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Keywords: Canon EF-S Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C IS Stabilized Tested


Registered: August 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by mempi9
Review Date: 8/24/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $595.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Focal Range, Does not draw attention, EF-S Power Savings, Focus Ring, Build Qual.
Cons: 18mm, Vignetting, Barrel Slip

Where do I start... This lens gets the most action/time on my camera. Images are clear and color accurate and the zoom range makes it hard to take off. I am a 1:1 ratio person that hates photos that only look good from far. I try for that pixel to pixel perfection that makes my hobby harder, but so much more enjoyable when done right. I don't use or run photos thru photoshop, because a part of me thinks it is cheating (leads me to retake photos often). I suppose someday I will change, but until then, I want a simple and clean photo.

The 18-200mm has surprised me over and over. I have compared it to my L lenses and it keeps up. If you go to Canon's website check out the lens diagram info, the guts of this lens is very, very, very close to the L 24-105mm. I had to check because it was surprising me too often. In real life, I have taken the same shots between the two and find myself checking DPP (Canon's Digital Photo Professional software) to see which lens took which photo. When I test new lenses during an event, the 18-200 goes back on for the rest of the event because it produces GREAT shots and saves time in lens changes and looking like a wannabe pro. The only comparible L lenses I have in this range are the 24-105mm and the 70-200mm, both f4 and with IS. This lens STILL trumps them when it comes to function.

===L Lens Info for new folks:===

Don't get me wrong, there are reasons to own an L lens. Tack sharp clarity may not always be the case. The 24-105 and 70-200 are similar to the other L series lenses, they help take the guesswork out of the shot. If anyone make a lens with well coated glass, low aperture, and supreme motors, the lens no longer part of the challenge with taking photo. The joy of photography is to enjoy it, and if you are in it to make money, then L is the way to make your life easier. For the rest, it is the challenge of getting that perfect shot. The advantage between Pro and Enthusiast is that Pros will come to learn which setting will or will not photograph well. Enthusiasts will be able to see each scene in a mechanical way, a way that they will know which Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO will get the shot the best. It isn't the lens that makes the shot, it's the photographer. But, L lenses make it MUCH easier to not worry about little details. L does mean luxury (not better photos) in the true sense that these type of lenses take out some of the guesswork for photography. I will say again, it isn't the lens that makes the photo -- it is the photographer; more specifically, it is the TIMING and LUCK. Smile

I will compare this to the list of lenses I have used and maybe you will have something to reference it by. BTW, I don't review lenses unless I spent a few weeks with them.

Note: EF-S lenses handle power much better with longer battery life on Rebel (1.6 factor) Cameras in my experience than EF or non-Canon. I have seen this difference on my XS, XSi, and two X1i's.

EF-S 10-22 USM; no comparison (part of my travel trio)
EF 50 f1.8 II; this is my portrait/indoors lens, it outshines the 18-200 (@ 50mm)
EF-S 18-55 IS; 18-200 has a better focus control, but has vignetting, same IQ, 18-55 is better at 18mm
EF-S 55-250 IS; 18-200 has sharper corners all around, but I miss the extra 50mm
EF 24-70 USM; completely better than 18-200 in 24-70 range, but no IS = no macro
EF 24-105 f4L IS; near identical shots, can't tell when sorting, 18-200 is more useful
EF 70-200 f4L IS; 18-200 near same IQ at 200mm, love the 70-200 shell (nothing moves)
EF 300mm f4L IS; no comparison (part of my travel trio)
Sigma 150-500 OS; 18-200 is better between 150-200
Tamron 18-270 VR; 18-200 shots cleaner at all ISO, Tamron is a 800+ ISO only lens

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by MaxY
Review Date: 2/23/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: buld quality, image quality, versatility
Cons: lens creep, CA

I have this lens for about a month now and overall Iā€™m very happy with it.

Build quality:
Very good. Although there is a little play between the lens and the camera mount (40D).

Fast, quiet and accurate. So you need to switch to MF to focus manually.

Image quality:
The image is sharp. Inside camera sharpening (level 3 or 4) is sufficient to make the picture very sharp. Very good resolution, no flares, good color saturation.

Fantastic. In 200mm even with the steadiest hands, you can see some shake.
Press the shutter half-way and the image stablizes lake magic.

CA ā€“ visible in high contrast
Vignetting ā€“ not very noticable
Pincusion ā€“ noticable at 18mm, not a problem at other focal legths
In any case, if you see a one-in-a-milion shot, take it in RAW and correct using DPP. It works well.

Pain in the a$$:
Lens creep. Take a non-horizontal shot on a tripod? Forget about it.

Bottom line:
Unless you are a professional, get this lens.

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by s_illes79
Review Date: 12/26/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $499.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Superzoom, IS, IQ, nice
Cons: Distortion at 18mm, CA, bit heavy

I had some bad experience with superzooms before, Sigma 18-200 was very soft, Tamron had a inaccurate focus and was soft at 200mm, sold them after 200-300 pictures.

This lens was a big surprise to me, after the Sigma 17-70 and the Canon 70-300IS I was bit worried but ...

I like the build quality. It is better then the 70-300, It doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart, no wobbly parts, etc.

IS: is very good, lot better then in the 70-300, the picture doesn't jump when the IS gets activated, and it's quite, virtually unnoticeable. The 70-300 sound like a coffee machine. And this has one stop advantage. ( 4 vs 3 )

I was quite surprised how sharp this lens is. I'd say it's comparable with my 17-70 and 70-300. Even at wide open I found the image sharpness ok. Distortion nicely clears out after 24mm and not noticeable after that. Vignetting is bit strong at wide open around 18mm, but it's not an issue for me, most of the case I stop if down and problem solved.

Focus is very accurate and fast on my body ( 350D ), even in low light.

There is a bit compromise(not as much as I thought) but it's worth it, at least for me. I like this lens very much.

If you are looking for a superzoom, don't look further, you found it. If you don't believe check my gallery:

Thank for reading.

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 14
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by Canon-Nikon-user
Review Date: 12/1/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: the IS in this lens is the most effective IS, sharp at 200mm, good colors.
Cons: CA at wide end , distortion at 18mm, a bit too bulky for what it is.

I highly recommend this lens as a light weight travel lens for all 50D users if you can get it as a part of the 50D kit.

As I got it a part of my 50D kit in Japan , I saved lots of money, I bought my 50D with this lens for about 1300USD, so I think it is a good lens for the price and range.

I had the Sigma OS lens before and I hated it and returned it and I bought a Nikon D300 just for the famous Nikon Af-S18-200VR DX lens and the light weight and fantastically sharp AF-S70-300VR lens and I really loved all of these Nikon gears.

Now , Canon's also got this super zoom , so I wanted to buy it for myself and compare it to my Nikon Af-S18-200Vr , I think the Canon lens is a bit sharper , espeically at 200mm it , but the Nikon lens handles CA at wide end a bit better(even without the D300 in-camera CA control tool).

With the DPP3.51,the Canon lens has no light fall off with my 50D and with the NX2, the Nikon lens has no CA with my D300.

So I think both super zooms are really good for what it is, but 18mm on a 1.6X Canon body is not wide enough , so for a 1.6X Canon ,I usually need a EF-S10-22 with this EF-S18-200IS lens for travel but with my D300 , I just use the 18-200Vr or 16-85Vr with the cheap but sharp AF 85f1.8D and no need wider than the 18mm end of the AF-S18-200Vr or the 16mm end of the AF-S16-85VR , so I prefer traveling with my d300 when I have to travel light.

With that said, this Canon lens is a keeper , and as it is optimized for EF-S sensor cameras , it is quite sharp on my 50D , maybe a bit sharper than the EF-S55-250IS at 200mm(this lens is sharp at 200mm even wide open) , so considering the range and size , it is a good lens , no doubt about it and it is not as slow AF ing as some might think even without the RING USM.

I am more and more using this lens with EF-S10-22 or EF-28f1.8USM and leaving my EF-S17-55f2.8, EF70-200f4LIS and 70-300DO at my home , now I am considering selling my 70-200f4LIS since 200mm is not long enough most of times when I need a tele zoom and the white barrel is really annoying. The L is a very sharp lens though, some times , I need to be inconspicuous.

NOTE: in this digital era , a bit of distortion, color contrast or vignetting is not a serious issue and thus, the most important part of IQ now is resolving power , and thus, it is a great lens for what it is designed to do.

I know many L snobs say this is a junk lens but I guess they never ever shoot in Burma or Cambodia with a white lens , to see how the local people there react to their white Ls.

UPDATE: after posted this one , I read the previous poster's trashing this lens , and I thought he probably never used this lens in real life or he just got a bad copy. In any case , this lens is much better than that , it's AF very fast ,at least as fast as any other consumer grade lens in this price range and actually faster AFing than the Nikon super zoom , which I also have had for about 4 months.

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 2
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by Srod
Review Date: 11/23/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $850.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: srod
Cons: Expensive

I have owned this lens about eight months now and have made thousands of photoes with it with mostly excellent results. The exceptions are when shooting into a really bright light source where lens flare becomes very pronounced. The other problem is that I sometimes have out of focus subjects because this lens in combination with the Rebel XT body seems to have a tendency to back focus more often than it should.

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by lextalionis
Review Date: 11/10/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $490.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Best kit lens yet...
Cons: It's a kit lens...

Pretty much everything the OP said about this lens...great post by him!

If you wan some sample images from a Canon 50D then Look Here


Registered: October 2008
Posts: 13
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS review by kinematic
Review Date: 10/17/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Great walk around lens, Very sharp at 200mm, good build quality, quiet micro motor AF.
Cons: Barrel distortion at 18mm, CA at 50mm range, slow AF in low light at 200mm.

This is an excellent all around lens (vacation lens). I bought this as a kit for my EOS 50D. As a kit lens I would say it's one of Canon's best kit lenses and very comparable to the cheaper 55-250 in IQ and performance. The build quality is what beats the 55-250 by a long shot. Very solid build and very similar to the 28-135 kit lens. Zoom lock is handy to have but no lens hood with this. But for what it is, it's a great walk around general purpose lens and is very sharp at the furthest end. Doing wide shots are a little disappointing, but at least available when you need it. This lens is a great lens to have in any bag, but I recommend it only as a secondary lens to some better quality primes.

Couple other things to note about this lens. The 4 stop IS is very fast in response and also include auto panning detect. The micromotor is very fast and actually quite quiet compared to older micromoter lenses (I might even argue it's the quietest micromotor of all Canon lenses with micromoters). Compared to a USM it's actually very close with exception to noise, the speed is almost the same. The only time you notice the noise is when it's infinitely seeking for focus. Another nice feature is the zoom lock that prevents the dreaded zoom creep for those that carry their cameras around their necks.
Compared to the following kit lenses which I've owned or use:

18-55 IS - the 18-200 has better range, but more barrel distortion, better build quality.
17-85 IS - the 18-200 has better range, better build, similar IQ, more distortion and CA than this lens
28-135 IS - the 18-200 has a wider range, similar build, similar IQ, more CA than this lens
55-250 IS - the 18-200 is built better by a long shot, similar range, similar IQ, but the 18-200 is sharper at the far end. The 55-250 performs slightly better overall compared to this lens (and cheaper)


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