Product Type: Canon camera lenses
Newest Review: ... lifetime opportunities- this lens will let you down. If you're a casual photographer who's images are let down by their abilities rather t... more
you'll want to get rid of this is you're serious about photography
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Member Name: clarkjames
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Advantages: cheap, lightweight and sharpness is OK
Disadvantages: There are much better lenses for not that much more money
a review in one paragraph: it has a good range and is a good lens for lots of situations, but get rid of it as soon as possible if you want to take really good photos or make large prints.
a slightly longer review: Now a days probably 90% of digital images are never printed, and stay on websites like flickr or facebook- if you don't look too closely (people call this pixel peeping) even a cheap lens can produce ok images when viewed on a screen, even a modest sized print (A4) will expose the flaws of a lens, and that's where a cheap lens like this can start to let you down.
If you pay a load of money to go on a photo expedition, say you go to the arctic circle, or the grand canyon, once in a lifetime opportunities- this lens will let you down. If you're a casual photographer who's images are let down by their abilities rather than their gear, this lens will be ok for you to learn with, until you stumble across a fantastic photo opportunity and the lens then decides to let you down.
The AF isn't driven by an ultra sonic motor (USM) so it's noisy, much slower and to manual focus you have to switch from AF to MF mode. Given the typical use of this lens it's not inappropriate.
It also has some of the worst chromatic aberation I have ever seen, you'll want to avoid shooting against high contrast edges such as trees and buildings back lit by the sun.
Yes I have seen great photos taken by this lens, and yes I have taken great photos myself with this lens- but when I am comparing it to better lenses with faster apertures and better glass, you get what you pay for, and with the better lenses you don't have to be so limited as to what you can shoot. With an f5.6 lens you're relegated to shooting with flash or shooting in good light only, IS is useful for shooting in lower light, but if your subject moves then IS isn't going to help as it only lets you shoot at a slower shutter speed- so if you're shooting a children's party and the kids are moving around the kids will be blurry but the background will be sharp- I think a wider aperture is always more useful than an IS lens.
Perhaps I am a lens snob, I am a professional photographer and I must have about 15k worth of lenses and cameras, my main lens cost £1600 and weighs about 30x as much as this lens- so of course it's not going to impress me.
It's difficult to say what you should get, as this lens only costs around £50 on ebay, so there is no real competition in this price bracket, it is also one of the lightest and smallest zoom lenses you can buy, but if IQ is your priority then you'll want to step up to the 17-55 2.8 IS, or even the tamron 17-50 (with or without vibration control), both lenses are a cut above in terms of IQ, handling, build quality, and with both lenses being 2.8 then let in a lot more light and you can start to blur the background, making them great for portraits.
But if you're a casual photographer, and think you can live within the constraints set by this lens, then go for it- it's so cheap that you really can't loose.
Summary: an OK lens for the price, but you will outgrow it fairly quickly if you care about your photography
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