Excerpt: Bundled often as a kit with the Canon EOS 7D and 50D, this APS-C format zoom ($450, street) is for shooters who want more than a bare-bones 18–55mm kit lens without paying $575 (street) for the extra reach of Canon’s 18–200mm IS superzoom. This new 29–216mm equivalent boasts image stabilization, internal focusing, an ultra-low-dispersion (UD) glass element for suppressing fringing and boosting contrast.
Summary: It's also a sensible move for Canon to introduce what's effectively its first intermediate EF-S kit lens. Previously it was a big jump in price from the basic EF-S 18-55mm IS to either the EF-S 17-85mm IS USM or its successor the EF-S 15-85mm IS USM. Now the EF-S 18-135mm IS slots in-between in terms of price for those who want something classier than the budget model without breaking the bank.
It's a great idea, but one that's been a long time coming.
Pros: Flexible 7.5x range zooms 2.5x closer than basic kit lens., Effective Stabilisation with 3 stops in our tests., Metal lens mount and non-rotating filter mount., Affordable step-up from basic kit lens.
Cons: Soft in extreme corners, especially at larger apertures., Noticeable vignetting and geometric distortion., Loud AF motor, and MF ring rotates during AF., Some creep between 20 and 85mm (actual).
Excerpt: The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens is designed as a step up from the standard-at-review-time 18-55mm IS kit lens. The 18-135's most attractive features are a wide (7.5x) focal length range , a low price , a relatively light weight/small package, and a very nice IS (Image Stabilization) implementation.
Excerpt: Originally posted 2010-10-18 on Optyczne.pl Canon resisted the megazoom trend for quite a long time; its competitors’ strategy has been quite different though. Nikon has offered its customers the 18-105 mm VR, the 18-135 mm models and two version of a 18-200 mm device. Sigma was even more generous because such lenses as the 18–125 mm, the 18–125 mm OS, the18–200 mm, the 18–200 mm OS and the 18–250 mm OS have been on and off its offer.
Cons: lack of ultrasonic autofocus motor (USM),, unsatisfactory image quality on the edge of the frame at the maximum relative aperture and longer focal lengths,, vignetting particularly bothersome at the both ends of the focal lengths range,, significant distortion at the widest angle,, work against bright light could have been better,, exceptionally modest accessory kit.
Summary: A new 7.5x standard zoom lens that automatically selects the optimum Image Stabiliser mode. Announced at the beginning of September, this new Canon standard zoom lens was designed to complement the EOS 7D body on which we tested it. Providing a focal length range equivalent to 29-216mm in 35mm format, the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS covers both wide enough angles for landscape photography and is narrow enough for portraiture and sports photography.
Pros: You want an affordable general-purpose lens to match the 7D body., You'd like a lens that requires no readjustment when you fit polarisers and graduated filters. Don't buy this lens if :, You require high resolution at all focal lengths, along with good flatness of field., You need close focusing and macro capabilities.
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - Review / Lab Test Report
29 October 2009
Conclusion: The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS may be somewhat better than the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS but it's not exactly a good lens either. The resolution makes a rather wild roller coaster ride through the different quality levels. Large aperture settings should be generally avoided at 18mm and beyond the middle range - the borders/corners are plain soft here. However, to be fair the lens is actually quite usable at f/8 (18mm) and f/11 (70mm+).