Compact and affordable, the EF-S 18-55mm f/3 5-5 6 IS is the ideal general-purpose standard zoom Its 4-stop Image Stabilizer provides great performance in low light conditions The EF-S 18-55mm f/3 5-5 6 IS is a high-quality, standard zoom lens that will appeal to photographers who prefer to travel light With a focal length equivalent of 29-88mm in 35mm format, the lens' wide zoom range is suitable for most general photography For close-up work, auto focus continues to work at distances of just 0 25m (25cm) throughout the zoom range To minimize risk of image blur, the EF-S 18-55mm f/3 5-5 6 IS incorporates Canon's latest 4-stop compensation Image Stabilizer technology This allows photographers to use shutter speeds up to 4 times slower with no perceptible increase in image blur - ideal for shooting in low light As well as ensuring true color balance and sharp, high contrast images, Super Spectra coatings combat ghosting and flare by absorbing light reflecting off digital camera sensors or internal lens elements An aspherical lens element delivers crisp, high contrast images even with the aperture fully opened
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This lens just about the same size and weight as the older 18-55mm lens. The coating is different and gives holding the lens a better grip. The performance of this lens is far superior to the old lens, images are sharper and to me have more depth and colour. The IS system works very effectively to reduce camera shake and can also keep the IS goning automatically if you are panning. I could not really get better than 3 stops advantage over a non-IS lens, not the Canon quoted 4 stops. This is not really noticeable in real life, so I would not define it as a minus point to the lens. Build quality is good for the price range even though it is a plastic build and mount, this is never going to be a pro lens and it is built to a price. Overall, top marks to Canon for an excellent lens. For picture quality verus price this lens will be a winner
This lens has caused a mild stir on the internet in the last few months. To my mind, it's the zoom equivalent of Canon's 50mm f1.8, in the sense that it's very cheap but performs very well. On an optical level it has no obvious deficits. Physically it is small and light, and the image stabilisation works well. As a package, at this price level, it's hard to resist if you want a cheap decent walkaround lens. The only obvious competition I can think of is the Sigma 18-50mm, but that doesn't have image stabilisation, and from what I have seen it's blurry around the edges; at the very least, it offers nothing over the Canon 18-55mm IS and it's no cheaper.
This is the third version of Canon's 18-55mm camera kit lens. The first two editions of the lens were regularly derided on the internet for poor sharpness at the corners, chromatic aberrations, and general naff build quality. I can't confirm any of that, because I haven't used the older versions, although the samples I have seen were unimpressive. You can find these lenses going cheaply on eBay, because no-one wants them. In contrast, the 18-55mm IS has exceeded expectations, and has received good reviews, notably from Digital Photography Review and Photozone.de. They go into a lot of detail about the image sharpness and so forth, I will not try to duplicate their work.
I've had mine for a week or so now, and I've tested it and used it generally out and about. I like it, with some reservations. It's smaller and less conspicuous than my Sigma 18-125mm. It has far less distortion than my Canon 24-85mm. It's more versatile than my old Super Takumar f1.4, although in most other respects the Takumar squashes it like a bug, not least because it is made of metal. The 18-55mm's big drawback is its physical design. It's has a nice rubber zoom ring, and it feels tougher than my Canon 50mm f1.8. However, the front part of the lens, with the manual zoom ring, wobbles a bit. As the reviews have pointed out, the front of the lens rotates as it focusses (and moves back and forth a surprising amount), which makes it a bother to use polarising filters. It's a shame Canon didn't enlarge the body slightly, and completely enclose the front of the lens.
The motor whines a bit as it focuses, about the same level as my Sigma 18-125mm. There's one thing in particular that irritates me - most zoom lenses are physically shortest at the widest zoom level, and so it's easy to store the lens away. You just rotate the zoom collar until it stops, and stick on the lens cap. In contrast, the 18-55mm is shortest about half-way through its travel, and there's no way to lock it in place, which means that I have to pack it away partially-zoomed; my worry is that the manual focussing ring will catch on something, and break the whole front of the lens off.
Still, gripes over. The image quality has nothing wrong with it. I wasn't being systematic, and these are my subjective views, but overall I liked it. The lens is basically distortion-free at all but the widest setting. It's nice and sharp in the middle, and sharpens up very well with software. The corners are slightly less sharp, but not noticeably so unless you're really looking for it. Having said that, my copy of the lens was blurrier in the left and bottom-left edge of the image, and had more purple and red fringing in that corner. Otherwise, even with a classic "tree against overexposed sky" shot, I could see only the tiniest amount of purple fringing. The out-of-focus bokeh is nice and smooth.
The image stabilisation is the icing on the cake. I managed to squeeze out shots at 1/10th, 1/5th that were usable. Alternatively, I could shoot stopped down at f5.6 or f8.0 in moderately dim light, for maximum sharpness. The lens benefits greatly from image stabilisation, because f5.6 at 55mm (88mm equivalent) is very slow indeed. Canon argues that IS turns this into f2.0 at 55mm. I'm not sure of that, but it isn't far off.
You don't get a lens hood. There is a lens hood available, but it's about twenty quid. It looks like a tea saucer with a hole in the middle. In fact it looks about as useful as a tea saucer with a hole in the middle, either for shading the lens, or for holding a cup of tea. I would be wary of fitting it onto the lens, for fear of nudging the hood and breaking off the front part of the lens. I haven't tested the lens for flare - the weather hasn't been very good - but I can imagine this being a weakness.
One other thing. The lens was dust-free when I took it out of the box, unlike my Sigma lens, which had some dust inside it. I suspect that over time the 18-55mm will become a dust trap, because it doesn't look very well sealed. Mind you, in five years it'll probably be worthless, not because there's anything wrong with it, but because it's so cheap (in fact it's notable that the lens is actually more expensive on eBay than it is here - perhaps Canon is finding it hard to make them fast enough).Read more ›
The `non-IS` version of this lens came with my Canon kit and having read so much about the `IS` version decided to buy it.I can only say that there is no comparison, the`IS` version is better in every respect.The lens is effectively much faster and allows you a greater flexibilty in low light situations. Recommended.
As Canon's Kit lens by default these days, anyone getting a digital SLR kit with one or two exceptions will get this lens included.
To say it's better than the previous 18-55 kit is an understatement. It's not that the build quality is much better than the older version - it isn't - it has a pseudo alloy effect on the plastic barrel, and feels slightly tighter overall, while the extra (IS) switch 'boosts' the look. In actual fact, the durability of this (and the older kit) are reasonable enough in the proce range, and what you would expect.
As for image quality.. well quite simply it punches well above it's weight without question - it's not often you find products with (justifiable) 4 and 5 star reviews like this. If anyone uses the old kit lens and puts this on, they will immediately wonder why they didn't switch a long time ago.
At it's current offer price it's almost mandatory to own if you have the earlier kit lens. It may even get you using the camera more.
There are two newer versions of this lens a Mark II and a non-IS version. Optically there is very little, if any difference between them and this.
Although touching on build quality I don't think it is reasonable to underscore for this - the build is perfectly fine for 'normal' use.
Zoom lenses are a compromise, however, I have this lens in my bag along with several 'Prime' lenses which are considerbaly more expensive. If I need to use this lens for a particular shot, either if I need the IS, or more usually the wider angle, then I do not hesitate to use it. I don't think any kit lens can ask for more of a 'review' than that - which is that for most people, it is perfeclty useable and produces excellent results in its class. It cannot be compared to lenses costing treble the money (or more), but for what it is, at its normal asking price (more so bundled) it is superb value. If anyone was 'pixel peeping' enough or concerned at the build, they will either be spending much more money on the more expensive lenses to upgrade, or not even considering this lens. In the company it keeps (from any manufacturer) this lens is virtually peerless.Read more ›
I got this lens this morning and went out today taking photos with it. I'm really impressed with the results, it's a big improvement over the standard 18-55 kit lens. The optics perform better giving sharper results, and the image stabiliser is a handy addition.
I don't usually have a single bad word to say about Canon, but at a retail cost of around £140-£160 for this lens, Canon should be ashamed of themselves for selling the lens hood separately at an additional £25! What a complete rip off for a little bit of cheap plastic.