Update 3/22/2013: The Canon T5i has been announced, with minor upgrades. The T4i with 18-135mm STM is currently a better value and the best price is now  B&H, bundled deal with 55-250 is still possible.  For serious photographers T5i does not offer any improvements.   T5i vs T4i and 18-55 STM Lens info.

The T4i with 18-55 lens is available at B&H or Amazon. If you want to shoot easy video with the T4i buy with 18-135 for at Amazon or B&H.  The bundled deal saves $130 over the cost of the same package at Costco, repeat the Costco T4i deal is not as good as the  B&H & Amazon deals linked above.

Ask me if you have any questions. Seriously, if you have a question shoot me an email or use the little chat widget. 


The new king of crop-sensor walk-around lenses?

New 18-135 STM on T4i
New 18-135 STM on T4i

 

Save $5 off $25 or more on Amazon
UPDATE: I now have a hands-on review of the new Canon 18-135 STM Lens

Sample Images taken with the Canon 18-135 STM IS Lens

Holiday Deals: T4i is now selling with 18-135 for $899, additional freebies(SD Card, Backpack and Training Card) added.  Last year camera prices went back up after the holidays.

Buy at Amazon: Canon T4i with 18-135 STM Lens $899

Buy at B&H: Canon T4i with 18-135 STM Lens $899 B&H is now including the lovely 40mm lens at the same price. CLICK HERE To buy the Canon T4i with 18-135 and 40mm f/2.8 lens (You will see the price when you add them both to cart)

At first glance I thought the new 18-135 STM lens was just a slight refresh of the old 18-135, a lens that offered a nice rangebut wasn’t particularly sharp.  Turns out that the new 18-135 STM lens is more than a refresh, it has been optically redesigned and now not only offers the silent stepping motor (STM) that allows for silent Auto Focus while filming it also offers a good deal more sharpness, even wide open.    Take a look at these MTF charts (How to read MTF Charts)

 

NEW 18-135 STM lens

18-135STM
Canon’s new 18-135 is quite sharp

OLD 18-135 lens

Canons old 18-135 non-STM lens
Canon’s old 18-135 lens is much softer

Basically the chart for the new 18-135 shows that it is quite sharp both zoomed (TELE) and not zoomed (WIDE).  This really looks to be an excellent lens and don’t forget it also offers the newest version of IS and the STM for silent autofocus during video. It only adds $350 to the price of the kit over the body and $350 is quite reasonable for such a lens giving Canon shooters an excellent walk-around lens on crop sensors that will be lovely for both stills and video.  If you are a parent looking for a kit that will allow you to take photos and video of your child playing sports, acting on stage etc – the T4i + 18-135 STM lens has lots to offer, it is pretty much a no-brainer purchase for folks that fall into that category.    If you are not sure that the 18-135 Kit will work for you, use the links below to contact me and I’d be happy to share my opinion.

The 18-135 STM lens will be sold separately, no word on when that will be released, Price of $630.00

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Is this lens SMOOTH when zooming? I will be using this with video, and I’ve found that some lens are quite jerky/notchy when zooming (not good for video)

    THANKS

    • Sadly it is not quite as smooth as I would like it to be, just a bit of resistance change over the length of the range and I can’t get it to zoom as smoothly as I would like. Focus changes as you zoom too.

    • The snappy focus, the silent focus will all work wonderfully on the T3i (600D). What you won’t get is the continuous auto focus during video, that is a feature of the T4i.

  2. Hi Toby,

    I want to get a general purpose lens to shoot my toddler. Should I get an 24-105 L lens or the 18-135 STM? I just got a Canon T4i
    Thanks!

    • Hi Greg,

      Those two lenses are similar only in range – the 24-105 is Canon L glass and is excellent. Sharp, gorgeous colors and a constant aperture as you zoom, nice feature for video work. The only down side is the size/weight and the price http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AZ57M6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000AZ57M6&linkCode=as2&tag=dpr-20 But if you can afford it the lens will excellent for years to come and keep it is value too. The 18-135 is of course lighter and provides silent AF while filming but the quality is not going to be as good. Happy to answer followup questions.

      • Thank you Toby,
        Do you know if USM 24-105 will have similar autofocus performance (except silence) during video as it is the case with STM?

        • Greg, I want to say – Not quite – one of the benefits of the STM besides the silence is smaller adjustments to achieve focus – When a USM lens loses focus it cycles all the way through the range of focus before coming back to focus, STM lens is able to make adjustments in either direction at anytime . Let me test this is the next day or so – I don’t have the 24-105 on me but I have several other high-end USM lenses that should work as a good example. Will report back.

          • Hi Toby,

            Just wondering if you ever did the test you talked about when comparing the auto focus of a high end USM lens such as the 24-105 vs the 18-135 STM lens.

            Interested to hear your results.

            Thanks,
            Don

          • I never made a video but I did compare the 18-135 against the 50 USM, 85 USM, 75-300 USM, The New Tamron 24-70 and the new Canon 24-70. In all cases The 18-135 STM performs quite well, it really is impressive. When you compare it against the higher L class there is a difference but it still isn’t huge.

  3. Hi,
    Should i get the 18-135 STM lens or the ef-s 18-200 f/3.3-5.6 is lens for either the t3i or t4i. I have a kid on the way in a few weeks and am looking the best all around lens.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Hello – I think I answered your similar question elsewhere – in quality, chromatic aberration and color balance these two lenses are quite similar. The 18-135 with the STM technology does allow for faster and silent AF while filming, it is also silent AF for photography too but the speed of the AF is about the same as USM. Personally I think they range of 18-135 is a little more convenient that the wider 15-85. Hope that helps.

  4. Hi
    This is a longer lens that my current walk about lens. At what FL does the maximum apperture get smaller. I have the 17-85 canon and 3.5 maximum only goes up to about 50mm. I would be interested if I could keep this lens wide open and achieve a longer FL.
    Thanks

    • Tony, Sorry to say it is almost exactly the same – just before 50mm the maximum aperture hits 5.0. The best value lens I can recommend if you want a nice wide and constant aperture would be the Tamron 28-75 which has a constant f/2.8.

    • The 18-135 STM with the 650D. The Tamron isn’t a bad lens and is certainly convenient but you make some sacrifices when you cram that much zoom into one lens and you lose quality at the wide end and zoom. The Canon 18-135 makes less of these sacrifices and you get the newer STM technology, which if you want to shoot any video at all is very nice. The Tamron does not have this. Happy to answer followup questions.

  5. Is the 18-135 IS STM worth an update on a old Canon 400D (european version of the Rebel Xti) ? It is available here at ~ 560$ tax included (430 euros).

    The Xti does not do video. I would use the 18-135 as a replacement of the bundled 18-55mm (non-IS). I also have the 50mm f/1.8 II.

    Thanks

    • Christophe,

      The 18-135 is an improvement but without shooting any video I don’t think it is a good value and their are other options for about the same amount of money – or even less. Unless you really like the convenience, it does provide that. Review these two posts Recommended Canon Lenses and One Lens to rule them all And let me know if you have any questions.

  6. I am looking for a camera for my daughter she is really into photography but I dont know where to start. I am leaning towards the EOS Rebel T4i DSLR camera body, 18-55 IS lens, 75-300 lens but am considering the 3Ti 18MP with 18-55MM and 75-300MM. Would you please tell me if I am even looking in the right place. From 1-5 on experience she is a 3.

    • Gabriel, Sorry I thought I had replied to this. I think the T4i with 18-55 is a great place to start. The touchscreen makes the camera a bit more user friendly and helps to teach as you use. I would skip the 75-300 lens though and get the 55-250, it is a better lens and bundled with the T4i it becomes cheaper. At the time I am writing this B&H has the T4i with 18-55 for $649, add the 55-250 for just $100 more and you have a very nice starter package.

  7. Do you still have your “gently used” 18-135 IS STM evaluation lens?

    I sure could use one for my new T4i

    Thanks

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