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Lens review

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

15 July 2014
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre at all focal lengths,
  • decent image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • low longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • lack of problems with spherical aberration,
  • proper distortion control,
  • slight coma,
  • good astigmatism control,
  • fast, silent and accurate autofocus,
  • good optics quality/price and possibilities/price ratio.

Cons:

  • plastic casing and mount,
  • high vignetting,
  • weak performance against bright light.

I admit I am a huge proponent of ultra-wide angle lenses. I can’t imagine a holiday trip without such a device in my bag. The fact that the Canon enlarged its offer by another wide angle lens aimed at amateur photographers is, in my opinion, an excellent move. After all the 18 mm focal length, featured in kit lenses, doesn’t allow you to ‘have a blast’ with landscape or architecture photography. Now, for a moderate sum of money, every amateur can buy the Canon EF-S 10–18 mm f/4.5–5.6 IS STM, a very well done lens, and get even more beautiful holiday shots.

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If I had to carp about something in the summary I wouldn’t criticize the optical flaws of the tested lens, not very numerous anyway, but its build quality. I would gladly swap the stabilization for more metal parts in the mount and the casing. Alternatively I would get rid of the stabilization completely, improve the optics some more and reduce the price of the lens.

Still I have to admit even at this price point the lens seems to be unrivalled. The cheapest ultra-wide angle lenses, available for the Canon fans, are the Sigma 10–20 mm f/4–5.6 EX DC HSM and the Tamron SP AF 10–24 mm f/3.5–4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF). Both have a better build quality and they come with better parameters but they are optically worse and you have to pay for them about 700 PLN more than for the Canon EF-S 10-18 mm. In the class of amateur instruments it is a huge difference indeed. I don’t doubt that many people will choose the Canon 10-18 mm and let’s face it, if they handle it with proper care they won’t regret their choice for sure.