Canon EF-S xviii-55mm f/iii.v-5.half dozen IS II Lens Review
The Canon EF-Southward 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Ii Lens is the review-time-current version of Canon’s least expensive APS-C DSLR kit lens (replacing the EF-Due south eighteen-55mm IS Lens). While it is designed every bit a
leaves a lot to be desired, it is a
when purchased in a kit. It is inexpensive, small-scale and extremely lite, has prototype stabilization and has a overnice general purpose focal length range.
I always wait for the correct focal length range start when selecting a lens to employ. The eighteen-55 IS II will simply mountain on APS-C (1.6x FOVCF) Canon EOS DSLR Cameras. On these cameras, the eighteen-55mm focal length range provides the equivalent of a 28.8-88mm lens on a full frame DSLR. This range falls squarely into the range I recommend for general purpose utilise.
To explore the focal length range offered by the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-five.6 IS II Lens, I visited the local pallet business firm daughter. Looks like business firm cleaning was the task of the twenty-four hour period:
Though non exceptionally broad, 18mm volition work fine in small-sized rooms and 55mm will produce reasonable head and shoulder portraits. Tightly cropped head shots will start showing perspective distortion – including large noses – and are are all-time avoided. Landscapes and other general purpose photography piece of work well in this range.
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens is a relatively “deadening” lens – significant that it has a relatively narrow aperture. Letting in only a relatively small amount of light means that that the eighteen-55 IS II will not be a great lens pick for stopping action in depression light. A relatively wide angle focal length range and relatively narrow discontinuity, forth with the congruent relatively deep DOF (Depth of Field), ways that creating a strong background blur is not a strength of this lens.
Being a variable discontinuity lens means that wide open exposure settings are going to change as the lens is zoomed to the longer focal lengths. Here is a table comparing the discontinuity footstep down focal lengths with some other Catechism lenses.
|Catechism EF-Southward fifteen-85mm f/3.five-5.6 IS Lens||15mm||18mm||27mm||38mm||61mm|
|Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/two.8 IS Lens||17mm|
|Canon EF-South 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens||17mm||26mm||38mm||47mm|
|Catechism EF-Due south 18-55mm f/3.5-5.vi IS Ii Lens||18mm||24mm||29mm||39mm||47mm|
|Canon EF-Southward 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens||18mm||24mm||28mm||39mm||47mm|
|Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.v-5.6 IS Lens||18mm||22mm||31mm||41mm||64mm|
|Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/three.v-5.6 IS Lens||18mm||24mm||40mm||50mm||90mm|
|Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens||28mm||37mm||50mm||67mm||85mm|
|Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens||55mm||74mm||96mm||154mm|
While information technology is not a good option for depression light activeness, the 18-55 IS Ii will piece of work well in low light when the subjects are not moving. Image stabilization has practically become a standard zoom lens feature these days and it is extremely valuable to me. In-lens IS will allow a photographic camera to be handheld at very long exposure settings and provides a stabilized viewfinder image that aids in subject framing. Here is an example of the difference that IS can brand in your images:
The images in this example were the best of the groups I shot at 55mm with a .4 second exposure duration with and without IS engaged. The (very rough) rule for handholding a camera is that you need a shutter speed of 1/(focal length 10 FOVCF) or faster to avoid camera shake-caused blur. So, without image stabilization, a 55mm focal length would require a 1/(55 * 1.6) = i/88 or faster shutter speed which rounds to i/100.
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.five-5.six IS II Lens is rated for 4 stops of assistance with each “stop” pregnant twice or half as much light. At 55mm, most 100% of my 18-55mm IS II handheld images are without camera motion blur at up to ane/13 second exposures. This is an easy 3 stops of aid. Thus, this lens can be easily handheld in an surroundings having 1/8 as much light every bit a non-stabilized lens using three stops (i/two x 1/2 x 1/ii) every bit a guideline. At 1/10 sec, about l% of my images are sharp at 55mm. The keeper rate gradually decreases every bit longer exposures are used with a very low percent of images being worth keeping at .iv second exposures (<10%).
I’g seeing slightly less assistance from IS at 18mm with about 50% of images beingness sharp at 1/5 sec. The keeper rate slowly decreases as the exposure elapsing increases – with a couple of sharp images beingness made at .viii seconds.
To go these results, very proficient form must exist used. Don’t expect to run up a mountain on a windy day and chop-chop shoot handheld images with expert results at shutter speeds anywhere almost as long every bit these. Also, paradigm stabilization does not stop subject field motility (yous need a faster shutter speed for this), but paradigm stabilization is great for still subjects. I volition also notation that even when using a lens with IS, I use a tripod when I am able to.
The 18-55 IS II’ image stabilization is very quiet. If you put your ear confronting the lens in a quiet room, you can hear very serenity clicks. Yous volition not hear these clicks in normal use and no one else volition hear the clicks.
As I said in the beginning of the 18-55 IS 2 review, the “II” replaces the “I”. “The version II of this lens includes new IS algorithms to distinguish between normal photographing and when the camera is panning to automatically provide the optimal level of image-shake correction.”
From what I can tell, the only other “I” to “Two” changes are cosmetic (version “I” is on the left):
For the price of this lens, it has rather impressive image quality. I’ve been struggling to bring you an accurate clarification of this lens’ sharpness. It performs very well on the resolution chart, with reasonable sharpness into the corners. Stopping downward (narrower aperture, higher aperture value) the lens to f/8 results in a slight improvement in sharpness.
By comparing the 18-55 IS II to an expensive, loftier grade prime number lens (the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens), we tin can see its obvious shortcomings in dissimilarity. Outdoor testing also makes 18-55mm IS 2 image quality weakness credible in some locations inside the frame. Some areas within the frame compete with the improve lenses, but hither are two examples where the xviii-55mm IS Ii falls short throughout the focal length range.
Click on the paradigm below to meet an paradigm quality comparison between this lens and some other similar focal length range lenses. You volition run across what the additional investment buys you.
Brand no mistake – the 17-55 is a significantly more expensive lens. Merely, it is important for you to know the image quality y’all go with the eighteen-55 and the epitome quality you could have.
Overall, the xviii-55 IS Two shows a relatively small corporeality of peripheral shading/vignetting. One finish of shading means ane/2 as much calorie-free reaches the sensor corners. With a wide open up aperture (f/3.v), expect just over two stops of vignetting at 18mm. By 24mm (f/4), a still-slightly-noticeable 1.2 stops of shading remains. Vignetting decreases through 55mm (f/five.6) where about .8 stop remains. As usual, stopping downward the lens reduces vignetting, though simply over a stop of shading remains at 18mm f/viii.
While I don’t recommend putting a UV or clear protective filter on this lens (a good filter volition cost too high of a percentage of the value of this lens), a standard thickness filter volition add a very slight corporeality of peripheral shading. I love circular polarizer filters, just a standard thickness filter will add most .5 stops of physical vignetting to the image corners. A slim CP filter will avoid nigh of this shading. Just a slim CP filter does not give u.s.a. articulate sailing – the filter rings on this lens rotate when focusing. Since CP filters are orientation-specific for their result, keeping the filter properly rotated requires plenty of patience.
Ordinarily, lateral CA (Chromatic Abnormality) is not a pregnant defect with this lens. Some CA is visible in the corners in the mid-range focal lengths – you lot tin can see this most hands in the ISO 12233 Nautical chart results for this lens. The chart is merely black and white, so the colors visible in the lower ingather detail signal CA. But sometimes CA shows upwardly more strongly, such as in this 18mm bottom-center of the frame crop:
The 18-55 IS 2 does not show a significant corporeality of flare, just it is visible – peculiarly at 55mm. A noticeable amount of barrel distortion is nowadays at 18mm. Distortion transition to slight pincushion at 35mm and continues through 55mm.
Ideally, OOF (Out of Focus) points of light remain circles even with a stopped down aperture (where the number of blades and blade shape affect the results the most). The xviii-55mm IS II has curved aperture blades, but it has only 6 of them. I can clearly see six sides in OOF highlights in some stopped-downwardly-aperture images every bit shown in the bokeh (quality of the background blur) example in a higher place. Because this lens does not create a strongly blurred background unless shooting at minimum focus distance at 55mm, I didn’t notice the xviii-55 IS II’s bokeh to exist much of an issue.
Equally I mentioned a couple of times in this review, the “Two” replaces the “I”. Optically, I’m not seeing many differences between the ii lenses – my “I” is my very slight preference to my “2” optically. And Catechism does not indicate that any optical design changes have been made.
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.half-dozen IS II Lens’ micro motor-driven AF focuses at a moderate speed. Focusing is aural – a minor buzzy audio is heard as the lens adjusts to locked focus. I accept found focus accurateness to exist very consistently accurate. Of form, generally deep DOF makes AF precision less critical/noticeable.
Like its predecessors, the 18-55 IS II extends when focusing and, similar I said earlier in the review, the front of the lens rotates when focus is adjusted – You lot should avoid contact with it during autofocus. FTM (Full Fourth dimension Transmission) focusing is not bachelor – transmission focusing should merely be washed with the AF/MF switch in the MF position.
Precisely manually focusing this lens is a significant claiming. The focus ring is the extending portion of the lens including the Catechism EW-60C lens hood if you purchase this optional accessory. There is a small raised surface area well-nigh the end of the lens extension that I would call the “focus ring”, only I’grand beingness generous with this definition.
The manual focus band is not very smooth, only the much bigger problem is that there is a lot of play in the extending portion of the lens. Not merely does rotating the focus ring change focus, merely even slight side-to-side pressure changes both the focus and the subject framing. I reserve manual focusing this lens for emergency/mandatory utilise only.
Those of you lot bold enough to practise serious video piece of work with this lens volition have a pocket-size amount of focus animate to work with. Don’t bother trying to pull video focus with this lens – your viewers are sure to get motility ill.
In that location are no focus distance markings on this lens.
Of all the focusing-related attributes, this lens’ strength is in its close minimum focus distance (MFD):
|Canon EF-South x-22mm f/3.v-4.5 USM Lens||9.4″||(240mm)||0.17x|
|Canon EF-Due south 15-85mm f/three.5-5.6 IS USM Lens||thirteen.viii”||(350mm)||0.21x|
|Canon EF-South 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens||xiii.8″||(350mm)||0.16x|
|Canon EF-Southward 17-85mm f/4-five.vi IS USM Lens||11.8″||(300mm)||0.20x|
|Canon EF-Due south 18-55mm f/iii.5-5.6 IS II Lens||9.eight”||(250mm)||0.34x|
|Canon EF-Due south 18-55mm f/three.5-5.6 IS Lens||9.viii”||(250mm)||0.34x|
|Canon EF-Southward 18-135mm f/iii.v-5.6 IS Lens||19.3″||(490mm)||0.21x|
|Catechism EF-Due south xviii-200mm f/three.v-5.vi IS Lens||17.7″||(450mm)||0.24x|
|Catechism EF 28-135mm f/3.v-5.6 IS USM Lens||19.vii”||(500mm)||0.19x|
The 18-55 IS 2′ maximum magnification value is a very healthy .34x. This means that a subject can be rendered at .34x life-size onto a sensor. While not a macro lens figure, .34x is very useful for flowers and other moderately small subjects.
Above is an MFD instance taken at 18mm, f/5.6.
Extension tubes will allow significantly greater MM when used behind this lens. No current-at-review-time Canon EF-South Lenses are compatible with Canon extenders.
The 18-55 IS 2 extends when zoomed with the shortest physical length being achieved around the 30mm focal length as seen in the example above. Equally I said before, the extending portion of the lens has a lot of play in it, only the zoom ring itself is reasonably smooth with no play. The size of the zoom band, consuming nearly of the barrel, makes information technology easy to discover and use.
The 18-55 IS Ii features all plastic outside construction including a reserved-for-the-cheapest-lenses plastic lens mount. The upside is that this is a very small and very low-cal lens. Yous barely know information technology is there.
|Model||Weight||Dimensions w/o Hood||Filter||Year|
|Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/three.5-four.v USM Lens||13.6 oz||(385g)||3.iii x 3.5″||(84 x 90mm)||77mm||2004|
|Catechism EF-Due south fifteen-85mm f/3.5-five.half-dozen IS USM Lens||xx.3 oz||(575g)||three.2 x three.four”||(81.6 x 87.5mm)||72mm||2009|
|Canon EF-Southward 17-55mm f/ii.8 IS USM Lens||22.eight oz||(645g)||3.3 x 4.4″||(83.5 x 110.6mm)||77mm||2006|
|Canon EF-South 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens||sixteen.8 oz||(475g)||iii.1 ten three.6″||(79 x 92mm)||67mm||2004|
|Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.v-5.6 IS II Lens||vii.1 oz||(200g)||2.7 x 3.3″||(68.5 x 84.5mm)||58mm||2011|
|Catechism EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.vi IS Lens||7.1 oz||(200g)||two.7 x two.8″||(68.5 ten 70mm)||58mm||2007|
|Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/three.5-five.half-dozen IS Lens||16.1 oz||(455g)||3.0 ten 4″||(75.4 x 101mm)||67mm||2009|
|Canon EF-S xviii-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens||21.0 oz||(595g)||3.i x 4″||(78.6 x 102mm)||72mm||2008|
|Catechism EF 28-135mm f/3.five-v.6 IS USM Lens||xix.i oz||(540g)||3.one x iii.eight”||(78 x 97mm)||72mm||1998|
The xviii-55mm IS II lens’ small 58mm filter size means that filters are, similar the lens, relatively inexpensive. For many more comparisons, review the complete 18-55 IS Two Specifications using the site’s Lens Specifications tool.
Here is a comparative expect at most of the spring 2011 Canon EF-Due south Zoom Lenses (the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens is missing – it is similar in size to the EF-S 15-85):
Positioned above from left to right in their fully retracted positions are the following lenses:
>Catechism EF-Southward 18-55mm f/iii.5-v.6 IS Ii Lens
Canon EF-Southward 15-85mm f/3.v-v.6 IS USM Lens
Canon EF-S ten-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens
Canon EF-S xviii-135mm f/3.5-five.6 IS Lens
Catechism EF-Due south xviii-200mm f/three.v-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.eight IS USM Lens
The same lenses are shown below in their fully extended states with their lens hoods in place.
At review time, all of the Canon EF-S Lens hoods are optional accessories. I ever use a lens hood and highly recommend them. The Canon EW-60C is the specific lens hood model for the 18-55mm IS Ii. It is very small and does not inhibit admission to the lens cap or a filter. The small size of this lens, fifty-fifty with the lens hood installed, does not block the built-in flash (tested on the T3i).
Attaching/removing this lens hood is not especially piece of cake since the bayonet mount requires a twisting action to seat information technology into identify or remove it. This twisting causes the focus ring to plow – which drives the gearing within the lens if in AF mode. Best is to get a grip on the inner barrel (preferred) or turn the focus band in One thousand fashion until it reaches the end of its travel before twisting the lens hood to its desired position.
Click on the prototype below to compare the Canon EF-Southward 18-55mm f/3.five-5.6 IS 2 Lens to other lens models with and without hoods (opens in new window to salvage your place in this review).
Every bit I complete this review, the “II” is but bachelor in a DSLR kit (initially with the Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D and Canon EOS Insubordinate T3 / 1100D) – or used. The Canon EF-Due south 18-55mm f/3.5-5.vi IS Lens somewhen became bachelor for individual purchase, so the “2” may also.
My advice? If your funds permit, I strongly recommend buying (now or later), one of the meliorate Canon general purpose lenses available. Equally of review time, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/ii.8 IS USM Lens and Canon EF-S fifteen-85mm f/3.v-v.six IS USM Len are my most-recommended full general purpose APS-C/1.6x lenses with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Lens being fantabulous alternatives.
Need a lens for your kids? The xviii-55 IS Ii is an ideal one for them. Yous exercise not need to worry virtually them dissentious your prized expensive lens. The pocket-sized size makes the eighteen-55 IS 2 ideal for child-sized hands and the lite weight is manageable by kids for long periods of time.
Demand a sacrificial lens for a lens-dangerous shoot? Even if the 18-55 IS 2 does not brand it back, the loss is not keen.
If you need a general purpose lens, and the Catechism EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-five.vi IS Ii Lens reaches the limits of your budget, it is a proficient pick. It is inexpensive, pocket-sized and extremely calorie-free, has image stabilization and has a nice general purpose focal length range. Best of all, it gains you entrance into the incredible world of Canon EOS DSLR cameras and the incredible paradigm quality they deliver. You tin upgrade the starter lens subsequently.
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