "P" adapter rings and one set of "P" filters for all of your lenses to keep filter costs down. It's not an L lens, but the cost isn't L either.
    Cons:
    None that I could observe. Have only shot 700-800 images so far, though, on my A2E and D60



    Apr 24, 2003
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    Rodrigo.Bruno
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    Registered: Sep 12, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 276
    Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

    Pros: Great Entry level lens, IS, Produce relatively sharp images(Not wide open) , focal range is handy with 1.6x mult. factor.
    Cons:
    Wide Open produces non-sharp images

    This was my first lens and I used it a lot. If you are learning and trying different scenarios this lens will suite most of your needs. The image quality is not comparable with an L glass but the price is also not comparable. The image color reproduction is good. Great Lens plus you get the IS what helps a lot novices to get those great sharp shots.



    Apr 22, 2003
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    Theresa Z.
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    Registered: Mar 19, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 2828
    Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

    Pros: Excellent sharpness and contrast. Great IS functionality.
    Cons:
    Cheaply built (things seem to be loose).

    This lens is a great value. Maybe I have a good one but I love the contrast and sharpness.

    Apr 22, 2003
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    Ricciardi
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    Registered: Apr 1, 2003
    Location: United States
    Posts: 140
    Review Date: Apr 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

    Pros:
    Cons:

    This is the lens that took almost 95% of my pictures with my Elan II. I just cnat leave without it. Its is VERY good when used around f/8.

    With the 10D the focal distance changed to 48-215mm, more or less. And that make me use my Sigma 15-30 more. Now you see me changing lens more often and that is bad. But its not a lens issue. Just the 1.6 multiplying factor of the 10D.

    Go for it. Its a wonderful product for the price.


    Apr 2, 2003
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    rdonson
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    Registered: Feb 22, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 1056
    Review Date: Apr 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

    Pros: very good all around lens, IS, very good value
    Cons:
    lens extends during zoom

    A great first lens for a lot of people. It's focal range is very good and the IS makes it much more useful than f/3.5-5.6 might otherwise seem. I pack it often for travel when I don't want to carry a bag of lens and want just one to get me through the trip. When stopped down a couple of stops it is capable of producing very sharp images. Great bang for the buck.

    Apr 2, 2003
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    Ellegon
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    Registered: Nov 18, 2002
    Location: Switzerland
    Posts: 439
    Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 8 

    Pros: Very good overall lens
    Cons:
    constant readjustment when in AV mode

    I got this lens as my first lens, not able to afford much more as I bought it together with my D60, a tripod, a flash, a backpack.... Wink

    It is a very good "all purpose lens" IMHO. The IS results in nice pictures even if you are shooting slightly slower than one should. Also the image quality is great.

    The only drawback I experienced is the "big" range of aparture it covers (3.5-5.6). What happened to me was the following. I was shooting in AV mode, set to the lowest possible (3.5), then I "zoomed in" and therefore my aparture raised up to 5.6. When I "zoomed in" again, it stayed at 5.6, so I had to reset it down to 3.5. So while shooting a soccer game I had to constantly readjust the aparture to get the smallest (or biggest, depends on how you look at it) aparture. But that is a problem of all lenses with variable aparture, therefore not a product specific bug.

    If you're looking for a great start lens or a great "all purpose" lens, the 28-135 3.5-5.6 IS USM is a good choice.

    Note: price is converted from the street price in Switzerland, which is normally higher than in the US


    Mar 31, 2003
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    stan_g
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    Registered: Jan 8, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 232
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

    Pros: Fast AF, Image Stabilzer, Sharpest consumer Canon zoom
    Cons:
    inconsistant build, some great, some not

    Best all-around lens built. IS works great and lens is very sharp. I've wore one out (4 years) and couldn't live without another. My first did have "zoom creep" and front barrel looseness but didn't affect quality of pics. Second didn't have creep and has tight barrel extention.

    Mar 30, 2003
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    RobertM
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    Registered: Jan 14, 2003
    Location: United States
    Posts: 104
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 8 

    Pros: image quality, zoom range, price
    Cons:
    zoom creep, 72mm filter size

    This was intended to be my "starter/all purpose" lens on my entry into the DSLR area (10D). I am very happy with this lens so far.

    The range suits my tastes perfectly. With the 1.6x effective magnification factor of the 10D, this lens becomes a 45-216, so if you are looking for wide angle, this is not the lens for you.

    But for general purpose flexibility in shooting, I am quite pleased. The image stabilization has been very helpful, although it eats your battery a bit quicker.
    I have been very pleased so far with the image quality I'm seeing. Obviously I'm new to the DSLR arena, but I find my image sharpness better than I expected, and the AF speed is very good.

    The only two things that I would comment on negatively are the 72mm filter size (bigger equals more expensive), and the "zoom creep"...walking around with the camera around my neck will soon find the zoom fully extended. Note that I don't experience zoom creep when shooting...only when "jiggling" the camera. Not a big deal.

    I believe I made the correct choice for a flexible starter lens.


    Mar 30, 2003
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    mike kobal
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    Registered: Feb 12, 2003
    Location: United States
    Posts: 475
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

    Pros: excellent optical quality, IS works, light weight
    Cons:
    small mf ring, lens extends while zooming

    got it first as a loaner while waiting for the 24-70L, kept it.

    Mar 30, 2003
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    lionken07
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    Registered: Jun 10, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 572
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

    Pros:
    Cons:

    The goods:
    -A very good carry around lens if you don't want to bring any other lenses.
    -light enough for me to carry it for the entire shooting section.
    -IS do work!

    The bads:
    -It underexpose a bit on my D60.
    -The lens extend as I zoom in which can knock off the balance of my hand.
    -It also zooms in by itself if I'm not on a level group. (loose zoom in and out element).

    If your starting or don't want to carry too much, this lens is for you!


    Mar 30, 2003
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    GrizzlyMike
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    Registered: Sep 23, 2002
    Location: United States
    Posts: 403
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $385.00 | Rating: 6 

    Pros: Good general purpose lens
    Cons:
    Dust gets in lens housing

    It is what it is - a great cary around lens for travel and general shooting. With the IS feature this lens is a good deal for the price. It is not the sharpest lens on the market but certainly not the worse either. Great for trips and hikes where space is limited. Fits easily in your coat pocket. Wih the IS this lens can be hand-held in relatvely low light.

    Mar 30, 2003
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    Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    Buy from B&H Photo
    Reviews Views Date of last review
    176 535527 Sep 11, 2014
    Recommended By Average Price
    88% of reviewers $390.30
    Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
    7.44
    8.16
    7.8
    ef_28-135_35_1_


    Page:  10 · 11