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Photography | Canon EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Lens

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Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens

 

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Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

 

Product Images

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-M metal and plastic lens mounts

Canon EF-M Plastic Lens Mount

Sample Images

A few photos taken with the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/14 | Shutter Speed: 1/500s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/14 | Shutter Speed: 1/500s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/4.5 | Shutter Speed: 1/50s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/4.5 | Shutter Speed: 1/50s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/10 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/10 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 41mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 41mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/13 | Shutter Speed: 1/400s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/13 | Shutter Speed: 1/400s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 29mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/8 | Shutter Speed: 1/125s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 29mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/8 | Shutter Speed: 1/125s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/4.5 | Shutter Speed: 1/50s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/4.5 | Shutter Speed: 1/50s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/80s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/80s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/7.1 | Shutter Speed: 1/125s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/7.1 | Shutter Speed: 1/125s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 22mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/10 | Shutter Speed: 1/200s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 22mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/10 | Shutter Speed: 1/200s

 

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M6 | Focal length: 38mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/60s

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 | Canon EOS M | Focal length: 38mm | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/60s

 

 

 

User Impressions

When the EOS M was released it had a completely new lens mount, therefore, no one owned any lenses. The camera was therefore sold in kit form with a lens (or lenses) so that it could be used.

My expectation with zoom kit lenses is that they cover a useful focal length range and that they do a sufficient job, but that the image quality isn't stellar. This one exceeded my expectations.

I like the flexibility of zoom lenses, I like Image Stabilisation, and with recent sensor technology that allows the use of high ISO speed, fast lenses aren't as important as they used to be.

This is a great little lens that is easy to carry around and delivers very good image quality. Unfortunately, Canon discontinued the EF 18-55mm after a few years and replaced it with the EF-M 15-45mm, which isn't nearly as good.

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Focusing

The lens uses new stepper motor (STM) technology for its autofocus mechanism. This is all part of Canon's drive to implement silent continuous autofocus tracking in movie mode. To do this requires an appropriate body with a hybrid CMOS sensor and contrast detection AF technology, and a lens with an STM designation.

Autofocus is maybe not as fast as some other lenses, but in most situations it works well without any problems. For videographers the continuous autofocus in movie mode is a very welcome feature.

It also appears to work perfectly well when the camera is in AI Servo mode tracking an object coming towards the camera. I tested this on passing motorbikes and the results were quite satisfactory.

There is no direct physical connection between the manual focusing ring and the internal focusing mechanism as there is on other lenses. If you turn the ring with the camera off nothing happens. Turning the ring sends a signal to the stepper motor which then focuses the lens electronically.

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Manual Focusing

Unlike my Canon EF and EF-S lenses, manual focusing isn't as easy with the EOS M system as simply turning the lens focus ring, or manually switching the lens into MF mode first and then turning the lens focus ring.

There is no AF/MF switch on the EF-M lenses and, because of the stepper motor technology and a lack of any physical connection between the focus ring and the focusing mechanism, nothing happens most of the time when you turn the focus ring.

To enable manual fousing, first you must go into the menu system and find 'Focus mode' (the camera icon with two dots). This mode has three options:

  1. AF (Auto Focus). When in this mode the focus ring is completely inoperational.
  2. MF (Manual Focus). In this mode the Auto Focus is completely inoperational and turning the focus ring controls the focusing mechanism whenever the camera is switched on.
  3. AF+MF. This allows the Autofocus to operate and also allows the user to focus manually after the autofocus has activated. However, you can only focus manually while pressing the shutter release halfway down after the Autofocus has activated.
While holding the shutter release halfway down and turning the focus ring ring, you will see 'MF' blinking on the rear LCD. If the camera is in AF+MF mode and simply switched on, turning the focus ring does nothing. You must hold the shutter release halfway down before manual focusing will operate in AF+MF mode.

When the camera is put into MF mode a small magnifying glass icon appears on the rear LCD in the bottom right-hand corner. Tapping on the icon cycles through 1x, 5x and 10x magnification with an accordingly larger image shown on the display. This is very similar to the Liveview feature on Canon SLRs.

In cases where the Autofocus mechanism won't do what you want it to do, such as with close macro work, this is very useful. Saying this, I have never used MF on my EOS M, which stays permanently in AF mode. The only time I use manual focusing is for macro work and the EOS M body isn't my first choice for macro.

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Zooming

The inner barrel of this lens extends out as you zoom to a longer focal length. It doesn't rotate while doing this, therefore any filters you may have on the front of the lens won't change their orientation.

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Image Stabilisation

Canon's Image Stabilisation system has got better with every generation. The 300mm f/4L IS lens that I sold had first generation one-stop IS and although it was helpful, it wasn't that effective.

This lens has the latest four-stop IS system that has been around for a few years. It has somehow been packaged into this very small lens and works very well.

I have used shutter speeds of 1/10s while handholding and the results have been very acceptable.

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Focal Length

This lens is roughly the equivalent of a 28-90mm lens on a 35mm (full frame) camera. It's a useful zoom range for a general walkabout camera and can be used in most situations.

Sometimes I find the long end useful but, to be honest, in situations where I just take one lens I prefer the EF-M 11-22mm.

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Extenders and Extension Tubes

Currently, there are no Canon extenders or extension tubes available for Canon EF-M lenses, but I have seen EF-M extension tubes made by other manufacturers advertised on-line. These don't contain any optics so provided they transmit the electronic signals correctly they should be fine. I don't know if Canon has any plans to make these items available in the future.

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Accessories

This lens comes with the new style Canon lens caps that can be released by pinching the centre of the cap. A lens hood and soft pouch are available but not included.

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Street Photography

Begging for money to buy medicine, Hat Yai, Thailand - Click for larger image I imagined that while carrying the EOS M around for general use I would keep the EF-M 22mm f/2 attached because this was the smallest, lightest, most portable configuration. That hasn't happened.

If you just take photos of your kids or portraits of other people, a 35mm equivalent length lens on a full frame camera is fine.

For the type of photography I do, the fixed 22mm lens is just too restrictive. It certainly comes in useful at times, but it doesn't give me the flexibility I need.

It's not wide enough when I want to include foreground objects with large background objects, such as large rock formations, and it's not long enough when I want to zoom in for detail.

The EF-M 18-55mm zoom and the EF-M 11-22mm ultra wide angle zoom are a great combination for travel or street photography. The EF-M 22mmdoesn't have the same focal length flexibility, but because of its speed it is very useful after dark for shooting in low light.

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Conclusion

This is a great little lens, but unfortunately it is no longer produced. If you buy into the EOS M system I would strongly recommend trying to get hold of the EF-M 18-55mm.

There are plenty of used lenses for sale and some shops even sell new ones. It is built a lot better than the EF-M 15-45mm and has a metal lens mount. I also find the image quality to be far more pleasing.

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Would I Buy One Now?

Definitely. The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS is my first choice as a walkaround lens and when night falls I use the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 Pancake because it is small, light and fast.

When there is plenty of light during the daytime I sometimes find that the EF-M 11-22mm is a little too wide and I want to get in a little closer. The EF-M 18-55mm is perfect and its image quality is also excellent.

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Post-Processing

Original images were shot in JPG format using the EOS M's built in lens aberration correction. Noise was reduced using Imagenomic Noiseware Professional. Small amounts of image enhancement were applied using Adobe Photoshop CS2 (curves, levels, saturation) before sharpening using the Smart Sharpen filter (Amount: 30% - 120%, Radius: 0.2px - 0.3px, Remove: Lens Blur).

The large JPG images that open if you click on a thumbnail were saved with a 'High' quality setting of '8' on a scale of 0-12.

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Lens Details

Weight: 210g
Filter Diameter: 52mm
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.25m
Minimum Aperture: f/22-f/36
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-f/5.6
Autofocus: Stepper Motor
Date Purchased: June 2013
Supplier: Chia Color Lab, Hat Yai, Thailand
Price: Part of a kit
Lens Cap: E-52 II
Lens Hood: EW-54 (not included)
Soft Case: LP814 (not included)

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Visit Thailand

Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.

One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.

Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand