Literally until this week I have owned both the Canon EF 28-105 f3.5-4.5 and the EF 28-135 IS f5.3-105, which did I prefer? Not an easy question to answer. The 28-105 was equaly fast and as good for picture quality, it was smaller and lighter and possibly because of its lower value was used more often as my daily walk around lens. Where I was specifically out to get an image the extra reach of the 135 compared to the 105 could be useful. IS Image stabilisation was an advantage when shooting non moving objects in low light but in practice most of my subjects were moving so I only used it on a few occasions and when I did it really drained the camera batteries (Top Tip take a couple of spare batteries every time).
In my opinion you cannot go wrong with either lens and the choice depends on your available funds, A 28-105 will cost you around £80 on Ebay. Expect to pay about £125 for a 28-135 IS lens. To help your choice, besides the extra 30mm of reach the size and weight of the 28-135 balances very well with a semi pro body fitted with a battery grip. As a bonus both lenses are consistently popular and hold their value in the auctions so are the best options when you are considering building a high quality kit enabling you to step up in stages without losing bundles of cash each time. The same can be said for the 24-105 f4 L lens that I have just won, however for this build and image quality you will have to be prepared to spend around £450. As the old saying goes ' you pays your money and you takes your choice'.
Having just spent some time with my new L lens I now regret selling my other two lenses, yes I used the 28-135 more often but looking at magnified screen images of my garden features (on different days) I have come to the conclusion that on my 20D (8.2Mp) the difference is negligable, and hence I have concluded that you need a much higher megapixel count from your DSLR to justify a 24-105l Lens. (since originally writing this I have upgraded to a 7D with 18MP in the hope to squeeze more from my L lenses)I hope I may have saved some of you from spending money that would be difficult to justify unless your camera can really take advantage of the optics..
You will find plenty of extremely good reviews for all of these lenses on the net and you will find that there are still pro photographers prepared to pack both of these non pro lenses when weight is a factor compared to heavy L lenses and their images are often available to view on-line.
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