Canon 18-55mm IS STM
Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (52mm filters, 0.8'/0.25m close-focus, 7.2 oz./203g, about $300.) enlarge. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these links directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thank you! Ken.
Sample Image Files
Pretty darn sharp, especially considering that this chair seat isn't flat.
This Canon EF-M 18-55mm IS STM is a very small zoom lens with superb optical performance. Don't take its superior optics for granted; the very similar looking Sony DT 18-55mm SAM and Sony NEX E 18-55mm OSS are awful by comparison. It's better than the EF-S Canon 18-55mm lenses, too.
This Canon 18-55mm has a metal barrel and mount, but the front barrel, filter ring and the insides are all plastic. It's made in Taiwan.
It has Image Stabilization for sharp hand-held shots in low light of subjects that aren't moving.
Compatibility and Formats
Canon calls this the CANON LENS EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
EF means "electronic focus," meaning that there is an autofocus motor in the lens itself. All Canon lenses since 1987 have been EF.
-M means that it's a different, smaller mount, so it only works on the EOS-M cameras.
IS means Image Stabilization.
STM means that the autofocus motor is a stepper motor.
Canon 18-55 IS STM. enlarge.
13 elements in 11 groups.
Three aspherical elements.
Multicoated mostly in green and magenta.
Used on an EOS-M 1.6x camera, it will see about the same field of view as a 28-85mm lens sees on full-frame cameras.
Angle of View (on EOS-M 1.6x cameras)
74.3 ~ 27.8º diagonal.
45.5 ~ 15.6º vertical.
64.5 ~ 23.3º horizontal.
Close Focus top
0.8 feet (0.25 meters) from the image plane, specified.
Maximum Reproduction Ratio top
1:4.0 (0.25x), at 55mm.
Front, Canon 18-55mm IS STM.
7 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/22~36.
Focus Scale top
The ring turns without stops; it's just an electronic encoder.
Depth-of-Field Scale top
Infra-Red Focus Indices top
52mm thread, plastic.
Does not rotate, but moves in and out with focusing.
Rated for four stops improvement.
Canon specifies 2.4" (60.9 mm) diameter by 2.4" (61.0 mm) long.
2.4 x 2.4 inch, 7.4 oz. / 60.9 x 61.0mm, 210g
7.150 oz. (202.7g), measured.
Canon specifies 7.4 oz. (210g).
Plastic bayonet EW-54 petal hood, $29.
I wouldn't bother with it; it looks quite useless.
New 52mm E-52 front cap, included.
EB rear "dust cap," included.
LP814 sack, $24.
I'd use a tube sock instead.
Made in Taiwan.
Canon Product Number top
23 July 2012.
Shipping Since top
Price, USA top
2012 July - 2013 January: $300.
Luckily, this is a swell lens: super sharp at every setting with great image stabilization but more ghosts than other lenses. Don't take this performance for granted; the Sony DT 18-55mm SAM and Sony NEX E 18-55mm OSS are awful by comparison!
On the Canon EOS-M, autofocus is moderately slow, but it's completely silent so long as you're at least an inch (2 cm) away, and it's always accurate.
There is no switch; you have to screw with in-camera menus.
Autofocus speed on the EOS-M is relatively slow but sure; fast enough for scenic shots, but nowhere near fast enough for people or action shots.
The 18-55 is completely silent unless you hold your ear up to it.
AF Accuracy and Consistency
AF accuracy is dead-on on the EOS-M.
Manual focus is awful; don't bother trying to use the manual focus ring.
The ring is merely an input to a computer, which in turn controls the lens motor — if you have everything else set properly.
It only works if the camera is both on and awake.
There is little direct relationship between the motion of the ring and the motion of the lens, and there is some time delay.
Focus breathing is of interest to cinematographers who don't want the image changing size ("breathing") as the lens is focused among different subjects.
The image of the Canon 18-55mm IS STM gets smaller as focused more closely.
Coma, or saggital coma flare, is when points of light in the corners turn into batwing-shaped blobs. This is often a problem with fast normal or wide lenses.
I don't see any on this modern, slow aspherical lens.
This Canon 18-55mm has the usual barrel distortion at the 18mm end and pincushion distortion at the long end as expected, as shot on the EOS-M.
For more critical use, use these factors in Photoshop's Lens Distortion tool to remove the distortion. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
* Waviness remains.
Canon 18-55 IS STM.
Zooming is easy; half the lens is the metal zoom ring.
There is a manual focus ring, but it responds poorly if at all. Don't bother with it and you'll be much happier.
It's easy to mount and unmount from a camera, however the index dot is merely painted, so it won't be felt in the dark.
Shot on the EOS-M with correction enabled, there is no visible falloff at any aperture or zoom setting.
It works without vignetting even with three stacked 52mm filters at the 18mm setting.
The EF-M 18-55mm IS STM has much more than the usual amount of ghosts if you push your luck shooting into the sun and putting dark things in place to see the ghosts, and giving enough exposure. It is much worse than the 22mm f/2 STM.
Ghosts. Canon 18-55 IS STM at 28mm, f/10 at 1/200 at ISO 100 on EOS-M, 6 sharpening +3 saturation.
Of course this is an extreme example; I never saw any problem when used properly, even without a hood.
There are no color fringes when shot on the EOS-M with correction ON.
Macro gets close at 55mm:
At close-focus distance, f/9 at 1/200 at ISO 100 on EOS-M, +3 saturation, 6 sharpening.
It gets close, but it's not as sharp as the 22/2 STM at macro distances:
Crop from above image at 100%, 18 MP EOS-M. If this is 6" (15cm) on your screen, the complete image would print at 52 x 35" (135 x 90 cm) at this same magnification.
You can see the scratches on my watch crystal.
It's nearly impossible to tell the EOS-M on what to focus for macro shooting; in this case, it seems to be focused on the scratch on the top of my watch.
Rear, Canon EFM 18-55 IS STM. bigger.
The Canon 18-55mm IS STM is inside out from a modern pro lens: it's metal on the outside for show, and plastic on the inside for low cost.
Hood Mount Bayonet
Front section of lens
All plastic (the part that moves in and out as zoomed).
Seems like all plastic.
Moisture seal at mount
Paint on plastic.
Regulatory certifications are shallow enough to remain black-on-black, while the CANON and other white markings are engraved deeply enough to hit bare aluminum below.
Mounting Index Dot
Engraved and filled with white paint.
Laser-engraved into bottom of lens barrel.
Shows as silver on black.
Noises When Shaken
Taiwan, hidden in black on the inside black plastic rear light shield.
The Canon EF-M 18-55mm IS is super sharp at all settings, right out to the corners wide-open. Bravo!
Here are Canon's rated MTF curves, which agree with what I saw: super sharp even wide open:
Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS STM MTF curves.
Sunstars. Canon 18-55 IS STM, f/7.18 at 1/160 at ISO 100 on EOS-M, 6 sharpening +3 saturation.
With a rounded 7-bladed diaphragm, sunstars aren't that easy to excite. When excited, they aren't all that symmetrical.
For the best sunstars, shoot at f/11 or smaller and pray.
This Canon EF-M 18-55 IS STM is the best 18-55mm lens I've tested for Canon. This makes perfect sense because the EF-M format allows the lens designers the freedom to place the rear elements much closer to the sensor than the EF-S lenses which have to be designed around avoiding the flipping mirror of DSLRs
Canon doesn't screw around when it comes to lenses; Canon is an optical company first and foremost, not a stereo equipment company like Sony.
As of January 2013, this Canon 18-55mm IS STM is the only zoom lens available exclusively for the Canon EOS-M, and it won't work on any other camera.
It performs magnificently, so I'd strongly suggest it for the EOS-M if you want a zoom. You could use the Canon EF Adapter M and any other EF-S 18-55mm lens, but the combination becomes much bigger than you'd expect, defeating the purpose of the tiny EOS-M — and it's not as good optically as this lens.
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