Canon RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM Review
Released alongside the EOS R7 and R10, the RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM is by far the most interesting of the two RF-S lenses that Canon also unveiled.
It offers a versatile 8x focal range in a very small, lightweight package along with effective image stabilisation and even some quite powerful macro capabilities.
In short, if you don't already have any vested interest in Canon lenses, if possible buy this kit lens instead of the 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM. At £519.99 / $499 it's less appealing as a stand-alone product, but still worth considering in these very early days of the RF-S lens mount.
The effective 4.5-stop optical image stabilisation system makes this lens more versatile in low-light situations, allowing you to hand-hold the camera in situations where you can't use a tripod or similar support. This is especially important on the EOS R10 which doesn't have IBIS.
We did miss having built-in weather-proofing, though, which would offer some peace of mind in the more inclement conditions that this lens may be subjected to, and it would have been nice to see the optional lens hood and bag included in the box.
Auto-focusing proved to be quick, quiet and reliable on the Canon EOS R7 camera body that we tested the lens with thanks to the STM motor, while manual focus over-ride at any time is a great feature, and we didn't miss having a dedicated AF/MF button on the lens barrel because both the R7 and R10 have one.
The Lens Control Ring is now a defacto feature on virtually every RF lens and although it takes a little getting used to if you haven't encountered it before, especially as it's shared with the manual focus on this particular lens, it soon becomes quite a handy feature to have.
The lack of external controls for IBIS and for switching between manual zoom and the lens control ring function is rather annoying, though, and although we'd expect the all-plastic construction at this price-point, having a plastic rather than metal lens mount smacks a little of cost-cutting for the sake of it.
This lens does suffer from similar image quality issues to some of the other more affordable RF lenses that we've recently reviewed, most notably very obvious amounts of distortion and vignetting that are evident in both the JPEG and RAW files.
On a more positive note, this lens is pleasingly sharp almost from the get-go in the centre even when shooting wide open. The edge performance isn't as good, though, requiring you to stop down to get acceptably sharp results.
Despite the very slow maximum apertures available, it's still capable of producing some quite nice bokeh effects, helped by the ability to focus as close as just 12cm / 4.7" away from your subject in tandem with the excellent half life-size macro capability.
As a versatile all-in-one superzoom for travel and everyday photography, the compact and affordable RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM is a very good partner for both the EOS R7 and R10 cameras and definitely recommended if you don't already own any more suitable Canon lenses.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4|