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

The new Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS was developed by Canon in response to consumer demand for a high-quality yet affordable optically image stabilized lens. While it features the wide-angle to mid-range zoom flexibility of its non-IS predecessor, this new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens offers the significant advantage of a true lens-shift image stabilization system that yields up to a full four stops of image-shake correction.

The higher performance provided by Canon’s lens shift IS system (compared with the in-camera sensor shift type offered in some competitive SLRs) includes the ability to optimize the lens performance for specific shooting situations such as low-light, long-zoom or movement while shooting (or virtually any combination of the three). What’s more, the shooter can see the image stabilization effect in the viewfinder. As the image already appears steady, more accurate framing and composition is possible, the AF point can be placed more precisely, and the photographer can concentrate on the optimal shot more comfortably.

Compact and lightweight, the optional EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens is manufactured by Canon specifically for the Canon 40D and any other Canon DSLR that takes EF-S lenses including the 30D, 20D and Rebel XTi.


The Digital Picture

The non-IS 18-55 is very slightly more resistant to flare than the IS – which is still very good in this regard. CA is very similar in the two lenses. The non-IS has a little less vignetting at 18mm but slightly more at 24mm and 35mm. While the 18-55 non-IS is a decent value, the 18-55 IS is better optically and is a much more versatile lens – It is definitely worth the extra cost in my opinion.


Anyway, the resolution capabilities of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is nothing short of amazing. This is also surprising regarding the rather small changes in the optical design compared to the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II. Still – the center resolution is excellent throughout the range even at wide-open aperture. Unlike most dedicated APS-C standard zoom lenses it is capable to keep a very good level even at the extreme corners of the image field. Its resolution characteristic is similar to the (much higher priced) EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS at comparable aperture settings, quite a bit better than the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS and naturally vastly improved over its non-IS predecessor!

Comparison Images to Non-IS EF-S 18-55mm Lens

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your gear through these links helps support this site.

[tags]canon, ef-s, 18-55mm is, lens, review[/tags]



  1. samsimp says

    You’re right – no USM here. It’s been wrong for a year and a half – guess no-one comes here.