Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens review

The newly designed Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM is slightly smaller than the previous version, with a few improvements as well. They have re-developed the IS system, allowing you 4 full stops of correction. They have also added a video mode called Dynamic IS, which allows the videographer to capture steady videos, even when walking. Continuing with the video improvements, the new AF system includes a stepping motor (STM) that not only features incredibly low vibration, but is also silent. This allows for continuous AF during video capture without hearing the lens focusing.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

As of now (10/2012), the only EOS camera available with the continuous AF is the T4i. Thankfully this lens is available in a kit configuration with the T4i. As far as stills go, this is also an excellent “all-in-one” lens. It’s sharp throughout the aperture and zoom ranges, and is incredibly versatile. It is an outstanding first lens to have with your first dSLR or definitely worth the money if you are looking to upgrade from the standard kit 18-55mm lens.


  • Solid and traditional Canon lens feel.
  • Slightly smaller than the previous 18-135mm lens
  • IS system works as advertised
  • Silent and very low vibration AF is great for continuous AF video recording
  • Very easy to use, controls are smooth
  • Sharp images throughout aperture range
  • Affordable price tag


  • AF system, while smooth and quiet, is slightly slower than a USM lens
  • Some CA is easily visible in some of our sample images

Bottom line

A fantastic everyday standard zoom lens, the new Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM is a high quality and affordable lens for Canon dSLR cameras. It is well worth the money whether it is coming with the Rebel T4i kit or as an upgrade or additional lens purchased on its own.

Pick this lens up if…

You are looking for a high quality and affordable lens that you can use every day. Its zoom range is great for most situations, and we feel it’s a must have for anyone that shoots a lot of video with their Canon dSLR.

Check the latest prices for the Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens in the MM marketplace.

Steves Digicams

Steves Digicams

Founded in 1997, Steve's Digicams was created by Steve Sanders to share his love and 35 years of experience in photography with the rest of the web. Our reviews are meant for everyone, ranging from first time digital camera users to seasoned photographers.

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