Canon 18-135mm

EF-S Nano USM IS (2016-)

Sample Images   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specifications   Accessories   USA Version

Performance   Usage   Recommendations

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Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon EF-s 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (67mm filters, 18.2 oz./515g, 1.3'/0.4m close focus, about $599). bigger. I got mine at B&H. I'd also get it at Adorama, at Amazon, or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, non-USA, store demo or used lens. Get yours only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

January 2018   Canon Reviews   Canon Lenses   Canon Flash   All Reviews

 

Sample Images

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Zoey and Sofie riding in back of Stomper

Zoey and Sofie riding in the back seat, 14 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 35mm at f/4.5 at 1/50 at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Orange drone against green background

Instant autofocus: Ryan's orange drone, 31 December 2017. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 91mm at f/5.6 at 1/250 at Auto ISO 160, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Spanish Tile

Spanish Tile, 01 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 62mm at f/8 at 1/200 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution or camera-original © file.

 

Cactus

Cactus, 14 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 79mm at f/16 at 1/50 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Sky Mural

Sky Mural, 14 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 18mm at f/3.5 at 1/13 at ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution or camera-original © file.

Note that there is very little in focus at this large (f/3.5) aperture.

 

Orange Golf Clubhouse

Golf Clubhouse, 14 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 50mm at f/8 at 1/200 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Power Pole against blue sky

Power Pole against Blue Sky, 14 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 121mm at f/8 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Pot image

Weird Art Thing on Concrete, 18 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 71mm at f/8 at 1/640 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

Sharp enough?

 

Roof Tiles

Red Roof Tiles against Blue Sky, 18 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 135mm wide-open at f/5.6 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Palm Trunk

Palm Trunk, 18 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 59mm at f/11 at 1/100 at ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution or camera-original © file.

Sharp enough?

 

Introduction

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Compatibility   Specs   Accessories   USA Version

Performance   Usage   Recommendations

New   Good   Bad   Missing

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Crutchfield

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

This 18-135mm Nano USM lens is magnificent, with instantaneous autofocus, ultra-close macro focussing and great optical performance covering an ideal do-everything zoom range. This could be the only lens you need for everything for your Canon APS-C camera.

Canon has made three different EF-S 18-135mm IS lenses, differing mostly in how fast they focus. This newest (2016-) Nano USM version is the fastest-focussing and best. It snaps focus between far and near with no perceptible delay.

The older 18-135mm STM (2012-2018) was also an excellent lens, with fast, but not instantaneous, autofocus.

The original 18-135mm (2009-) was an excellent lens, but its autofocus makes a little bit of sound, you have to move a switch back and forth to go between auto and manual focus, and the zoom range between 18mm and 24mm is cramped on the zoom ring.

 

New

Nano USM focus motor for instantaneous autofocus.

 

Good

Great optical quality.

Instantaneous autofocus.

Small.

Light.

Perfect zoom range to cover just about everything.

Super-close macro focus.

Reasonably priced.

 

Bad

Nothing.

 

Missing

Nothing, unless you're expecting a focus lock button.

 

Format

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Performance   Usage   Recommendations

This is only for Canon APS-C cameras. It won't mount on any full-frame camera.

 

Compatibility

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Compatibility   Specs   Accessories   USA Version

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This EF-S lens mounts only on Canon's APS-C DSLRs. It won't fit Canon's full-frame cameras.

It work flawlessly on every Canon APS-C DSLR, except the very oldest 10D from 2003, the D60 from 2002 and the D30 from 2000. It works great on the original Digital Rebel from 2003 and every other Canon APS-C DSLR.

It works on Canon's mirrorless EOS-M cameras, but only if you use the EOS-M adapter.

It won't mount on any Canon full-frame or 35mm camera.

 

Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.

 

Specifications

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Name

Canon calls this the Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.

    EF: Electronic Focus, as all Canon's lenses have been since 1987.

    -S: Only fits Canon's APS-C DSLRs.

    IS: Image Stabilization.

    USM: Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor.

 

Optics

Canon 18-135mm USM internal construction

Canon 18-135mm USM internal construction. UD, Image Stabilizer and Aspherical elements.

16 elements in 12 groups.

One UD extra-low dispersion element, which helps reduce secondary axial chromatic aberration.

One aspherical element.

Multicoated.

The focus is electronically compensated as zoomed; the camera needs to be on for it to stay in focus as zoomed.

 

Diaphragm

Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon 18-135mm IS USM (EF diaphragm not visible). bigger.

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22-38.

 

Focal Length

18~135mm.

When used on Canon's APS-C cameras, it sees the same angle of view as a 28~200mm lens sees when used on a full-frame or 35mm camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angles of View

74.3º ~ 11.5º diagonal.

64.5º ~ 9.5º horizontal.

45.5º ~ 6.3º vertical.

 

Autofocus

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.

 

Focus Scale

No.

 

Infinity Focus Stop

No.

 

Depth of Field Scale

No.

 

Reproduction Ratio Scale

No.

 

Infrared Focus Index

No.

 

Close Focus

1.3 feet (0.4 meters).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:3.6 (0.28 ×).

 

Image Stabilizer

Rated 4 stops improvement.

 

Caps

Canon E-67II front cap, included.

Canon EOS "E" rear cap, included.

 

Filters

Plastic 67mm filter thread.

 

Hood

EW-73D, not included.

 

Case

LP1116, not included.

 

Size

3.05" maximum diameter × 3.78" extension from flange.

77.4 mm maximum diameter × 96 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

18.150 oz. (514.6g) actual measured weight.

Canon specifies 18.2 oz. (515 g).

 

Quality

Made in Taiwan.

 

Announced

17 February 2016.

 

Included

Lens.

Canon E-67II front cap.

Canon EOS "E" rear cap.

USA warranty paperwork.

Instruction sheet.

 

Canon's Model Numbers

EF-S18-135ISUSM.

1276C002 (1276C001 in Japan).

JAN: 4549292-061383.

 

Price, USA

$599, January 2018.

 

Packaging

Corrugated cardboard box holding the lens wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap.

Canon 18-135mm USM

Box, Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.

 

Optional Accessories

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Teleconverters

It won't work with any teleconverters.

 

Extension Tubes

At the 135mm setting, you can get a magnification range of 0.09~0.43 with the Canon Extension Tube EF12 II, and a magnification range of 0.21~0.61with the Canon Extension Tube EF25 II.

Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1

The Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 attaches to the bottom of the lens and allows it to focus and zoom by remote control — or with the electronic lever on the adapter.

This is mostly for video applications where you want smooooooth zooms.

This motorized gizmo attaches to the bottom of the lens and zooms the lens via teeth in the zoom ring:

Canon 18-135mm USM

Bottom, Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.

 

EW-73D hood.

 

LP1116 sack case.

 

Getting a Legal USA Version

(applies in USA only)

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In the USA, be sure your box includes a warranty card marked "For USA," and that the serial number on this card matches the one laser-engraved in black-on-black on the bottom of your lens.

If you don't have the warranty card — or the serial number doesn't match — you got ripped off with a gray market version from another country. This is why I never buy anyplace other than from my personally approved sources. You just can't take the chance of buying elsewhere, especially at any retail store, because non-USA versions have no warranty in the USA, and you won't even be able to get firmware or service for it — even if you're willing to pay out-of-pocket for it when you need it!

If a gray market version saves you $300 it may be worth it, but for $100 or less I wouldn't risk having no warranty or support.

Always be sure to check yours while you can still return it, or just don't buy from unapproved sources or at retail so you'll be able to have your camera serviced and get free updated firmware as needed.

Get yours from the same places I do and you won't have a problem, but if you take the risk of getting yours elsewhere, be sure to check everything while you still can return it.

 

Performance

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specs   Accessories   USA Version

Performance   Usage   Recommendations

Overall   Autofocus   Manual Focus   Breathing

Bokeh   Distortion   Ergonomics   Falloff   Filters

Lateral Color Fringes   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Stabilization   Sunstars

 

Overall

Performance          top

This is a great lens, so great that I wish Canon made one like it for full frame! This lens is sharp and responds instantly to whatever I need it to do. I wish everything worked this well.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

Autofocus is instantaneous.

It pops from near to far faster than I can see; it just snaps from one distance to the next instantly, and it does it silently.

Bravo!

 

Manual Focus

performance          top

Manual focus is entirely electronic.

Just grab the focus ring at any time you have the shutter half-pressed for instant manual-focus override.

 

Focus Breathing

Performance          top

Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.

I can't see any focus breathing; the image doesn't change size as focussed.

 

Bokeh

Performance          top

Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is OK. It's not usually distracting:

Canon 18-135mm USM Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 18 January 2018. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Canon 18-135mm USM Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 18 January 2018. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

As always, if you want to throw the background as far out of focus as possible, shoot at 135mm, get as close as possible and shoot at f/5.6.

 

Distortion

Performance          top

This lens has strong barrel distortion at 18mm and pincushion distortion at most other settings, but you'll probably never see it because most Canon cameras correct it automatically by default.

We're not shooting film today. All zoom lenses distort, and with automated in-camera correction it isn't important anymore.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

It's a very well-designed, straight-ahead lens: the middle is all zoom ring. It zooms with one strong finger, and it's always easy to set a precise focal length quickly.

The focus ring is an electronic encoder. It easily moves with a fingertip.

All the switches are conveniently under my left thumb.

Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon 18-135mm USM

At 18mm. bigger.
At 135mm. bigger.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

Whatever falloff it may have is compensated automatically in the camera, so it's always invisible.

 

Filters, use with

performance          top

There's no need for thin filters.

Go ahead and use your standard rotating polarizer and grad filters. You can stack a few on top of each other without vignetting.

 

Lateral Color Fringes

Performance          top

There are no color fringes as shot on Canon's cameras, which by default correct for any that may be there.

 

Macro

Performance          top

Macro performance is superb. It gets super-close:

Canon 18-135mm USM Bokeh

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843 at close-focus distance, 18 January 2018. Canon SL2, Canon 18-135mm USM IS at 135mm wide-open at f/5.6 at 1/1,250 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Canon 18-135mm USM Bokeh

1,200 × 900 pixel crop from above. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 20 × 30" (50 × 75cm).

If this crop is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 40 × 60" (1 × 1.5 meters).

This is shot wide-open at f/5.6. It gets sharper as stopped down.

The texture you're seeing is on the watch itself.

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.

It's well made out of mostly plastic.

 

Optional Hood

Plastic bayonet EW-73D.

 

Front Bumper

None.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood Bayonet Mount

Plastic.

 

Front Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Identity

Printed around front of lens, also printed on top of barrel.

 

Internals

Plastic.

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

No.

 

Mount

Dull chromed metal.

 

Markings

Paint.

 

Serial Number

Laser engraved in black-on-black on bottom of barrel.

 

Date Code

None found.

 

Noises When Shaken

Almost no clunking.

 

Made in

Taiwan.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

It's super sharp at almost every setting, although in the lab it's just a little softer wide-open at 135mm. As you can see at the Sample Images, for actual picture taking it's still super sharp wide-open at 135mm, and it gets even sharper stopped down.

The only limitation to picture sharpness will be your skill as a photographer.

Canon 18-135mm USM MTF

MTF wide-open (black) and at f/8 (blue), at 10 cyc/mm (bold) and 30 cyc/mm (light). Sagittal (solid) and meridional (dashed).

 

Image Stabilization

Performance          top

It locks-down the hand-held image and lets me shoot at very slow speeds, eliminating any need for a tripod except for astronomical use.

 

Sunstars

Performance          top

With a rounded diaphragm, the Canon 18-135mm Nano USM makes sunstars only at the smallest apertures. Click any to enlarge:

Canon 18-135mm USM Sunstars

Canon 18-135mm USM Sunstars

Canon 18-135mm USM Sunstars

Canon 18-135mm USM Sunstars

Click any to enlarge.

 

Usage

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specs   Accessories   USA Version

Performance   Usage   Recommendations

Canon 18-135mm USM

Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.

AF - MF Switch

Leave this at AF, which is Auto Focus. You may move the focus ring at any time the AF system is active for instant manual focus override.

Use the MF, Manual Focus, position only if you want to lock the focus, or only use manual focus.

 

Stabilizer

Leave this on all the time.

Only turn it off if you're using a tripod.

 

Lock

This locks the zoom at the 28mm setting.

I don't use it.

 

Recommendations

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Performance   Usage   Recommendations

Get one! This is the best all-purpose lens for any of Canon's APS-C cameras. It covers the perfect zoom range, focuses instantly and focuses super close, it's super sharp and lightweight and reasonably priced. You can't ask for better; it would weigh a lot more if more than just its mount was metal.

I never use a hood; it's not needed.

I use a clear (UV) protective filter instead of a cap at all times. I throw it in my bag or luggage this way, and I shoot right through it. I don't want to miss pictures fumbling with caps.

The very best protective filter is the Hoya multicoated HD3 67mm UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints.

For less money, the B+W 67mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.

I got my 18-135 at B&H. I'd also get it at Adorama, at Amazon, or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, non-USA, store demo or used lens. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

 

 

18-19 January 2018