Comparison of lenses

“Read post”

“Reviews on the 28-135 IS USM”

“Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM details”

In my previous post, I mentioned adding a couple of lenses to make my life easier.

Below you’ll find out, as I did, that contrary to reviews on the net, the 28-135 wasn’t as bad as they said it would be.

“Reviews on the 28-135 IS USM”

“Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6”

“Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM”

“Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II”

“view original file”

“view original file”

“Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 details”

“Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II details”

“Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM details”

The sample pictures comparing the 3 lenses were shot from our window, down to the condominium grounds, taking shots of “car detail and whatnot” of whatever the view provided. I tried my best to find which settings could be “compared.”

These were taken at approximately 2:00pm (+8 GMT) with natural outdoor light. To make sure the testing environment was controlled, I went as far as putting a marker where I was supposed to step on, which part of which car to focus on, and how I leaned on the concrete.

Feel free to check the EXIFs on each original picture (linked), but here’s the information nonetheless:

  • Camera make: Canon EOS 300D
  • Zoom/focal length: 50mm
  • Aperture value: f/8
  • Exposure time: 1/80
  • ISO speed: 100
  • Exposure mode: Manual (M)
  • Flash: none
  • Metering mode: Average
  • Colorspace: sRGB

The pictures output were 24-bit 3072×2048 JPEGs (large setting) and the only post processing tasks done were level adjustments (and cropping for the examples you see in this blog). 50mm at 1/80 and f/8 in that lighting environment were obviously underexposed. So I just equalized the levels, making sure that I wasn’t affecting edge contrast in any way.

The three original (level-adjusted) photos can be viewed here: WARNING: large files

NOTE: Image Stabilization on the 28-135 was NOT used for the objective tests above

The cropped images are at 100% resolution and not resized in any way. Since I was after objective comparisons of sharpness, I chose the plates of the cars, where the edge contrast of each lens was apparent. here’ they are in cropped 300×300 pixel samples.

[Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6][prodkit] (Rebel kit lens) [Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM][prodis] [Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II][prodprime]

As you can see, the kit lens, is the worst of the lot (that’s not to say it is a louse lens of course, and the 1.8 prime having the best edge contrast among the three.

Here’s another batch of cropped areas from the full-res pictures:

[Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6][prodkit] (Rebel kit lens) [Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM][prodis] [Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II][prodprime]

Again, similar results. At this point of my tests, a sigh of relief now swept over me as I thought “this was indeed the right decision for me.” So I now wanted to test the Image Stabilization (IS) feature, and here’s what I got. Used the same settings as above with these differences:

  • Exposure time: 0.4s
  • Aperture value: f/4.5
  • Zoom/focal length: 41mm
Without Image Stabilization click [here][is0] to view original file **WARNING: large file** With Image Stabilization click [here][is1] to view original file **WARNING: large file**

As you can see, the 28-135 is spectacular considering the reviews circulating the internet. I guess those having negative feedback about this lens were indeed either used to L-lenses, or people simply comparing it to better, high end lenses.

The 28-135 is a decent lens and definitely better than the kit lens. With a great zoom range and simple macro capability, it is indeed a good single-lens replacement for the “budget-hobbyist.”

The only drawback I guess would be the slower AF, and sometimes downright irritating AF in low-light. Howerver even the prime lens seems to be suffering from this problem so I guess it’s a trivial matter.

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