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 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.
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, 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, 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. 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.
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).
No focus ring
Poor build quality
Rotating barrel tip
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