Pros: Inexpensive; Excellent Image Quality; Solid Construction; Good Focal Length Range; USM
Cons: Not At This Price!
After recently purchasing my Canon Digital Rebel XTi with the kit lens, I sold off the kit lens and replaced it with the Canon EF 28-105mm lens. I purchased this lens on eBay for just under $200. I have used it heavily for about two months, before selling it for my current lens, my Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM. I did not sell the lens because I did not like it, but instead purchased the latter lens for the image stabilization as well as additional 30mm of focal length range. The Canon EF 28-105mm was by no means a bad lens, and there is a reason why this is a highly sought after lens.
*Before diving into my review, I wanted to make two very important distinctions.
*Do Not Mistakenly Purchase The "Junk" Lens*
*The lens, which I have owned and am reviewing is the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens, NOT the Canon EF 28-105mm f4-5.6 USM lens. If you are purchasing a Canon 28-105mm lens, make sure you are NOT purchasing that lens. yes it is newer, but it is a horrible lens. I can not believe that Canon has come out with junk like that. Therefore, if you are on eBay. Do not purchase the different lens by mistake. You will be sorry you did. Just by looking at the lenses, you can easily tell the difference. You should just keep this in mind when purchasing the lens.
*Flower Icon or "MACRO"*
*I am reviewing the Canon EF 28-105mm with the word "MACRO" written on it. It is newer and replaced an older version of the same lens, which instead had a yellow flower on it. There are some minor cosmetic differences in them. The greatest difference though is that the newer Canon EF 28-105mm which I am reviewing has a 7-blade aperture diaphragm, while the lens with the yellow flower icon has a 5-blade aperture diaphragm. This is located on the barrel of the lens. The aperture diaphragm is supposed to stop the entry of light. I am still no great expert on the topic, but the 7-bladed version is an improvement Therefore, I would be careful when purchasing the lens, and would make sure that the barrel as well as zoom window says "MACRO" on it. The Canon EF 28-105mm with the yellow flower is still supposedly a fine lens nonetheless. It is older, but of course, many of Canon's older products are of exceptional quality.
*You can find the Canon EF 28-105mm on eBay for around ~$200 give or take. Without doubt, this lens is worth every penny of the price you pay. It is one of the most sought after Canon lenses, and is so for a reason. The lens is extremely high quality when it comes to the overall construction. But more importantly, the Canon EF 28-105mm has provided me with exceptional image quality that exceeded that of my now gone kit lens. I used the lens both with and without an external flash. When indoors, I was using a borrowed Canon Speedlite 430EX. I was provided with exceptional quality pictures. The pictures appeared very sharp and were very vivid. While the quality is not going to exceed that of a Canon L-Series lens, the Canon EF 28-105mm still provides sensational quality at a very low price. If you purchase this lens on eBay, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck. This is a great lens to either step up to from the kit lens if you have a Rebel, or an excellent primary lens for someone on a tight budget. The Canon EF 28-105mm is superior to other inexpensive lenses which go on eBay, such as the 28-80mm, 35-80mm, and 28-90mm. The Canon EF 28-105mm provides better optics as well as build quality. It is definitely worth the $200 price range. Just remember to buy the "MACRO" lens as well as the correct lens (Not the junk lens)! With the Canon EF 28-105mm, not only do you get what you pay for, but you also get more than what you pay for!
*The one thing that I miss about this lens is the metal. It is metal, unlike its plastic counterparts. This gave the lens a much more solid feel. I am sure that the longevity of this lens will also be increased due to the design, if you are a serious and adventurous photographer. The metal lens is an improvement over my current lens, which is plastic. Now if only they made the 28-135mm in metal... OK, but seriously, this is a tried and proven lens that stems all the way to the one with the yellow flower. The lens is also very light despite its metal body. This lens is a pleasure to have on a camera and will not weigh the camera down. I was able to hold it all the time on the camera and not find the weight to be a nuisance. If a lens has been made over so many years, and is being sought after, you know it is good. You can easily find very old lenses on eBay, such as the earlier models. This lens is built to last, and unless you beat it up terribly, I do not think that it will break on you.
*The lens is a USM model. Therefore it has the Ultrasonic auto focus motor. The auto focus is extremely quick, as well as quiet. It is always a plus to have the USM motor since the lens will be able to focus very quickly for action shots. The one drawback is that there is no Canon EF 28-105mm with Canon's Image Stabilization. In order to get that feature, you will have to upgrade to the plastic 28-135mm lens, which is also a bit more expensive. I purchased that lens for the IS feature. If you have a steady hand though, the Canon EF 28-105mm should prove to be a good lens. I had a few blurry shots with it, but that was due to my own motions. Nonetheless, I decided to pay more for an IS lens. It's your choice. But as for what the lens already has, you get a lot of bang for the buck. USM is the way to go!
*For the price, the image quality is nothing short of impressive! The quality was considerably improved versus the Canon EF-S 18-55 kit lens. Unfortunately, the Canon EF 28-105mm does not get as wide as the kit lens since its focal length ranges from 28-105mm. Nonetheless, this is an excellent range that is more than enough for most users.
The images were very sharp with vivid color. Since the f-stop is at f3.5, this is not the fastest lens. Therefore for indoor shots, it may be wise to use a flash. By using a flash, I experienced excellent results. I could not differentiate the quality between the Canon EF 28-105mm and the Canon EF 28-135mm lens, except for blurry shots due to my hand motion. Overall, the Canon EF 28-105mm had very impressive image quality. The quality is better than what you would expect in the price range. Perhaps the excellent optics offered by the lens are yet another reason as to why it is so popular. The only drawback is the lack of an image stbilized version of the lens. I have had a few blurry shots, that were my fault, and not the fault of the lens. But this alone can prompt someone to purchase an IS lens. Nonetheless, for the price I paid, I could not have been happier.
*The Canon EF 28-105mm is a real winner. It is a beautiful gem that you can pick up at a very low price. You don't have to have a lot of cash lying around to take excellent quality photographs. I was more than happy with the image quality, especially when the lens was combined with a Canon Speedlite flash. You just have to be very CAREFUL when purchasing the lens. The worst mistake that you can make is by purchasing the poor quality junk lens that has the f4.0-5.6 f-stop. Avoid that lens at all costs! It is not the same lens! Also, try not to purchase the older Canon EF 28-105mm with the yellow flower icon. While a good lens, the Canon EF 28-105mm with the "MACRO" is ultimately an upgrade with the 7-bladed aperture diaphragm. Ultimately, the lens provides amazing quality for the buck. From the solid metal body to the excellent optical quality, the Canon EF 28-105mm proves itself to be a tried and trusted lens. It will make a great addition for any photographer on a budget looking for a great lens. If you have extra cash laying around and feel that you would benefit dramatically from Canon's Image Stabilization, you should look into the Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens which would offer IS as well as a greater focal length range.
**CHECK OUT MORE LENSES**
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Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
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Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM Lens
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**CHECK OUT EOS ACCESSORIES**
Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash
Canon Speedlite 430EX Flash
Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-1 Flash
Canon Extender EF 2x II
Canon Gadget Bag 100DG