Just a short post with sample images of the new Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens from 18mm to 200mm to illustrate the distortion and IS effectiveness. All images shot with ISO 100, JPEG on a Canon EOS 50D unit.
Images are grouped by the lens focal length markers at 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 135mm, 170mm, and 200mm.
You can download larger images with Exif (not full-size – 819KB) using this link (right-click >> save as) to check on the effectiveness of the new image stabilization (which, I think is remarkable, snappier than my Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM, in fact). Sorry for the rather rushed images, I wanted to test the lens’ IS and ISO 100 results of the 50D hence the image blur.
Quick personal note would be:
1) The lens is easy to use and carry. It’s light and it feels EXTREMELY similar to the Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens.
2) The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS looks a little less impressive than the Nikkor as the latter has better texture, build feel, and a distance window. Although this is rather pointless as a Canon user won’t (and shouldn’t) be concerned with a lens that an EOS can’t use directly.
3) The zoom ring needs improvement. When zooming from 18mm towards 50mm and longer, the focus ring has a tendency to torque back to the wider setting by a few mm. While minor, it is annoying if you want to stick to a certain focal length at a given time. The action is very smooth and “connected”, though.
4) A very well placed zoom lock button is a welcomed feature as the Nikkor variant exhibits quite a bit of lens creep, which is rather annoying.
5) Like most consumer lenses of Canon, the manual focus ring is not very precise due to its loose motion and small focus ring.
6) The distortion at 18mm would make landscape and interior shooters crazy. You can instantly create tiny hills across landscapes. The image will reach a “straight” point only between 28-40mm or so, as when you reach 50mm, pincushioning is apparent. Expect a lot of strange distorted faces if you shoot portraits below 50mm often.
I’ll do a more proper test in the near future. Subscribe to my newsletter to be notified when a more comprehensive review is available. Right now though, I’m not quite hot about this lens. I think there are too much compromises just for the sake of carrying one lens.
As of today, dpreview provides the most detailed review.