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Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

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Reviews Views Date of last review
47 137046 Mar 21, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $149.77
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.27
9.50
8.4
EFS18-55_35-56IS

Specifications:
Overview:
n response to demands of photographers, this standard zoom lens is designed with Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology while retaining the compactness and lightness of previous models. Its stabilization allows sharp hand-held shots at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than otherwise possible. It consists of 11 elements in 9 groups and uses an Aspherical lens element to correct aberration for excellent image quality throughout the zoom range and a circular aperture for exquisite rendering of out-of-focus backgrounds. Without a lot of size, weight or cost, this lens expands picture-taking possibilities any time slow shutter speeds are needed.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 74 20' - 27 50'
Focus Adjustment: AF (DC motor), with manual focus option
Closest Focusing Distance: 9.8 in./0.25m
Filter Size: 58mm, P=0.75mm/1 filter
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.7 in. x 3.33 in./68.5mm x 84.5mm (maximum lens length)


 


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aVOLanche
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 159
Review Date: Jan 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: WAY better than old non-IS Excellent IS sharp(shockingly good).
Cons:
plastic build feels cheap(but is very adequate).

Just a terrific lens for a "kit" lens.A best buy.It is a huge improvement over the older kit lens.The IS is superb.I think it's a best buy and Canon finally has built an very good,inexpensive consumer lens.

Jan 1, 2009
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sbv20
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Registered: Sep 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 135
Review Date: Dec 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $165.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, IS, price
Cons:
Build quality

If you're buying this, you surely have certain expectations for a $165 lens. It's true that its plastic, the manual focus ring sucks, it isn't durable, and it makes you look like an amateur. So what? The image quality is awesome for the money. Very sharp, and the IS works so so well, completely silently. I upgraded to this from a 17-85 and couldn't be happier.

Dec 24, 2008
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Max Er
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Registered: Sep 13, 2008
Location: Belarus
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:
polarizer filter use is questionable.


I was very doubtful when 450d with 12 mpx was announced as to the IQ of 12mp with a kit lens - I was pleasantly surprised after I bought one.

It proved to be quite sharp, excellent IS performance, lightweight and portable.

overall its a very good lens considering its ridiculous price - perfomarnce ratio (if you buy it as a kit lens).


Sep 13, 2008
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Zlatorog
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Registered: Sep 7, 2008
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, sharp (mainly in center), effective IS. Excellent quality/price ratio
Cons:
some CA, barrel distortion, construction



Sep 7, 2008
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10121
Review Date: Aug 17, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 1 

Pros: Cheap
Cons:
Absolutely everything else: Badly made, not very sharp, woefully slow.

Canon do themselves no favours putting this lens on their EF-S mount bodies. This lens disguises the quality of the Canon sensor to such a degree that many new to digital slr's blame the camera for bad shots when in reality it's the dreadful kit lens.

I've had both IS and non-IS versions and they are both awful, I didn't find the IS version any better at all.

If you are in the market for a Canon dslr, buy the kit, sell the kit lens and buy either a Tamron 17-50 or a Sigma 17-70 and get somewhere near the best out of your camera.


Aug 17, 2008
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Paul Morrison
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Registered: Nov 3, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, size, weight, stabilization, edge sharpness, close focus, quick and sure AF
Cons:
rotating front element, build quality, lens hood not included

Considering this lens cost $100 as an option as part of the XSi kit, it is simply unrivalled in the Canon line of lenses. It is very sharp, the stabilizer works very well, the AF is both quick and accurate and while this isn't a USM lens, it is still very quiet. The ability to focus close is excellent. One of few negatives is the rotating front element that makes using a polarizer near impossible to operate effectively. As a lens for hiking or where lightweight is an important consideration, this lens simply cannot be beat. In combination with the new 55-250 IS lens, the owner would have an excellent all round. super lightweight, but very sharp set up. While the build quality 'could' be higher, I'm not sure how that would be possible at this low a price.

Jul 22, 2008
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pifatore
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Registered: Jul 13, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 19, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros:
Cons:

The cons and the pros:

1. Totally plastic. (Mount too)
2. MF rings horrible. Not really usable.
3. Optic elements wobble, and there is a "jump" in my copy while zooming about 40mm onward and backwards.
4. Af accuracy is not very good; Good if the object is close, not that good at long distances (Ive compared different pics at the same focal but diferent distances).
5. af speed: reasonably fast. Little noisy but not annoying.
6.IS. Works fine.
7. Not really a fast lens (5,6 at 55mm)

Image Quality:

Sharp from 18 to 40 more or less. Not that sharp till the end of the zoom. (If the af works fine, of course).
Good colors and contrast.
Quite visible distortion at 18.
Some C.As at all focals.
Flare: Very good (surprisingly!)
The price: the very best.

If the money is a problem, its a good value, but if you got a little more save and go for a superior lens.


Jul 19, 2008
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bushwacker
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Registered: Jun 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 894
Review Date: Jul 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, High IQ
Cons:
Non-Metal Mount


Here's my review:

Optics

UP: Very Sharp, Contrasty even at wide apertures, well controlled CAs, good neutral colors.

DOWN: obvious barrel distortions at 18mm


Handling

UP: Very fast auto-focusing, IS works, Accurate focusing doesn't hunt, the plastic zoom barrel is well damped, improved rubber zoom barrel,

DOWN: Focusing barrel wobbles a bit, focus barrel moves while focusing.

Build

UP: LENS MADE IN JAPAN, nice crinkle finish.

DOWN: ALL PLASTIC.

=============

Recommendations:

Hear this CANON next time you release another version of this.

1. Must have a metal mount.
2. No distortions
3. USM/FTM/Scale-distance window
4. Fixed focus barrel
5. Still Low Price








Jul 15, 2008
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jay tieger
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Registered: Oct 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1817
Review Date: May 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Bang for buck, only wide angle lens for cropcam for under $300 ($400?). IS works. Sharp edge2edge @ 5.6. Quiet operation. Light weight.
Cons:
Light weight suggests a feeling of poor build...

The only wide angle option for Canoncropcams @ under $300 ($400?) is now a real option...moreso than the non-IS version...The IS doesn't lag so seems less noticeable than on some other lenses I've looked thru. While the focusing ring on mine doesn't wobble as it has on others, the small dark aperture and the narrow ring itself make MF less effective than AF...just have to make sure in dark situations that the focus spot has some definitive lines/contrast. I could complain about the small widest apertures which make it hard to see through in dark settings, but it's not fair to criticize it for it's not.
Its small light weight makes my XT a real nice compact cam, but on the 30D its light weight gives a feeling of lightweight quality, but that impression, that feeeeeeling is perhaps more psychological... in my mind more than in the lens...
Better to remember that Canon gave me a wide angle in my budget that gets the shot without disappointing me too much...(if I want the best IQ I'll just use my primes)...
Recommended for what it is, a convenient all-purpose lens with a wide angle with more than decent IQ

Sample images here:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/645062/#lastmessage


May 9, 2008
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CrissX
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Registered: Sep 29, 2004
Location: Romania
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Better then non-IS lens kit, a little more sharp (not very much), IS , construction improved, price
Cons:
plastic, no USM,no zoom ring..



May 4, 2008
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markofsoton
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Registered: Apr 17, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Tack sharp cheap focus speed
Cons:
washed out colour, contrast, landscapes

Had two copies as the first one front focused at the tele end. the only really bad thing about this being a kit lens is it might discourage people from thinking they need other glass as it seems sharp focuses fast etc. Compared to the 85mm on a pod, same lighting conditions, it was like walking from Pleasantville into Oz, if that makes sense. oh and it wobbles a bit.

Apr 17, 2008
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Rubber Soul
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Registered: Dec 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 636
Review Date: Apr 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Stabilization; Excellent sharpness; Very small and lightweight;
Cons:
Poor build quality; No dedicated focus ring; Slow max aperture at the long end; front rim rotates and extends while focusing;

First, we'll start with the obvious: Very poor build quality. The mount is plastic. The front rim extends and rotates as you focus. Certainly a major annoyance for people using circular polarizers. And like most kit lenses, there's no dedicated focus ring at all; instead you have to manually twist the front rim yourself. And the part of the lens that extends for zoom/focus has a lot of play. It wobbles a lot, making this cheap lens feel even cheaper.

But all this is expected for a kit lens that adds only $70 to $100 to the retail price of the camera body. You get what you pay for.

So what's good? Everything else. Image Stabilization works as advertised. I can easily hand hold this lens at the wide end for 1/4 sec with consistently good results. Very impressive indeed --- especially in situations where you want to take indoor pictures with a large depth of field. Set the aperture to f5.6 and use 1/4 sec exposures. It won't do any good for taking people pictures; but certainly it makes for a great travel/musem lens.

Optical quality is unbelievably good. I had to check and recheck my results twice, I couldn't believe it. The lens already exhibits *acceptable* sharpness when shooting wide open at all focal lengths. But stopping down to f5.6, it's tack-sharp corner-to-corner at almost all focal lengths (except 55mm, where f5.6 is wide open at that point). At f5.6, this little kit lens held up reasonably well against my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and EF 35 f1.4.

Color tones are very neutral, not warm like the Tamrons and Sigmas. Contrast is decent, maybe a little below average. The lens is only 190g, which is almost nothing. The kit lens mounted on a digital rebel is a breeze, and a joy to use. A nice change of pace from the f2.8 zooms and "L" primes I use.

I do note that my kit lens is conspiciously marked "Made in Japan" in front. I understand that some others have received the same kit lens without the "Japan" marking. Instead, they had the label "Made in Taiwan" hidden towards the rear. Whether or not this affects quality control remains to be seen.

So this review brings into question the rating process here at Fred Miranda. Do we rate lenses on an absolute scale? Or do we rate them based on their performance level at their given price bracket? I think it's the latter. I rate this kit lens a solid 9 out of 10, with one point taken off for the poor build quality. But if I was grading on an absolute scale, it probably would be a little lower than that.


Apr 12, 2008
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loewenzahn
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Registered: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, Inexpensive, fairly solid/stiff feel to the zoom, sharp! (Did I say Sharp?)
Cons:
Plastic build.

I originally bought the Xti with the 18-55 (NON IS) lens kit. It was disappointing with the softness, even in RAW and post processing in Photoshop. After shooting about 400 pictures I am amazed at the sharpness. Sorry, I haven't got an L lens comparison but the comparison to the non IS kit lens is absolutely amazing. All settings are default on the Xti and I tend to shoot in Av mode around F8 if possible. The price, $249.. Canadian was difficult to pass by, after reading numerous positive reports on this lens.

Mar 19, 2008
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khalil
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Registered: Feb 25, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 160
Review Date: Feb 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: fairly sharp, IS, small & light, price
Cons:
color, contrast, distortion

This is the perfect lens for someone who tends to conflate image quality with sharpness- it really makes you realize how important other characteristics of IQ (contrast, color, and distortion) really are! I bought this looking for a cheap and light travel kit and while I agree that the lens is sharp (competitive with a 17-40mm I owned in center sharpness, especially if stopped down), the colors are poorly rendered, distortion and vignetting on the wide end is very noticeable, and contrast is generally poor. Some of that can be fixed in PP or by stopping down, but I'd rather spend a couple hundred dollars more to cut my processing time in half and so that I wouldn't be restricted to shooting at f/8.

I don't really care much that the lens feels cheap- I spend a lot of time hiking with my lenses, so the weight is actually a plus for me, and while I don't baby my lenses, I also don't abuse them and they seem to hold up fine. The lack of FTM and the flimsy zoom mechanism is par for the course at this price point.

That said, I could still recommend this lens for snapshots, or for a first lens. The IS is a plus for photographing inanimate objects or waterfalls (I can get good results reliably at 1/10 sec), and it produces pretty good images stopped down and in good light (but I'm not sure I've seen a lens that's terrible when stopped down in good light). I do agree with other reviewers who feel like it would be an easy lens to outgrow, particularly concerning the lack of flexibility with the aperture.


Feb 25, 2008
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bobbyboy uk
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 82
Review Date: Feb 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Its a very good sharp small ,light lens. very impressed with the pictures ive taken with it. Very good price, paid 85 delivered here in the uk, a honk kong import.
Cons:
not very good build quality, but what do you expect for 85

A brilliant cheap lens

Feb 21, 2008
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blassox
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Registered: Jan 31, 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Impressive sharpness for a lens of this price! It's a real bergain!
Cons:
A little too barrell distorsion at wide angle. Plastic wobbling, but not affects image quality.

It's a great lens: sharp at f/5.6-11, no vignetting in this range of apertures, no CA... only a little barrell distorsion @18mm (a little more of 17-55 f/2.8 [1000$] but best of 17-85 USM [500$]) so: can you don't buy this lens only for plastic mount and wobbling?

I've got a 17-55 f/2.8 one year ago and I'm absolutely satisfied by it, but with the same money now I've bought this 18-55 IS and a 10-22 USM ultrawide lens.

That's incredible: no real differences in the final results: only 2 f-stop slow and a little more barrell distorsion at wide end.
Autofocus is pretty fast and accurate, note the same of the f/2.8 brother, but really near.

No shots in dark conditions (and obviusly no sports photografy with this focal lenght class) so no doubts: BUY IT and LOVE IT!


Jan 31, 2008
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Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
47 137046 Mar 21, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
85% of reviewers $149.77
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.27
9.50
8.4
EFS18-55_35-56IS


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