This lens is a lot better than many of the online reviews I've read. I got pretty good sharpness out of it for the week I had it on my Rebel XT, even wide open at the longer focal lengths. The image quality at least as good, if not better, than my trusty 28-135. There's quite a bit of barrel distortion at the wide end, but in most shots you won't notice. And if you do, it's easy to fix if you shoot raw. The IS is as good as advertised. It's possible to get 4 stops out of it (translating to a sharp photo at 135mm at 1/15 sec). The downside is the lack of USM. The noise from the AF motor got to me after a while. But if you're used to the kit lens, it probably won't bother you.
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
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Notes: Notes: This lens is only compatible with the 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 7D and Digital Rebel series digital cameras. It is not compatible with the 1D or 5D series digital cameras or 35mm film cameras.Rental Includes:
The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens boasts a 35mm equivalency of 29-216mm when used with a Canon APS-C EOS Digital SLR. Measuring just 4" in length and weighing about a pound, the lens offers a convenient wide angle to telephoto focal length.
With 74.2° to 11.3° angle-of-view, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens offers excellent wide angle to telephoto focal lengths with Canon APS-C EOS Digital SLRs.
Lightweight and Compact Design
Measuring just 4" in length and weighing about a pound, the lens boasts excellent portability without compromising optical quality.
Optical Image Stabilization
Canon's Image Stabilization system allows you to shoot sharp images with a 4-stop advantage under less-than-optimum lighting conditions.
Optimized for Canon APS-C Sensor Cameras
As with all Canon EF-S optics, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens is designed to deliver optimum sharpness edge-to-edge when used with Canon APS-C format DSLRs.
I rented this lens for two reasons: 1) I have been wanting to buy a new lens, but cannot decide which kind to buy, so I want to test a few first; and 2) I was going on vacation in California and thought that would be the perfect time to play! We were visiting the San Diego Zoo as well as their Wild Animal Park, and of course the gorgeous scenery of southern California beaches wasn't missed. I am used to a fixed 50mm lens. It works beautifully, and I love using the 1.8 aperture to get some really amazing, abstract shots. It's not always practical, however. I hate always having to back up to get something in the shot. I can tell you it was a THRILL to have that option! I have up close and personal shots of a dining lioness, and without moving a step I have shots of the entire lion habitat (if you've ever been to the San Diego zoo - those habitats are not run-of-the-mill! They are actually quite large). I was able to "safari" at the wild animal park as well (yes, I am a large child when it comes to the zoo!) where I got shots of me feeding a giraffe and was able to scan the landscape, spotting baby deer hidden by their mothers, all with the same lens. My only regret is that I didn't have more time to play with the settings for ISO and f-stop to improve my skills. Nevertheless, with minimal experience with a lens like this, I managed to come out with some beautiful images. It was so great to have a lens with such a wide range of settings, especially in a situation where changing lenses and/or backing up to capture a scene aren't practical.