Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

The box for Canon's EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

The box for Canon’s EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

For my recent birthday, I received Canon’s EF-S 10-18mm lens as a gift. Over the last few months, I’d been exploring macro and landscape photography with Canon’s EF-S 24mm STM pancake lens, and the 10-18mm will allow me to take even wider shots. At the same time, the aperture on this new lens is significantly smaller than the f/2.8 on the 24mm pancake. That means a lot less light is coming through, so low-light/indoors performance is more challenging than with the 24mm pancake.

The Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

The Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

On the other hand, the 10-18mm does include Canon’s excellent image stabilization, and the 24mm does not. So far, in my experience, the IS does a good job helping this lens handle low-light situations. Both shots below are from inside the cathedral at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Even at high ISO’s, both shots came out clear and free of noise.

Inside Mission San Juan Capistrano, ISO 1000.

Inside Mission San Juan Capistrano – 10mm, ISO 1000.

Inside Mission San Juan Capistrano, ISO 1250.

Inside Mission San Juan Capistrano – 10mm, ISO 1250.

For landscape photography, the wider angle of the 10-18mm gives it the edge over the 24mm pancake, at least in daylight. Just like with the 24mm, I took this lens up to Top Of The World park in the Laguna Hills and came away impressed with the image quality. Here are the some photos, comparing the two different lens, although they were shot on different days.

Overlooking Laguna Beach, out to Santa Catalina Island. Full-auto - ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

24mm, full-auto – ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

10-18mm (@10mm).

10-18mm (@10mm).

Laguna Canyon, looking east towards Irvine (and NW towards the LA smog). Full-auto - ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

24mm, full-auto – ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

10-18mm (@18mm).

10-18mm (@18mm).

10-18mm (@10mm).

10-18mm (@10mm).

10-18mm (@18mm).

10-18mm (@18mm).

10-18mm (@10mm).

10-18mm (@10mm).

In terms of macro photography, the 10-18mm lens has a minimum distance to the subject of .7 feet, which is just under 20% further away than the .52 feet for the 24mm pancake. But, the wider angle of the 10-18mm lens allows for some shots you can’t get with the pancake.

10-18mm (@18mm) - Full-auto, f/4.5, ISO 100.

10-18mm (@18mm) – Full-auto, f/4.5, ISO 100.

10-18mm (@18mm) - Full-auto, f/4.5, ISO 100.

10-18mm (@18mm) – Full-auto, f/4.5, ISO 100.

But, for up-close shots, the 24mm pancake beats the 10-18mm IS STM.

Full-auto - ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

24mm pancake on full-auto – ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

10-18mm (@18mm) lens.

10-18mm (@18mm) lens.

Afternoon, inside, with curtains open and regular house lights on. Full-auto - ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

24mm on full-auto – ISO 100, f/9, 1/320.

10-18mm (@18mm).

10-18mm (@18mm).

While the 10-18mm IS STM lens is not as strong at macro photography as the 24mm pancake is, I believe the 10-18mm is going to be great for interior and exterior architecture photos, as well as landscapes.

The original cathedral at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@10mm).

The original cathedral at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@10mm).

Garden walkway at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@18mm).

Garden walkway at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@18mm).

Ore smelting furnaces at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@10mm).

Ore smelting furnaces at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 10-18mm (@10mm).

In terms of build quality, it’s a Canon EF-S lens. So, that means plastic, but high-grade plastic. The lens feels solid and well made. The glass is nice and sharp for a $300 lens. I’d say images are a bit sharper than the 24mm pancake, but not by that much – both lens feature very nice glass. Canon EF-S lens are inexpensive (comparatively speaking) but then never feel cheap. As always, it’s important to remember that the 10-18mm IS STM is an EF-S lens. These lens are limited to Canon’s Rebel line all the way through their not-completely-insanly-high-priced cameras. This is not a big deal for me. I really enjoy photography, but have been satisfied with the results from my Rebel T4i to the point where I don’t foresee spending $2,000+ on a better camera.

So far I have been enjoying my new Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM lens1 lens. It is very good at landscape and architecture photos. But, if you are not particularly interested in those fields, then this lens is probably going to have limited appeal for you.

Pros:

  • Well built EF-S lens.
  • Very good image quality.
  • Great for landscape and architecture photography.

Cons:

  • Limited repertoire.

Verdict = Recommended

References   [ + ]

1.Amazon Referral Link

Mike Knotts

Mike Knotts was born in 1968 in a small town in southern Indiana. Even when very young, Mike showed a love for all-things technical and sci-fi. Moving with his family to California in the early 80's, he eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in History. Rather than put that to good use, Mike continued to pursue his passion for technology by working for early, regional ISP's in the mid 1990's. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a project manager for an Internet startup. Mike is a co-founder of Geekometry.

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