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18-135mm STM lens...Opinions?


I'm considering a mid range zoom for my T3i, and wonder if the STM version of the 18-135mm has

any advantages over the 18-135mm II IS lens?



I don't know about the optics, but I do know that the STM lenses are quieter.  The USM focus motors of normal lenses are pretty quiet to begin with, so this additional level of quietness is not too important except for serious video shooters, where even the quiet noise of a USM focus motor can be heard in your film.


Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Rising Star
What other lens do you have and what are you planning to shoot?

I have the kit lens, 18-55mm. I'd like a longer lens for all types of situations. Landscapes, sports (Auto racing), etc.

I have a second DSLR (Sony) witha 70-300mm, so I'd like a mid-range zoom for the T3i

I do not own the 18-135 STM lens but every thing I've read is that is is a very good lens in its class.  The STM designation is a quieter motor which benefit video shooters.  Since you have the 18-55  lens already, you only gain 56-135mm in focal length.  You might consider a telephoto zoom lens with a longer short end instead.  If you have access to a camera shop, I would look through a 135mm lens to get a feel if 135mm is long enough for your needs. Otherwise I would consider a longer zoom lens.  


Not knowing what your budget is, I would consider the 70-300 IS which is about a $100 more and for an additional $100 you can get the very sharp 70-200L f/4 but it does not have IS.  If you find that 135mm is long enough, you might find that the best option is the 18-135 STM since you can zoom from wide to medium telephoto all with one lens.


Your 18-55 is good for landscapes and portraits so you got that covered.    Good luck.




I have the 18-135 and use it for almost everyhting. Its great for a mulitipurpose lens. It is true that the STM series is quieter but i dont shoot much video at all anyways. Also have a 55-250 IS that is good for longer shots.


Better wait to get the 18-135 STM with a new camera as a kit-lens when you upgrade, e.g. with a T4i. It's not much different than 18-55 (if that's what you have now) and quiet video autofocus may not be as important as you think (you'll soon discover that a lens with a good manual focus ring is much better for video than an autofocus lens and it's not that hard to use). Also consider the EF-S 55-250, it's very cheap and completes the 18-55 very well.


Get the cheapest zooms you can find and use them for the ability to zoom. Don't care much about their image quality because all zooms are beaten by cheap primes so it's not worth the money to invest in good zooms. If you want better image quality then get prime lenses (non-zooms like the 50/1.8).