Lens review

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

15 July 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Canon EF-S 10–18 mm was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 50D. The maximum MTFs reached by the best lenses tested on that body amount to 52-55 lpmm. The decency level is situated near 34-35 lpmm. It’s also worth reminding here that the new Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8, tested on the same body, at 11 mm and wide open, had results about 46 lpmm and on stopping down it could exceed slightly 50 lpmm. The Canon EF-S 10-22 mm was tested on a less densely packed sensor of the Canon 20D so the direct comparison will be trickier. Still the results that lens got at the longer end of the focal range weren’t worse than those of the best primes.

How the new Canon compares here? First let’s check its performance in the frame centre.

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

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The perfectly even performance sticks out immediately. The results for all focal lengths coincide within the margin of error. What’s more, already at the maximum relative aperture – and across the whole focal range – the lens reaches a very high level of 50 lpmm. Taking into account the price of the lens and its purpose those results can be described as excellent.

Now let’s check whether an equally good performance can be seen on the edge of the frame.

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

The shortest focal length fares the worst here. At the maximum relative aperture you get just 33 lpmm so a tad lower than the decency level; still it is the only weak point. After a slight stopping down you reach the decency level and the bigger focal lengths don’t have any problems with exceeding it either, even with the lens wide open. On stopping down you can achieve a quite good level of 40 lpmm.

To sum up the lens didn’t let us down in any respect. Its constructors used to the full the fact that, with a narrower focal range and a slower aperture, it is easier to construct and correct properly than its more expensive brother, the EF-S 10-22 mm. They managed to create a very good and functional wide angle lens – a round of applause!

At the end we present a crop taken from the photo of our testing chart, saved as JPEG file along with RAW files which we used for the analysis presented above.

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