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The Canon T5i has been announced and with it the 18-55 STM lens.  You now have a choice when buying the T5i, 18-55 IS STM or 18-135 IS. Which you should buy? Watch my short and sweet video discussing the 18-55 IS STM vs the 18-135 IS STM and the 55-250 discount that is often offered at Amazon.   I keep links to best T5i prices on Amazon and let you know when Amazon is including freebies (SD card and backpack).  A new 55-250 IS STM lens has also been announced (review of the new 55-250 IS STM Lens)

Best T5i with 18-135 STM Price on Amazon

Considering the 70D? Best All Around DSLR with amazing live view and video focus technology

Ask me if you have any questions. Seriously, if you have a question leave me a message on my Digital.photo Facebook page.

Summary/Conclusion: Canon has done an excellent updating the new Canon 18-135 STM IS Lens, this lens is improved optically and the build quality is much better. Paired with the T4i you have a camera and lens combination that will nicely suit most. The focus is fast and completely silent, the focus motor noise is not captured by the T4i’s on-board mic. The fast and silent focus and better quality will work on any crop sensor camera (e.g. earlier Rebels like the T3i). You do need the T4i for continuous AF while filming. The only folks that may want to consider other lenses are those that need a lens with a constant aperture, this can be handy for video work but you will need to pay a good bit more or sacrifice range – Buy the Canon T4i with 18-135 or review other recommended lenses.

 

Canon 18-135 STM
Canon 18-135 IS (left) Canon 18-135 STM IS (right)

I have both the Canon 18-135 IS f/3.5 – 5.6 and the Canon 18-135 STM IS f/3.5 – 5.6 in my hands.

Here are my thoughts after two days of comparing these two lenses | Sample Images

The STM version is a little heavier, can focus a little closer 1.3 ft vs 1.5 ft with the older version, STM version feels significantly more solid in hand, when you give it a shake nothing jiggles, the older version has a bit of play to it. Overall build quality is definitely better with the STM version.

Focus speed? No Contest, the STM version is quick and silent to focus, I tested these two lenses in a variety of situations and the old 18-135 occasionally hunts for focus where the STM version does not.  The STM version not only focuses faster but it is completely silent when it does.

Image quality- No huge differences in sharpness or color found but pretty significant difference in the handling of chromatic aberration, the STM version has far less at all focal lengths. Wide open (18mm) and at the far end (135mm) the STM version seems to give better results but not quite consistently enough to call it a clear winner in all cases.

Zooming is smooth and that range of 18-135 is a great range.

Image stabilization (IS) seems about equal in both.  Hand held a shot at 1/5 of a second at 135mm that is perfectly acceptable for web and small prints

Shot using Image Stabilization of the New 18 – 135 STM IS Lens at 135mm and 1/5 second f/5.6 . Without IS this should be shot above 1/125 of a second.

Old version costs $330 the new version comes bundled with the T4i for $1199 or can be purchased separately from Canon’s website for $550.

Update: I have added some comparisons.  I am not a fan of pixel peeping, that whole agonizing over a smidge of sharpness here or a bit of better color or  a little less chromatic aberration(purple fringe) but if I am recommending this lens I want to make sure I have a clear picture of the differences – below are a few photos all at 100% zoom or greater.  I have found that there are differences but not quite as much as the MTF charts would lead us to believe. . .

 

The STM lens is on the right
I purposefully didn’t label this one, taken from the center of the frame at 18mm f/3.5 I think it is very difficult to tell one lens from the other.

 

Canon 18-135 STM vs 18-135 non-STM at 18mm
Canon 18-135 STM vs 18-135 non-STM at 18mm – We see a bit more sharpness from the STM version on the right


Chromatic Aberration in the Canon 18 - 135 f/3.5 - 5.6 Non-STM lens
Near the edge of the frame, noticeable difference in chromatic aberration handling, The new version has far less of the purple fringing on high contrast areas that is chromatic aberration.
Canon 18 - 135 STM vs Non - STM at 135mm f/5.6
I hesitated to post this one, I have lots of shots at 135mm that do not show much difference between the two but this one clearly does, I will repeating this test to make sure it wasn’t just a focusing fluke.

 

And now with a bit of video

If you are thinking about purchasing the T4i and can’t decide if you want to buy the kit that includes the 18-55 IS or the 18-135 STM IS I strongly recommend the 18-135 kit, this seems to me an excellent combination of DSLR and walk-around lens.  The 18-135 range is great, the STM means snappy and consistent focus and the quality is very good.   BUT – similar to my findings with the 40mm f/2.8 STM, the continuous auto focus (cAF) that is the big new feature on the Canon T4is is disappointing.  During video the focus uses the other brain and it really just isn’t that smart, do not expect camcorder like auto focus out of this camera and lens combination. UPDATE: It turns out that you can manually focus with the 18-135 AND the 40mm STM lenses – you hold the shutter button 1/2 way down and you can turn the focus knob to adjust focus when the switch is set to AF. (Video – How to manually focus with the STM Lenses) The focus ring is nice and large, not the case on the 40mm where the focus ring is tiny.  In defense of the 40mm the whole thing is tiny.    If you are looking for camcorder-like auto focus out of a DSLR watch/read my review of the Sony SLT-A65.

I am happy to answer questions about either of these two lenses or the Canon T4i.  For awhile I was feeling like the T4i was a bit over priced but having those 9 cross type focus points paired with a solid lens like the new Canon 18-135 STM and you really do have a great combination.  Of course the 18-135 STM will work great on any crop sensor camera i.e. T3i, 60D and 7D – you just won’t get the benefit of the cAF during video which as I mentioned above isn’t so much of a benefit.
Buy the Canon T4i with 18-135 STM from Amazon $1199
Buy the Canon 18-135 STM Lens from Canon USA $549.00 + Tax :(

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81 COMMENTS

  1. Hello,

    I have read that the lense is FTM but you have to hold down the shutter half-way, to prevent camera and lens to go to sleep (since the manual focus is by-wire, there is no mechanical connection between focus ring and focus mechanism). Can you test if this is true?

    Regards,
    Ruben

    • Hey Ruben, I thought that might be the case too so I closely followed the directions for waking a sleeping lens and nothing – then I tried a few more before calling Canon. They confirmed it does not have full time manual focus! I don’t see this as a deal breaker, anyone serious about video is going to be in full time manual but it is a bummer.

      • Hi Toby,
        Could you please clarify that?
        Do you mean it does not have a manual focus option (or that, say, I can’t change focus with the camera tend off)?
        Thanks,
        Bruno

        • Bruno, it is a bit confusing! It means that when the lens switch is set to AF it will not let you manually focus. It will also not let you auto focus when the camera is off. But you can manually focus when you set the lens switch to MF. Hope that helps!

          • Is it true that you can’t use the manual focus while it is set to AF? On the german page they write that it has a “Full Time Manual Focus”. On the US page I didn’t find further specifications of the used technologies.

          • There is and was lots of confusion about this, on my part too. The definitive answer – When in AF mode you can set manual focus BUT you have to hold the shutter button down (1/2 press) to do this. I see photographers calling it Manual Focus Override. Very similar to full time manual focus but not quite the same since it requires a button press.

  2. Hi Toby,

    Great reviews, nice to see videos illustrating facts rather than only opinions.

    I’m considering buying the t4i with the 18-135 stm but I would like to know how STM compares to USM and the standard motors on cheap canon lenses like the 18-55.

    I mean for photography via phase detection, where would you put it between cheap motors and USM (assuming USM is better with phase detection)? closer to USM or the cheap?

    It’s difficult to find such info because all reviewers focus on the video and live view capability of the STM lenses but if STM works even almost as fast as USM with phase detection then I think it’s a great lens for people like me, that would like to upgrade from cheap lenses to something better but with limited budget.

    David

    • David, Thanks for the compliment. The STM is certainly closer to the USM side of focusing – I find it to be quick and precise when using phase-detection. It is also quieter than USM. The only downside is you do not get full time manual focus that you do get with USM lenses. I can likely put together a video comparing the 85 and 50 with USM versus the STM, let me know if you’d like to see that.

  3. Thanks for the answer. I now have a clearer idea of this lens’ value for photography.

    A comparison video of focusing speed with PD would definitly be interesting, as STM is so different to USM.

    David

  4. Hi Toby,

    I have a T3i and have been thinking about getting the 18-135mm lens as a more versatile walk-around lens, and now I’m wondering if I should consider the 18-135mm STM instead of the non-STM lens. I know the video autofocus feature won’t work with the T3i, but would there be any improvement in image quality or focusing speed when using this lens vs. the non-STM version with the T3i?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Mary,

      The more I use the STM version the more I love it – Focus is faster than the old version, more precise than the old version and the handling of chromatic aberration is far better – these are all benefits you would see if you put this lens on your T3i – the only thing that you wouldn’t get, and you know this, is the continuous AF during video. The issue currently is Canon is the only seller of this lens and they charge tax and shipping which equals not as good a deal. Are you in a rush, I am hopeful that Amazon will be carrying this lens sooner rather than later.

  5. Hey Toby,

    thanks for the review, nicely done.
    I’ll probably buy the Canon 650d next week or so, but can’t decide what lens I should get for it. I want to record quite a bit of video, maybe 40%ish. You mentioned some alternatives to the STMs.
    Is the 50mm 1.4 one of them by chance?
    What about buying the kit lens and adding either the 40 mm pancake or the above mentioned 50 mm 1.4? Again, video would be important.
    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Niels

    • Niels,

      Thanks! Yes – the 50 f/1.4 is a great lens for video work, I know a serious wedding photographer that uses that lens for 95% of his work. He does manual focus for all shots. What type of video work will you be doing? the 40mm is great because it is so small but it is not easy to manually focus with (small ring and you have to hold down the shutter button 1/2 way or switch to MF on the lens) the 50 has a nice big foucus ring to grab and is true full time manual focus. The kit lens is ok but it isn’t particularly fast or . . well it just isn’t a very exciting lens but certainly one to start with and as you grow as a videographer/photographer you can determine what type of lens you most like to shoot with and begin to collect those :)

    • Very similar. I will have the 15-85 in hand later this week and can make direct comparison but they are similar in quality. What you don’t get is the silent AF and the excellent handling of chromatic aberration of the 18-135.

  6. Hi, great review thanks. Quick question – how would the 18-135’s image quality compare to the ef-s 17-85mm? I have the later with a 350d I’m thinking of upgrading to a later-gen Canon body like the 650d. The wider range and positive reviews of the 18-135 makes me wonder about pulling the trigger on the kit, and selling on my 17-85. Cheers!

    • Hi Jake – you are the third person that has asked me about this :) So I plan to get a copy of the 17-85 & compare the two this coming weekend. Looking at the MTF charts and working from memory I say that the image quality is going to be very similar. Look for my full review/comparison by Sunday 8/26

  7. Hi, I have one question:
    Next week I buy the new Canon 650D, but I need your help for lens
    50 mm f1.4 or 50 mm f1.8????
    40 mm ?????
    and 18-50 mm STM
    My idea is work for portrait, arquitecture and video, I need other lens or accesories???
    thanks.

    • Hi Victor,

      There is no such thing as 18-55 STM, the 18-55 lens canon sells with the T4i/650D is non STM. a bummer if you want that silent focusing during video. The 50 f/1.4 for portrait work is VERY nice, colors and sharpness are excellent. If you don’t mind not having STM I suggest the T4i + 18-55 and the 50 f/1.4 If you really need STM consider the 18-135 kit. Feel free to ask followup questions.

  8. Toby,

    When paired with the T4i, which lens is better for video? The 18-135 STM (as part of the kit) or the 50 f/1.4?
    Thanks.

  9. With a T4i and everyday photography not focused on any one type of subject, which combination of these lenses should be kept?

    18-55
    40 2.8 STM
    50 1.8
    18-135 STM
    55-250

    • Hi Joe – 18-135 STM – great all around lens – good quality and nice range and the 50 f/1.8 lets you experience WIDE open apertures and the sharpness of a prime at a very reasonable price. <- That is what I would do. Someone else might sacrifice the 50 and go with the 55-250 if they wanted more zoom or if they planned to do a little video or really wanted a portable package the 40mm STM instead of the 50, it still lets you shoot at f/2.8. I hope that helps and feel free to ask follow-up questions.

      • Thanks Toby. I do like the versatility of a good walk-around like the 18-135, and really like how fast and quiet the focus is. I just feel like it’s a bit too much to keep ALL the lenses.

        Maximizing my ranges without too much overlap, and going bang for the buck, I first had the 18-55 & 55-250 combo. I then got the 50, which I enjoy. Since acquiring the new T4i I got a killer deal on the 40mm, and the 18-135 STM came with the kit.

        With the T4i I’m tempted to keep the 40 rather than the 50 (bad call? too much light loss from 1.8 -> 2.8?)

        From there, if I keep the 18-135 STM I’d obviously get rid of the 18-55 – but then that leaves the 55-250. Is 55-135 too much overlap – and then is 135-250 enough room to justify keeping it?

  10. Hi,
    If the older 18-135 can be had used for about $200-250 on ebay, and the STM version for about $400-450, would you spend the extra $200 to use with a t3i body? (obviously the movie focus does not apply). I like the faster and quiet zoom plus the extra sharpness, it’s just hard to if its worth the premium.
    Thanks

    • Pete, I would – the quality – especially the handling of chromatic aberration is much improved in the new model. There are other lenses out there though, what are you shooting w/ now?

      • Thanks Toby. I have the kit 18-55, 1.8 50mm and just got the 10-22. I wanted a good walk around/travel lens that is flexible enough with good quality and would not break a bank. The 18-135 looked attractive with its zoom range, for all around lens and I could get rid of the 18-55. What other did you have in mind?

  11. I think you are on the right track, the 18-135 is very nice and well suited for an all around walk-around lens. The only other lens that comes to mind, worth consideration is the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 – This lens is so sharp for an under $500 lens http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000A1G05/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0000A1G05&linkCode=as2&tag=emaildpr-20

    But you sacrifice range and lose IS, other benefit is the constant f/2.8 aperture – great for portrait work or low light work on moving subjects(IS wont help there). If you aren’t doing lots of shots in those conditions the 18-135 is a better buy.

    The 10-22 can be loads of fun!

    Enjoy.

  12. Toby,

    Great review and comments!

    My first love is traditional film b&w, but I love digital also. I’m on the verge of buying the t4i and 18-135mm STM kit as my first DSLR. I had a chance to handle the camera at the camera store I will purchase it from, and can say the STM lens is a bit more compact and lighter than I had expected. Two questions if I may:
    As I do almost exclusively landscape and similar, I’ve used the LCD on my G9 almost always for its precise framing and real-time ability to bias for exposure (plus no blindness from shooting sunsets!) I was surprised at the focus hunting in live view after the publicity that the hybrid AF improved this. Is the t4i with STM lenses still the pick of the litter in this regard among mirror DSLRs?

    Second, the detailed DPReview suggested that that low-light performance might be no better or maybe a tad worse than some other models including the t3i, in spite of the CMOS sensor and Digic 5 engine. What has been your experience?

    Thanks,

    Paul

    • Hi Paul – Thanks for the compliments.

      Among traditional flip up mirror systems the t4i is currently king BUT you have the Sony, including the Sony A65 that I reviewed that uses a translucent mirror and thus focuses MUCH faster during live view – technically the sony is always focusing during live view.

      The images from the T4i are very similar to the t3i, in most day to day shots I saw no difference – occasionally I saw slightly less noise in T4i shots in lower light but these were almost always zoomed at 100% and being nit picky.

      I hope that helps. feel free to ask follow up questions and you might want to enter my Eye-Fi Card giveaway

      • Thanks Toby!

        I did buy the camera, and with the help of my friend the store owner I learned something interesting:

        When I was playing with it the night before, I noticed slow focusing and hunting in the live view mode. Subsequently I read a lot about that. I still was going to go for it (landscapes tend not to move), but called my friend the owner of the store and asked him to play with that a bit before I came in. He discovered that the default setting “out of the box” was face detection. When he switched to flexi-zone single-point AF, the focusing sped up. I confirmed that to be true when I went back. In some situations the difference was dramatic, in some cases less so. But in single point, in no situation was the focusing speed objectionable unless you were trying to capture rapidly-moving subjects (in which case even I would use the view finder!)

        I wonder how many people who complain of really slow live view focusing and hunting have their cameras set to face detection…

        Thanks again,

        Paul

        • Paul – this is a great tip and something I am working on for a soon to be published video – focusing tips with the T4i. As you said though, in some cases it makes little difference but in others it can help avoid some frustration.

          Thanks!

        • Oh and you have some beautiful work in your gallery. The shot of the covered bridge in the New England gallery – is that in Dummerston VT?

          • Toby,

            Thanks for your kind comments. I Googled Dummerston and I would say definitely, not just the style but the surroundings, the appearance of the road exiting from it…it was just a stop for us along the road from one place to another…
            One more tip I had to call Canon for: As a live view fan for landscapes, one of the benefits is biasing the exposure, then locking in the exposure/focus and recomposing (obviously have to mind the focus point!) The manual says you can’t lock in exposure pushing the shutter down half way in live view, and that is correct. But there is a way to do it: Push the minus magnifying button. It locks it in. Best of all, you can then focus separately. The lock doesn’t come off until you take the picture, but every time you push the mag button, it re-locks on whatever your exposure is. NEAT!
            (I’m sure this is in the manual somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.

            Finally…I had been looking for a long time for a cheap website, easy to use, and good looking without a lot of work. A photographer friend turned me on to zenfolio. Two week free trial to set up, $30 per year (a whopping $60 if you want a more customize url). All I did was create galleries and upload pics, but if you want you can customize the look. I’ve told a lot of folks about zenfolio…

            Paul

  13. Hey! I’m about to buy a kit with 18-135 STM and I’m cousious about the user-friendly of the manual focus ring. When the switch is on the AF position is it possible to break down the lens by rotatating manually the manual focus ring?

  14. Hi Toby,

    Belated reply: (We were in Carmel over the weekend).

    Thanks for the offer! I will remember it! We get to Vermont every so often.

    Had fun in Carmel learning about the camera. I was trying the different picture styles. On a typical foggy afternoon there, in the “neutral” setting, the result is like the old Agfa slide film, soft, painterly…I added an example as the last image in my “Carmel” gallery.

    Paul

  15. Hi Toby,

    First of all: great review and website!

    I’m going to buy the t4i. I have a tamron 28-75mm f2.8 xr di canon lens, which i might want to swap for the canon 18-135 stm lens

    Therefore I have 2 questions:

    – how do these 2 lenses compare (specially depth-of-field)?
    – does the canon 18-135 stm work well with dualtype crosspoint af of the t4i, being a f2.8 crosstype?

    Thanks,
    Harald

    • Hi Harald,

      Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it. Not sure if you know but the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is one of my favorite lenses – it represents an excellent value – for $500 folks get a sharp lens with a constant aperture. But to address your questions – how does it compare to the 18-135? I have been very impressed with the quality out of the 18-135 but if you have a good copy of the Tamron you will find it to be sharper. And of course with the constant aperture of f/2.8 you can be zoomed to 75 and still use f/2.8, on the 18-135 you will be at f/5.6 – several stops loss. Focus-wise they perform about the same until the light drops and then the Tamron does perform a bit better.

      The 18-135 does offer benefits. The 28mm on the Tamron is not very wide – you have already been using it on a rebel camera? Ever frustrated by starting at 28mm? 18mm is a good bit wider. Second advantage really only applies if you will be shooting video AND using the auto-focus. The AF during video with the 18-135 is silent and works well enough for basic video needs. The 28-75 is noisy and slow when focusing during video – problematic enough that I do not recommend folks use it.

      Personally I would be inclined to keep the Tamron and buy just the Canon T4i (650D) as body only.

      Feel free to ask followup questions.

      If you plan to buy via Amazon please use my links above – it provides me with money to keep this site running. Thanks!

  16. Excellent review and I think the only review available on the net comparing stm and non stm 18-135.

    well i had to scroll down a lot to comment hehe… I am planing to buy a 60d at the end of this month which comes with a non stm kit lens. If I want to buy the STM version I have to buy the 60d body and then buy this lens saperately… do you think this 18-135 STM lens worth extra effort… or I should just buy a non stm version of 18-135 which comes with the 60d packege at 1200$ :) please reply…

    • Hi Shah – I do think the STM version is a serious improvement over the non -sharper, less chromatic aberration, quick and silent AF. Is it worth $200 premium over the original. . . I don’t think so – when paired with the T4i it is a good value but on the 60D you lose some of that value (AF during video) and at the $500 price point you could pick up the very nice Tamron 28-75. The Tamron doesn’t offer the range of the 18-135 and you lose the IS but you gain sharpness and constant aperture of f/2.8. But maybe you should tell me a bit more about how and what you plan to shoot and I can provide more advice.

  17. Hi Toby,

    I didn’t like the softness of the 50 1.8, so i returned it and got the 40mm; loveeee it, tacky sharp. I am torn between 15-85 n this 18-135. How sharp is the 18-135 vs. the 15-85? Thanks for the informative review.

    • The 40mm is lovely. The 15-85 is a bit sharper but in day to day shots it is hard to see a difference between the two. If you are very concerned about ultimate sharpness you might consider the 24-105. Can be found for under $900 and is fantastic.

  18. Toby,

    I will be purchasing my first dslr camera in about 2wks. I have decided to get the Canon T4i. I have a few questions thought. The Canon 18-135 stm vs 18-135 usm which would you recommend. Secondly a low light lens that I might purchase on a tight budget. And lastly should I consider waiting for the Nikon 5200 that is coming out in Nov. Thanks for any recommendations you can give me and for all the information on website.

    • H Gary(I answered the first part of your question over on the T4i post – but here it all is again). There are two version of the 18-135 – STM and non-STM which is not actually USM. In my opinion the 18-135 STM that comes with the T4i is significantly better than the other, older 18-135. For low light you could start with the 50 f/1.8 or the 40 f/2.8 STM – both of these are prime lenses, no zooming but the benefits are nice quality for cheap and wide open apertures for letting in lots of light. The 50 is a bit cheaper but I do like the focal length of the 40 on the T4i just a bit better plus you get the STM for video.

      Should you wait? Sure – we should know by Tuesday how the D5200 compares – less than a week away and since you don’t have any existing lenses and doesn’t sound like you need one right this minute. While we wait tell me a bit more about what you like to shoot and what you hope to do with this camera and I can make a more informed recommendation

      Don’t hesitate to ask more questions – the lens choices can be over whelming. If you plan to buy from Amazon I would appreciate it if you could click through my links above before purchase. It helps me keep this site and service free. Thanks!

      • Toby, thanks for your reply. Sorry about the repeat, I did not think my first post went through. I will mainly be taking family photos, indoor school events, my daughter runs cross country and my son plays football. I’m sure I will video some of the time. I definitely plan to use your amazon link for my purchase.
        Thanks again for you advise. I am looking very forward to purchasing a camera.

        Gary

  19. Hello Toby! Great review on these lenses! I find the 18-135mm lens really useful!
    But I’m still wondering should I buy a STM or a Non-STM.
    I’ll be photographing really general stuffs and some on videography. What’s your opinion?
    If you don’t mind, between Nikon D3200 and Canon 650D, which would you choose?

    • The d3200 sensor is excellent, better than the 650D and if I was just taking general photos, travel family shots I would probably choose the Nikon and spend the savings on a nice prime like the 35 af-s. If I were more of a jack of all trades and had plans to be a more serious photographer and dabble in Video I would lean toward the 650D/T4i.

      Buy an STM lens if you want to use the AF during video – it makes a HUGE difference. If you don’t plan to do that its not worth nearly as much and you should put savings toward other lenses.

      Feel free to ask those followup questions.

  20. How easy is it to use a manual focus on a kit lense 18-55 on a t4i while shooting a movie? Is it possible to manually focus as fast as the the auto mode with the STM lense, or faster?

    • You can absolutely easily and very quickly manually focus with the 18-55 during video. The trick is accuracy – you can be more precise and faster than the STM lens but it takes practice and the bummer about the kit lens – you do have to switch it using a physical switch on the side- from manual to auto focus. My method when filming is to auto focus on my first subject before I start filming, switch to MF (if I am using a lens that forces me to switch) and then manual focus for the duration of the clip. This will not work for all situations but for the type of video work I do it does just fine. This is a question that I would love to answer in a more detailed video at some point. I hope that helps and feel free to ask followup questions.

  21. I will be purshing my first dsrl camera. Which combination is better…. I will like to take distance picture also. Canon t4i 18-135mm STM $899 vs Canon T4i 18-55 and 55-250 IS USM $768 (now at amazon purshing both together).
    Thanks for your comments

  22. Thanks… Yes I am plannig to do some videos… This will be my first dsrl camera… I am totally new in photography…

    What about t4i vs 60d ???

    Canon t4i 18-135 IS STM $899
    Canon t4i 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS $768
    Canon 60d 18-135 IS UD $899
    Canon 60d 18-135 IS UD and 70-300 IS USM $1100 (now at amazon save $300off buying together)

    Or is better to wait for the rummors of the new 70d??
    thanks

    • Jolie,

      You are doing some serious thinking! I like it. SO waiting for the 70D – I haven’t heard any rumors of that camera being replaced early next year – always possible but then we could always be waiting for the “next” camera. I am still leaning toward the T4i for a couple of reasons – 1) the touchscreen makes the T4i the most beginner friendly DSLR canon has made – it allows to easily explore functions that previously were hidden deep beneath buttons. 2) it offers all of the power with an updated engine that the 60D offers in a smaller more travel friendly body 3) it allows for continuous auto focus during video – its not amazing in its focusing speed but the 60D does not offer this, at all. 4) it is slightly cheaper than the 60D and it offers a stereo mic.

      You mentioned the distance pictures – what is the subject and how far away?

  23. “If you are thinking about purchasing the T4i and can’t decide if you want to buy the kit that includes the 18-55 IS or the 18-135 STM IS I strongly recommend the 18-135 kit, this seems to me an excellent combination of DSLR and walk-around lens.”

    I have never owned a DSLR, but my husband and I are thinking about buying one as we just had our first son and we want a new camera, so we will mostly be using it for portrait shots of him, action shots of the family and maybe some that we take on family vacations, nothing real fancy on a real regular basis. My husband is an artist and he may want to delve a little bit into more artistic shots as well so that is something to think about. My question is why you recommend the 18-135 over the 18-55 above. Thank you!

    • Congrats on the addition to your family. Exciting times!! Two reasons I like the 18-135 – convenience and silent auto focus during video. Convenience – the 18-135 offers enough range that it can usually be the one lens you travel with and you don’t need to switch lenses often. Now I have been in the past a strong proponent of not getting a do it all lens, you often make sacrifices when you cram lots of range into one lens. In this case the sacrifices are very few, in fact you really don’t lose any quality over the 18-55 and you gain a silent lens that can also be used for easy video. When you focus during video with the 18-55 you get lots of noise from the lens and it doesn’t move as smoothly. That all said – if you don’t plan on shooting video and you need to save money – the 18-55 is certainly a viable option. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and you may want to consider one more lens – either the 40mm f/2.8 or the 50mm f/1.8 – these lenses work very well in lower light and make the camera a bit more portable. With both you can get those nice baby photos using natural light and have a very shallow depth of field(background blurred).

  24. Toby,
    This video was very informative and thank you for taking the time to explain the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM. I have a Canon XSI and really love it. I was looking for a good walk-around lens and thought the STM would fit the bill. I just wanted to be clear that you were comparing the 2 “EF-S” lens (Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM and the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS) and not the older Canon EF 18-135mm IS lens that suffered from Lens creep and dust problems having bad seals. I don’t shoot video and the difference between the “IS & the STM” is about $150 – $200 more. Is the STM for my application going to be leaps and bounds better or should I just settle with the IS version with the limitations of my camera??? Thank you, Mike

    • Hi Michael, Yes that video was comparing the two ef-s 18-135 lenses. I think the older 18-135 IS will do just fine for your needs. The silent focus during video just isn’t something that you are going to need. Hope that helps and I’d be happy to answer any other questions.

      • Thanks for getting back to me on that. I don’t mind spending the money and found the STM on eBay and used.New on Amazon. I don’t want to talk myself into the cheaper lens with ther IS, but if the STM is much better (I guess is what I’m asking) will I notice the difference between the two. I take a lot of pictures of humming birds, wildlife and vacations of course

        • In my samples that I shot it was quite difficult to tell any difference between the two lenses until I zoomed in to 100% and then I noticed some slight differences in sharpness but mostly chromatic aberration, the old 18-135 is prone to a bit of purple fringing in the high contrast areas. So will you notice this difference in normal day to day shots? Probably not but its not out of the question – especially since you will now be looking for it – the downside of knowing :/

          • I also believe that the STM has full time manual focus where the other does not. Kinda talking myself into the STM :)

          • The 18-135 STM has full time manual focus override. You have to half-press the shutter to activate it – almost the same thing as FTM. Almost :)

  25. is18-135 STM and the 40mm STM lenses are good for video and easy to manually focus? Any suggestions for other lenses at similar price range? Thanks
    I have got the T4I

    • Hi Peter, The 40mm is not so easy to MF as it has a tiny ring and I find my fingers often getting in the way. The 18-135 STM is and offers full time manual focus override. You have to half-press the shutter to activate it – almost the same thing as FTM. In a similar price range there is nothing else that provides the silent AF of the 18-135 and that range, especially when bought with the T4i the deal is very good.

  26. hello there! i have a question about this new lense! i just bought a canon camera with this new lense. the focus ring can be completely moved without being stopped at any point on eother side whether tha camera ic on autofocus mode or manual mode! the salesperson has told me that this a new type of lense! is he right or is it a swindle?

    • That is correct. It is a focus by wire lens – turning the focus ring just communicates to the lens/camera to refocus. In the other type of lenses turning the focus ring actually drives the motor. Happy to answer more questions.

  27. Does the 18-135mm STM lens support manual focusing while in video mode. I have been trying to find out myself but no one is talking about manual focus since auto focus is the big thing for it, and I read somewhere that the STM lenses are only auto focus in video mode. I only care about video mode.

  28. Hi
    How do you tell the difference between new model bd the old one? Wife’s in Hong Kong now and don’t want her buying the wrong one
    Thanks

  29. Greetings Toby,

    Thank you for such informative reviews!!! I still have the T2i (yes, I know, I am behind the times!). Its been my first and only DSLR for almost 2 years now and I am still learning the ropes with it (before upgrading).

    Both 18-55 kit lens AND 50mm f/1.8 broke (within months of each other) and I only have my 55-250mm left, so I am looking to make a new lens purchase. I was eying the 18-200mm lens quite recently, but I liked the idea of the quiet focus feature of the 18-135 STM. Do you think it would be a good investment to get the 18-135 STM with my lowly T2i? (I am looking for a versatile lens with a great range – occasional video recording)

    • Hi Kim, I do think the 18-135 STM is the way to go, the quality of that lens is quite good and better than the 18-200. The 18-200 is convenient but you make, in my opinion, too many quality sacrifices when you cram that much focal length in one lens. I’d suggest you consider buying used off of Amazon, some very good deals there and saves you some money. 18-135 STM lens on Amazon. And no worries about the T2i, it is a fine camera and there is no need to upgrade :) I hear from people with XT and XTi cameras still, now that is going all the way back to 2005. practically antiques 😉

      Enjoy, T

  30. I want to know what’s the best lens to go with canon 70D.
    I am open to brands like sigma too.
    Not concerned about video shooting, my priority is just photos.

    • Best lens means different things to different people. Some consider a prime to be the best, some consider a lens that offer the greatest and most convenient range to be the best. In my opinion the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 is the best crop sensor lens at the moment and a solid value. Paired with the 70D you can make beautiful photos. I am happy to chat more about this.

        • The 18-135 STM is a great lens and excellent value when purchased with the camera. As a separate purchase I find it less valuable unless you really want that extra convenience. There are other lenses for about the same price that offer wider maximum apertures – Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 are quick to come to mind. Hope that helps.!

          • Thank you,
            Your suggestions haven been really helpful.

            I have one more thing in mind. My best friend, is opting for fuji Xe1 and he has the cash to buy only one lens. Which do you think is the best option. He is a very creative guy and he wants his to reflect just that.

            Options are…
            Fuji xf 14mm f2.8
            Fuji xf 35mm f1.4
            Fuji xf 18-55mm f2.8-f4

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