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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2007
I'm relatively new to amateur photography, and bought this lens after TRAWLING through (i think) every single review available. Three months down the line, and I'm unbelievably glad I spent the time I did researching a lens that I wanted as a decent 'walkaround'.

Focus lock is very quick and accurate - only a couple of times photographing very similar tones in low light has the lens lens suffered, but any lens in the same situation would do the same. The lens actually focuses a second time after the initial lock to get very sharp pictures. It also features FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing which I've found particularly useful.

The lens is certainly heavier than the standard 18-55 EF-S kit lens, but more than light enough to carry around all day. The construction feels very solid - the lens barrel is plastic, while the metal mount gives the lens a hugely firm and professional feel.

I've found one of the two great things about this lens is the Image Stabilisation (IS). I've used the lens a few times to photograph bands where flash photography is banned (or frowned upon), and it's come up trumps. Anywhere in even slightly low light and it has proven invaluable in keeping my handheld images sharp. Go into a camera shop, find any Canon lens with IS and take comparison shots with it turned on and off. Honestly; you'll see what I mean.

The other is the focal length. 28mm is more than handy for landscape shots (in any case you can stitch together the shots on your computer after), and having the zoom go through to 135mm is perfect for portraits and places where you need that extra reach. I think it's best suited as a walkaround lens - especially when taken travelling.

One of the downsides I've found to the lens, though, is the lack of lock on the lens barrel itself. When the camera is pointing in a downward position, the lens can creep which is frustrating. Especially annoying when I have the lens on my tripod pointing to the floor. Grr.

Other than that, I can really see nothing to complain about the 28-135 IS USM. The IS is a dream; the images are sharper than I think the price tag warrants; the USM is silent as a mouse; focusing is quick; the focal range is excellent (but then of course that depends on what you want the lens for!!); and the variable aperture range (f/3.5-5.6) is decent enough for the majority of uses.

I'm not a professional, so distortion and vignetting etc are beyond me. There are some very good review of this lens splattered all over the Web for that kind of detail.

I'm fantastically happy with this lens, and firmly believe it'll always be a part of my camera bag as my years and experience roll on! Happy buying...
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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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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 13 March 2005
Although a photographer will generally accept having to spend a little more for a good wide angle or zoom lens, many will make do with the standard mid-range zoom lens which comes with their camera. This lens in my view proves that to be a less than brilliant choice, as it is a superbly specified and well-built built mid-range lens which is quite affordable (particularly against the L-series offerings) and therefore a great lens for anyone's collection.
So what does this lens deliver which others do not? Well, for one thing it has a wide zoom range - 28mm at its widest and 135mm at maximum zoom. This means that for much of the time you do not need to keep on changing the lens with other lenses in your arsenal. Certainly architecture and portrait shots are perfectly covered with this lens and even landscapes and wildlife subject to what you are trying to frame tend to be handled fairly well.
It uses Canon's USM technology making focus incredibly fast - very useful when following fast moving objects. This was the first lens I bought with USM and is something I would not go without for any other lens from now on.
The Image Stabiliser allows you to take photos at slower shutter speeds than would normally be possible due to camera shakes (as a rough guide it seems to allow an extra 2 fstops on your aperture). This works by in essence floating the glass elements with the lens body to counter camera shake... it does sound a little odd but works remarkably well and from my experience Canon has done a better job on this than any other lens provider for the Canon EF mount.
The build quality of the lens is also something to be admired. It feels like a professional lens (in part due to it being quite large and heavy, a result of its wide range and high glass quality) and I like the fact that I can manually adjust the focus ring on the lens without being forced to switch the lens from auto to manual.
For my own use. I have tended to use this on a digital camera (300D / Digital Rebel) with a 1.6x optical magnification making it equivalent to a 40mm - 215mm lens. Although this might seem slightly on the high side of an ideal mid-range the fact that it works for both my digital camera (with an EF-S mount) and my film camera (EF mount) means that I would not consider any EF-S equivalent.
That said, the only downside is that I do sometimes wish the wide angle of the lens reached to 24, as with a digital camera I often find myself wanting to shoot in the 24-28mm range which allowing for optical magnification is equivalent to circa 40mm in old money.
So to conclude... well, just buy it - for me it provides a superb quality lens offering a great optical range, high quality glass and the various other features essential for everyday photography for the professional and amateur alike.
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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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TOP 500 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 12 June 2009
I purchased a 28 - 135 mm Canon lens. I wanted a lens that would cover most of the situations that I would use in wedding photography. I have used this lens with the filter and hood and I have been very pleased with the results and ease of use. Highly recommended
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on 22 May 2008
I purchased this lens to replace the kit lens on my 400D. It is perfect. Brilliant shots, IS is amazing, nice zoom range (about 5.5x), great for everyday use! No regrets!
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on 17 October 2011
I bought this lens hoping it would be a general purpose lens upgrade from the kit lens (18-55mm IS) on my Canon 500D. It's a reasonable lens for the price, but has good and bad points.

On the positive side, it feels much more sturdy than the kit lens (as expected when comparing a full frame lens to an EF-S), and the extra focal length at the long end is handy. Image quality is fine up to 100mm or so, especially in good light when stopped down; the IS is useful but not as effective as more recent versions. However, on the downside, focussing can be a bit hit and miss, it gets very soft towards 135mm, and its low light capability is nothing to speak about.

Overall, it is a step up in quality from the basic lens, is a bit more versatile and is not bad value for money, but I suggest thinking hard about whether you can afford to spend a bit more when upgrading (e.g. on the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8, which I have tried and it is fantastic). I'm going to keep trying to get the best out of this lens, maybe I'll come to love it!
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on 22 January 2008
When I got my Canon 40D it was 'Body only' so I had to give some serious thought as to what lens I was going to use. I knew quite early on that I coudn't afford the "L" Series lenses so my budget was restricted and ultimately wanted a lens that would give the the widest range and quality for my restricted budget. Give the 1.6 factor on the 40D sensor, the 28-135 was going to be equivalent to 44.8 - 216. Perhaps not too ideal for wide angle but quite reasonable for zoom. The lens aperture was perhaps a little limiting for the poor UK lighting but the Image Stabilising and USM focussing are really good. My honest opinion is that until I can afford the L series, this lens is one of the best options around for a general purpose lens.
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