Good? 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens at

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old November 8th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #1
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Good? 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens

I just bought the 7D which should be here next week. I bought the kit/stock lens that comes with it instead of just the body.

I have a 10-22 already from an old Rebel camera.

My question is (which I should have asked BEFORE I bought it), how decent or bad is that standard lens for video? For DOF?

I know all lens questions are very subjective, but besides the 10-22mm and this 28-135mm, is there something else that a one should add to the arsenal, or would those two be a pretty good start?

I do short films that are documentary in nature (so a lot of interview shots which is why I ended up getting the 7D so I could finally get good DOF unlike my Canon A1s).

I know I could easily have 100 lenses, but if I could only have 2-3 for now, would these two work well enough, or should I throw something else in the mix?

Oh, and we are doing a lot of low light shooting coming up, like the Las Vegas strip at night, etc.

Last edited by Lloyd Ubshura; November 8th, 2009 at 02:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old November 8th, 2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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The kit lens is a good deal for the price. It you don't have and need a telephoto lens, there you go.

I had a 40D and got the kit lens and immediately sold the kit lens with my 40D to get more money out of the sale.

You won't notice the shallow DOF like other lenses 2.8 and faster. I have an EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and love it. I recently purchased the EF 50mm f/1.4 and can't believe how much light comes in and how much shallower DOF is than the 2.8 (letting 1 1/3 stops more light).

I can shoot pretty good handheld with the 17-55 because of the IS, but not so much with the 50mm.

You can probably get some good tips on lenses here:
Canon EOS (APS-C) Lens Tests / Reviews
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Last edited by David Chapman; November 8th, 2009 at 02:24 PM.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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I just hate variable aperture lenses. I found that the 28-135 was not sharp at all, and at f/3.5 it is not a fast lens, so that does not make it very ideal in low-light situations.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #4
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I don't have a 7D (yet!), but to minimize depth of field and for better low light usability, I'm planning on sticking to lenses that are no slower than f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range.

I myself will probably forgo the kit lens and instead go with a Tamron SP AF17-50mm f/2.8... the new version of this lens that is... with vibration compensation (VC).
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Old November 8th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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With my 5DII I have the 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM & my wife has the the 24-105mm F4L IS USM with her 5DII. The 'L' lens is much sharper & while the extra reach of the 28-135mm is nice it's not quite as wide. The IS on both lenses helps a lot with hand held shooting. The 'L' lens really is far better & the only reason apart from cost that I haven't replaced the 28-135 with the 24-105 is that I am reluctant for us to double up on our lenses especially as I generally use either a 24mm F1.4L or 50mm F1.2L prime.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #6
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So would a general consensus be that the lens is decent for every-day use and is all in all a good lens? Maybe your choice if you're going to a riskier place like the beach where it could get messed up with sand or water while you leave the L lens at home? (I know getting a general consensus out of everyone is nearly impossible, but you know what I mean.).

It's a decent all-purpose lens, but there are certainly others that would blow it away?
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Old November 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #7
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I bought this lens as a cheap general purpose lens for the 5DMkII. It's pretty awesome that it has IS, and the range is among the best you can find that will work on the 5D. However, the variable aperture is horrid for zooming while video capture, and the lens is not parfocal, so all zooming will knock your focus out of wack. Note, aperture changes that occur during zooms are not pretty.

Regarding it being a slow lens, I was mainly using it for outdoor walk around stuff, so it works great there. I saw the other benefit on the 5D is the increased DOF you get from not having the option of opening up past f3.5. Regarding it's sharpness, I think it's a damn sharp lens. If you're being critical, you won't like the barrel and pincushioning, but it may be minimized on the 7D. I haven't actually tried this lens out on the 7D - I'll give it a try this week to see how I like it. The range is bound to be nice for shooting that requires more reach, but I am sure to be missing the wide angle side of the range, as the 28mm is near the field of view of a normal 50mm lens.

That being said... I have not been using this lens much. What is glued to the 7D is the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS lens. It's likely to rarely get taken off, unless I need sub-f2.8 apertures on primes. The image quality is right up there with the 24-70L, and on the 7D, the focal length/FOV is about the same. And with IS.

So, I'd say the 28-135mm is a decent lens if you need the more telephoto range, you have plenty of light, you are leaning towards photo taking, more than video, and the IS and price of this lens is a big bonus. Get ready for even more focusing challenges though. You will have to focus upon any zoom tweak, and your exposure constantly changing on you due to the varying aperture.

Lastly... this begs the question I haven't tested to find the answer...

Does the 7D also result in dropped frames when using a variable aperture lens while zooming? The 5D sure does.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #8
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Tested out this lens on the 7D today. I think it's pretty convenient, actually. I don't see any vignetting at all (unlike on the 5D). Again the variable aperture and non-parfocal aspect sucks. But the image quality and image stabilization is very nice.

I did a little test - you'll notice the aperture changing, and the focus going out of wack. However, the IS at 135mm is impressive to me.

Another thing verified is that the 7D does not drop or skip frames through zooming with the varying aperture. So many improvements over the 5D on this camera.

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Old November 11th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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As a follow up to my own post, I just want to report back with my initial findings on the 28-135mm lens now that I've been using it for a little while.

I see where the variable aperture causes some aggravation, but this is not unlike any other lens change is variable. It's also a little slow.

But other than that, I feel that this is a very solidly built lens and is excellent for all-purpose situations. It's a little choppy pulling the zoom in/out and kind'a gets stuck (not bad, but it's not totally smooth).

But my final call on this is that for the $200 it costs (7D kit vs. non-kit), it's the best $200 I've spent. It's $350-400 everywhere else by itself. It's not a $1000 lens by any means, but I think it's every penny of $350... so for the $200 it's a great deal. This will be the lens I will have on it when I'm out and about with the family, going to the zoo, etc. It's got decent zoom, does fairly well in low-light, feels solid as a rock (and fairly heavy), and is a great value.
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