Photography Gear Reviews

Canon 10-18mm IS STM Review

The Canon 10-18mm is Ultra Wide Angle on a Budget

The fact that Canon decided to make this lens is a great thing. Opening up ultra wide angle photography to a new audience is a welcome move with this Canon 10-18mm budget lens.

When you first strap an ultra wide lens to your camera it is an exciting moment discovering the new perspective it brings to the world. Scenes look bigger and it displays an image much wider than what your eyes would see. The Canon 10-18mm lens picks up nicely where your 18-55mm kit lens leaves off and is a perfect accompaniment to this on a cropped sensor EF-S camera.

Wide angle photography opens up your creative possibilities in landscape photography, architecture photography and is always used to sell houses by making rooms look bigger.

On paper the Canon 10-18mm lens is excellent. It has the ultra wide angle, it's relatively cheap, it's light, the front element does not rotate, meaning you can happily attach filters like a circular Polariser to improve your landscapes. It also has IS that assists video and the STM focus is an excellent focus by wire system that is literally silent.

So all in all the perfect lens?

Well no. In my written reviews over on my website one element of my star rating is ‘Joy Factor’. It describes that feeling you get when using a new product, the fizz, the excitement, the desire to use it again and again, that unexplainable feeling that makes you truly love a product.

The Canon 10-18mm does not have that. It just leaves you feeling flat and the images it produces are just ‘ok’ and nothing more. Other downsides include the plastic mount, the simply dreadful distortion when at the widest angle. Anything outside the very centre of the frame, whilst at 10mm, is going to be skewed out of shape like your image has melted. The lens is also quite slow at f/4.5 - f/5.6 with the aperture adjusting as you move through the zoom range. Also I have found the image stabilisation of very little use.

canon 10-18mm lens review
canon 10-18mm lens review
canon 10-18
canon 10-18

For stills it will allow you to handhold exposures down to around 1/20 second but at f/4.5 this will still be pretty dark in low light situations without a decent ISO boost. I have been using this lens for my blogs and I have haven't found the image stabilisation has been of any benefit over using a wide angle lens without IS. If you're stood still and handholding then it will do a good job but this is pretty restrictive for creating interesting and varied shots.

I'm not saying don't buy the Canon 10-18mm, especially currently at £180/$279. It will still do a job for you, as it is for me, it's just there are better options out there. The Canon 10-22 is a great lens and is pretty much L lens quality just without the red ring. The Sigma 10-20mm is also another good option and can be picked up very cheaply on the second hand market. Saving up for one of these lenses may be your better option.

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