Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2013
Every now and then, it is time for a new "kit" lens in the Canon lens lineup. Normally
this is nothing to get overly excited about since most of the "upgrades" are just on the
cosmetical side. However, the latest update - the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS - is a little different
since Canon came up with a completely new lens offering not only an updated optical design
but also an improved construction as well as a new AF motor so it's worth to have a deeper
look once more.
Honestly speaking, the previous Canon standard kit lenses had a rather cheap if not crappy
build quality which clearly reflected the attempt to push the cost cuttings to the max.
This new little fellow is still not carved from granite, of course, but things are somewhat
better now. It's still an all-plastic shell but the inner lens tube doesn't wobble quite as much
and it now features a non-rotating front element. Another improvement is a dedicated 'proper'
focus ring. Your heart will still not jump for joy when using the zoom
or focus rings but, to be fair, it is quite decent now really. The zoom characteristic remains
similar to the older lenses so it has its shortest length around the 30mm setting and extends
both towards 18mm as well as 55mm. Interestingly it has slightly bigger physical dimensions
than its predecessors - which is surprising given the current trend towards downsizing everything.
Canon's new STM ("Stepping motor") is optimized for silent and smooth operations and as such
it is also usable for movies. It's also pretty fast, too. The accuracy of the tested sample was good.
Typical for most Canon lenses, the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS features a image stabilizer.
Canon claims an efficiency of up to 4 f-stops. While this is a lab figure, the real life
results come quite close. However, it is a good idea, where possible, to stay on the
conservative side during shooting.
|Equiv. focal length||29-88 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/5.6-f/9 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||11 elements in 9 groups inc. 1x aspherical element|
|Number of aperture blades||7 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.25 m (max. magnification 1:2.8 @ 55 mm)|
|Dimensions||69 x 75.2 mm|
|Filter size||58 mm(non-rotating)|
|Hood||optional, petal-shaped, bayonet mount|
|Other features||IS (Image-Stabilizer), STM|