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

Canon has made multiple EF 28-105mm lens models and 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM is one of them. I got this unit out of curiosity for a measly £91. This lens had a good build and good optical quality features. All these for an affordable bargain.

This lens should not be confused with another discontinued, much-lower-end, 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 USM. Both of them are very different in the build aspects.

This lens is the modest in weight and providing comfort for use. The unit had a metal mount, a distance window and though narrow where a real focusing ring is provided. Both the focus and zoom rings have a nice feel to them.

The unit comes with an enabled focusing FTM. Ultrasonic Motor is speedy and surprisingly silent while autofocusing. Also a notch up from the econo zooms is a 7-blade medium-fast aperture that starts at f/3.5, goes to f/4 around 37mm and then to f/4.5 around 70mm.

At 70mm, it does not perform as well and 105mm it performs poorly. To obtain good image sharpness, 1/3 stop is recommended particularly at f/5.6. Images across the under-70mm focal length range are sharp and at f/8, images are even sharper right into the corners.

The opening of the lens is soft wide open evenly into the corners. Corners are not much softer hence causing vignetting than the center. Some Chromatic aberration is visible in the corners at 28mm and a relatively strong amount at 105mm. Strong barrel distortion is present at 28mm. By 35mm, a very slight amount of pincushion distortion becomes present. Pincushion distortion is strong from 50mm through 105mm.

If you are looking for a zoom lens with good close-up capabilities, this unit is probably not a good choice as it can only provide up to .19x magnification natively. To rectify this, adding an extension tubes will help. However, the 28-105mm II is not compatible with Canon extenders.

This lens is recommended for those who love light weight and silent focusing lens. Ideal for everyday usage and travel. If you decide the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Lens is the right lens for you, you can be sure that you are not overpaying for what you get.

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Delsie Eglinton
14 years ago

I was searching for information on lenses for my canon 500D when I found your site. Great post. Thank You.