Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM

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28-105mm $220
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(From Canon lens literature) Retains the optical capability of the highly popular EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens, with a refined exterior design. Includes ring-type USM drive for silent, high-speed autofocusing, plus full-time manual focusing.

Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM

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Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM User Reviews

7.3/10 average of 15 review(s) Build Quality 7.4/10 Image Quality 7.3/10
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by transiently (26 reviews)
    Sharpness on full frame. Bokeh at 105mm is quite nice.
    Sample variation. Distortion at 28mm. Not particularly sharp or contrasty on crop sensor.

    Sharpness, contrast and colour are excellent on my 6D. Benefits from being stopped down, but a good one is already very good by 5.6 or 6.3 and won't be unusable at maximum aperture. Other samples I tried were less consistent. Extreme corners aren't usually perfect but this is a much better lens on full frame than its current reputation. Duocam construction wobbles slightly and doesn't inspire confidence, but makes the lens smaller than it would be.

    reviewed December 19th, 2020 (purchased for $100)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by NaturesPencil (1 reviews)
    wide range, decently quick, USM, non-rotating front element, inexpensive, light and compact
    not weather sealed, IQ is not the absolute best, lacks IS

    I simply do not understand all the negative reviews. This is a wonderful lens, and possibly the best value of any lens Canon has ever made.

    Or most practical purposes the IQ is indistinguishable from 'L' zooms except at huge magnifications or zoomed in to 1:1 on the computer, and even then the differences are small.

    It is fine on APS-C cameras as well as full frame. I admit that 28mm is not at all wide on APS-C but for many purposes 28-105 is a useful range.

    reviewed February 9th, 2016
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by lucasbutchart (3 reviews)
    Decent build and optical quality, good range, USM, FTM
    None for the price

    Most reviewers talk about their experience with this lens on an APS-C sensor camera, and they slam it pretty hard because it isn't wide or sharp enough. First of all, why would you ever use this on a crop-sensor camera, aside from maybe curiosity or if it's all you had lying around?
    This is a full frame lens and for that purpose it works fine. Sure, because FF digital cameras are so expensive you should probably invest in better glass, but this lens works fine too, especially if you're using it in an environment where it could get damaged, or as a backup, because it's so cheap.
    With USM it will focus better than most third party lenses (and other Canon lenses too), and the photos it makes are actually decent - helps if the photographer is good too.
    The big drawback is the slow f-stop, but for low light you use primes or flash anyway.
    The other drawback might be that's not as sharp as something like the 24-105L, but should we be comparing these? I've never liked the pictures I get from the 24-105L compared to my primes anyway, so perhaps midrange zooms aren't my thing.
    As a beater everyday FF lens, don't hesitate to use this consumer zoom.

    reviewed May 14th, 2013 (purchased for $150)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by shiphorns (4 reviews)
    Great walkaround zoom for my film camera in 1998
    Average by today's standard, not great for APS-C DSLR

    I bought this lens with my Elan IIe 35mm film camera in 1998. It gave me a lot of fine photographs with that camera, and saw a lot of use as my walkaround lens of choice.

    I still have the lens, and I've used it occasionally on my D60 and 60D, but it shows its age and lacks the sharpness of newer lenses made for high-resolution DSLRs. The effective FoV of a 45-168 on an APS-C body makes this not a desirable choice as a walkaround. Performance is also just average.

    There are newer, cheaper options that are sharper, more contrasty,and have image stabilization and focal ranges more useful on a crop-sensor DSLR. Because of this, I don't recommend this for DSLR use.

    reviewed December 7th, 2010 (purchased for $250)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by Spaceclown (3 reviews)
    Great 35mm lens
    Troubled DSLR (APS-C) lens

    I've owned this lens for 8 years and on 35mm SLRs it always performed well. However, on APS-C DSLRs it is flawed.

    With a 35mm SLR its image quality is good to great throughout the focal lengths. However, on a DSLR it only is good at 50mm and higher. Which is very odd and I have no explanations for it.

    On A DSLR this lens should be only used above 50mm at distances greater than 5 meters; and even then, between 50-70mm, the aperture should be F8 or higher for sharp pictures. Anything less than 50mm will have poor image quality, even if you stop down the aperture. So this lens on a DSLR is effectively a 50-105mm lens (on a 1.6 crop 80-168mm).

    This phenomenon troubled me to the point where I pulled out my Elan and tested the lens. The image quality on the prints (8X10) is much better.

    If anyone can explain why an EF lens performs so drastically different on a 35mm body versus a APS-C DSLR body I would appreciate the knowledge. I have a guess, the distance of the lens rear element to the focal plane (a long back focus which is improved with the EF-S lenses), but no real evidence.

    reviewed October 18th, 2008 (purchased for $200)
  • 7 out of 10 points and not recommended by mrmr (6 reviews)
    performance at long end
    poor contrast, bad flare, performance at wide end

    Says it all really. At 28mm this lens sucks. Don't even think about using it wide open... It's much better at the long end, but even there it suffers badly from flare and poor contrast. Get that hood and USE IT!

    Overall I'd say buy the 24-85 instead.

    reviewed January 4th, 2008 (purchased for $100)
  • 5 out of 10 points and not recommended by daveman (1 reviews)

    I bought this lens as a "grab and go" for my Elan II. It was what that body was stored wearing so I could quickly deploy it in fleeting situations. (F8 and be there) Toward that end, it has a good FL zoom range, good open F, fairly fast AF and as advertised will not vignette the on board flash as long as a hood is not installed. All this at an atractive price.

    However, a few months after purchase I noticed that the image in the viewfinder would shift slightly left or right when manually reversing focus direction. I didn't think much of it given that the lens still SEEMED to give good results.

    Since then I have become heavily involved in astronomy and stars are an acid test of any optical system. That combined with the recent purchase of my first DSLR has brought me to a point where I am much more critical of image quality.

    I piggybacked my 30D on top of one of my scopes and shot 20- 40 second exposures of the Orion constellation through this lens. When I zoomed in on those images I found that every star in every image was stretched and or ghosted to the left to the extent that the streached dimension was double the other axis. I went back through other non-astro files as well as film blowups taken with this lens looking for images with bright objects on dark background and saw the same effect.

    I veiw this lens as a good idea poorly executed and I doubt it is indicative of all examples. I take a "what do you expect for $209" attitude toward it. Had it still been under warranty I might have sent it to Canon for repair. Instead it has been sold and replaced with the 24-105 F4 L IS. Kind of expensive for IT'S Image quality but it's a lot better than the 28-105. My Orion costellation shots now have nice round star images. Well, at least in about 50% of the center of field. Hey, it's still a zoom. Compromises have to be made.


    reviewed February 20th, 2007 (purchased for $209)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by thf (8 reviews)
    good consumer zoom, better than the kit 28-90mm
    non really at this price...

    I used this lens with EOS 50E and have been happy with the results. AF is ok, image quality ok for the price. Good build quality, nice for travel. Probably best choice at this price for a film camera.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $300)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by John H Maw (15 reviews)
    Image quality good enough for most things even on full frame, compact, low price
    Not much, but wouldn't mind if the image quality were even better

    This lens never seems to get great reviews. I don't understand why. I have had one for about 10 years, and although I buy other lenses, this one always seems to get a lot of use. It's not the sharpest lens you can find, but it is still a good working lens if stopped down a couple of stops. On top of that it is small, light and has a range that makes it quite versatile. The zoom ring on mine has just started to stiffen up at the 28mm end (after 10 years), but apparently there is not sufficient wear to see what is at fault, so I will continue to use it. Not bad for what is now a very inexpensive lens.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by gadgetguy (62 reviews)
    reasonable build, image quality
    bad range for a APS-C DSLR

    I used this on a Canon film SLR as a walkaround, and it was a good lens (back then). IQ is fair, considering the price, and maybe if this lens were $50 cheaper I could consider it a bargain.

    It's way better than the usual kit lenses that used to come with film SLRs in terms of IQ and build but for a DSLR, you might want to go someplace else.

    reviewed December 14th, 2006
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by dimfinder (5 reviews)
    Reasonable build quality
    Low contrast, range on a 1.6x body

    I've had this lens from the film days and I used to like it's results then, but since buying a 20D I've been dissapointed with the image quality.
    Even on a 1.6 crop body it shows low sharpness and contrast wide open and it doesn't improve much when stopped down. It's very prone to flare. Even the 18-55 has better sharpness, although it suffers more from CA.
    I would not recommend it for a digital camera user.

    reviewed November 26th, 2006 (purchased for $390)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Ksuji (2 reviews)
    Great bang for the buck, fast quiet focus

    This is the best bang for the buck for the range it is in.
    This is the first lens I put on my 30D, purchased this as opposed to getting the kit lens. (purchased @ B&H)
    It's the best from Canon coming out of the 28-105mm's.
    The cheaper EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM is not worth it.
    The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is too much money compared to this one. And if you're thinking about EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, you might as well buy the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, and get a bigger tele zoom.

    reviewed November 14th, 2006 (purchased for $223)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by CanonMan (2 reviews)
    Fairly good heft and feel, FTM focusing is a bonus, very quick and quiet focusing
    too much barrel distortion at widest angle setting, stopping down only helps a little, sometimes zoom action not smooth

    This lens is used primarily on my film cameras. I am one of those so called dinosaurs still shooting film primarily. I use a S3IS for digital. This is my all around take everywhere lens. Mostly it resides on my Elan 7, sometimes on a 3. I actually prefer the balance of the elan 7 combo the best. I have the battery grip for the Elan 7 which helps. Other than the distortion(barrel) at wide angle, there is little to complain of with this lens. Focusing is quick, quiet, and the ability to override the auto focus is great! I would prefer the zooming action to be a little smoother. Occasionally it seems a tad stiff. It may just be my lens. Used with the 7, a 420 EX flash and this lens makes for great portraiture work. This combo actually gives me a momentary 'preview' of the picture as the flash goes off. I believe this to be attributable mostly to the brief viewfinder blank out time, and the EX flash system. I have used more expensive lenses in the Canon line, but at the end of the day, this is the one that I prefer. My main gripe with Canon lenses is the lack of supplied lens hoods as standard. I prefer hoods. I know there are others that dont. I have had two lenses 'saved' due to the fact there was a hood attached. Happy shooting!

    reviewed November 14th, 2006 (purchased for $195)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by starlancer99 (2 reviews)
    light, quick focusing
    could be sharper

    This is the lens that I have mounted on my 30D 90% of the time. For what I do its the perfect walk around lens and a wounderful portrait lens. For this price the image quality is great!

    reviewed November 14th, 2006 (purchased for $220)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by huwmorgan (1 reviews)
    Lightweight, inexpensive, nice zoom range, sharp when using APS-C sized sensor
    wide end isn't quite wide enough

    I have a Canon 10D. My first two lenses were the 17-40 f4 L and the 70-200 f4 L. The 17-40 just doesn't cut it as a walk-around lens. 40 mm is not quite enough of a zoom, even with the 1.6x crop of my 10D. I also bought a 1.4x extender for my 70-200 zoom.

    The 28-105 fits nicely in between my two other lenses and allows me to keep the extender on my 70-200 all the time. The 28-105 is perfect as a walk-around lens with its light weight and nice zoom range. The quality is just fine, especially with an APS-C sized sensor that crops out the fuzzy edge bits.

    Yes, the new 24-104 f4 IS L is tempting, but it costs 5 times the price and the quality is not that much better. With modern digital cameras capable of shooting at ISO 400 or 800 plus noise reduction software (e.g. Noise Ninga), it is relatively easy to keep the shutter at 1/100 th or faster so that lens shake is not a big issue. I don't miss IS on any of my lenses.

    If you have a 10D, XT or 20D, consider this lens, especially if you are on a budget. You will not be disappointed. The build quality is very good considering its light weight and the auto focus is silent and fast.

    reviewed October 23rd, 2005 (purchased for $300)