The Most Under Rated Canon Lens: Canon 18-55mm IS Kit Lens

The Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens is perhaps the most under rated lens in the canon line up. You would hear a lot of newbies ranting about how bad this lens is… why they have not gotten the optional 18-135 mm lens etc etc… with out even giving this lens a proper and or a fair use. Most of the common complaints would be the lack of focus ring, poor build quality and last would be the rotating barrel tip. Other subjective complaints would be… it’s size… just because it’s small most newbies think it is uncool or unmanly.(yep even in photography some people think size matters LOL!) And they would often shy away from other photographers with bigger lenses. Others would think; because this lens is cheap it equates to poor image quality. I have used this lens for a year and i would say i have given it a fair share of use and learned photography using it. Experience wise this lens has given me good quality pictures. It is fairly sharp though with a slight distortion at its widest focal length(but it’s not something a PS can’t correct). While it may not have a stellar performance as an L lens (Luxury Lens) would but i would say that it does give an excellent photo for its price.

The Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens produces better IQ than the favored Canon 18-135mm and the ย Canon 18-200mm IS. This lens also does not fall that far behind in terms of IQ from the more expensive Canon 17-85mm IS USM and the new Canon 15-85mm IS USM Canon lenses.

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The three most common problems raised by most people/critique (who most probably have not used this lens) is not actually a big problem in actual practice.

1. The absence of the focus ring may sound atrocious when read in a review or when mentioned in video reviews. But, ย it is not really a big problem in actual practice. A lens hood can be used as an alternate focus ring. But the thing is, as a beginner my personal experience was that I used AF(auto Focus) all the time.

2. The poor build quality they have been complaining about is actually unfair to say to this lens. It is fairly made out of nice plastics that is even textured to mimic the alloy body of some premium lenses. OK, ย I know that will not equate to a good build quality but comparing it to other third party lens in its price range this lens is better built. ย The absence of a metal mount, well, the lens is so light that having a metal mount would be an over-kill.

3. The rotating barrel tip has always been a major issue with photographers. Yes this is true if you are already into filters and what not. But, for the beginners, in actual practice, very few go into filters right away. Most beginners would be so preoccupied with rule of thirds and framing and just taking pictures of whatever they see around them thus making this claim null and void.

I highly recommend the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens most especially to beginners who just got their first DSLR and to hobbyists who are on a tight budget. For beginners this is the best lens there is… it is light and has image stabilization. The reach may not be long but there is a complimenting lens.. the 55-250mm IS telephoto lens which is also an excellent lens for its price. But that would be another review.

Hope this review helps newbies like me out there confusing themselves with what lens to buy to immediately replace their kit lens with.. I suggest you try this lens out first, make the most out of it, learn from it.

Pros:

Image Stabilization

Light weight

Very Cheap

IQ is better than most 3rd party lens in its price range

IQ is better than the more sought and more expensive Canon 18-135mm IS and the 18-200mm IS walk around lenses.

IQ does not fall that far behind from other more expensive Canon lens in its category (eg. 17-85mm IS USM and the 15-85mm IS USM).

Cons:

No focus ring

Poor build quality

Rotating barrel tip

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27 thoughts on “The Most Under Rated Canon Lens: Canon 18-55mm IS Kit Lens

  1. When I bought my new camera, I chose this kit lens kasi nga mura ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m also planning to get new lenses next month for better photos.

  2. I dont know much about dslr lenses but I agree that every lens type has its own pros and cons and results will vary depending on its purpose and use.

  3. I’ve used a Nikon ever since, and my 18-55 kit lens is pretty okay. My dad just got a 50mm, but I haven’t had the chance to tinker with it yet. Would you say that a Canon shoots better than a Nikon?

    1. No not really. Both cameras are excellent. It all boils down to which camera body suits you best. Ang daming arguments about which camera brand is better. But trust me both are really good. My choice was Canon because of the lens choices they offer. There are lens choices from Canon that Nikon don’t offer.

  4. i am clueless when it comes to dslr cameras + accessories, but this will be a great reference in case i would like to learn more about them in the future. thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I also heard that Canon is a good camera for photographers and it user-friendly. I have a Nikon camera but I have not really maximized its use. Please link a post of a Nikon Camera if you already did a review on it. Thanks!!!

  6. The kit lens is totally not bad at all, performance and budget wise. But if your thinking of shooting landscapes, using the kit lens could a bit frustrating because it is not wide enough. Anyway, for starters this is definitely a good buy.

  7. This is much better for a photojournalist. I remember when I was in a school paper, we used canon and we can get the best shot even if we are a far from the site. We are actually covering baseball event back then. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I have never tried Canon or Nikon or any other DSLR cameras yet that is why I can’t absorb this information yet but I will find this helpful once I get my hands on my own DSLR camera.

  9. Maybe it’s the way that they use the lens but I admit, focus ring is useful when I take pictures but with the alternative, I think I’m good with it. It is on the photographer on how they use the lens.

  10. (Sorry , I had to edit)

    Iโ€™m no pro and I havenโ€™t held an SLR in more than 10 years since I graduated. But one thing I know about photography is that your work will speak for itself. I love pictures. I enjoy looking at them, admiring them, appreciating them. As my friend whoโ€™s been doing it even before SLRs became popular says, a good photographer can take a good picture with any brand or type of camera.

    Those are great pictures by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks. True. Any good photographer would agree with your friend. It’s not about the brand of camera or the brand of lens that matters. It the photographer and how one adjusts to the capacity of the equipment at hand. Now a days a lot fan boys would have an argument over which camera brand is better.

  11. I’m no pro and I haven’t held an SLR in more than 10 years since I graduated. But one thing I know about photography is that your work will speak for itself. I love pictures. I enjoy looking at them, admiring them, appreciating them. Like my friend who’s been doing it even before SLRs became popular, a good photographer can take a good picture with brand or type of camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. i have this lens as well. well it comes with the camera as every first or beginners. I use this for events and shooting everything blog related. I guess it is a very nice lens though i wish to buy a zoom lens 18-270 or something for travel hehe

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