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Lens review

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

15 July 2014
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality and image stabilization

The following chart presents a comparison between the tested lens , its more expensive brother and other ultra-wide angle lenses manufactured by independent companies. It is clear that the new Canon remains physically the smallest and the lightest. We are not surprised: as the only one it features a plastic mount and its focal range is maybe better than that of the old Tamron but unable to compete with the rest. It is worth noticing that the Canon has also the smallest filter diameter – it is actually an advantage because ultra-wide angle lenses are often used with filters and the smaller the filter the less you have to pay for it.

In the photo below the Canon 10–18 mm is positioned next to the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM and the EF 16–35 f/4.0L IS USM.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization

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As we’ve already mentioned the tested lens starts with a plastic EF-S mount with a characteristic bump which makes it impossible to attach it to a full frame Canon reflex camera. Inside the mount you find a contact plate and an engraved inscription “Made in Taiwan”.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


The rear element of the lens is only 15 mm in diameter, on the same level as the EF-S mount at 10 mm focal length. When you pass to 18 mm the element hides inside the tube about 1.5 cm deep and reveals the interior of the tube and some small electronic parts.

The proper body of the lens starts with an immobile ring, featuring an inscription with the parameters of the lens and information about optical stabilization – by the way not especially useful with such focal lengths and needlessly rising the price of this amateur instrument. On the left side of the inscription with parameters you see the focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF) and the stabilization switch (STABILIZER ON/OFF).

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


The biggest part of the lens’s body is a zoom ring, as wide as 4 cm. Most of it is occupied by rubber ribbing, with a silver stripe on one side and focal length markings at 10,12, 14, 16 and 18 mm. Its performance is beyond reproach - it moves evenly and comfortably, with a proper amount of resistance.

The next part is a narrow manual focus ring, just 7 mm wide. It is covered completely by rubber ribs, without any distance or depth of field scale. For the first sight it seems it works only when the lens is in the MF mode. But in AF mode it becomes active when a shuter is half pressed.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


The lens ends with a small, extending tube including a front element, 42 mm in diameter, surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 67 mm and a hood mount. The tube is hidden the deepest at 15 mm and it pulls out slightly at both ends of focal range.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


The optical construction of the Canon EF-S 10-18 mm consists of 14 elements positioned in 11 groups. For such a cheap, amateur instrument the number of special elements is impressive: you get two aspherical elements and one made of low dispersion UD glass. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to f/22 at 10 mm focal length and to f/29 at 18 mm.

As it happens with cheap Canon lenses, the accessory kit is very modest, consisting of just two caps.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


It is also worth mentioning that with the launch of the EF-S 10–18 mm and the EF 16–35 mm f/4L IS USM lenses Canon changed the colour of their packaging from white into grey-silver.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization



Image stabilization

The producer boasts about the fact that the optical image stabilization of the new Canon 10-18 mm is as efficient as 4 EV. We conducted our efficiency test at 18 mm focal length and it showed that those claims are a bit over the top.

Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - Build quality and image stabilization


The maximum distance between two curves amounts to 2.5 EV and such is, in our opinion, the stabilization efficiency – a quite average result by contemporary standards.