This lens is Canon’s newest wide angle budget lens. It costs around 280 Euros and let me say right off the bat that it has plently to offer for that relatively modest price. I think it was a really smart choice on Canon’s part to produce this lens since before it, all you could do was to purchase a third party lens such as the Samyang 14 mm or the Tokina 11-16 mm if you wanted to stay in the 300-500 Euros price range. From what I’ve been hearing it has been selling outstandingly and photography stores are asking for more, so kudos to Canon for making this fantastic business choice.
What is it good for?
Photography is like manual work. For each job you need the right tool. Different lenses serve different purposes. The Canon 10-18 mm is an ultrawide angle zoom lens and is ideal for architecture and landscape photography. It allows for large portions of the environment around you to be present in your photos which is exactly what you’re looking for when you need to photograph the entire facade of a big building and you don’t have much space behind you. At first when I started working with this lens I was surprised at the amount of things I could fit into one photo. Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise for someone who photographs buildings and urban areas quite often.
What are the main characteristics of this lens?
First of all you should take into consideration the fact that it’s an EF-S lens which means that it was specifically designed for crop sensor Canon cameras and it will not work on full frame cameras which is not really a problem if you are not thinking of upgrading to a full frame camera any time soon.
The Canon 10-18 mm lens has almost the same dimensions and weight as the 18-55 mm kit lens and balances itself quite nicely on my Canon 1100D camera body. The overall build quality of the lens is fairly decent and it feels quite solid when I hold it in my hands and I don’t care if it’s made entirely out of plastic because it wouldn’t be fair to expect more out of a budget lens. The zoom ring turns smoothly and has reasonable dimensions whereas the focus ring is a bit too thin.
This lens also has image stabilization which some might argue isn’t all that necessary in an ultrawide angle lens. I highly disagree with that statement because you can never have enough image stabilization! This option allows you to take clear long exposure shots without the need of a tripod. The autofocus on this lens is also surprisingly fast and easy to work with. The following picture is to show you how good image stabilization and autofocus on this lens actually are. I was at a train station and wanted to show the contrast between a moving traing and a person standing still infront of it. To reach that purpose I needed a relatively long exposure time so I zoomed the lens all the way out to 18 mm and decided to choose the following settings: 1/2 secs exposure time, f/11 aperture, ISO 200.
The only downside to this lens is that it’s maximum aperture is f/4.5 and it decreases as soon as you move away from 10 mm and zoom further out. This might become a problem in low light situations but if you use higher ISOs and turn the image stabilization on you could take fairly decent photos indoors (such as in a museum) as well.
How does it compare to the Canon 18-55 mm kit lens and should you buy it?
I personally am really happy with this lens and I’m really impressed with how wide it is. It makes taking pictures of buildings and landscapes alot easier. Those 8 mm of difference between this lens and the Canon kit lens are crucial for architecture photography and besides, many Canon kit lenses don’t have image stabilization. Below, you can see a comparision between the two lenses. The first photo was taken using the kit lens at 18 mm and the second photo was taken using the 10-18 mm lens at 10 mm.
In conclusion, if you are not thinking about buying a full frame camera any time soon, this is a fantastic lens for wide shots and you should definitely buy it.