Canon 18 55 is lens
Why to make a review of a kit lens ?
I interested about it, before I bought, and the ones I find were too technical without real pictures.
Canon 18 55 is lens – Introduction
Canon 18 55 is lens – specification
Focal length: 18-55mm
Aperture: f3.5(wide end) f5.6(long end)
Minimal focus distance:0.25m
Weight:200g (7.1 oz)
Filter thread:58mm (rotating)
Standard accessories: front and rear caps
Optional: lens hood EW-60C
This is a cheap plastic lens, cannot expect miracles for this price. Better than the nifty fifty (Canon 50/1.8 II). Autofocus works well.
Surprisingly sharp at the wide end, has excellent resolution in the center and the borders as well. Contrast is little reduced, colors not so saturated. Long end not so sharp. There are flare problems in bright sunlight and some vignetting(darkening of corners).
About the focal length
About the focal length: The most useful range of this equipment on the Aps-C camera is the wide angle (18 mm) setting. This focal length is used the most. There are alternative lenses on the market originally designed for the full frame cameras started from 28mm (same field of view for full frame camera) setting. Lenses like Tamron 28-75 f2.8, Canon 28-70 L, etc. If somebody likes to change lenses this lenses with an ultra wide angle (10-22, 10-20, etc) can be an option for this focal length, but I prefer the wider focal length without changing lenses always. According to me 28mm focal length is simply not wide enough for an Aps-C sensor sized camera (too narrow). A 28-75mm lens makes sense for portraits, but certainly too narrow for landscapes, and perhaps for group portrait shots inside also not the best.
The other possible lens options for the same purpose are:
Canon 24-70/2.8 L, 24/105 f4 L, Tamron 17 50, Tamron 17 50 vc, Sigma 17 70, Sigma 17 70 vc, Canon 18 55 II, Sigma 18 -50, sigma 17-50 os f2.8, Canon 15-85 is
How I choosed
My main interest is wildlife so I don’t want to pay the price of a used car for a wide angle lens, this rules the first two, and the last (possible best quality) options out. Out of the rest for me the best bang for the buck seems the original 17 50 Tamron without vc, but the 18 55 is was also very tempting because of the low price, so I made a try. This new Canon is amazingly sharp with plenty of resolution, but contrast and saturation a little bit moderate. I cannot say though that lens is perfectly satisfy my taste. This is a very good compromise. The lens is sharper at the wide end, even wide open very good (f3.5). At the long end the lens is not so sharp, but still not bad.
The stabilizer is also extremely useful, I can easily make sharp pictures with 1/10 second.
The stabilizer is only useful with non-moving subjects.
Canon 18 55 is lens Versions
I know at least three versions: 18 55 is I, 18 55 is II and 18 55 is Stm. Perhaps the newer ones better against flare. But all are essentially the same lens.
Sweet spot-sharpest aperture
The sharpest setting at the wide end at around f5.6, at the long end at f8.
In bright sunlight can have flare problems, it needs to be cared with the exposure, or try to not include the sun in the picture(not problem at sunset, more at bright mid-day situations). The lens vignettes as well (darkening of corners) but this is not so disturbing.
Compare to Tamron 17 50
Compare to the Tamron 17 50 (non VC): The Tamron is a much better lens overall, but cost three times more. The Canon has better resolution in 8Mp (not on 18Mp I think), but Tamron has better contrast and the Tamron has a visibly wider angle, and more vivid, warmer colors. The Tamron is much better in bright sunlight. The Tamron built quality is better (feels 100% ok for me, only point can be made it is plastic). The Tamron is sharper and has better contrast and colours. One of the big difference is the f2.8 aperture, perhaps very useful with the mentioned wide angle, and the long end as well.
Compare to Canon 15 85 is:
Overall the 15 85 is a sharper lens, the contrast is significantly better, colours more saturated, sharpness-resolution perhaps similar. The Canon 15-85 has a ring usm autofocus, different class than the micromotor focus of the 18-55 is. The 15-85 range is also better, little wider (perhaps makes big difference for landscape shooters, for wide angle fans not enough I think), the 85mm part can be useful for portraits.
Drawbacks of the Canon 18 55 is lens
The most significant drawback of this lens is that post processing is needed to have better results. Without the pictures lacking contrast, and color (according to my taste). With good post processing, I am happy with this lens performance. See my pictures for example Nagybörzsöny, note not all pictures made with this lens (some shots with canon 200/2.8 L), but the wide angle shots all made with the canon 18-55 is. Manual focus not really usable (turning the end of the lens).
Advantages of the Canon 18 55 is
Very sharp lens with a very good stabilizer, small, light and cheap. Relatively quick and silent focus, much quieter than the focal of the Tamron’s 17 50 for example.
I like better and better this lens I mostly try to use it at the wide end at f3.5 or f5.6.
For the price highly recommended, perhaps this is the only lens most people ever needed.
My pictures with the lens can be seen in the below gallery, if you click on the image must scroll down the page to see it: