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

Canon Standard Zoom Lens

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

Rating Summary for the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
Construction:
85/100
Price Rating:
85/100
Image Quality:
85/100
Overall Score:
85/100
This is an "B" Quality Lens

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Lens Tech Specs

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture:

28-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Lens Construction:
16 elements in 12 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 75° - 18°
Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.5m / 1.6 ft.
Zoom System: Rotating Type
Filter Size: 72mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.1" x 3.8", 18.9 oz. / 78.4mm x 96.8mm, 540g

Lens Review

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is a wonderful Canon mid range standard zoom for the price it goes for. The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens boasts one of the larges focal length ranges of the Canon midrange standard zoom lenses. The very best thing about the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is that it is a really affordable lens and it makes for a great travel lens.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens doesn’t weigh very much, so it is a nice lens to take when you are a bit pressed for weight. The construction of the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens feels fairly solid regardless of the mainly plastic construction of the Canon lens body. It is probably fair to say that the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is of fair to good build quality.

The subject distance scale comes standard on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, which I wish was present on every Canon lens. This allows you to gauge (to a degree) how close you are to the subject you are shooting (up to about 10 feet).

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens comes standard with the powerful ring type USM (Ultrasonic Motor) drive which enables you to have lightning fast focusing, with a silent motor so you don’t scare away the wildlife. It also helps to be able to focus quickly and accurately when you don’t think conditions will permit.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is an EF mount which means that this lens will work on both Canon digital SLRs and Canon film SLRs.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens comes standard with both AF (autofocus) and MF (manual focus) modes. The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens also has Full-Time Manual Focusing which enables the photographer to focus manually even when the autofocus mode is turned on. You simply set the camera to ONE SHOT AF mode and then press the shutter button down halfway. While you have the shutter button down halfway you may turn the focus ring to focus manually. Having this function on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens will help new users avoid stripping their focus rings while doing manual focusing in and autofocus mode.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens also includes the Macro Mechanism which allows for low magnification for close-up photography. The autofocus function is also available in the macro range on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens also includes what is commonly termed “IS” or “Image Stabilizer”, which is a fairly new technology (within the last few years) Canon developed. Canon’s Image Stabilizer allows a photographer to take “hand-held” shots in almost any environment, well at least where you never thought you could take them before. The Canon Image Stabilizer on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens will allow you to shoot wildlife at the 135mm focal length on a cloudy day at 100 ISO and produce a great in-focus image. You may also have the ability to take a shot late in the evening at a shutter speed of 1/4 sec (depending on available natural light of course) to produce a clear image. Canon advertises the Canon Image Stabilizer having the ability to take a handheld shot at 3 stops less than you standard “non-IS” lens would be able to do. This particular image stabilizer mode on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens will possibly malfunction on a tripod and so it is not recommended for such use, because it is designed to reduced camera shake. The Canon image stabilizer (IS) technology is designed to eliminate or significantly reduce camera shake which is caused by the photographer on hand-held shots typically slower than a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. The Canon image stabilizer (IS) technology is generally ideal for still life (stationary subjects) photography, subjects at dusk or indoors (dimly lit), museums and other places where flash photography is not permitted and any other situation where subjects cannot be captured with a faster shutter speed. The Canon image stabilizer (IS) function will not freeze motion. It is designed to reduce camera shake, not subject movement. The Canon image stabilizer (IS) technology is amazing though and that is why it has become so desired among photographers. The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens comes with this technology which is a huge bonus to the overall value of Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

How fast is the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at each focal length? Here is the breakdown:

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at about 28-40mm will give you an f/3.5 wide open.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at about 40-52mm will give you an f/4 wide open.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at about 52-68mm will give you an f/4.5 wide open.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at about 68-85mm will give you an f/5.0 wide open.

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens at about 85-135mm will give you an f/5.6 wide open.

As you can see the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is not half bad and the wider focal lengths, but it slows down quite a bit as you hit the telephoto focal lengths. The overall speed for the price on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is nothing to shy away from. It is not a bad deal for the low price you pay.

The image quality of the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens rivals that of some Canon L-Series lenses in very bright lighting conditions. However, for the most part you will find some barrel distortion on the wide end (soft look), and also some softness in your photos at the 135mm range. You will also notice a substantial increase of noise on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens when the lighting is not ideal, and some coloration on your shadowed areas. It really will not be noticeable on the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens unless you plan on printing larger than 8 x 10 prints, and you might not see any distortion or discoloration depending on lighting conditions. The bottom line is the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is not an Canon L-Series lens and you can’t expect Canon l-series optics from anything less. You will however find the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens to be a more that adequate amateur pro lens.

All-in-all I can’t really compare the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens to a Canon L-series lens, because there is a drastic difference between the two both in price and quality, but the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens is not a bad lens to consider for the price. The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens will please you for most amateur/pro uses, but just don’t expect the best.

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