Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2005

Special thanks to Jaroslaw Komasinski for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 was a quite popular standard zoom during the film era and possibly it will regain its former significance once full frame sensors will eventually enter the mainstream market but on the current APS-C DSLRs it is a quite exotic lens with a field of view similar to a ~45-168mm full-format equivalent. Nonetheless the lens is surely still present in many camera bags and after reviewing many high performance lenses lately it should be interesting to look a little towards the lower third of the quality range. The lens used in this review is the initial version. A few years ago Canon has introduced a mk II variant of the lens but apart from a few cosmetic changes the two generations remain fairly identical so the findings in this report should be valid for this latest variant as well.

The lens extends during zooming being shortest at 28mm and reaching its max. length at 105mm. As you may notice below the lens features a so-called duo-cam zoom system with two inner lens tubes.

The lens construction is made of 15 elements in 12 groups without any special elements. Its aperture mechanism features 5 aperture blades (the mk II has 7 blades). With a size of 72x75mm and 375g it is compact as well as light weight. The build quality is decent though not great. There's a little play in the duo-cam system and the focus and zoom control rings aren't damped.

The lens has a very fast and near silent USM (ultrasonic) AF drive with allows full-time manual focusing in one-shot AF mode. The minimal focus distance is 0.5m resulting with a max. magnification of 1:5 at 105mm. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem.

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