Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Sample Images

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 39.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 21.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 30.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 55.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 55.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 31.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 55.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 24.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 50D
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/160s

Verdict

Many users will probably think that photozone went gaga considering the resolution results of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS. Honestly, we'd prefer it to be worse so we wouldn't need to argue. :-) Anyway, keep in mind that this is a zoom lens with a very moderate 3x zoom ratio and a slow max. aperture range. Such lenses are relatively easy to design and the challenges are well understood- so this may partly explain the relatively high resolution results. So yes, this little fellow is a pretty darn sharp lens with only a minimal decrease in contrast fully open. However, it is not a lens without flaws. There is a bit of field curvature so expect a slight corner softness when shooting flat objects at max. aperture. The CAs are generally quite low but they are easily visible in the image corners at 18mm. The 18mm setting is also a weak spot both in terms of distortion and vignetting although this is actually nothing out of the ordinary for a lens in this class. So despite the excellent MTFs we were a little shy of giving it a straight 4* optical rating.

Canon improved the mechanical quality of the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS compared to its predecessors. It remains, of course, a "plastic" lens but we can celebrate the comeback of a dedicated focus ring and the implementation of a non-rotating front element as well as a generally higher build quality. The new STM AF is really silent and pretty speedy. Canon's IS (image stabilizer) is a proven technology by now and it's a welcome feature to help out in low light situations. Most users will probably purchase the lens as part of a camera kit at little extra costs. It's not a pricey item when buying it separately and you may notice that there is a bit of price hike compared to its predecessors. That said, it's still a bargain for what it does!

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Mechanical Quality:
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