Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Review (so far)
The Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM is an affordable ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Canon EOS R APS-C cropped sensor mirrorless cameras that's well-suited to cityscapes, landscapes, architecture, travel and vlogging.
This is the fourth RF-S lens in the range. It features PMo and UD elements to help control chromatic aberrations and distortion.
Canon say that this lens offers better image quality than the EF-S DSLR version, whilst being even smaller and lighter.
It has a Super Spectra Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and a 7 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image.
The Canon 10-18mm is equipped with an optical Image Stabilizer that offers 4-stops of built-in stabilisation, or up to 6-stops when used with an EOS R camera that is equipped with IBIS.
It offers an impressive half life-size maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x, whilst using cost effective 49mm filters.
There's a configurable combined focus/control ring on the lens barrel which allows you to either manually focus or quickly change the exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.
The Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens will be available in December 2023 priced at £379.99 / €439.99 in the UK and Europe, respectively. It is made in Taiwan.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at just 150g / 5.29 ounces and measuring 4.5cm / 1.77 inches in length, the RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM is an incredibly small and lightweight ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.
It's barely noticeable even when used with a small-sized camera body like the entry-level Canon EOS R100 body that we tested it with, as shown in the product photos.
Build quality is good for such an affordable lens. Despite its mostly plastic construction, the RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM feels solid enough in your hand, although it does somewhat disappointingly have a plastic rather than metal mount.
The retractable lens barrel extends by an additional 1cm when the focal length is set to 10mm, being ever so marginally shorter at the 18mm focal length.
Note that this lens does not have a weather-resistant design to help protect it against dust and moisture.
There is an optical image stabilizer built-in to this lens, though, which can only be switched On and Off using the camera's menu system rather than via a dedicated switch on the side of the lens barrel.
This lens offers up to 4-stops of protection against blur from camera shake, increasing to 6 stops when paired with an EOS R camera body that has IBIS, like the EOS R100 that we tested it with.
If you're not using the focusing ring for manual focusing, you can change its operation to be the Lens Control Ring instead, although you again have to delve into the camera menu to do so because there's no dedicated Focus/Control switch on the side of the lens barrel as on some Canon lenses.
In this Control setting, the ring can be used to control certain key camera settings (TV, AV, ISO and exposure settings) instead of the focusing.
The Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens has a fairly narrow fly-by-wire focus ring with a knurled grip band.
There are no hard stops at either ends of the range, making it more difficult to set focus at infinity.
Note that this lens usefully offers full-time manual focusing even when AF is selected.
In use the manual focusing system is virtually silent, which makes it suitable for both recording video and shooting stills.
Polariser users should be pleased that the sensible 49mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.
When it comes to auto-focusing, the RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM is a snappy performer thanks to the STM motor, taking around 0.10 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS R100 camera.
We didn't experience very much "hunting" at all, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing virtually all of the time, thanks to the superb low-light capabilities of the EOS R cameras.
The STM motor is also virtually silent in AF mode, which makes this lens well-suited to auto-focusing during video recording.
There is a petal shaped lens hood and a soft case available for this lens, but disappointingly both are rather pricey optional extras that aren't included in the box.