EF-S Nano USM IS (2016-)
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Note that there is very little in focus at this large (f/3.5) aperture.
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.
● Nano USM focus motor for instantaneous autofocus.
● Great optical quality.
● Instantaneous autofocus.
● Perfect zoom range to cover just about everything.
● Super-close macro focus.
● Reasonably priced.
● Nothing, unless you're expecting a focus lock button.
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.
Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.
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.
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.
The focus is electronically compensated as zoomed; the camera needs to be on for it to stay in focus as zoomed.
Canon 18-135mm IS USM (EF diaphragm not visible). bigger.
7 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/22-38.
See also Crop Factor.
Angles of View
74.3º ～ 11.5º diagonal.
64.5º ～ 9.5º horizontal.
45.5º ～ 6.3º vertical.
No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.
Infinity Focus Stop
Depth of Field Scale
Reproduction Ratio Scale
Infrared Focus Index
1.3 feet (0.4 meters).
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
1:3.6 (0.28 ×).
Rated 4 stops improvement.
Canon E-67II front cap, included.
Canon EOS "E" rear cap, included.
Plastic 67mm filter thread.
EW-73D, not included.
LP1116, not included.
3.05" maximum diameter × 3.78" extension from flange.
77.4 mm maximum diameter × 96 mm extension from flange.
18.150 oz. (514.6g) actual measured weight.
Canon specifies 18.2 oz. (515 g).
Made in Taiwan.
17 February 2016.
Canon E-67II front cap.
Canon EOS "E" rear cap.
USA warranty paperwork.
Canon's Model Numbers
1276C002 (1276C001 in Japan).
$599, January 2018.
Corrugated cardboard box holding the lens wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap.
Box, Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.
It won't work with any teleconverters.
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:
Bottom, Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.
LP1116 sack case.
(applies in USA only)
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.
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 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.
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 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, 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:
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.
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.
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.
There are no color fringes as shot on Canon's cameras, which by default correct for any that may be there.
Macro performance is superb. It gets super-close:
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.
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.
Canon 18-135mm IS USM. bigger.
It's well made out of mostly plastic.
Plastic bayonet EW-73D.
Hood Bayonet Mount
Printed around front of lens, also printed on top of barrel.
Moisture Seal at Mount
Dull chromed metal.
Laser engraved in black-on-black on bottom of barrel.
Noises When Shaken
Almost no clunking.
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.
MTF wide-open (black) and at f/8 (blue), at 10 cyc/mm (bold) and 30 cyc/mm (light). Sagittal (solid) and meridional (dashed).
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.
With a rounded diaphragm, the Canon 18-135mm Nano USM makes sunstars only at the smallest apertures. Click any to enlarge:
Click any to enlarge.
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.
Leave this on all the time.
Only turn it off if you're using a tripod.
This locks the zoom at the 28mm setting.
I don't use it.
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.
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.
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 Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
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18-19 January 2018