Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Review

October 14, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is a new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Canon’s APS-C DSLR cameras. Featuring an equivalent focal length of 16-28.8mm, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm features a newly developed stepping motor for smooth and quiet continuous AF while capturing video and in live view mode, 4-stop optical image stabilisation, a short minimum focusing distance of only 22cm, Super Spectra coatings that minimize ghosting and flare, a circular seven-blade aperture, and a non-rotating front element. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is available for £299.99 / €299.99 / $299.99.

Ease of Use

Weighing a mere 240g and measuring 72cm in length, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is one of the smallest and lightest wide-angle zoom lenses that Canon offers. Being an EF-S lens, you can only use it on a Canon EOS APS-C body like the 1200D that we tested it with, for a 16-28.8mm equivalent angle of view.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMThe Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens mounted on an EOS 1200D

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMThe Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens mounted on an EOS 1200D

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMThe Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens mounted on an EOS 1200D

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMThe Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens mounted on an EOS 1200D

As you would expect from such an inexpensive lens, build quality is adequate rather than outstanding. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM feels fairly solid in your hand, despite the all-plastic construction, although the plastic mount is disappointing. The focusing ring is very narrow but has a ridged, rubberised grip band that assists with the finger-tip operation.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMFront of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMFront of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMRear of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM boasts Image Stabilisation which Canon claims offers an advantage of up to 4 f-stops over lenses without a stabilizer. This is activated via the On/Off switch on the side of the lens. If the camera body supports it, Canon's IS technology is also able to detect intentional panning movement and automatically switch from the Normal IS mode to the Panning IS mode.

The final control on the lens barrel is a focus mode switch with the usual AF/MF settings. Note that this lens offers full-time manual focusing even when AF is selected.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMFront of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMRear of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMThe Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens in-hand

The lens doesn't ship with either a lens hood or a protective bag. It accepts 67mm filters.

Focal Range

At the 10mm focal length the angle of view is 107°30'.

 Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMField of view at 10mm

At the 18mm focal length the angle of view is 74°20'.

 Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMField of view at 18mm

Focusing

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens has a very narrow focusing ring that doesn't really encourage you to use it - perhaps Canon thinks that most users of this lens will never manually focus. There are no hard stops at either ends of the range, making it more difficult to set focus at infinity. Manual override of the autofocusing system is available at any time. Polariser users should be pleased that the 67mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM zoom is a quick performer, only taking about 0.15 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS 1200D that we tested it with. We didn't experience too much "hunting" though, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It's also a virtually silent performer too, thanks to the built-in STM (Stepping Motor), which makes this lens well-suited to video recording and more candid photography.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not particularly well controlled with this lens, appearing in quite a lot of our test shots. The examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Light Fall-off

With the lens wide open at f/4.5 at 10mm, you can see some light fall-off in the corners, although Canon's latest APS-C bodies can automatically correct for it when shooting JPEGs. There's also some obvious barrel distortion that disappears by 18mm.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMVignetting at 10mm

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMVignetting at 18mm

Macro

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is not really a macro lens, but the close-focus point is a useful 22cm from the film/sensor plane, and Canon quotes a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15x for the lens at the 18mm focal length. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Close-up performance

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

lens, wide-angle, canon, zoom, wide angle, f5.6, image stabilisation, f4.5, OIS, image stabilised, stepping, stepper, ef-s, stm, Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM, 10-18mm, 16-28.8mm, Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM Review, 10-18 mm

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