Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

For the provided Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, many thanks to Dmitry Mikhailov.

Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

The Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM is a pretty versatile 7,5X zoom lens for cropped cameras that support Canon EF-S lenses. Canon 18-135mm STM belongs to the new line of Canon STM lenses. STMSTepper Motor is a stepper focusing motor that enables smooth, quiet and fast focusing. STM technology is very important when shooting video where its positive qualities are required. STM lenses will work as efficiently as possible only on new modern cameras with hybrid focusing systems starting from Canon 650D. Although on my old Canon 350D and Canon 40D the lens functions remarkably.

One of the features of the Canon 18-135mm STM, and other similar lenses, is the electronic focus ring, which is not directly related to the mechanical focusing system. Personally, I am not a big fan of the electronic ring, the shortcomings of which are described in detail by me in the review. Canon Lens EF 40mm 1: 2.8 STM... However, the electronic focus ring on the Canon 18-135mm STM gives smooth focusing, which is important when shooting video. The focusing ring, in contrast to the zoom ring, is non-rubberized.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM with the most extended trunk (135 mm)

Focusing is fast, although, of course, you should not expect an instant response from the Canon 18-135mm STM. The lens focuses silently with an 'AF / MF' focus mode switch on the barrel. The closest focusing distance at 135mm focal length is only 39cm, which allows macro shooting at 1: 3.6 magnification. This is not the best performance for a zoom lens like this, but the Canon 18-135mm STM nevertheless allows for close-up photography of small objects.

What I don't like about STM lenses is the lack of full-time constant manual focus control (the so-called FTM mode  - Full Time Manual Focusing). FTM is only available when using the 'One shot' and 'AI Focus' focusing method and only when the focus button is pressed. FTM is also available in Live View (including when shooting video) with any selected focus method. FTM does not work when using 'AI Servo' method.

Focusing is internal; the front lens does not rotate when zooming. The lens trunk consists of just one section. It's just a pity that when the focal length is changed, the rear lens of the lens moves like a pump and drives air in the middle of the lens (the so-called 'vacuum cleaner effect'). The zoom ring rotates smoothly. The lens trunk on the sample from this review does not spontaneously fall out. Just in case, you can find a 'Lock' focal length on the case at 18mm.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

The built-in stabilizer is very quiet and performs its function just fine. The stabilizer is switched on and off with the 'Stabilizer ON / OFF' switch. Considering the quiet autofocus and the quiet gimbal, the Canon 18-135mm STM shouldn't create unnecessary sounds in movies. It's a good thing that each new technology creates quieter, more compact and faster lenses.

Of course, it is a pity that the Canon 18-135mm STM has a mediocre aperture with a maximum value of F/3.5@18mm and F/5.6@135mm. Aperture closes to F / 36 @ 135mm and F / 22 @ 18mm. The diaphragm consists of 7 rounded petals.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

EGF The Canon 18-135mm STM is 29-216mm, which should be enough for a wide variety of photography tasks.

The lens is assembled in Taiwan, and assembled well - nothing backlash and I did not find anything to complain about. The mount is metal, the diameter of the front filter is 67 mm. The lens comes with a small plastic Canon EW-73B hood. The hood can be attached to the lens backwards and the focus ring is not easily accessible. Canon 18-135mm STM weighs almost 500 g, the camera with it turns out to be weighty, and on the camera the lens looks much nicer than the standard one Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS II.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

The image quality did not bribe me personally. Canon 18-135mm STM - creates pleasant images with good sharpness, which is sometimes noticeably lacking, but nothing else, from a modern universal lens with a small apertureand not to be expected. Also - there is distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration (especially around the edges of the image). The image quality of the older version - Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS (not STM) is said to be noticeably inferior to the newer version of 'STM'.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 570 MB, 47 photos. When shooting was used protective filter Hoya Pro1 Digital 67mm MC UV [0] Made in Japan. You can find more sample photos on this lens in Canon 70D Review.

More examples of photos (with processing) for this lens for Radozhiva kindly provided Alexander Frolov.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Enlightenment of the front lens Canon EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

Lens prices in popular stores can look at this link, or in the price block below:

An accurate and complete list of all original Canon EF-S lenses is available see here.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

View of the lens on the Canon 100D

View of the lens on the camera Canon 100D


Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM for its money is a good standard universal lens, it is much better in certain tasks'whale'lenses of class 18-55 / 3,5-5,6. Such a lens is suitable as one and only lens for many not very difficult photo tasks :)

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 97, on the topic: Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

  • Paul

    Good review, senks.

    • Artem

      I agree.
      an excellent lens by the way, although some people do not like it, such as a whale, a whale, and took second place -
      YES, kit, but awesomely comfortable, stabilizer again. autofocus flies away, fast and silent, it’s most useful for video.

  • d.martyn

    Yes, an excellent glass for a novice kenonist, I recommend taking it first instead of 18-55. At work there is one, for every day it is the same, but for a "serious" photo will not always go. IMHO: slightly inferior in the picture to Nikonovsky 18-105, but better assembled.

    • Ronin427

      And I still can’t think of why such a strong zoom ... IMHO, it would be better if the analogue of whale 18–55, but with better quality and without HA. (^ __ ^)

  • Ivan

    I used to look closely at this lens, still at the old model without STM, but I didn’t buy it, all these super-ultra-mega zooms cannot give normal quality, as a result I took 70-250, which, in principle, was satisfied.

  • anonym

    Nikon's analogue 18-135 will be better !!!

    • Fallen

      It has a huge problem - it won't fit Canon.

    • Alexander

      There are both. Nikonovsky 18-135 sharp on open on any focal. Kenovsky 18-135 inferior in detail but it is much more interesting.

  • anonym

    2 Ivan: 70-250 - Canon does not have such a lens, there is 55-250 IS (II) and a new STM

  • Ivan

    I apologize 70-300, more precisely Canon EF 70-300mm f / 4-5.6 IS USM

    • anonym

      FF on a cropped camera will give 1,6 times large focal lengths, i.e. Your EF 70-300 is equivalent to 112-480 on the crop, which means that the short end 112 is slightly less than the long on the lens from the EF-S 18-135 review. In fact, you already have a super-telephoto camera and you, at a minimum, need to have a second lens to close this hole in the focal. Correct if I am in some way wrong.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        The EGF of the Canon 18-135mm STM is 29-216 mm, so the speculators were a little speculative.

        • Sergei

          The Canon 18-135mm lens is designed for crop cameras, so no recalculation of focal lengths is required. 18-135 in this case is 18-135.

  • Kirill

    In one of the photos in the photographer’s hands is a d7000 and a lens with a red ring. Is this really something of the canon?

  • Sergei

    razor sharpness appears after F8, maybe it's just me? ((

    • Igor

      Sergey and I have it quite sharp. And before F8, everything is not bad!

  • Sergei

    Well, not that it’s bad, it’s a little soap.

  • Stanislas

    Repair of lenses in Moscow

  • Andron

    I use the Canon 18-135mm STM on the Canon 700d to shoot video. pleased with the work of autofocus, there is no noise at all.

  • alexey

    good day. Arkady, tell me, is it possible to use this lens with a Canon 550d, if so, what is the difference from using with a Canon 650d. thank you in advance.

  • Oleg

    Thanks! Explain the review and examples of photos - just saw what you need!
    I decided to buy a canon 7d for a carcass.

  • Sergei

    Please tell me, this lens will not work with macro rings?
    I mean the trick. Will you need a macroscope with a function (autofocus) right?
    Or will it be possible to focus with the simple ones?

  • Sergei

    And in response, silence ...

  • Anton

    If the macro rings are autofocus, then there will be.

  • anonym

    I would like advice on how justified it is to take this lens for a bunch
    EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM + EF-S 55-250mm f / 4-5.6 IS STM
    or still quite comparable in quality to
    EF-S 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM + EF-S 55-250mm f / 4-5.6 IS STM, which will definitely be cheaper?
    Thank you

    • Vladimir

      18-135mm STM is preferred as it is slightly sharper than the 18-55mm STM
      Plus, the ability to shoot portraits at the long end.
      But overall the room is very dark. Need an external flash.

  • Roman

    Be sure to vibrate up to Canon 600d. May 50mm. 1.8. Select Canon 18-135 mm or Sigma 18-200. Tell me more beautifully.

    • Vladimir

      Tamron 17-50 f / 2.8 or Sigma 17-50 f / 2.8
      Both must be fired at by a target before buying. Since low quality.

  • Egeny

    Good day. I have been using this lens in the Canon 650d for a year now. There are no complaints about the assembly. The quality of the video is beyond praise. The photo is also quite satisfied as a staffer for many cases. Generally sound for beginners (and not only).

  • Lena

    Please tell me, is macro photography with this lens and canon 70D possible? If so, how, I tried to take a close flower, it doesn’t work ((

  • Ivan

    another piece of plastic from Canon. cannot or do not want to make normal glass, that is the question ...

    • Yuriy75

      This lens is designed for amateur use, I do not think that someone will use it for more than five years. Therefore, to make an eternal metal lens with not particularly outstanding characteristics makes no sense. Glass is excellent for its class and purpose and price, I dream to buy it. Many thanks to Arkady for the review.

  • Alexander

    But on my trunk there is a lot of backlash, when you walk you feel with your stomach how it taps in the lens. In the store, the sellers were very surprised at such a backlash, and in the authorized service they said that this was the norm. Well, it's hard to believe about razor sharpness ... So if autofocus is not needed for video, it is better L-ku 24-105 take it is not much more expensive.

  • Eugene

    I have been using this lens for a year and a half, no complaints. From the beginning on the canon 650D, and the last half year on the canon 70D. On 70d I adjusted autofocus with the reikan focal program - it turned out to be a very good combination (glass + carcass). I recommend it as a staff member!

  • Sveta

    Thanks for your fotomysl!
    Oh, I need advice, I have a 600D with the lens described above, is there any reason to take the Canon EF 40mm 1: 2.8 STM, as a portrait?
    I also considered the Canon EF 28mm F1.8 USM option, but you do not have it in the review, so I would like to ask for advice on the EF 40mm 1: 2.8. Would it be sewn to soap? can the Canon EF-S 18-135mm handle portraits in the same way as the EF 40mm 1: 2.8?
    Or, all the same, only the aperture ratio will play its role in the difference in shots?

    Thank you in advance for your response!

    • Mikhail Kursk

      Svetlana. Take for portraits better canon at 50 mm or 85 mm. I have 50 mm 1.4 at 600d and 40d. If the light falls correctly, then the portraits are wonderful. I clamp the aperture to 2.2-2.5, otherwise it's hard to get into focus. Sometimes I dabble in our Jupiter 9 and Jupiter 37a, the results, if you get into focus, are very good. Ef 40 for portraits just do not take.

  • Alexander

    These photos were taken by me on the island of Papua during a business trip. A month before, I just bought a new Canon EOS 70D with a Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM. Since this is my first camera of this level, I am 200% satisfied with it. Now we are planning to purchase a lens at a higher level. Thanks to the author for helpful articles and reviews. I am sure that they are very helpful to ordinary amateur photographers like me. Photography is a really great pleasure and a hobby that I started doing back in the 80s.

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