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on 26 April 2015
I love this lens. I use it on a crop sensor canon and find it an excellent walk around lens. It is a little heavy and prone to lens creep (although this can be easily solved with a lens-band). If I don't want to leave the house with a camera bag, this is the lens I put on the camera. Pictures are sharp and the colour tones are very pleasant. Focussing is fast and silent with the ultrasonic motor. The zoom felt a little loose before I added the silicone lens band but now has a nice solid feel to it. The lens has a full time manual override for focussing and the front element does not rotate making it very useful when shooting with filters.

I would recommend this as a good all round lens for crop frame or full frame Canon cameras. It is my go-to walk around lens and I suspect it will continue to be until I can afford an L-series upgrade!

I have added some photos to demonstrate the lens closed and fully extended and also where I position the silicone band to prevent unwanted lens extension. It overlaps the zoom ring but not the focussing ring (not that that would upset the lens as it has full time manual focussing override and the focussing ring does not move in autofocus mode). I hope this helps. Whilst I have moved on to bigger and more expensive glass for the majority of my work this lens is still an old favourite and I still break it out from time to time. It has descended many skislopes and other perilous places with me!
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on 23 December 2013
I hate to expand my reviews to anything more than necessary so I'll make it quick.

This is the best focal coverage one can get for Canon, only surpassed by 28-300mm (which costs some £1900), so if you do not like to juggle your lenses too much and would rather not take a dozen primes for a trip, this is the best choice if you 'just want to take photos'

The built quality is rather cheap, when pointing the lens down it would often 'slide out' resulting in maximum focal length (which does not happen that often, but still).
The vignette is visible on wide side of the lens (at least on full frame cameras), the edges are extremely blurry so one is probably best off cropping images afterwards.

Should you buy this lens?
Yes, if you want to own a zoom lens and are ready to upgrade from the kit (nothing is worse than a kit lens so you are fine here). If you are not concerned A LOT with your quality (e.g. your photos won't be printed in Vogue or National Geographic), then this is probably your best bet. The only other option is carrying 3 primes, which is handy in a studio but silly on holidays.

Should I pay 400+ for this lens?
Definitely not, save up another 100-200 and get 24-105 which is WAY superior.

Should I get it for 200-300?
Why not mate, why not.

I still like this lens but I wonder if it's not better to just go with a decent compact camera for the same price. If you must have a dslr though, that's way to go.
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on 6 October 2017
Brilliant lens for all round use. Cannon quality.
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on 7 April 2017
I was so impressed with this lens igot another to put on my 550d very very happy with the results
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on 25 June 2007
This is a fantastic lens, I'm new to serious photography but even I can tell this has been a good choice after 2 weeks. All the other lenses have felt seriously underused since this has turned up in the camera bag, perhaps apart from the 50mm Canon, which gives you a slight advantage in low light levels. If like me you feel a little hesitiation in buying a lens nearly as expensive as the original camera (400 EOS), grit your teeth and go for it, it is well worth the painful credit card bill.
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2008
This lens is probably the best buy you can make for the Canon EOS cameras. It has a fantastic range, anything from group photos to portrait close ups.

The lens is also extremly fast and quiet.

The standard lens for the 400 series is the 18-55 lens and this is very limited. Most people will then go on to buy a bigger lens, like 55-300 mm to cover the greatest range. To me this is a mistake. You will end up having to swap your lenses frequently or end up with one being unused and usually be stuck with the inadequate 18 - 55 mm. True you will probably never use the 18-55 mm lens again if you go with this one but you will also have a lens that does everything instead and won't have to make further swaps.

The 28mm - 135 mm lens is the best general purpose lens available in the EOS series and the way to go.
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on 24 January 2013
I am very much an amateur photographer, so this lens was my first venture into 'serious' lenses. It was a big step for me as it cost almost as much as the camera (a basic Canon DSLR). I really wanted a wider angle lens than this, but, after months of research, I kept coming back to this one as the reviews for it were so good.

The only negative aspect of some reviews was that the lens extends under its own weight if held upside-down, and it does - but is this really a problem? It's never really bothered me.

Other than that, the lens is absolutely superb. It's the first stabilised lens I've used and the stabilisation is very impressive, you can take excellent photos indoors without a flash quite easily, and it will even work in quite dark situations (although this is pushing the stabilising mechanism to its limit, so it can be a bit hit and miss). It also focuses very quickly and smoothly - and almost silently - again, very impressive.

The other thing about this lens which is so good is the detail of the images it produces. I have enough of a background in physics to know how lenses work, so I've never paid too much attention to claims like this, but it's true - this lens will show up detail other lenses just can't capture (and, if you're as short-sighted as me, you didn't even know was there!).

The combination of being able to work indoors without a flash and the detail of this lens means you can take really good portraits. The only downside of this is that sometimes you get too much detail - my son was less than impressed when my photos of his baby daughter showed up the new-born spots on her skin, and my wife has forbidden me from taking close-up pictures of her!

All in all, a really excellent lens, and a real revelation, if, like me, you've only bought budget lenses before.

However, having said all that, unfortunately the lens failed after just over three years of use - the autofocus stopped working altogether and the exposure became completely erratic. Even on manual focus, most of my shots were wasted as the picture was horribly over-exposed. I spent most of a long holiday having to take all my photos with a cheap telephoto lens, which was the only other lens I had with me! (Which indicates just how good his lens is - you start using it for everything, only using other lenses if you need wide-angle or long telephotos, it becomes not just your main lens, but nearly your only one.)

I have had the lens repaired, but it's sadly not as good as it once was, the autofocus hunts too much and often won't settle on a final setting - and sometimes fails altogether. I would send it back for a re-repair, but the repair was done through Jessops...

Anyway, I haven't docked any stars for this failure, as it's such a good lens it would be a shame to mark it down for what might be just an unlucky electronics failure. Plus I'm not entirely sure it wasn't me who caused it to fail - I don't treat my lenses as carefully as I should.
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on 21 May 2017
I bought this lens back in 2010 for my wife because it was the lens she wanted to use on her Canon EOS 500D in an initial foray into semi-pro photography. Now, seven years and many, many thousands of beautiful photographs later, this EF 28-135mm remains her main lens. In fact, despite having access to several 'L' lenses, this lens is rarely, if ever, off her camera. I think that is quite a testament to its quality and reliability.
The lens' features are well known, of course, but I can vouch for the fact that autofocus and IS function perfectly and the optics are as clear and clean as they ever were. The focus and zoom rings turn firmly and smoothly and there is not and never has been even a hint of lens creep.
We have found that for most applications, most of the time, on either APS-C or full-frame cameras, this lens is perfectly adequate - as has been proved by the results it has produced. We, of course, use other lenses for shots that require them, but as a general lens to have on the camera this lens is hard to beat - and in fact for my wife it demotes our EF 24-105L into second place as a back-up lens - at any rate she is more comfortable using the EF 28-135 lens. For all these reasons, not least usefulness and reliability, I am happy to give this lens five stars and to class it as 'highly recommended.'
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 September 2011
So there is a good chance you have arrived here in your search for that all-illusive "walk around" one lens fits all quest, like I did. If so, you need look no further.

I have used this lens now on my Canon 550D and then 60D for several years and have been very pleased with it. I have results like I simply could not have managed with the EF-S 18 - 55 kit lens, or for that matter my EF-S 55 - 250 lens.

Nice sharp pictures, decent low light performance and pretty fast, accurate auto focus.

The main gripe I have is as mentioned by others; the lens will creep if you point it downwards. I use mine with the Canon lens hood and this does not help matters. Rarely an issue but it is there, and for that reason it cannot be a 5 star in my mind.

Has not left my camera since I got it just about, it really does cover most of the bases, most of the time, and for this money it is a very worthy addition to your kit bag.

UPDATE: I have been using this lens for a few years now and have taken thousands of pictures on both the 550D and now a Canon 60D and it is still my most used lens. A real step up from the 55-250 kit lens and if you cannot afford or do not want to spend the extra for an L series lens this really is still a great lens. Aside from the lens creep it has proven itself to be a solid performer for me and has taken some very good pictures.
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on 7 July 2011
This was my first true IS lens, and my first USM one too. For that, you get some quick focusing, and the ability to shoot at slow shutter speeds (I can quite happily HAND-HELD shoot at 1/8th second and get sharp results, even at the full 135mm)

The focusing is a lot better than any standard Micro Motor focusing, but it isn't always accurate on this lens. It may just be the camera I am using (Canon EOS 1000D). The lens will hunt, and thus the whole field of view will adjust, and the lens gets confused as the part I want to focus on is constantly moving around during the focusing. Centre shot focusing helps quite a bit though.

The main issue is with the zoom collar. The zoom is fairly smooth, but the lens is very front-heavy. If you point the lens down, it will fall down to 100mm. If you look up, it will shoot back to 28mm. Not a problem if you're constantly holding the lens, but having a more stable zoom would be nicer. Not all the time is it feasable to be holding onto the lens... I've done shots where I am having to hold onto a railing or something and look up/down at quite some attitude, and the zoom slipping is an issue.

The lens hood is not supplied, but is worthwhile having. It's a shame that Canon don't supply it with the lens as many other manufacturers do.

Pound for pound, it's a great lens and it is my new walk-about lens. I otherwise have an 18-55, 50mm and 70-300, but this lens easily covers all of those magnification ranges, and it is great to compose with. The focus and IS makes it incredibly useful, and this increases sharpness, so cropping (to achieve the effective 300mm of my other lens) is not a problem. I took it on a 3-week long holiday to South Africa, and despite having 3 other lenses, I barely touched them. This did the job of all of them.

So yeah, it's a very good lens. Not superb, and not without fault, but the faults are easy enough (in most circumstances) to get around. Weather sealing would be a massive bonus, but this should definately be the first or second lens that you buy.
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