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Canon 18-55mm f3.5 - 5.6 II EFS

Test Results

Sharpness in the center of the frame at at all focal lengths is good to very good but corners are poor to very poor at full aperture and at 18mm in particular. Stopped down performance improves especially in the center. Edge performance at longer focal lengths is much better. There is a fair amount of distortion especially at the wide end of the range. If you look at the test pictures you’ll see that at 18mm the houses change size and shape when they’re placed in the corner of the frame.

Focusing - although this lens doesn’t have USM - is fast and quiet. No lens hood is supplied. The lens is very light at 200g and has a plastic mount. Filter mount is 58mm and the front of the lens does rotate when focusing.

All crops below are sections of the test images at full size - 100%

CENTER                                                                              CORNER

18_55 EFS 18 3_5 corner03
18_55 EFS 18 3_503

center                             18mm f 3.5                        corner

18_55 EFS 34 4_5 ctr 18_55 EFS 34 4_5 corner

center                             35mm f 4.2                        corner

18_55 EFS 55 5_6 ctr03
18_55 EFS 55 5_6 corner03

center                             55mm f 5.6                        corner


Results from Canon’s 18-55 EFS are better than I expected, given the price, but every one of Canon’s DSLR’s is capable of far more than this lens can deliver. Central performance is quite good stopped down, so used with care, and in good light, results will be fine. As a starting point this lens is OK, no more.

 Incidentally EFS lenses can only be used with the Digital Rebel / 300D the Rebel XT / 350D or the 20D / 30D. So if you plan on upgrading to a Canon EOS 5D, as I do, EFS lenses can’t be used on that body.

Canon 18-55 v Nikon 18-70 Test

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© David Gold
All text and images copyright David Gold 2006 - 2011
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