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Canon 10-18mm IS STM
$300 APS-C EF-S (2014-)
© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

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Canon 10-18mm IS

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM (APS-C coverage only, 67mm filters, 8.2 oz./233g, 7"/20cm close focus, about $300). enlarge. I bought mine at Adorama. You also can get them at this link to them at Amazon.

My biggest source of support for this free website is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get your things through these links to approved sources — but I receive nothing for these efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.

 

July 2014   Canon Reviews   Canon Lenses   All

NEW: Canon 10-18mm IS vs. 16-35mm f/2.8 L II 12 June 2014

 

Sample Image Files

More samples at Canon 10-18mm IS vs. 16-35mm f/2.8 L II,

Canary Palm 11 June 2014

Canary Palm, 11 June 2014. Canon 10-18mm at 10mm at f/10 at 1/100 at ISO 100. Camera-original file.

 

Canary Palm 11 June 2014

Concrete Wall at 2 Feet (0.6 meters), 11 June 2014. Canon 10-18mm at 18mm at f/10 at 1/100 at ISO 100. Camera-original file.

 

Canary Palm 11 June 2014

Concrete Wall at 2 Feet (0.6 meters), 11 June 2014. Canon 10-18mm at 10mm at f/10 at 1/100 at ISO 100. Camera-original file.

 

Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

The Canon 10-18mm IS STM is the world's first reasonably-priced ultrawide lens. It works only on Canon's APS-C digital cameras.

Not only is it the world's least expensive, it's super light weight, and is also optically superb. There is no sharper ultrawide lens for APS-C cameras, and it's much better than Canon's 10-year-old EF-S 10-22mm that costs over twice as much!

This new 10-18mm lens also adds Image Stabilization (IS), a first from Canon in any ultrawide.

This 10-18mm also adds Canon's Stepper Autofocus Motor (STM) for faster AF with video.

It's got a plastic mount, which is why it only costs $300 and weighs next to nothing. The 10-22mm is also all plastic except for the mount, so I'm not worrying about it. I've never broken any of my plastic-mount lenses in the ten years I've been shooting them, and I just sold an image I made with a plastic 18-55mm lens to one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies for $4,000, so they can't be all that bad.

Feel free to grab the manual focus ring at any time for manual focus override. Manual focus is electronic, not mechanical, so it doesn't feel as good as it does on the old 10-22mm, but who cares; we rarely use manual focus with ultrawide lenses anyway.

The 10-18mm is the best Canon ultrawide I've used. It's the sharpest, smallest, lightest and least expensive. Too bad it won't work on full frame, but the newer full frame 16-35mm f/4 L IS (not yet tested) should be as good. Canon's full-frame ultrawides (like my favorite 16-35mm f/2.8 L II) have never been very sharp.

Yes, this $300 lens is sharper than the $1,700 Canon 16-35 L II. Not bad for $300!

 

Canon EF-S 10-18mm STM

Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM. bigger.

 

Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Name

Canon calls this the Canon Lens EF-s 10-18mm IS STM.

   EF: Electronic Focus. All modern Canon lenses focus with a motor in the lens.

   -s: For small-format APS-C cameras only.

   STM: Stepper autofocus Motor.

 

Optics

14 elements in 11 groups.

One aspheric and and one UD glass element.

Four-group zoom system.

Rear focus.

 

Diaphragm

Canon 10-18mm STM

Front, Canon 10-18 STM (EF diaphragm not visible).

7 curved blades.

Stops down to f/22-29.

 

Close Focus

0.72 feet (0.22m) rated.

7.5" (19cm) measured, from the image plane. That's 3" (75mm) from the front of the lens.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:6.7 (0.15x).

 

Focal Length

10-18mm.

On APS-C cameras, it gives angles of view similar to what a 16-28mm lens would give on a 35mm or full-frame camera. See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of View

74.3º - 107.5º  diagonal on APS-C DSLRs.

 

Maximum Aperture

f/4.5-5.6.

 

Image Stabilization

Rated four stops improvement.

 

Size

2.9" (74.6mm) diameter x 2.8" (72.0mm).

 

Weight

8.215 oz. (232.9 g), actual measured.

Rated 8.5 oz. (240g).

 

Announced

13 May 2014.

 

Promised for

June 2014.

 

Shipping

I got the first one on 10 June 2014.

 

Item Number

9519B002.

 

Quality

Lens and caps made in Taiwan.

 

Includes

Lens.

Caps.

 

Price, USA

$300, May 2014.

Canon case

Box, Canon 10-18mm.

 

Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh   Breathing   Color

Distortion   Ergonomics   Falloff    Filters    Ghosts

Image Stabilization   Lateral Color Fringes   Macro

Max & Min Apertures   Mechanics   Sharpness   Sunstars

 

Overall     performance      top

The Canon 10-18mm STM is optically superb. Add that to its ultra light weight and small size and the lowest price on the market, and there is no other ultrawide you'd want for your small-sensor Canon camera.

It's the best lens there is for these cameras, and the least expensive.

 

Focus     performance      top

AF is virtually instantaneous, silent and accurate.

 

AF Speed

Autofocus is essentially instantaneous.

 

Auto/Manual Switching

Just grab the focus ring anytime for instant manual-focus override.

To lock it into manual mode, move the switch on the lens.

 

Bokeh     performance      top

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the degree of defocus, isn't visible. There is rarely anything out of focus except at macro ranges, at which point bokeh is neutral.

 

Color Rendition     performance      top

The color balance of this 10-18 seems the same as my other Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

 

Distortion     performance      top

The Canon 10-18 STM has no visible distortion throughout most of its range, except for moderately strong barrel distortion at 10mm and a bit of pincushion distortion at 16mm.

For critical use, use these values 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.

 

at 10' (3m)

10mm
+3.2*

12mm

+0.5*
14mm
-0.5
16mm
-1.5
18mm
-1.0

© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* some waviness is visible after correction.

 

Ergonomics     performance      top

Canon EF-S 10-18 STM

Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM.

Ergonomics are perfect. Most of the lens is the zoom ring, and the focus and IS controls are right under your thumb.

The thinner black ribbed ring at the front is the manual focus ring. Move it any time with a fingertip for instant manual focus override. It's just an encoder to tell the computer to focus your lens, so it feels completely disconnected from the focus system because it is.

Not visible is how small and light is this lens. It's a joy to pop it in a bag or pocket instead of having to lug something bigger.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)     performance      top

Falloff is negligible, even without a profile. It's barely visible wide open, and goes away a stop down.

In the newer DSLRs with automatic correction, be sure you have a profile loaded for this lens and the falloff becomes completely invisible (not shown here).

I've greatly exaggerated the falloff by shooting a flat gray target and presenting it against a gray background:

 

Canon 10-18mm STM falloff, uncorrected

 
f/5.6
f/8
10mm
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
14mm
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
18mm
max. is f/5.6 ->
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff
Canon 35mm f/2 IS falloff

© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Filters, Use with     performance      top

There's no problem with vignetting, even with thick rotating filters.

There's no need for thin filters; regular thick and rotating filters work great.

In fact, I can stack a thick Tiffen rotating ND grad filter over another regular filter, and I get no vignetting so long as I don't zoom wider than 11mm!

While they fit, don't use polarizers at the 10mm end because they make skies look funny.

 

Focus Breathing     performance      top

Focus breathing (the image changing size as focused) is mostly of interest to cinematographers who don't want the image changing size ("breathing") as the lens is focused among different subjects.

There is only the slightest bit of breathing at the 18mm end, at which the image gets very slightly smaller as focussed more closely. I can't see any at the 10mm end.

 

Ghosts       performance     top

Canon 10-18mm ghosts

Shot directly into the sun at 18mm at f/16. bigger.

There's no problem with flare or ghosts.

Even shot directly into the sun and putting a tree in the the shot to highlight any ghosts that might materialize, there's nothing significant when you realize that the direct unshielded disc of the sun is in the left of the image, and I couldn't look through their finder because it was so literally blinding.

In actual use, there will be none.

This is excellent performance.

 

Image Stabilization     performance      top

Image Stabilization works great. Presuming you know how to shot a rifle and thus shoot a camera properly at slow speeds, I get perfectly sharp shots most of the time at 1/4 second, usually get pretty sharp shots at 1/2, and even at 1 second get a sharp shot every few frames.

I use a simple technique when I'm on the edge: just shoot several frames, and one is usually much sharper than the others. Use that, and delete the rest.

 

Lateral Color Fringes     performance      top

Even without an in-camera profile, there are very few color fringes. Newer cameras with a lens profile loaded will clear those up.

Without a profile, there is just a tiny bit of red/green fringing at all zoom settings. Even without a profile, they are nearly invisible.

 

Macro     performance      top

Macro gets very close.

It's rated as 8" or 22cm, but that's from the image plane at the back of the camera.

I measure its close-focus distance as 7.5" (19 cm) from the image plane, which is 3" (75mm) from the front of the lens!

Here's what you get zoomed to 18mm:

Canon 10-18mm macro performance

Omega Constellation at close-focus distance at 18mm at f/13.

 

Canon 10-18mm macro performance

Crop from above 10MP image at 100%. If this is 6" (15cm) on your monitor, the complete image printed at this same high magnification would be 40 x 26" (1 x 0.7 meters) at this very same sharpness.

 

Maximum and Minimum Apertures        top

 
Maximum Aperture
Minimum Aperture
10mm
f/4.5
f/22
12mm
f/5
f/25
14mm
f/5
f/25
16mm
f/5.6
f/29
18mm
f/5.6
f/29

 

Mechanics     performance      top

Canon 10-18 STM

Rear, Canon 10-18 STM. enlarge.

The Canon 10-18 STM is all plastic, but good plastic. It's small enough that I don't worry about hitting it by accident and breaking it off a camera; there isn't enough leverage, and Canon's APS-C cameras aren't heavy enough.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood Mount

Plastic.

 

Identity Ring

Painted on front plastic ring inside the filter threads.

 

Front Barrel (extends while zooming)

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Rubbery plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Switches

Plastic.

 

Moisture seal at mount

No.

 

Mount

Plastic.

 

Markings

Paint.

 

Serial Number

Laser-engraved into plastic lens barrel near mount.

 

Date Code

None seen.

See Canon Date Codes.

 

Noises When Shaken

Mild clunking.

 

Made in

Made in Taiwan.

 

Sharpness     performance      top

Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens, and lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers. It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat.

This Canon 10-18 is extremely sharp throughout all of the image at every setting.

It's super-sharp wide open, while diffraction will dull the image at the smallest apertures.

It's much better than any of the samples of 10-22mm I've tested over the years, both in 2006 and again in 2014.

 

Canon's specified MTF curves:

Canon 10-18mm MTF
Canon 10-18mm MTF
MTF at 10mm.
MTF at 18mm.

 

Sunstars     performance      top

Canon 10-18 mm sunstar

Canon 10-18mm sunstars at 10mm at f/10. bigger.

With its rounded 7-blade diaphragm, this Canon 10-18mm IS makes only muted sunstars at best.

It's still better then the silly and weak 6-pointed stars of the 10-22mm.

 

Compared         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

Canon 10-18mm IS vs. 16-35mm f/2.8 L II12 June 2014

This lens has no competition. Every other ultrawide lens for Canon's APS-C cameras is optically inferior, can't focus as close, has no IS, and costs at least twice as much.

The only advantages to the bigger and optically inferior 10-22mm are that it has a direct mechanical manual focus override (the 10-18mm has instant manual override, but it's focus-by-wire), the 10-22mm has slightly less distortion, the 10-22mm has a metal lens mount and is 2/3 of a stop faster.

Let's be honest: 4 stops of Image Stabilzation beats 2/3 of a stop of optical speed (2/3 of a stop won't save you even if you're shooting action where IS can't help), and even if I broke one of these 10-18mm lenses and had to buy a second, I've still spent less than I would have on just one 10-22mm. There is no significant advantage to 22mm versus 18mm on the long end, and the 10-18mm is sharper so I suspect you could crop-in from the 18mm end of the 10-18mm and get results at least as good as from the old 10-22mm at 22mm.

Tokina's ultrawide lenses are OK and bigger, heavier and tougher, but they have poorer ergonomics, won't be sharper, and cost much more. Forget them, too.

 

Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Image Stabilization

I'd leave it on all the time, except for time exposures on a tripod.

 

Filters

I'd leave either a 67mm Canon UV filter or a 67mm Hoya Alpha MC UV on the lens at all times.

If you want the best possible protective filter, the 67mm Hoya HD2 Protector is ultra multicoated, repels dirt and fingerprints and made of shatter resistant glass.

If I was working in nasty, dirty areas and don't want to spring for the HD2 filter, I'd use an uncoated 67mm Tiffen UV filter instead. Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, but more prone to ghosting.

Honestly, for a $300 lens, personally I'd use the super-high quality and inexpensive 67mm Hoya Alpha MC UV. The Tiffen isn't as nice, and the Canon and HD2 filters start costing almost as much as the lens.

I wouldn't bother with a hood.

 

Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

For Canon's APS-C DSLRs this 10-18mm lens is the only one to get. It has superior performance and the lowest price.

If you find my work here helpful, my biggest source of support for this free website is when you use this link to get yours at Adorama or at Amazon. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for these efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Unlike a bottle of milk or a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc, Canon doesn't seal its boxes so you have no idea if you're actually getting a used product if you risk buying at retail. Never buy at retail.

Thanks for your support!

Ken.

 

More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Canon USA

 

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29 May 2014