by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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I'm having the exact same problem as this guy is having:

Problem description:

I'm having a problem when focusing with my 18-135mm IS lens. At a certain point (around mid-zoomed), when I manually focus the image, the image will jump/tilt slightly in the viewfinder. This is highly annoying... The problem happens both with IS on or off and I've only noticed it in manual focus mode.

The problem happens with or without IS disabled. The problem does not occur if I look directly up while trying to replicate the problem.

Can anyone here shed some insight on this problem?

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Is it the STM version or the previous version of the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens? – Michael Clark Feb 12 '14 at 22:18
Think it's the normal one. EF-S – Paze Feb 12 '14 at 22:21
This is the problem! – Paze Feb 12 '14 at 22:53

Can you find the exact point where this happens? More properly: is there

  1. a point when it happens or
  2. is there hysteresis?

1: if you find this point, small back and forth movement of the focus ring makes big repeated jumps (do not play with this too much though ;-) )

2: you focus in one direction, then it jumps, but you have to go backward with focus considerably before it jumps back.


  1. means that the lens element path is somehow weakened or broken or has some play or dirt or some kind of a friction (there are several types of greases being used in a lens to properly achieve the required friction);

  2. usually means that a lens element has some play inside the lens holder ring - God knows its proper English name... It is two rings glued together on each side of the lens element, holding the lens element usually steady. So when the lens element is loose, and the lens is breathing, it can also do a pop like this, although not this distinct.

Also, does the same error happen if you look directly vertically down? (Do not look vertically up, as small debris can drop into the camera from a broken lens during focusing...).

From the video, you can hear a "knock" just when the change happens, so my guess is point 1. Instead of sliding properly, there is a break when moving from one path from another, like those internal paths are not properly aligned, and that makes the sound and the change in optical axis. My bet is that this happens one direction pretty rapidly (so: knock), and not the other way (no knock...).

It seems that this is a construction error, so your best bet is to have it fixed or replaced.

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Most likely it is a loose lens element of some type. Probably not easily user serviceable since the lens likely needs to be re-aligned as well. Calling up a Canon Service Center is probably your best bet, though it may be more expensive to get fixed than to simply replace the lens.

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