Buy 18-135 Kit Lens
The Canon 18-135mm lens had been on my radar as soon as I started looking to upgrade from my Canon 70D. Did I NEED a new lens? Heck no! Being the geeky Canon shooter that I am, I already own enough Canon lenses to handle just about any situation I'll encounter.......and I'm already in enough hot water with my wife.
buy 18-135 kit lens
But, what about you? You're wondering whether the Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens is useful for new photographers. This post will answer that question as well as answer the question of whether the 18-135 lens is any good as a stand alone lens. They'll be plenty of photos showing you what kind of photography can be done when using an 18-135mm zoom lens.
The 18-135 lens makes a great choice to use as a kit lens substitute for the most common kit lens that Canon sells, the 18-55mm lens. We won't do a full 18-55mm versus 18-135mm comparison here, but we'll touch on the biggest and most obvious difference. The Canon 18-135mm has more than double the telephoto reach of the 18-55mm lens.
The 18 to 135mm is a very useful range of zooming. Both pro photographers and newbies will enjoy having a lens that can be used for a large variety of situations. Photographers who don't want to mess around with changing lenses (I don't) will like the wide angle view at 18mm, the strong magnification you get at the other end of the zoom at 135mm, and all the focal lengths in between.
That makes it useful for travel photography or taking on hikes where you want to keep the weight and size of the equipment you carry to a minimum. The common jargon in the photography world is to call it a walk-around lens. This lens will cover the large majority of subjects you want to capture.
Unlike the 18-55mm version, the 18-135mm is able to handle decent level wildlife and sports photography. It's also the perfect lens for shooting portraits with your Canon DSLR camera. You can even shoot wildlife close-ups like the image below with the 18-135.
WILDLIFE. Although certainly not as powerful as a 300mm, a 400mm lens, or greater focal length, you can use the 18-135mm lens to capture the non-elusive type of wildlife. Whether it's the local wildlife around your home or what you encounter at the local zoo, the 135mm lens can get you up close and more personal than a standard 18-55mm lens.
SPORTS. You can use your 18-135mm lens for sports photography, including youth and high school level events. If you're taking your 18-135 lens to a pro sport event where you are seated in the nosebleed seats you may be disappointed. You'd need a lens with more reach.
When the lighting conditions are good like in this situation, you don't have to raise your ISO sky high to get nice crisp photos with a fast shutter speed. Finding a good angle and timing the shot right is the biggest challenge in getting great sports photos with your lens.
The Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens is wide enough to take great landscape photos like the one below. Zoomed out all the way to 18mm. the gives you an angle of view of almost 75 degrees which is plenty to include even the closest of elements in your composition.
Here are some Canon 18-135mm lens sample photos that I've taken with my newly acquired lens. I was particularly interested in getting a feel for how the lens performed at the longer telephoto settings, because essentially, I look at this lens as a upgrade to the standard 18-55mm kit lens with it's average telephoto reach.
This is an appropriate subject for me to shoot a color test with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens. I dig flowers and red is my favorite color. Needless to say, the red colors are grilliant with the 18-135mm lens mounted on my Canon 90D.
The bunny was out in the yard, about 20 feet away from me as I stood on my deck. My dog was about to chase it, so I zoomed in to 135mm, and took this sample photo with the 18-135mm lens even though I wasn't close enough for the reach of this lens. I cropped in using Photoshop to have more subject and less background.
It was a damp and dreary day on day 2 of testing the Canon 18-135, so I looked for some color contrast since I wasn't going to get much contrast with the dull lighting from the weather. The bright colors of these chairs contrasted again the patterns in the brick and cuaght my eye as an interesting subject to photograph.
Any lens can shoot the a photo like the one below, but I included it because it shows the versatility of getting a lens that shoots from wide angle to telephoto. I chose a 50mm lens zoom setting to compose this classic example of the rule of thirds.
Canon lenses, like the 18-135mm f/3.5-5/6 IS USM, are designated as EF-S lenses and fit the Canon APS-C cameras. Lenses like the 17-40 f/4.0 and 24-105mm f/4.0 will fit on both APS-C and full frame Canon camera bodies and are designated as EF lenses.
LONG DISTANCE SPORTS. If you're at a sporting event in a large stadium or other venue where the action is far from your vantage point, the 18-135mm will come up short. While it's a capable zoom, the fully zoomed telephoto setting doesn't have enough reach to capture those far distant subjects.
WILDLIFE. Wait a minute! I mentioned earlier that you can photograph wildlife with the 18-135. Yes, but only if the wildlife is not too far away. Including birds, which are very small subjects to start with, shy, elusive, far distance wildlife is best captured with super long telephoto lenses of 300mm or more.
The 18-135mm is fine for photographing birds at your bird feeder, bunny rabbits in your yard, and squirrels running along your fence, but not strong enough to take along for great wildlife photos on an African safari adventure.
ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY. If you want to photograph the Milky Way or other nightscapes, you need a lens that opens up to f/2.8, f/2.0 or more. These faster lenses give you faster shutter speeds with lower ISO settings and better quality photos. Prime (NON-zooming) lenses are the best way to go for a challenging subject like this.
FULL FRAME CAMERAS. The Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens will not fit on full frame cameras, unless you use the Canon EOS R adapter and a mirrorless camera like the Canon R. If you don't plan on "upgrading to a full frame sensor camera this is no big deal at all.
If you are going to move to full frame camera at some point in the future, consider looking a very affordable option, the Canon EF 28-135mm lens. It's an older lens, but still has image stabilization along with that same maximum 135mm focal length.
VARIABLE APERTURE. The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS NANO USM Lens has a variable maximum aperture. For Canon lens geeks that's a sticky point. For many photographers, especially newbie photographers, it doesn't matter at all.
What it means that as you zoom from the widest angle lens setting of 18mm the maximum aperture of f/3.5 changes to slightly smaller openings. This means that your lens will allow slightly less light into the camera as you zoom in.
Don't let the Canon 18-55mm lens defects get you down. All lenses have some level of defects. Beginners lenses are no exception. You can take great photos with any decent lens. Use the right focal length, use good technique, find good lighting, and an adorable subject like the one below, and you'll get some great shots.
That's what this lens is, a decent lens with a wonderful zoom range of wide angle to telephoto that opens up a world of possible photography subjects for you. Pair it up with the Canon EF-S 10-18mm lens and you have a full range of super wide to medium telephoto to use.
A kit lens is called a kit lens because it is offered in a "kit" with a camera body. Both items can be bought separately, but the kit option is convenient for both purchaser and manufacturer. If you buy the items separately, you are buying the exact same items...and likely paying more.
Thanks to Camera Canada for giving me a great deal on the a6600 and 18-135mm used in this review. They are my personal source for my gear and have been great to work with. As always, this is a completely independent review.Photos of the Sony 18-135 OSS#ngg-gallery-2ac3fe6fdacc0d623a17acac8c94cf29 .ngg-pro-masonry-itemmargin-bottom:10px Photos taken with the Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS#ngg-gallery-c11fd99c5a78619ef39385c7b3d654ef .ngg-pro-masonry-itemmargin-bottom:10px
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Don't let me rain on any parades. The 18 - 135mm is going to be a very popular lens for many normal people who just want great photos. I suspect if you're curious enough to be reading this page that you'll probably appreciate the benefits of the 18-200mm VR as I do. The 18 - 200mm VR is enough to be the only lens I take everywhere, the 18-135mm is too much of a compromise for me.
Here's the line up at Beacons as seen from the top of the bluff at 135mm at f/5.6. See how the corners are a little darker? That's the falloff. This would look worse if the background was a sky, and you wouldn't see it if the background was more varied. Of course this isn't a problem for a real photographer, because a real photographer would do any of 1.) paddle out and get real photos from in the water, not from the bluff a mile away, or 2.) A technically astute, but still bad, photographer would have shifted the D80's program and shot at f/8 or f/11 to make the falloff go away. The D80 shifts its program at long focal lengths to favor high shutter speeds, which usually means this lens almost always gets shot at f/5.6 when set to 135mm in Program. Of course you folks ought to be glad I didn't choose option 3.), which is to ditch this website and go surfing - conditions were excellent this weekend! 041b061a72