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

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181 530923 Jun 30, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $718.67
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.44
8.14
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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ukcolin
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Registered: Nov 12, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Good zoom range and reasonable image quality. The IS heps in low light.
Cons:
I found I was increasingly dissatisfied with the image quality. The build quality is OK but does not inspire confidence.

Stopped down this lens works well. It is also a neat package for the zoom range offered. I found that the sharpness is reasonable at smaller apertures but soft wide open. I eventually sold it. But I would recommend it on the basis that while it is not the sharpest of lenses it might suit as a convenient walk round lens.

Nov 19, 2005
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incdigital
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Nov 16, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $389.99 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Great range on FF film or digital SLRs, USM ,IS
Cons:
Bad range for 1.6x crop digital SLRs, inconsistent results, SOFT, loose feeling zoom, slow

Great range with IS but...i've got nothing but so-so results w/ this lens...on film or digital. Pics are sharp from 35-105 range @F8 or higher. At full tele the images are pretty soft.

For digital shooters...the 17-85 EF-S is a much better lens for the 20D or Digital Rebel IMO.



Nov 16, 2005
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afshalders
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Registered: Nov 2, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good value and performance for money
Cons:
Heavy. Very.

This is a good value for money and delivers adequate image quality for the price tag. Some people said that this lens is crap. But compared to what ? To a L series lens ? Donīt be ridiculous, of course they are completely different products !

The second mistake is testing it in digital cameras. Please test it in a film camera, with a Fuji Provia 100F, tripod mounted, before posting ridiculous comments.

This is not a professional lens. Itīs a prosumer product and gives you honest performance. IS works great. The only odd thing is that images taken with IS on arenīt so sharp when the camera is tripod mounted, so turn it off when using it this way.

I recommend using a HOYA HMC Skylight 1B filter. This lens has several large glass surfaces, so please donīt mess the image quality using a cheap filter. Multicoated high quality filters are a must if you want a good quality image.

Color rendition is good. Pictures are very sharp from F8 and up. Of course wide open on the tele end the image will be not very sharp. If you really want this, buy a L series lens ok!

I used this lens in both EOS-300 and EOS-350D.


Nov 2, 2005
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_ea_
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Registered: Apr 30, 2005
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size, IS, price, verstatility ideal start up lens
Cons:
non-linear, zoom sliding becomes loose with time

Bought this lens as my first universal optic for my first DSLR. It's an ideal walkaround lens, with nice performance for the price. If your photographic work is on photo reportage basis during daylight or w/flash you will be happy with this lens. I profiled to be more low light and switchted to primes moreover. This lens annoyed me with non-linear aperture on differend lenghts. Not cruical for everyone with different requirements. :-)

Oct 12, 2005
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thequickad
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Registered: Sep 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Oct 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $415.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality, light weight and fast focus, great value (compare to L series), good price
Cons:
not F2.8

This lens is an excellent value. When there is sufficient light and you stop it down to f5.6 or greater, the image quality is extremely good. On my 20D, I compared this lens with my 24-70L and blowing up 200% in photoshop, couldn't tell the difference.

Great walk around lens, much lighter than my 24-70L.


Oct 5, 2005
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saudidave
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Registered: Aug 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Review Date: Sep 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast autofocus. Good, not stellar image quality but plenty good enough if you aren't a pixel peeping geek who crops 20% of a corner and produces a 10 x 8. IS is an advantage.
Cons:
A little too long for a walkabout when combined with a 1.6x factor. Creeps, but not a major issue for me.

With retrospect, I would probably have gone for the 17-85IS and may eventually sell this lens to fund that. Just that little wider in the city and I don't think the 80-135 range accounts for a large % of my shots. Overall though, a 1st class piece of kit.I've probably done 3000 images with it this last 3 months and some of them are absolute crackers. I would highly reccomend it. Good value.

Sep 29, 2005
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ksimpson
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Registered: Sep 25, 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast focus and good build quality. Not L quality, but very sharp. IS
Cons:
Crop factor on my 20D, not wide enough at times.

A good lens which is a definite improvement on the kit lens supplied with my 20d. IS is a definite advantage for low light work. 28mm not wide enough at times.

Sep 25, 2005
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Tony_Baloni
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Registered: Sep 9, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good "street price". The Image Stabiliser works very well for Static Subjects. Focuses fast and handles well.
Cons:
Could be sharper at 135mm end.

I signed up in an attempt to redress the balance by recommending this lens as I feel the last few posts unfairly compare it to the Canon L series costing much more. Having used it on my 20D for the past year or so I think it gives good images.

I tested it on my Benbo by shooting targets at 10ft and 50ft using all the apertures at 28mm, 70mm and 135mm. I'll start with the 135mm results as I found mine gave a high contrast and sharp image at its maximum aperture of f5.6 which is always preferable for maintaining a high shutter speed. Stopping the lens down softened the images especially at the closer distance. At both 28mm and 70mm most apertures gave good results (f8 was best) until f13 where it went off. The macro setting is very usable and gives sharp well focused images.

Now a warning... when using on a tripod I found it best to turn the Image Stabiliser OFF as you'll see a softening of the image with it on. For the money you get an above average optic with an Image Stabiliser that works well for subjects without movement. It will NOT allow you to freeze movement in the same way a higher shutter speed will. You can't point it at kids and expect blur free images at 1/30th of a second and it seems from these reviews that some folk thought it would. The same applies to trees in a Landscape, as the effects of the wind will show. It will however allow you to use speeds of 3 stops less if your subject has no movement, otherwise I adjust my iso enabling higher speeds as the 20D copes well with that.

If you can't justify the price of the new EF 24-105mm L Series that's just about to launch, this lens will cover a lot of your photographic needs.


Sep 10, 2005
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Rob_rebel
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Registered: Sep 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 29
Review Date: Sep 6, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $419.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Good Range, IS nice (if you know how it is intented to work), USM works great, Good build
Cons:
Not very sharp, heavy for long outings out

If you are thinking about this lens, make sure that you know what you want this lens to capture. My understanding (though it was wrong of IS) was that you could step down a bit father and still get sharp pictures. What IS works for is only for shooting stationary items (not even flowers outside as there could be a slight breeze). I obviously have not done enough research on IS before this purchase and have been disappointed (mostly by my lack of reasonable research beforehand). I was hoping to capture the kids indoors with faster focusing and speed. The faster focusing is definately there, but the IS is nover going to work on toddlers as they are always moving an arms or just being antsy. This lens needs a lot of light even though it is a 72mm at the front. I can only use it outside and for the most part I don't use IS enough to warrant spending the money on it. I know there is at least 1 or 2 newer versions of IS out there that allow for Panning and such, but this is still the old version (to bad Canon does now upgrade the hardware as new advances come out - meaning that you should get the newest version of IS when the lens is purchase...this lens you are purchaseig 1999 IS technology). For the extra money, I wish I would have gone with the 70-200mm L /4.0...still might Ebay this one.
Another think besides the IS, is the fact that the lens is only fairly sharp. Of all my lens, this is the least sharp...I honestly get sharper pictures from the included lens kit then I do on this lens.
Another thing is that I got really used to Prime lens and do not know if to many zooms are going to cut it anymore, so when reading this review take that into account.


Sep 6, 2005
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pascal03
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Registered: Jan 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4148
Review Date: Sep 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Compact size. Light. Acceptable performance to price ratio. IS. Price
Cons:
2nd generation IS. Poor contrast and sharpness compared to "L" glass.

It is hard to really give this lens any more than a 7 rating.... especially when comparing it to Canon's more expensive and better optics offered with the "L" lenses. As reference, I see Canon’s 35 f1.4 and 300mm f2.8 a 10/near perfect lens as I find it hard to imagine these lenses can be improved upon that much more. My rating for the Canon 70-200 F2.8 L was a 9.

What I saw standing out on this lens after a few months of use:
The lens is made of plastic (not metal like the more expensive L's) but feels sturdy. It’s light weight makes it very portable. Focus (IF) speed is good.

Image Stabilization is a handy feature to have, but not particularly useful on this lens. At a small maximum aperture, the IS really does not help too much with low light. IS may come in handy for daylight handheld shots, but I have not noticed any difference with or without IS.

Filter size is 72mm which can get expensive but is still acceptable compared to the 77mm or larger filters.

The contrast and sharpness is just not there... even stepped down. However, for it's limited use, the lens performance was acceptable. This lens is not in the same ball park as the Canon L's, but then again, you're paying 1/4th the price of similar L-glass.

As I have the Tamron 24-135 SP AD, I compared this lens to the Canon 28-135 IS. Both lenses are approx the same price. After using both for a while, I found myself using the Tamron more for it's amazingly sharp picture quality and slightly more acceptable contrast and the Canon for pictures that needed the quick focus one shot response. Canon USM is much faster to the Tamron's slow AF speed and the Canon lens was more pleasant to handle. NOTE: The Canon 28-135 IS does provide with more neutral colors while the Tamron was warmer.

If you need enlargements and very sharp or high contrast color is important, you might be better off with more expensive “L” glass. I would not recommend this lens for those with 8MP SLR’s such as the 20D or 1D Mk II, but think it’s an excellent combination when used with the Digital Rebel XT or Rebel or the D60. I would not even bother mounting this lens on the 1Ds or 1Ds Mk II.

If you need a lens that's cheap, small and easy to carry around as a walk about lens, and are not too concerned about pixel peeping or very sharp pictures, this lens is about as good as it gets for the price. Prints up to 5x7 can be acceptable with this lens.


Sep 6, 2005
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lb311
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Registered: Aug 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $395.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very capable lens with IS; Better quality than other mid-ranged EF zooms; nicely priced.
Cons:
wish it were a bit wider.

I currently use this as my main walk-around lens and have had pretty good results with it, but my 10-22S and 100-400L lenses seem just a bit better in terms of color saturation and sharpness. On my 20D (at 1.6x crop), this lens is a bit too tele for mid-ranged landscapes and I find I'm often having to switch to the 10-22 to try and capture a better wide angle.

Now that the 24-105L has been announced, I'm sure this lens will lose favor as that lens will undoubtedly fill the gap between wide angles and the 100-400L a bit better. But up until now, the 28-135 has been the best choice out there for a walk-around zoom.


Sep 5, 2005
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vwatts
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Registered: Aug 21, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2
Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $394.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Pretty sharp between f/8.0 and f/11. IS works very well, enabling shots otherwise impossible.
Cons:
Soft at wider apertures (5.6, 4.0, etc). A little too slow, but you get what you pay for.

I have taken 20% great sharp shots with this lens, 50% blah shots and 30% so-so shots. I like it, but I don't like the zoom action, it makes a plasticky friction sound and it creeps out by itself easily. At f/8.0, I have gotten shots that almost match my 500mm f/1.8 or 70-200 f/4.0 L !! I dropped it recently, three feet on a tiled floor. Not a mark on it, IS still perfect and it still focuses as new. Impressive. For a walkaround lens, this is great, just remember to stop down to f/8.0 - f/14 and you'll be happy.

Examples:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/827993/L/

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/784600/L/


Aug 21, 2005
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jlg84
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Registered: Jul 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 136
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good walking-around lens Good range
Cons:
A bit big Zoom doesn't lock Slow

I bought this lens in 1999 when I went from my old A-1 to an Elan-IIe, and it was my standard walking-around lens on that camera for years. When I got a 10D I was disappointed, and chagrinned, that the 1.6x mag ratio meant that this was no longer quite so wide as it had been, and so I ended up using it a bit less, but still would turn to it occasionally.

I was going to sell this lens recently, but just could not bring myself to do so, at least not just yet, since it does serve a very useful purpose. One day I'm sure I'll let it go, when I get something in an L glass to replace it, but until then, I'll stick with it.


Aug 20, 2005
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m3elmo
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Registered: Aug 16, 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: has image stabilizer
Cons:
rattles a bit, not constant aperature, no FTM

I had this lens intended to be a walk around lens. using a 20D with 1.6, the 28mm end wasn't wide enough, and I didn't need the reach of the 135mm. The Image stabilizer was nice, but that's it. For paying $400, it does not have constant aperature, it does not have FTM, and the optical quality was good at best. For the money, i'd recommend the tamron 28-75 2.8 or the sigma 24-70 2.8. Or pay a little bit more and step to the L glass territory with the 70-200 F4.

After owning the lens for about 1 month and putting 1000 shots through it, I decided to sell it


Aug 20, 2005
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JTitor
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Registered: Jul 17, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 18, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: USM , IS , range on a FF camera.
Cons:
Soft, slow, PF, 28mm is not wide enough on a 1.6 sensor, no hood. Only 1 year warranty

Even with IS that lens is still soft at F8. Since I already had a wide angle lens, I was going to get this lens instead of the 17-85. But after testing the lens, I found it way too soft.

The Sigma 18-125 I had was sharper and of course, cheaper.

Now I just hope that the new 24-105 USM IS will be sharper than this one.


Aug 18, 2005
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JL77
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Registered: Dec 20, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 145
Review Date: Aug 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: useful focal length range, good colors, very useful IS, USM AF,
Cons:
slow lens, somewhat filmy feel, not wide enough.

I really like this lens. IS is really useful. I could handheld shoots as slow as 1/4s at 28mm or 1/10 at 135mm ! This is really good for low light places.

However, it is still a 3.5-5.6 lens, which is slow, and it does not "stop" action in low light and has not give a narrow dof.



Aug 10, 2005
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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
181 530923 Jun 30, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $718.67
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.44
8.14
7.8
ef_28-135_35_1_


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