Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

rate 4.3
  • Brand: Canon
  • Category: Cameras Lenses

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  • 28-135mm standard zoom lens with f/3.5-5.6 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras
  • Delivers sharp, natural-looking pictures in dim lighting without requiring flash or tripod
  • Ring-type USM adjustment system for swift, silent autofocusing and full-time manual focus
  • Close focusing distance of 20 inches; 75- to 18-degree diagonal angle of view
  • Measures 3.1 inches in diameter and 3.8 inches long; weighs 18.9 ounces; 1-year warranty

Technical Details

Focal Length 28 - 135 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/3.5 - 5.6
Minimum: f/22 - 36
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Canon (APS-C)
Angle of View 76° - 18°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.64' (50 cm)
Magnification 0.19x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:5.2
Groups/Elements 12/16
Diaphragm Blades 6
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Tripod Collar No
Filter Thread 72 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.1 x 3.8" (7.87 x 9.65 cm)
Weight 1.19 lb (540 g)



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The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens is a compact and lightweight standard zoom lens that offers superior optical performance, plus a built-in Image Stabilizer. The IS system reduces the possibility of blurred photographs caused by camera shake, which allows for handheld photography in comparatively dim light without a flash or tripod. At the wideangle end of the zoom range, the equivalent shutter speed gain is approximately 1.5 stops while at the telephoto end, it is approximately 2 stops.

Sample Image



In addition, the lens has a USM drive mechanism for faster and quieter AF operation, and the pulse control diaphragm (EMD) ensures precise aperture control.

The IS system is composed of a pair of gyro sensors to detect vertical and horizontal motion and a microprocessor that compensates for it by shifting special lens elements in parallel with the perceived movement.
The internal focusing mechanism allows the front of the lens to remain stationary and to easily accommodate specialty filters, such as polarizing filters.


T. Hladish "gecko13" 5.0
2,436 of 2,463 people found the following review helpful
I bought this lens four years ago and have shot around 6,000 photos with it (4000 digital, 2000 35mm). Autofocus is very fast and quiet, which is typical of the Canon USM lenses. I would not recommend a Canon lens that does not have the ultrasonic motor (USM) focusing. Optics are sharp throughout the focusing range.The lens is fairly heavy and after a few months of use, you will likely find that the weight of the glass is enough to make the lens telescope out when it's around your neck. If y ... ou want a compact lens that will let you take great pictures in a wide range of settings, this is probably the best lens you could get for a Canon camera. If you're a pro, you'll probably have a backpack full of lenses and you're not reading this anyway, so I'm not talking to you. If you want something you can sling over your shoulder and not think about when you take the kids to Disney World, get a cheaper, lighter lens.The Image Stabilizer (IS) makes the lens a lot more expensive (some lenses are offered with and without it), so you should know what you're paying for. Some notes about the Image Stabilizer: - The image stabilizer itself is basically a spinning lens element (piece of glass) that acts as a gyroscope. When the lens moves slightly, such as camera shake caused by your pulse, the gyroscopic element stays put while the other elements move. Because the gyroscopic element is no longer in line with the other elements, it effectively bends the light just enough to compensate for the lens moving. - Having the IS feature does not mean that you can take crisp photos with a 1/20 sec exposure while jumping on a trampoline. What it means is that you can often get away with not carrying a tripod in normal lighting, and in low light when your photos would be very blurry (assuming you're not using really fast film), the IS will make the images significantly less blurry. An obvious corollary is that you can avoid using a flash in many situations when a flash is undesirable or prohibited. - The rule of thumb to get crisp photos without image stabilization is that your shutter speed should not be longer than 1 over your focal length. So if you are taking a picture zoomed in at 135mm, your shutter speed needs to be 1/135 sec or faster, and since no camera I know of has a 1/135 setting, that means going up to 1/160 sec (on cameras with stops in 1/3 increments) or faster. The image stabilizer means that you can go 2 f-stops slower than you normally could using the rule I just explained. So if you're shooting at 135mm and you have the IS switched on, you can shoot at 1/40 sec instead of 1/160 sec. That means four times as much light goes past the shutter, or that you can get the same quality results with 1/4 of the ambient light you would normally need. - There are some times when you SHOULD NOT use the IS feature. You should definitely not use it if you are in a car, on a roller coaster, if you are walking, or in any other situation where the camera is moving or vibrating a lot. You will get blurrier than normal images because the gyroscopic element is constantly moving all over the place, trying to prevent the image from moving. Only have IS switched on when you are using the camera in a normal, stationary, handheld manner. You should also not use IS when you are using a tripod, or when you have the camera resting on a vibration-less surface for an image. The reason is that the gyroscopic element will be spinning even though it's not needed, and while this isn't really bad, the motion could decrease photo quality (I've never noticed this, but this is what Canon claims), and it is unnecessarily using battery power. - Finally, not all of Canon's IS lenses use the same IS technology; many of the more expensive and newer lenses are better, but it was hard enough for me to come up with what this lens cost--it'll be awhile before I can rationalize three times as much for an upgrade. One last note about third-party lenses, in case you're thinking about it. I know the price may be compelling but there genuinely does seem to be major quality differences, and while all Canon EOS lenses work will all Canon EOS cameras, no matter how many years apart they are in design, it has happened several times that even the best of the third party lenses (Sigma, some others) do not function properly with new Canon cameras. I happily buy knock-offs with other things, but not with lenses, flashes, or other camera components that actually communicate with my camera. More >
Andrew Simmons 5.0
520 of 531 people found the following review helpful
While I considered purchasing a Canon 10D, I also started looking for a good first lens. Most of the reviewers and Canonites on the various forums suggested this lens as a good starting point.The 28-135mm IS USM Zoom is the one I use all the time now on the Canon 10D, and that will be the case until I get over the sticker shock of the 10D/28--135mm combo and start adding other lenses to my kit.In the meantime, this lens gets the job done very well. It gives you good range for a variety of of s ... hots, from portraits to telephotos. There is even a macro mode, which gives you the opportunity to do close-ups--not really a true macro, but okay for shots of flowers, your kitty cat's face, etc. It is the flexibility of this lens that makes it so appealing if all you have is just one lens. And remember that if you mount this lens on a digital camera, like the 10D, the range is actually extended by a factor of 1.6.The USM focuses fast, and the Image Stabilization (IS) really works. In fact, I've been spoiled by it, and IS is now a must for any of the longer lenses I might purchase in the future. The IS system "locks" on target so that camera shake is eliminated or at least seriously minimized. This means fewer shots ruined by camera shake, and the IS system allows the user to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds. This isn't just advertising hype. It works. The image quality is quite good. I get good color saturation, contrast, and sharpness. After tweaking some shots in Photoshop, I was able to turn out some excellent 13x19 inch prints. As others have pointed out, if you are just starting out with a Canon DSLR or SLR and want one good general purpose lens, this is it. As of August 2008 I have sold this lens because I have moved on to Canon "L" glass, but the EF 28-135 is still a great lens to start with if you are just beginning to learn photography. More >
A. Johnston 5.0
288 of 293 people found the following review helpful
Dollar-for-dollar, this is the best consumer-grade Canon lens available. The focal-length makes it a great walk-around lens. The onboard Image Stabilization allow for crisp zoom shots without a tripod. If your hands shake a lot, this lens will help overcome that.On the flip side, I found the Macro option provides a really startling level of detail up close. I also found the combination of the f3.5 and Image Stabilization to be of great use in low-light, indoor shooting where flash is prohibited. ... It's a fairly fast-focusing lens, too.Even though I have upgraded to an L-series lens, the 28-135 is still a personal favorite. Considering it is 1/3 the price of an L-series lens, I cannot find a single fault with it. Anyone looking for a general-purpose lens for under $500 to compliment their Canon Digital Rebel, Rebel XT, 10D or 20D has found it here. More >