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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
122 313126 Sep 26, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $216.72
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.31
9.02
8.4
ef_28-105_35

Specifications:
Canon's mid-range 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 features ultrasonic ring focus motor, inner focus, rotating zoom (non-turning front element), and full time manual focus. 15 elements in 12 groups. 2.8 X 3 inches (72 X 75 mm), 375 grams. 58 mm filter.


 


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jschulst350d
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Registered: Jan 9, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 41
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cost, size, weight, USM, FTM, hood, IQ. Telephoto reach.
Cons:
zoom creep, wide end range limited.

Highly recommended, especially as a walk-around when paired with a 10-22 zoom. Dont usually notice the gap from 22-28 that badly. (Can always get a 24/2.8 prime I guess.)
Its light, fast and accurate USM, almost silent, does not hunt like some other consumer lenses. It is also compact, relatively lightweight and well balanced in size with a 350D rebel. Speed of f3.5-4.5 is fast enough for a daylight walkaround zoom (if you are inside probably need something wider and faster - better go with a 24/2.8 prime?). So far have been impressed with colour, saturation, constrast.
Hood is a must have - one of the best around - not too big, strong and protective, fits perfectly over the lens body when reversed for storage - obvious improvement in most daylight shots. Very quick to snap/twist on/off the bayonet.
FTM is a major bonus, and zoom ring has loosened with use over a few months. Now creeps slightly if walking around unbagged, but not a problem. General build quality is good considering the price. Only minus is the triple barrel which collects dust if not cleaned.
Macro range 1:5 is also a big plus. With extension tubes it has a really useful range. Close focus distance is very good for a focal length of 105mm.
Does not seem noticeably unsharp even wide open. From the numerous reviews it would seem that perhaps the build quality variation is greater than with some other lenses. If you are not happy send it back or exchange for another copy.
In the end its useful, robust and affordable. A very good upgrade from the 18-55 kit. A "take anywhere" lens that can be replaced if worn out, lost, or stolen. Take it places that I just would not risk my 10-22 or expensive kit.


May 9, 2006
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CGrindahl
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Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13167
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built but with small size and weight, useful range, shockingly low price, good sharpness, color, contrast
Cons:
Stiff zoom ring a minor nuisance

I recently bought the full-frame Canon 5D and have been reassessing my lens collection, in particular the middle of the range. I'm happy with the Canon 17-40 with this camera and the 70-200 f/4L is fine as well. I'm delighted with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 but without the cropping factor on the 20D I find myself wishing for a wider mid-range telephoto lens. I've already sold a copy of the Canon 28-135 that just didn't measure up in terms of sharpness, so that clearly isn't the solution. I've toyed with the idea of spending $1200 for the Canon 24-105 f/4L but reviews have been mixed and frankly, it feels like a budget buster. Enter the Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5.

I read the reviews on FM and, remarkably, they're close to those for the new L lens with a similar range. I found a used copy at Digital Grin and decided it would be worth checking out.

This is not a professional quality lens but then I get great use out of two other consumer lenses, the 85 f/1.8 and a 50 f/1.4. Neither of them is built any better than this telephoto lens. Interestingly, all three take a 58 mm filter. The telephoto is a bit bigger than these two but its smaller than the Tamron. It balances very nicely on the 5D. The zoom ring is a bit stiff, but then I didn't expect L quality in a lens that costs less than a quarter of its new competitor, as well as half the 28-135 which I found to be no competition at all.

I'm pleased with the sharpness of images while color and contrast are fine. It focuses quickly and seems reasonably comfortable finding focus in relatively low light. I'd be happier with a bit more range but this might be the lens that solves my need for walking around. I'll give it a good workout this summer before deciding whether to resume my search. It is a fine choice for anyone with a limited budget and a desire for crisp images.


May 2, 2006
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Eospro
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Registered: May 2, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great value for money, Good build, Sharp, Light weight
Cons:
None

This lens is a workhorse, It is ideal as a walk around lens. Everything positive about this lens has been said. I have owned this lens for about 18 months and it still impresses me.
For the price, this lens is a must have for anyone who doesn't need a 'L' lens.

For everyone who complained that this lens is not up to 'L" specs, too slow or not wide enough. What did you expect??? Of course it isn't, what do you want for this kind of money. You knew what you were getting when you brought the lens, so why have a big whinge about it. (this really cheeses me).

Everybody knows, you get what you pay for, if you want 'L' specs then go & buy a L lens.

Every one knows it's a consumer lens, and it's fair enough to compare it to a L lens, so why put this kind of crap as a negitive aspect.

Now that, that is off my chest, anyone buying this lens for what it is, will be very satisified with the quality images it produces. Yes my other lenses are "L" lenses, so why did i get this one, simple, it performs like a much more expensive lens, but at a bargin price.

Cheers Brad


May 2, 2006
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mckenzy
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Registered: Mar 19, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 5
Review Date: Apr 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $165.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good Range
Cons:
Stiff Zoom Ring

It has a very good range for everywhere/everyday use.

A very practical lens, good weight, not too light...

It does have a stiff zoom ring oddly but its trivial.

I use primes most of the time, no L glass though..

the only reason i got this is for a trip coming up in June to australia and i don't want to keep switching lenses... oh i almost forgot, the Kit lens (18-55)... the range isn't good enough for travel...

its something you'll probably use most of the time and its small enough to always be in your bag, ATTACHED to your lens...

forget about L glass (read: 17-40)... this will do the trick...

get it second hand, once you're through with it, just sell it off at the same price you bought it...


Apr 6, 2006
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hewcanon
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Registered: Feb 26, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A very good lens for everyday use
Cons:
None to date

After reading the reviews I bought a Canon 28-135mm IS and took it for a day's shooting in a nearby park on a cloudy day to test the IS .. I was not impressed to say the least .. did more testing under different conditions and was still disappointed .. So I returned it in exchange for the 28-105mm 3.5-4.5 USM II and what a surprise .. This cheaper lens was excellent in everything .. Great build with distance markings, superfast accurate auto-focusing, very clear sharp image with excellent colours .. shame it was not more wide-angled ..

I recommend this lens without any hesitation for everyday use both indoors and outdoors .. may not be as sharp as the 50mm F1.8 for portraits, but excellent results throughout the zoom range .. especially around the F8.0 sweet-spot .. not so much at the aperture extremes

Excellent value for money and sharp results on my Canon 10D.


Mar 3, 2006
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martincb13
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Registered: Feb 12, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12
Review Date: Feb 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp,Light,inexpensive filter size,Price.
Cons:
None i can think of.

My example of this 28-105 is sharper than the 24-105L i bought to replace it.
I could not believe the test results so did them again to double check!.
I hope i had a bad example and would like to try another but this little lens is so good i think i will stick with it and try and forget about IS (which was great and worked a treat) and save 700 into the bargain.
Highly recommended at 180.


Feb 28, 2006
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gaalpoel
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $178.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice build, light, neutral colors, USM
Cons:
Somewhat stiff zoomring

Although not an L-lens, this is one hell of a lens to own for me. Needed an allrounder for digital and analog photography, and vould buy this lens used for a very nice price. And from the beginning it never let me down. The lens produces sharp, neutral pictures, just as I expect a lens to do.

Unfortunately the lens is damaged in some sort of way, at the FTMring the lens can move, which it isn't supposed to do, and sometimes this results in internal movement of the elements, but even with this little 'failure' the lens is still very good.

For those who can't or won't afford an L-grade lens, this is a very good buy, USM makes it fast and secure. Since the replacement with an Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX the Canon transferred to my analog camera, and will never leave that one.


Feb 27, 2006
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kevinsullivan
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1767
Review Date: Jan 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Inexpensive workable zoom
Cons:
Doesn't seem to zoom to 105mm

A previous review panning the 28-105 prompted me to run my own unscientific test leading to this partial review. I shot some flowers indoors under controlled lighting from a tripod with a canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5, a Canon 85 f/1.8, and a quantaray 28-90 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. I shot all at f/5.6 raw then used photoshop raw conversion with no adjustments and studied at the differences on a calibrated monitor: both 100% crops at the focus point which was right in the center of the field, and fit-to-screen views of the overall scene. Here's what I observed:

The 85 f/1.8 was significantly sharper than either of the zooms: in the center, with all lenses stopped down to f/5.6. The two zooms were comparably sharp at this setting.

The color that I obtained with the 85 and the 28-135 were not far off (albeit to my untrained eye). The quantaray produced a clearly more yellowish image. Checking the histograms showed the image taken with the quantaray/kit lens somewhat darker. I could really tell if the "yellowness" was really just darkness, but in any case, I judged the kit lens to produce an image that was poorer in color although not much in resolution from the 28-105.

To my surprise (somebody help me out here), the 85 produced a tighter zoom than either the 28-90 or the 28-105 max-zoomed. The 85 was noticeably tighter than the 105 at 105. Even the 28-90 was a little tighter at 90 than the 105 at 105. The 28-105 is a used lens that I bought used at FM, so I cannot be entirely sure of its provenance, history, etc. Cosmetically it's fine and it seems to work fine and do what one expects for such a zoom. It just seems to be more a 28-85 than a 28-105. Would someone be so kind as to tell me if I'm missing something obvious -- which is possible given that I'm new at this.


Jan 27, 2006
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squish
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Registered: Oct 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 19
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: USM, size & weight
Cons:
soft, very poor contrast/colours, oh and did I say soft

This is one of those lenses I wish I'd never owned and one that I especially wish I hadn't bought for my honeymoon. I found my copy to be significantly worse than the 18-55mm kits lens and coupled with the poor focal length on my 20D it was not a good investment at all and was quickly ebayed. What bothers me is that so many people recommend this lens when, all things considered, its actually pretty bad.

The worst aspect of this lens is not so much the softness wide open (and not all zooms are soft wide open - I had a Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 and sigma 24-70 f2.8 which were pretty sharp), its the awful contrast - I find images to be very flat and dull looking (especially compared to the 85 f1.8). I can't over-emphasise this point. Absolute sharpness doesn't really impact on normal size prints (5x7.. etc) but the poor contrast/colours certainly do.

My advise would be to stay away from this as well as its highly praised big brother the 28-135mm. These lenses may still serve you well on film but for digital its a big no-no.

I have never been so dissapointed with a lens ever - and its 6 months since I sold it and I'm still wound up Smile.

BTW. I had the older version with 5 aperture blades.


Jan 20, 2006
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maride
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Registered: Dec 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 70
Review Date: Jan 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $245.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great Range. compact. faster f stop then kit lens, better quality then kit lens, great price
Cons:
AF Sometimes

I've taken great pictures with this lens. At the time it was all i could afford and it might not seem like such a great upgrade from a kit lens but it is well worth it. My pictures were sharper, had better color, and the lens comes with better features including the wider aperature and longer focal length.

The wide angle isn't that great on the 1.6x conversion but the telephoto gives you good coverage of the portait length both short and long


Jan 8, 2006
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Mark Peters
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Registered: Nov 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2790
Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $219.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quite sharp, quiet, fast AF
Cons:
Hood sold seperately.

As some others, disappointed in the kit lens that came with my 350D. Wanted a better walk around, but didn't want to pay for an L lens.

Have been extremely happy with this so far. 13 year old daughter was taking candids at christmas - absolutely tack sharp.

I will eventually replace it with an L, but even then it will have a place in the kit.

Did pick up the hood.


Jan 4, 2006
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sgtpinback
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Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 52
Review Date: Dec 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, useful range, well built.
Cons:
None really

I bought this instead of the 350D kit lens. I'm continually surprised how good the pictures I can take with this are - high keeper rate, and no L cravings for me. While the Tokina 12-24 is my favourite lens, the 28-105 has a more useful range and therefore gets used more often. Even in low light, I find myself preferring this lens together with a Speedlite 430EX over using a 50mm f/1.4 without flash - the end result tends to be better since I can rely on the AF with this lens (although it did have to go to Canon for calibration).
For the price, I'm more than happy.


Dec 29, 2005
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ddixon
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Registered: Dec 27, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: light weight, fast USM, FTM, quiet, sharp, contrasty
Cons:
none

This was my first lens. I bought it to go along with an EOS Elan 7n, from Henry's in Toronto Ontario. I found it to be the perfect lens for that camera and for my requirements. The first day I had it, I shot a roll around Toronto on Velvia 200. The pictures were spectacular. Amazing colour, contrast, and sharpness. I moved up to an EOS 20D in July and decided to save $100 and not get the EF-S 18-55 kit lens. I couldnt afford the kit with the EF-S 17-85 IS (university student on a budget). So, I kept the 28-105 II and found it to perform very well, even though it wasnt as wide as I wanted (~44-168mm on a 1.6 crop body). So far it has been on a week long camping trip, and on that trip it performed well above my expectations.

The ring USM is amazing, its speed blows my girlfriends Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 (not the HSM model) away. I love FTM, and I love that its so quiet. The optical quality is better than the Sigma based on some crude tests that I conducted.

I find it a little less useful for me now, but I cant afford the 17-40 L that I dream about (let alone the 16-35 L, or even EF-S 10-22). That doesnt bother me though, because the images produced still make me smile, and I make do with the FOV limitations.

Ive just added an EF 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 to my kit and am excited about that (160-480mm!).

This lens is my workhorse, and it is always mounted on my 20D. I havent tried the 24-105 L IS yet, but its going to have to be pretty spectacular to get me to give up what Ive got.


Dec 27, 2005
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hoyerd
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Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Low price, almost inaudible motor, light weight.
Cons:
Too soon to tell

Compared this new lens to new Sigma 28-70 EX DG and new Canon 18-55 kit lens. The target was a bookshelf, lots of fine print. The Canon 28-105 had better resolution and contrast at 28, 50 and 70mm than the Sigma at both f5.6 and f8. The Sigma is a real dissapointment at f2.8-5.6 at the 50mm focal length and doesn't sharpen up until f8. At 70 mm both the Canon and Sigma were comparable at the center af f5.6,f8, but again, the field edge was clearly better with the Canon. I returned the Sigma. The kit lens was comparable to the 28-105 at 28mmf8 but couldn't hold up at f5.6. The most pronounced differences were noted at the edge of the field at all focal lengths and apertures. While the kit lens can show good sharpness in the center, it's weakness is the field edge and this isn't helped much even at f8.

haven't compared it to my Canon 50f1.4 yet but my quick estimate is that it will not be too far behind in resolution.

A good purchase

Denton


Dec 20, 2005
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kramretsel
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Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: focus smooth & fast. contrast is nice too..
Cons:
soft at 105mm but still acceptable..

just bought this lens and i haven't really tried it seriously but i took a couple of shots and i was very satisfied with the result. a must have for all beginners like me.


Dec 14, 2005
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Daniel.B
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Registered: Nov 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 460
Review Date: Dec 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: FAST usm, quiet autofocus, sharp as a tack, light, price, and did i say quiet?!
Cons:
little lower appature would be better

i bought this lense to replace my kit lense. and was AMAZED at how quiet and speedy it autofocused on my 10D. overall i would highly recommend this lense to anyone. but i would recommend buying the lense hood for it. very occasionally it gets small glare.

Dec 13, 2005
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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
122 313126 Sep 26, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $216.72
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.31
9.02
8.4
ef_28-105_35


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