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Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - Camera Lens Review

written by: arunchs•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/30/2009

This article reviews the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens, covering its features, performance, image quality and the value for money aspects.

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    Features and Specifications

    The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is a versatile lens with a wide zoom range, enabling photographers to use single lens in different environments. Listed below are its features and specifications.

    1. Zoom lens with focal length from 18mm to 200mm

    2. S-series lens, usable only in cameras with smaller sensors. Not compatible with cameras having full frame sensors.

    3. Image Stabilization

    4. Closest focusing distance of 0.45m

    5. Speed - f/3.5 to f/5.6

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    Image Quality

    Rating Average

    Although the images generated at 18mm are reasonably sharp and satisfactory, the image quality falls considerably at the telephoto end of the lens. At 200mm, the sharpness of the image is very poor. Below is a sample image taken at 200mm, and 100% crop of the image that demonstrates the image quality.sample image sample image 

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    Rating Average

    The lens weighs less than 600g, making it easy to handhold and shoot. The IS works well to help shoot in low light situations and indoors. However, the aperture opens only up to f/5.6 at telephoto end, making it hard to shoot at low light at 200mm. Although the lens is not equipped with USM motor, focusing speed and noise are acceptable, and better than other non-USM lenses.

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    Value for money

    Rating Average

    Canon's suggested retail price for the lens is $699. For this price, the lens provides a long zoom range and IS, which makes it a good value. However, the poor image quality at the telephoto end of the lens makes the price tag appear slightly on the higher side. Absence of USM is also a concern.

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    With its long zoom range, the lens is useful for those who prefer to carry just one lens, or those who do not like changing lenses frequently. However, image quality suffers at the telephoto end of the lens, making it unusable for serious and professional photography. Use this lens if convenience of using just one lens is important for you.