Lens review

Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II

25 May 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of this new, basic kit lens was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 50D reflex camera. It’s worth reminding here that for that camera the decency level is situated on the level of 34-35 lpmm and the best “primes” reach results near 51-53 lpmm. Our Readers undoubtedly would like to compare the results, presented here, to those of this lens’s older version, tested on the Canon EOS 20D. In the case of that camera the decency level was near 30 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses got to 45-47 lpmm.

First, let’s check how the Canon EF-S 18-55 MM F/3.5-5.6 IS II fares in the frame centre.

Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II - Image resolution

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The image is similar to that of its predecessor. Its quality is the best at the shortest focal length and it decreases with lengthening. It is important that at the maximum relative aperture, even set at the maximum focal length, you can get useful images. Of course the lens hardly breaks any resolution records there as the best results, reached by it, are on the level of 47 lpmm. It would be difficult to expect any record values, though, when you deal with a “kit” made of plastic, a device added virtually free of charge to the simplest reflex cameras.

Let’s check the performance on the edge of the frame now.

Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II - Image resolution

Once again the overall picture is very similar to that of the predecessor but the results, after using the right conversion factors, seem to be even a bit worse. The difference is so small, though, that it might fit within the possible quality dispersion range of two different specimens. Such a dispersion is unavoidable in this price-quality segment. The performance on the edge of the frame is more or less even but otherwise it doesn’t bowl us over. The area near the maximum relative aperture isn’t fully useful at any focal length. On stopping down by about 1 EV you can get nearer the decency level. The lens doesn’t get good results anywhere, though - we only are close to the level of 36 lpmm at best .

At the end, traditionally we present our test chart crops taken from the centre of JPEG files, which were saved along RAW files.

Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II - Image resolution