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

Last updated (23 May’12):
- Review by

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR is a standard zoom lens. The lens features 18 to 55mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/3.5 to f/5.6. The lens construction has 11 elements in 9 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 74 degrees @ 20 feet to 27 degrees @ 50 feet. Focus adjustment: Autofocus (DC motor) with manual focus option, Closest focusing distance at 9.8 inches and has a filter size of 58mm. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR lens weighs 7.1 ounces and it measures 2.7 inches in diameter and 3.33 inches long.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Reviews reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“In short, the need to achieve a low price-point has compromised performance slightly but for users who want an affordable, yet versatile, point-and-shoot lens the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is worthy of consideration… Given the low price of this zoom its results are very impressive indeed.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“I am very pleased with the fact that the time has come when kit lenses, added to cheap digital cameras, can produce good quality photos and don’t have to be replaced immediately after the purchase with something better… It is not a perfect lens, it does have some faults, but its advantages are numerous and you can hardly demand much more for such a price. “
rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“The Canon 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS EF-S lens is a remarkable upgrade to the standard kit-style lens. Even if you’re not interested in the image stabilization that’s been added, the addition of the aspherical lens element (and whatever other fine-tuning the lens wizards have been up to in the lab) shows off improved sharpness and resistance to chromatic aberration. Definitely worth the upgrade.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“Flare was very well handled and bokeh (out-of-focus blur) was good for a lens of this type. The image stabilisation system proved to be quite effective, enabling us to use shutter speeds as slow as 1/13 second with a 28mm focal length setting. “
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“This zoom exemplifies how far lens design has come in recent years. On virtually every front, this useful, light, and compact lens shows moderate to dramatic improvements over Canon’s earlier non-IS 18-55mm kit zoom. It’s a surprisingly good lens at an even more surprising price.”
rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“For the money, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens performs very well optically. From 18mm through 35mm or so, center sharpness is reasonable wide open and reaches its optimal sharpness at f/5.6. Corners in this focal length range are relatively sharp. ..”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“The 18-55/3.5-5.6 is a very good lens for $100. It’s weaknesses show up at the ends of its zoom range (18mm and 55mm), especially in the corners of the frame when used wide open where resolution and contrast can be rather poor..”
Rating: ★★★★★ reviews the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR and writes;
“The image stabilizer is quite efficient with a real world “gain” equivalent to about 3 f-stops. On the mechanical side things aren’t so rosy. Canon changed the cosmetics of the lens and it certainly “looks” better now but the actual implementation has only been marginally improved compared to the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II.”
Rating: ★★★★★

User Opinions

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

Excellent lens – Sharp pics, great value. Highly recommended
“I bought this lens to replace the kit lens that came with my Rebel XTi and I am thoroughly impressed by its performance. The kit lens simply pales in comparison. The image stabilizer does its job very well, and the image quality is excellent.” – By Jim Marte “fivesix”
Rating: ★★★★★

What a value
“As a portrait photographer, I am really thankful to have a killer IS lens to let me play with wide shots of buildings, scenery, and maybe some fun people/pet portraits that differ from my more “sensible” lenses to date.” – By Bogus Exception
Rating: ★★★★★

Great lens, especially for the very low price
“Fast accurate focusing. One of the reasons I purchased this lens was because I was dissatisfied with the performance of my (more expensive) Sigma 17-35 EX (the newer model), which while sharp, is just too slow and inaccurate a focuser for close work in action sports. The new Canon solved that problem.” – By Trustme
Rating: ★★★★★

Great universal lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens I purchased this lens based on a recommendation. From the start it opened up a much greater range for my photographic experience, a terrific universal lens. The lens is light weight, easy to operate and takes incredibly sharp pictures. If you can afford only one mid-range macro to 55mm lens this is an excellent choice. Macro to mid range this lens excels, money well spent.” – by J. Cunningham

Nice lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a quality lens, it can do everything you need, even to get your photos published. I now have > 10 photos published using it in top scientific journals and books. Owned mine for < 1 yr now, it's great for the price! " – by Cleaning frenzy

Fantastic lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a great lens. I use it for pretty much everything other than birds (I use a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras for that). The only time I had trouble with it was at an aquarium, where the low light meant slow shutter speeds (moving fish + slow shutter speeds = blurry fish). For things that aren’t moving much, in low light I think this lens is better than the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. I find that f/3.5-f/5.6 with image stabilization is usually superior to f/1.8 without it. The zoom range (18mm-55mm) is very practical. 18mm is wide enough for landscapes or crowds at concerts, and 55mm is usually long enough. “ – by CT

Nice Suprise | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I bought this lens just to have it as a back up to my trusty Sigma 17-70 lens. It has not left my 40D since.I picked up the 18-55 IS as a “USA White Box” lens(was removed from a kit by a retailer).It is light,easy to handle and very sharp.The auto focus is fast and accurate.My thinking was that this might be an temporary lens until the New Canon 15-85 came out. I don’t know that the new lens would justify the extra $650.00. The 18-55 IS does have its short comings,but I feel the image quality and price outweigh them. I team this lens up with the 55-250 IS (another amazing value lens)and a fast prime like the 28 f/1.8 and I am covered for a day of walk around photography. “ – by Doug from S.C.

Great, yet cheap little zoom lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“I have been looking for a simple small lens to attach to my camera when I am not doing work for money. I read about the size and weight of this lens and was pleased by the many good ratings, so I decided to get it. I was not disappointed. After a month now, the lens performs as it was stated, smooth zooming, the USM is heard, but it’s nothing bad, and the IS works flawlessly. I have had no problems whatsoever mounting or dismounting the lens from my EOS 30D body, which stores beautifully amongst my other gear due to its small size. My professional lenses are twice the size and not having to carry the extra weight is a godsend. “ – by H. Hatje “Photographer”

A Good Kit Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Well, I didn’t throw out my kit lens (the 18-55mm IS), but I did think about selling it on eBay and buying the 17-55mm. Why, then, did I keep this lens? Well, the 18-55mm IS has three advantages over the 17-55mm, 1) it’s much cheaper, 2) it’s much lighter, making it more pleasant to carry around, 3) it came with my camera, so I had it already. Really, the 18-55 IS is not a bad lens. It can take some excellent pictures. In many situations it can take pictures that are just as good as those taken with the 17-55mm. Just keep in mind that you will never be able to get much bokeh with this lens, and it doesn’t have USM. This lens is very sharp and doesn’t have many image/color distortion problems. My main gripe with it is the auto focus, which is slow and sometimes jumps around trying to find the focus. “ – by Jeremiah Edwards

Image stabilization is great, fragile construction | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This is a wonderful lens that produces stunning photos without having to use a tripod. I just wanted to share this tip – be careful not to move the focus ring while it is in autofocus mode, it could break. One day I discovered that the lens would not focus anymore. It was binding half way through the rotation. So I took the lens apart. The little gear cog from the motor had a broken tooth. What I learned: the motor can drive the gears forward, but don’t override the focus ring with your hand as it can’t take the stress of being driven in reverse. But at the low price, and excellent image stabilization, it’s still a great buy.” – by FlyingPolarBear

More user opinions | Write your opinion

Features & Specifications

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

Equipped with Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm standard zoom lens is ideal for just about any application. IS technology compensates for camera shake by providing the equivalent effect of a shutter speed up to four stops faster. This allows you to take sharp handheld shots even in low-light conditions–a must for sports and nature photography. The lens also offers an aspherical lens element that corrects for aberration, thus producing a topnotch image throughout the zoom range, and a circular aperture that exquisitely renders out-of-focus backgrounds. Despite its minimal size, weight, and cost, the lens expands the picture-taking possibilities any time slow shutter speeds are needed.


* Focal length: 18 to 55mm
* Maximum aperture: f/3.5 to f/5.6
* Lens construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
* Angle of view: 74 degrees @ 20 feet to 27 degrees @ 50 feet
* Focus adjustment: Autofocus (DC motor) with manual focus option
* Closest focusing distance: 9.8 inches
* Filter size: 58mm
* Dimensions: 2.7 inches in diameter and 3.33 inches long
* Weight: 7.1 ounces
* Warranty: 1 year

See also: Canon Lenses | Lens Reviews

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