Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM [The Expert Review]

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For several years — ten, to be precise — Canon has fulfilled the Ultra-wide angle demands of APS-C users with the classic EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens. After seeing the popularity of the lens take off cameras like the EOS 300D, 350D, 20D, and 30D, rival manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron followed suit and offered arguably superior options to Canon, creating a fiercely debated series of lenses at the APS-C ultra-wide selection.

Have a cheaper alternative to the 10-22mm. There are already a number of excellent lenses in this popular selection, but this is a welcome inclusion from Canon and is garnering much attention from photographers that shoot landscapes and architectural images, particularly. Also, the inclusion of STM technology must pique the attention of APS-C-format DSLR video makers, too.


Keen to reclaim ground in the hotly contested ultra-wide-angle lens Market, Canon’s lightweight 10-18mm zoom includes lots of appealing features. Let’s begin with the addition of Stepping Motor Technology (STM), which Canon claims allows the lens to focus near quietly’, and having used it during video shooting I can report that the focusing is, to all intents and purposes, inaudible. Not only that, the motors actuate quickly but achieving almost instant autofocus. Manual-focus override can be obtained, or you could toggle full manual focus on and off through the switch on the barrel.

With the 4-stop image stabilization on the lens changed on, it was Possible to shoot comparatively sharp images handheld with shutter speeds as slow as 1/2sec, but I achieved my most consistent results shooting at around 1/6sec-1/20sec.

Build and handling

Targeting entry and enthusiast-level photographers, Canon continues to be Conscious to keep the cost of this lens but by no means does it feel cheaply constructed. It owes its svelte 240g weight partially to its plastic mount and plastic cone, but do not let that put you off. It is made from a tough plastic and, given the lightweight of this lens, I really don’t envision the force it’d generate from being lost will be enough to do major damage.

The sole physical drawback some may experience when using and Operating this lens would be the electronic manual focus — it’s almost too smooth and lacks the tactile resistance that consumers of lenses with mechanical focusing mechanisms will be accustomed to. On the flip side, those who want to take advantage of its 0.22m close-focusing capacity, or wish to shoot video and want non-resistant attention, will greatly appreciate the super-smooth motorized guide focus with this lens. Landscape shooters will even appreciate that focusing takes place internally, therefore turning the focus ring won’t influence any graduated ND filters or polarisers mounted on the lens.

Designed for APS-C-format Canon cameras, this lens is a perfect fit For models such as the EOS 70D, feeling well balanced and adding very little weight to the user’s left hand to hold when steadying the camera. Its lightweight also means it avoids the top-heavy feeling one gets when using more cumbersome lenses on entry-level DSLRs like the 100D, for instance. I did find it a little tricky toggling the camera AF/MF and image-stabilization switches while searching through the lens, but, which meant I would occasionally have to take my eye from the viewfinder, but I hope their placement will become more familiar with use.

Image quality

Image: Edge sharpness is good, but a bit vignetting is visible at the 10mm end. But it is not overly pronounced

Most of this evaluation and for the pictures that follow it, I Utilized the 10-18mm lens on a Canon EOS 70D. Images captured with this lens have good contrast and a satisfying amount of detail backed up by our scientific testing that revealed that the lens remains relatively sharp out of its center to the corners of this frame, particularly between f/5 and f/11. I contested the functioning of the lens in low-light scenarios in which the 4-stop picture stabilization and lens sharpness might easily be exposed when they weren’t around the project, but under these circumstances, I managed to capture usable images.

Sometimes, I noticed some lateral chromatic aberration towards the edges of the framework, displaying as color fringing around regions of high contrast such as parallel light and dark lines. This was visible at the 10mm end than at 18mm, but that is a frequent feature of several ultra-wide lenses, and it can be readily corrected using software such as DxOMark. Barrel distortion and vignetting are pronounced from the corners at 10mm, but some the latest Canon DSLRs can compensate for this and make corrections inside the camera to reduce these optical results. Alternatively, more exact adjustments can be created using computer software.

Image: In its widest aperture, the depth of field holds focus throughout the frame, so is ideal for photographs of large groups


Testing shows a lens that is consistent in its imaging performance. It provides similar effects from the center to the edge of the framework across the full zoom range, though it’s sharper in the center is 18mm. It is Also consistent across the aperture range, from wide-open down to f/11, And then diffraction reduces sharpness.

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