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.com.


View of the lens on the Canon 100D

View of the lens on the camera Canon 100D

Сonclusion

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... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 95, on the topic: Review of Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM

  • Alexander

    Another example photo with this lens.

    • Alexander

      Beautiful frame, like the place itself.

  • Alexander

    Ibid.

  • Ruslan

    For a beginner or just on vacation, it’s a good option and if there is only one lens, of course, it will not cover all the focal lengths, somewhere there will not be enough latitude of the angle, somewhere it will not reach, but in most cases it is quite enough and even more than enough, for example, 18- 85 if Canon did that with STM. He photographs the flowers at the long end well, the background blurs beautifully, the barrel at the short end is almost invisible, the texture conveys well, the depth of field is good, but it’s not real glass and you should not expect razor sharpness from it, and then generally the farther from The photographer’s subject is all the less sharp will the small details. When buying a lens, you can definitely choose from several, since there are more successful instances and not very good ones.
    But the Canon 100D, well, take a year off and quickly merge with the lens, and protect the carcass from overheating, the carcass is made very well, so the whale lens for the Canon 100D itself.

    • Paul

      Will the Canon 1100d overheat too? (I haven't noticed this yet). While I will probably use 1100d, I will accumulate over time and aim at 760d for now, but I think by that time the case will be finished (and Arkady will review it), but for now I liked the screen and control - like a pro ... we will wait and look at prices ;-)

  • anonym

    This lens also has a feature called by Arkady as “Parfocal Lens Effect”
    Focusing is supported when zooming. On 650D it is not audible how it works. The effect can be controlled by the focus confirmation point in the VI. You can also focus in AF mode, then switch to MF.

  • AlexRo

    A review of 18-135 IS USM will be?

  • Valentine

    Good evening!
    Once I had a chance to take a photo with such an asset, I don’t remember, what is the model of the bui chi insha, ale me have come to such an asset, and the photo bullets are just miracles.

  • Stas

    Good day! If it’s not difficult, please explain to a novice photographer why it is so difficult to get sharp with this lens? That is, looking at the display and focusing, it is very difficult to find the exact moment when the depth of field will be as clear as the difference between focus and defocus on the small display is almost not visible.
    On Canon 50mm 1.8, for example, there is no such problem, it just went out of focus and everything floated. I understand that the diaphragm is smaller, but this is not the point, since it closed the diaphragm to the same 4-5 and still there were no problems with 18-135.
    Sorry for the footsteps of the text. Thanks!

    • KalekseyG

      it’s about the size of the hole, it’s bigger at fifty dollars, and until 4-5.6 it closes during the shutter release. Yes, the focusing screen is not made for the manual.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There are several reasons.
      1. The depth of field is thicker and the transition of the sharpness / blur zones is more difficult to track.
      2. If you use an entry-level camera with a pentaser mirror, and not a pentaprism, then the JVI alone does not allow to distinguish between DOF. As already answered, partially the complexity of the focusing screen itself depends.
      3. The lens is darker, which visually also complicates the fine-tuning

    • Alexander

      To see the focus (red dots), one must look not in the display, but in the viewing window. Freak!

  • Michael

    I am the owner of an earlier version of this lens (the one which is 1: 3.5-5.6 IS). I am a beginner in handling a SLR camera. After some time using the lens, a probably frankly novice question arose: a couple (could not identify the pattern) in the pictures on the left side of the frame there are slight distortions in the background that are absent (in my opinion) on the right side of the edge of the frame, noticeable during a more detailed study. I would like to know whether the reason for this is lighting, the quality of the lens or carcass. An example with the most pronounced defect (as it seems to me) at the link
    https://pp.userapi.com/c840338/v840338559/8f31b/G6QXnkFynRo.jpg
    I apologize in advance for some offtopic, but I will be very grateful for the advice!

  • Rodion

    It's just chromatism, it paints half red on the one hand, and blue on the other. Where the blue merges, where the red is visible. It can be treated by shooting in raw and ticking “remove chromatic aberration” in lightroom or by using the lens profile in the native program of Canon DPP.

  • Michael

    Thank you for the hint, but in general there was a feeling that slightly blurred the edge, one of my friends said that it was worth aligning the lens. I understand, of course, that a lens for that kind of money won’t do wonders.
    By the way, if suddenly someone will be interested:
    After the purchase, I was able to compare my old version of the EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS and STM. The quality, to be honest at first glance, is very different. First of all, autofocus works on the old model, which is much (subjective assessment) slower and less tenacious. And the picture suffers from more chromatic aberrations. If suddenly someone will choose it is definitely worth paying extra and taking a newer version.

    • Valentine

      Budget zoom: typically more or less sharp in the center, sagging around the edges, even worse at the corners. At 18-24mm this trouble is often stronger. It happens that one side sags a little more than the other, but it must be carefully watched, the image you gave is very small. You won’t fix it with adjustment, and you probably shouldn’t give the lens to the bulkhead either. With a similar plot, cover the aperture more strongly. There are also aberrations, they either need to be edited in the camera or in the editor. Soapiness will be less noticeable when you increase the sharpness in the editor.

      • Michael

        Thank you! Yes, the image was small. I apologize, but the original was not at hand. But in general, I did not observe this interference in every picture, I could not establish the correlation from external factors, but there was a series of 3 dreams with a minimal change in the angle, so there this “subsidence” was different, up to imperceptible. I usually shoot landscapes on F9-11.
        By the way, can you advise on which lens for Canon 600D to focus on for landscape photography? From let's say "budget"?

        • Michael

          10-18

  • Andrei

    Hello, maybe the question is off topic but still tell me that it is better to leave two lenses canon 18-135 is (mileage 21 thousand) plus 55-250 is (brand new) or sigma 18-250 macro with a stub sort 62 filter (mileage 2 thousand .)? Carcass 650D.

  • Vadim

    Arkady, thanks for the detailed reviews! Like your blog.
    It seems to me that the time and place for testing this lens was not chosen very well (test shots). I'll explain now.
    A cloudy day, in the city ... Arkady, as far as I know, you make excellent shots anywhere, in any weather conditions. Did you film it? ;)
    Usually you go to nature))) and the photos are juicy, but here everything is so gray, dull, no sharpness. According to the link to examples with canon 70D, I liked only the macro, the rest is some kind of soap.
    After these photos, I got sick of buying 18-135 stm.
    The fact is that I also have a canon 40D and at one time I shot on kit 18-55 IS II. The photos turned out to be tolerable and I didn’t like taking portraits on him: hair, eyelashes are a little blurry. This is when compared with the fixes 50 / 1.8 IS II or 24 / 2.8 STM.
    Keith kept only because he is versatile in hiking / walking. It so happened that I sold it (18-55 IS) and did not regret it at all. From this review, I realized that 18-135 stm is optically neither better nor better than a whale.
    Now in thought: which travel lens to take. The budget is limited to 10 thousand rubles. I look at used lenses

    • Vadim

      Sorry for the flood, of course, but if 18-135 stm differs from the whale only in its “long end”, then what's the point of buying it? 18-55 you can take a used one for 2-4 thousand rubles. This one costs about 10 thousand. Doubtful advantage.

      • Michael

        Those who do not want to carry 10 lenses buy superzoom. This is the meaning

      • kotofei

        This glass was released simultaneously with the dual pixel AF series of carcasses (and was generally a whale for the 70D).
        Corresponding Canon's main idea is a universal solution for shooting video on a DSLR. The hero of the review copes with this task with a bang, its sharpness is enough for 4k shooting even. You won't see anything special in photo tasks.

    • Michael

      See Sigma-Tamron. The Boot has no lens standards for that kind of money, everyone takes off like a whale. A quality comparable to the above fixes with such a budget in the zoom is unattainable. Have to move somewhere

    • anonym

      15-85 is gorgeous in the forties, but it is significantly more expensive than your budget

    • anonym

      28-135 take not regret it

      • kotofei

        full-frame dinosaur, on crop does not make sense in every sense =) And the questioner has 40D ...

  • Vadim

    I look closely at Tamron AF 17-50 f2.8. The only thing on the long end is a little short.

  • Alexander

    Hello. Are Canon EOS 4000D Canon EF-S 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS STM and Canon 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS nano USM EF-S lenses suitable? And will the carcass reveal its full potential in these lenses?

  • Svetlana

    📸🏀 Tell me, please, is lens 18-135 suitable for shooting sports, in particular basketball?
    Thank you.

    • Michael

      Indoors no

  • Iskander

    The other day I tested this lens in a store (used in excellent condition), and so what a strange thing - at a wide angle it is very soapy, but at a maximum zoom of 135mm it is very sharp, detailing quite fits into 18MP. Is that how it should be? Kit 18-55 IS II seemed to me sharper by 18mm. Tested at 100D, on a sunny day, at 18mm around the glare on the foliage, as it were, a veil even in the center of the frame and chromate around the edges. I did not notice this on the focal 135. Is this normal for this lens?

    • Vadim

      Most likely, this is not normal. On mine there is no soap on the wide.

  • Sergei

    I bought a Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6 IS STM, but the joy was premature. Autofocus does not work at focal lengths from 18 to 50mm. What is the reason? I would be grateful for any advice.

    • Roman

      Well, we can assume that there is some kind of loop inside, which began to fray, but at long focal lengths, when the pipe is stretched, it is straightened and the contact works fine, and at a wide angle when the pipe is pulled, it is bent and the contact opens. This is a service, definitely.

      • Sergei

        Thank you

  • Vadim

    We can say this: it is doubtful to take 18 thousand cheaper on Avito 135-10STM. 10 ... 11 is the average price. So be careful.

  • Victor

    Tell me, how does this lens differ from the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 NANO IS USM?

    • Roman

      Optically - nothing. One and the same scheme. Another engine is the USM instead of the STM stepper and support for an optional adapter that allows you to control the lens zoom remotely. If this feature is not needed, then there is not much difference between STM / nano USM.

      • Victor

        Thanks. I also read that the new USM engine is even quieter and smoother.

        • Vadim

          Trust me, STM works silently. And where is even quieter ....?

  • Vladislav

    Hello. Who had or has lenses 18-135stm and 15-85 usm at the same time, share - which of them gives the best picture both in sharpness and color, in general, what is better for the perception of photography? I never found good reviews in comparing these two lenses.

  • Gennady

    please explain what is the matter? at 18 -25 mm at all four corners of the frame

  • Gennady

    why dimming at the corners of the frame at 18-30mm

  • Iskander

    I bought this lens. The instant and silent focusing is simply amazing! The case when you press the shutter, you can hear wee, but visually nothing seems to happen. But it turns out that everything has already happened, everything is already in focus!

    • Roman

      Welcome to the world of damned capitalism. They also have hot water. Bgggg.

  • Alexey

    Hello everyone, I recently bought such a lens, but it's without a lock button, is this an old model? Who knows?

    • B. R. P.

      Previous version.

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady good afternoon.
    I had a Canon 600d with 18-135mm IS, after a long time I successfully changed everything to a Canon 750d with 18-55mm STM, the last lens was already on 18-135mm STM, I bought everything in almost new condition, used from hands. I compared the laid out sources with my own ones in sharpness. And I would say that my first set, Canon 600d with 18-135mm IS, pleased me more in terms of quality and detail of images. Please advise which models of newer cameras + lens to pay attention to in a similar bundle of Canon 600d with 18-135mm IS. Thanks in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It all depends on the budget, goals and objectives

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