EF-S 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 IS
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens' aperture starts at a reasonably wide maximum of f/3.5 at 18mm, goes to f/4 at 24mm, to f/5 at 39mm and to a slow (narrow) max aperture opening of f/5.6 at 47mm. These numbers are within 1 or 2mm of the 18-55 II's max aperture values. If shooting wide open at 18mm (f/3.5), your exposure is going to change as you zoom to a higher focal length. The changing max aperture complicates Manual exposure mode if using wide open apertures.
Since the aperture remains at its max opening until the shot is taken, a small max opening (such as f/5.6) means lower performance AF and a dark viewfinder - and a grainy-appearing Live View preview image (if your DSLR has this feature). These apertures are generally not good for indoor/low light shooting, but IS will help dramatically if the subject is motionless (more coming on this).
A shallow DOF with a blurred foreground/background is more difficult to produce with a slow lens than with a faster lens of the same focal length. The upside is that the 18-55 IS uses a new circular aperture that delivers a good quality OOF (Out of Focus) blur - a bit better than the 18-55 II. OOF points of light remain circles even with a stopped down aperture (where the number of blades and blade shape affect the results the most).
I've always been a big fan of image stabilization - the big feature upgrade this lens has over the 18-55 II. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens utilizes a new, smaller IS design based on the IS mechanism used in the PowerShot SD700 IS Digital ELPH. This new design features automatic panning detection (formerly mode 2) and is tripod sensing. While most IS lenses makes a humming sound of some level, this one is silent. If you put your ear against the lens, you might hear some faint clicking sounds, but you need to make an effort to hear them.
An upside to the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens' low build quality is the very light weight. At only 7 oz (200g), you barely know it is there. It is also a very small - measuring 2.7" x 2.7" (68mm x 70mm) (lxd).
The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens' minimum focusing distance is 9.8" (25 cm) - slightly shorter than the 18-55 II's 11" (28 cm) spec. This distance delivers a very nice MM (Maximum Magnification) of 0.34x at 55mm. Adding a Canon closeup lens is not tremendously helpful as the 250D changes the MM range to .22x-.49x and the 500D changes MM to .04x-.42x.
For the money, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens performs very well optically.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Great kit lens
Being quite experienced photographer (over 35 years) I quite recently became aware, that Canon can do very decent pieces. I have had many, many cameras - Leica M3, Olympus Pen, Praktica Super most notable cameras of pre-digital time and a row of digital cameras - Olympuses, Sonys, Fujis, Panasonics.
My previous DSLR was Sony Alpha A200 and I must say that kit - DT 18-70 was better then Canon kit 18-55 I'd used for Canon 350D.
But I'm tired of Sony cameras - just to see what cameras they produce now - A230, A330 - the worst DSLR cameras I've ever seen... (it is my very subjective opinion).
It happens for me to buy used Canon 20D, despite lower resolution it has much, much better images then I had taken from Sony A200 and I decide to buy a cheap lens in addition to main 28-135.
While I can't compare it with 28-135 as latest more expensive, I can compare it with Sony DT18-70.
1) Construction. Sony lens seems very, VERY plastic, even the glass seems as it made from plastic.
2) Building quality. Canon lens built well what I can't say about Sony lens.
3) Focus speed. Canon lens focuses in 0.1-0.2 seconds always, Sony lens focuses in 0.1-0.4 seconds, depends of light condition.
4) Image quality. Sony lens needs a closed apperture for sharp images, 2-3 steps from open, Canon lens is sharper then Sony lens from a open aperture.
Start with focus range 55 mm DT 15-70 becames very, very muddy.
5) Bokeh - both lens is not great in this area.
6) Filters - both lens make it impossible to use polarized filters because of rotating front lens.
7) Canon IS technology much, much better than Sony Steady shot - I easily could make sharp pictures with 1/5 seconds (EFR 80), compared with 1/15 seconds (EFR 80).
I must say, Canon did an excelent job to replace its previous 18-55 kit lens.
Must have lens despite its cost.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f305-5.6 IS Lens
Welcome to the Canon kit lens version 2, or is it 3? However one names it this is an improved version of the original Canon EF-S 18-55mm that was introduced with the original Canon Rebel. It's still the same size, it's still made of plastic,and it still takes the same 58mm filter size and lens shade. So, what's improved.
Well, it's got new optics for one, and you don't need to do a bunch of test shots to show it. One obvious example is the much enlarged front element, the better to help with barrel distortion and other bad things that lurk in many an inexpensive zoom. This makes the new version the first all new optical design because the original kit lens was an adaptation of Canon's 22-55mm APS kit lens for the IX Lite APS film camera. Finally, various lens testers have verified that this lens has much improved contrast, resolution and distortion results than the original.
The other reason is the inclusion of IS (for Internal Stabilization)with this lens. IS was first introduced in Canon's 70-300 zoom telephoto, and has since slowly expanded into other lenses. This is the "economy" version as compared to what you would get if you bought an L series Canon, but economy or not, it greatly improves the low light capabilities of any Canon Digital Rebel or APS sensor camera. However, make sure your batteries are good, which shouldn't be a problem if you have a newer Rebel or D20 to 50 series camera. However, if you are still using Canon BP-511 battery, best to up grade to the higher capacity BP-511a, because IS does require more power from the camera.
Other items, well, I'd like USM as well as IS - Canon has a USM version of the old model. Also, I'd like a fixed front element to make using a polarizing filter much easier, with a tulip style lens hood. Since a polarizer is about the only filter worth owning, why not make all Canon lenses with non-turning front elements.
So much for the grips, however, I'm looking forward to the pictures I'll get with it. For less than a Canon 35 f2 prime, it's a heck of a buy. So get one and enjoy.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
By far the best lens for the price
For the $100 or so that you can buy this lens for, it is really phenomenal, and represents a huge jump in optical quality from its non-IS predecessors (and comparable offerings from other lens makers). And of course the image stabilization allows you to easily hand-hold 1/15 sec and even slower shots. It has great sharpness (only a little soft wide open at the corners) and relatively low chromatic abberations. Read the in-depth reviews of the lens at photozone.de for a more precise explanation of this lens' characteristics.
I give this lens 5-stars not because it's a Canon L-quality lens (it's not), but because it offers so much for its price point. Your possible "upgrades" to this lens include the Canon 17-85mm IS lens at roughly $200 (significantly WORSE optical quality), the $280 Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 lens (better macro ratio; slightly worse optics; no IS), the $350 Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 (slightly better optics; faster, but no IS), The $500 Canon 17-40mm f4 L lens (better build quality, not as much of an optical improvement as you'd expect, no IS) and of course the $1000 Canon 17-55mm f2.8 lens (better everything). So, you've really got to spend a lot more money to get lenses that are only marginally better than this one.
I recommend that anyone who has the older, non-IS 18-55mm lenses upgrade to this one, because it's only about a $50 upgrade after you sell the old one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Great lens for the price!
I think that it is important to consider the price you will expect to pay for this lens, it certainly is not of the same quality as many of the lenses that you will see here selling at 3 to 4 times the price of the 18-55. I bought this lense to upgrade the 18-55 efs lens that came with my original Canon digital Rebel that I purchased about 6 years ago. I am totally happy with the lens, it's focus is very quiet and accurate, it is able to take handheld photos at shutters speeds that previously I would never consider. If you need an inexpensive wide angle zoom for your canon camera, this is it! It is a great lens for the price. I also own a Canon 17-85 USM IS, a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro, and I still have the lens that came on my 50d, a 28-135 USM IS. Is this lens of the same quality, hmmmmm, not in construction, and maybe not quite as good in optics, does it take great picts? Yes it does, for the price you can't go wrong with this lens.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.