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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 135371 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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adam613
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Registered: Jan 17, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 883
Review Date: Jan 23, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $179.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price, size/weight, IS, decent range
Cons:
Very poor low-light performance. Cheap build quality. Slow!

This might be an excellent lens, depending on what you want to do with it. I do a lot of low-light/night city photography, and I have some serious issues with it.

The image quality is certainly better than the kit lens, but nothing to write home about, especially at the wide end. I found myself avoiding going below 24mm because I knew I was going to end up with soft images that had serious barrel distortion. Also, as with most lenses, you need to stop down to get optimal performance, and in this case, that means about f/8.

Obviously, there's an image stabilizer. It's ok, but any image stabilizer is going to have limited effectiveness on a short lens. My keeper rate starts to drop when the shutter speed gets below 1/10 sec. Keep in mind that IS can't freeze the action; it's great if you're shooting still subjects in low light, but a lot of things won't stay still for more than 1/10 sec. It's personal preference to a large extent, but I'd rather have an f/2.8 lens that will really allow me to get action-freezing shutter speeds.

If you can accept the limitations of this lens, you can take some great pictures with it. But it's an easy lens to outgrow; if you like shooting at apertures wider than f/6.3, or you want to use the wide end a lot, you can do a lot better for about $200 more.


Jan 23, 2008
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Bargin
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Registered: Feb 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $172.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, IS, Inexpensive
Cons:
Plastic construction

I have to be very careful in rating this lens since it might be irresponsible and misleading to give it the ten I'm tempted to give it. But I just returned from a week in Mexico where I shot about a thousand shots with this little lens and got incredible pictures. Before I went to Mexico I searched and searched for an "adequate" substitute for my 5d and 24-105 that I was afraid to take. So I looked for something to put on my 20d. Reluctantly, I bought what I thought would be just the kit lens with IS. Wow! what a surprise. If you need a walk around lens for travel, believe me this one is a ten in my book.

Incidentally, I had fully intended to sell it when I got back from Mexico, but now I've decide to keep it because it's is so light on my 20d that I hate to lug around the 5d and bigger lens. I have no problem recommending the Canon 18-55 IS.


Jan 20, 2008
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michi098
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Registered: Jan 20, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $172.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quite sharp, best possible bang for the buck.
Cons:
Build quality.

When I first saw rumors about this lens, I really wasn't interested. I thought it would be the exact (underperforming) lens as the kit lens. I then started seeing some reports on the internet that this lens might be a lot better. I let a few months pass and then decided to give it a shot.

In the end, I have to say, I was very positively surprised. This lens is nothing like the kit lens. The image quality is fantastic, and I would go as far as some others here and say that it might be worth saving your money and get this instead of an L lens or an expensive Sigma or Tamron.

There are really no chromatic aberrations with this lens. It is sharp wide open, closing it down to about f8 improves quality slightly, but not that much. I really like that part, you can use this lens wide open and not worry about loss of quality. That, combined with the well working Image Stabilization makes for a good available light lens. Of course not as much as f2.8 IS, but hey...

The build quality is nothing to brag about. It's a plastic lens. There's no way around it. The barrell still wobbles a little bit, but not as much as the original kit lens. I've used the original kit lenses quite a bit with the Digital Rebel and Rebel XT, and they all held up, even to abuse, so I think this lens will be just fine. Sort of like when cameras went from metal to plastic, everyone was worried. I don't know anyone whose plastic lens has fallen apart yet though...

To sum it up, for the money, this lens is a steal. Heck, I even have thoughts of buying a second one, just in case Canon decides to degrade or discontinue this lens because it's competing with its $1,000 counterparts.

I made a little review between the regular and the IS kit lens on my own:

http://members.cox.net/michim/canon/Canon.htm


Jan 20, 2008
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godfreyz
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1010
Review Date: Jan 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $174.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent IQ, really good colors.
Cons:
Build isn't the best.

For the money it's a no brainer. Excellent shots with this lens. It's definitely not a "L" build quality lens but it produces quality shots. The IS feature is also great.

Jan 16, 2008
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tanglefoot47
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14825
Review Date: Dec 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $174.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp IS cheap
Cons:
Plastic but for the price what can one expect?

What a shocker lens I bought this thinking what the heck at this price why not. But the shock was how good it is I mean this baby is sharp very sharp has IS and it works great. I have owned many L lenses that didn't give me a sharper image. The only down side I can see is the built quality but for the price it a total winner

Dec 25, 2007
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Frans Mulder
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Registered: Jul 21, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap
Cons:
Looks cheap, feels cheap

I own this lens ( EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (made in Japan)) for two days and compared is with the non-IS versions (made in Taiwan) and the much more expensive EF-S 17-55/F2.8. After that I like the lens even more. IQ comes close to the EF-S 17-55/F2.8 when using the same aperture and it is much better than the non-IS version.

I'm completely satisfied on image quality. Due to the low weight in combination with e.g. an EOS 350 or 400 you get super image quality (also due to the IS). It is also more comfortable to take with you on a walk or on holiday due to the low(er) weight (720 grams instead of 1345 grams).

The set however, does not feel and look as professional as e.g. an EOS30 with the EF-S-17-55/2.8, but the results will be comparable. When you mix up the results it will be difficult to geuss from image quality what pictures came from which camera/lens combination. Often you will geuss wrong.

All this possitives on this lens is payed with aperture: 1 to 2 steps less than the EF-S 17-55/F2.8. In may case I shoot only incidentally in very low light situations, so this is not such a problem. EOS 350 as well as the EOS 30 give also perform good results on higher ISO ratings. This, in combination with a very good IS, makes this lens very attractive for me.

My doubt is on durability of this lens on the long term, but for the price of one EF-S 17-55/F2.8 you can buy 4 or 5 units of this EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (!) and can save a lot of money now and even on the long term. And for starters it is an economical way to discover their photographic needs and wishes.


Dec 8, 2007
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yido
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Registered: Sep 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 812
Review Date: Dec 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $179.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Optics for the price, IS, light weight.
Cons:
Build feel.

Crops of center and corner of the wall where I test lenses and such.
http://tomyi.smugmug.com/gallery/3918448#P-1-15

In terms of build feel, it's light and they have a paint that is blotchy like on the L lens barrels so it's not so smooth as before. Changing the rubber pattern on the zoom ring is a big improvement in making it feel like a more serious lens in the hand. The IS is dead silent, I can't tell if it's on. Initially I thought this was good but now I think it's a bad idea b/c unless I physically check the button with my finger while composing or look down, I can't tell if it's on or not. So at times, I had it on when I didn't need it but more importantly, it was off when I thought it was on. The MF and zoom rings are not damped so it feels cheap just like the old kit lens. AF speed and noise is about as same as the older kit lens.

Optically, it's not as sharp as I thought it would be. Perhaps due to my high expectations after reading the reviews. It's still very nice and sharp with good contrast and responds well to sharpening but I'm finding that I have to sharpen a lot to get it the way I like. I find that one stop down or so is generally the sharpest. So that's about f5.6 for the wide end and about f8 for the long end of the focal length. By f16, diffraction sets in and things start to go softer. I don't find the corners getting soft that much just as the reviews from photozone and slrgear shows. Unlike the older versions, there really isn't much if any CA. The color cast seems about as same as other Canon lenses. Flare is also well controlled.

Overall a very nice $180 walking around lens. From memory, a big immediately noticable improvement in IQ from the kit lenses I've used in the past. I think this lens offers the most if you are starting out and a casual shooter or an enthusiast that wants a cheap lens for occassional use with great optics. Kind of like a zoom version of the Canon 50mm f1.8. If you are looking for a walking around lens for a serious use, consider the Canon 17-55IS or equivalent lenses from Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina.


Dec 2, 2007
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Ken Hernandez
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Registered: Oct 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 254
Review Date: Nov 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, improved image quality, IS, better caonstruction than the kit lens, faster focus.
Cons:
a bit plasticy, plastic mount.

So I just picked this lens up today, and so far am very happy with my purchase. The pictures I have taken have been much better than the kit lens (contrast, sharpness, and color), and the focus is noticably faster. The constructiuon is not the greatest, but it all holds together and is much improved over the kit lens.

I won't even throw out the "L" word because that would be a unfair comparison (like so many others do). I am comparing this lens to the kit lens and the other consumer lenses in this price range. I hate when the first thing someone says is, "Well compared to "L" glass...) This is not "L" glass and should not be tested against "L"

I would strongly recomend this lens to anyone who wants an IS and get good quality pictures from your camera, without paying an arm and a leg for a lens. For the price you cannot go wrong, and it comes with a warranty, so what's the problem?


Nov 18, 2007
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JL_exe
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Registered: Nov 17, 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 17, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: cheap, IS, IQ is diferent (better)of 18-55 non IS.
Cons:
plastic construction

Image quality is not bad (tested) at least in the 35-55 range. Of course better than my 18-55 II (non IS).
I bought it only because I take a lot of pictures indoor and I need an (cheap) IS Standard lens and I thought that it had the same IQ than the non IS, but not. The diameter of the front element is larger and I think that other elements will be different too (and made in Japan, not China). Size of lens is (slightly) different too.
I have taken several pictures (indoor, manual focus, with tripod, without flash) and the image quality (sharpness, contrast, and CA) is noticeable better than my non IS lens, perhaps equal (or better in 35-55) than my 28-105 3.5-4.5. (I will test it).
Construction is cheap but better than non IS: aspect, zoom is softer, Switches
IS is absolutely silent (The noise of my 70-300IS scares the birds) and works (but perhaps non 4 f/stops). AF is good (of course its not a ring USM) an softer than non IS.
Well, or Im lucky and have a specially good copy, or this lens is really better than the 18-55 non IS.


Nov 17, 2007
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JL_exe
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Registered: Nov 17, 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, image quality is not like 18-55 II, IS,
Cons:
Plastic cronstruction.

Image quality is not bad (tested). Of course better than my 18-55 II (non IS).
I bought it only because I take 80% of my pictures indoor and I need an (cheap) IS lens and I thought that it had the same IQ than the non IS, but not. The diameter of the front element is larger and I think that other elements will be different too (and made in Japan, not China). Size of lens is (slightly) different too.
I have taken several pictures (indoor, manual focus, with tripod, without flash) and the image quality (sharpness, contrast, and CA) is noticeable better than my non IS lens, perhaps similar to my 28-105 3.5-4.5. (I will test it).
Construction is cheap but better than non IS: aspect, zoom is softer, Switches
IS is absolutely silent (The noise of the of my 70-300'IS scares the birds) and works (but perhaps non 4 f/stops). AF is good (of course its not a ring USM) an softer than non IS.
Well, or Im lucky and have a specially good copy, or this lens is really better than the 18-55 non IS.


Nov 17, 2007
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Koh Jun Lin
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Registered: Oct 30, 2007
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 6, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Small, lightweight, and all-purpose lens Improved build quality (still plastic, but meh... why should I care about build quality in the first place?). Improved contrast and sharpness. Reduced closest focusing distance. Cheap IS that works!
Cons:
Worse barrel distortion (not as bad as the 17-85 I think) and vignetting. Slightly louder AF motor.

It appears that my previous review has been biased by a focusing issue on my 350D, so I did another test.

The IS lens does seem to have improved sharpness and contrast compared to the kit lens, slight but welcomed.

My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Price paid is $259 + $19.95 for postage and postal insurance. (Australian dollars, not USD)


Nov 6, 2007
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chounchai
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: Thailand
Posts: 13
Review Date: Nov 4, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Surprisingly, IQ @ f9 not too bad, together with IS would say that this lens is usable for general purpose.
Cons:
None since never expected from begining
Nov 4, 2007
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chounchai
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: Thailand
Posts: 13
Review Date: Nov 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Since it come as kit on 40D, then have to tried and quite surprise due to IQ at stop down to f9 in all focal range from 18 to 55 mm. not bad. Sure can not compared to L lens ever use but not too far and usable at f9. IS working well and help when stop down shooting by hand. CA also not so bad and easy to correct when shooting raw.
Cons:
Since never expected any thing then no realy negative.



Nov 4, 2007
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james geyman
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Registered: Sep 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 52
Review Date: Nov 2, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: couldn't get IS to work, so returned it. it is lightweight
Cons:
couldn't get IS to work; returned; new IS mechanism so silent, when i tested shots i concluded it wasn't working at all.



Nov 2, 2007
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Koh Jun Lin
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Registered: Oct 30, 2007
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, lightweight, and all-purpose lens Improved build quality (still plastic, but meh... why should I care about build quality in the first place?) Reduced closest focusing distance Cheap IS that works!
Cons:
Compared to the kit lens, optical quality is generally worse (see details below) Slightly louder AF motor

I've been using the kit lens for some time, so most my comments on the IS lens would be compared to the kit lens.

First thing I noticed was the build quality. It now has a better grip and the buttons are easier to switch (not accidentally of course!). The zoom action is smoother too. The manual focusing ring is (very) slightly wider. The inner lens barrel wobbles much lens than the kit lens did. The lens is larger than the kit lens, although you'd need a side-by-side comparison or measure it with a ruler to notice. The plastic finish now resembles that of L lenses' "grainy" surface (except its still plastic) instead of just a matte surface (lol?). The front element is larger too although it still takes 58mm filters.

Optically, the IS lens is generally worse on the than the kit lens with the aperture wide open. Stopped down, the differences disappear (don't tell me what the MTF charts say, I'm surprised too!)

The IS system works, although 4 stops is really pushing its limits. That being said, I've managed to get acceptably sharp shots at 1.3s @ 55mm.

The closest focusing distance has been reduced from 28cm to 25cm, bringing the reproduction ration from quarter life-size to a third life-size (0.34x)

I'm slightly disappointed in the optics, but no regrets buying this lens.


Oct 30, 2007
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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 135371 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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