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

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

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

 

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

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

Sample Images

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

Clicking on the thumbnail images will open a larger image in a pop-up window.

More images to come.

Longtail, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/14.0
Shutter speed: 1/500
Focal length: 55mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand
File Size: 261 KB
Chinese temple, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter speed: 1/10
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand
File Size: 183 KB
Longtail, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/11.0
Shutter speed: 1/400
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand
File Size: 214 KB
Chinese temple, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 400
Aperture: f/11.0
Shutter speed: 1/400
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Thailand
File Size: 235 KB
The Land of Smiles, Hat Yai, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter speed: 1/125
Focal length: 29mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 211 KB
Bangkok traffic, Bangkok, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/50
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
File Size: 205 KB
Monkeys, Kao Chaison, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 500
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/80
Focal length: 55mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Kao Chaison, Phattalung, Thailand
File Size: 202 KB
Road safety in Thailand, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: EOS M
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/125
Focal length: 55mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: No
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 205 KB
 

Chiang Rai rice fields and mountains

 

 

Thailand, my adopted home, is a great vacation destination for many activities, particularly photography. It's easy to get around and hotels are cheap. Using Agoda to book a hotel on-line will give you a great selection of hotels and the best deals. I always use Agoda to book my own hotels.

 

User Impressions

Some Internet commentators will tell you that the only lens you need is one the equivalent of 35mm focal length on a full-frame camera - in that case the EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM. They will also tell you that primes are a lot better than zooms. Perhaps they are right, and no doubt they are better photographers than me.

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.

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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 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.

On one of the sample images above I used a shutter speed of 1/10s while handholding and the result was 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.

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Extenders and Extension Tubes

Currently, there are no extenders or extension tubes available for Canon EF-M Lenses. 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/2.0 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.

Khaochaison Floating Market, Phattalung province - Click for larger image 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 is my current lens of choice for general and street photography. This may change to the EF-M 11-22mm ultra wide angle zoom when it becomes available.

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Conclusion

As I write, the ultrawide EF-M 11-22mm lens still isn't available and currently there are just two Canon EF-M Lenses - the EF-M 22mm and EF-M 18-55mm. I would suggest getting both and also the adapter if you have EF or EF-S Lenses.

If you are only buying one lens I would suggest the EF-M 18-55mm because of its versatility and Image Stabilisation, but I know that purists who prefer fast primes over slow zooms would suggest the EF-M 22mm. It depends on the kind of shooting that you do.

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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
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. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.

If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.

I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.

If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.

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. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.

 

 

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand

 

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