Summary

Canon's EF-S 18-200mm boasts a massive super-zoom range, although as an EF-S model it's not compatible with full-frame cameras. On a cropped body it delivers an equivalent focal length of 29-320mm, from wide-angle to powerful telephoto, covering almost any situation without having to change lenses. There’s no USM focusing and the quality is not as good as zooms with shorter ranges, but the sheer convenience will outweigh the downsides for many.

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Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS

Canon 18-200mm real-life corner vs centre sharpness at 18mm

 

To compare real-life corner sharpness when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS and EF-S 18-55mm IS, both mounted on the same EOS 50D body within moments of each other; a fault with our EF-S 17-85mm IS at 17mm prevented it from being included on this page. The EOS 50D was set to its best quality JPEG setting, lowest 100 ISO sensitivity and default processing options.

Both lenses were zoomed-out to their widest 18mm focal lengths and tested at all aperture settings. IS was disabled on each lens, and magnified assistance in Live View used to confirm the focusing.

The image above was taken with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS mounted on the Canon EOS 50D body. The lens was set to 18mm f8, and the 50D set to 100 ISO. The crops are taken from the lower left corner and presented here at 100%.

On the previous page it was often hard to see any difference between the lenses at 24mm f8, but here the crops tell a quite different story. With both lenses zoomed-out to their widest 18mm, the corner performance of the EF-S 18-200mm IS is comfortably beaten by the budget EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens. Both lenses may visibly improve as their apertures are gradually closed, but it doesn’t take a pixel-peeper to see the EF-S 18-55mm IS starts off looking much better – indeed wide-open at f3.5 it’s performing surprisingly well considering its budget status. In contrast the EF-S 18-200mm IS looks noticeably softer with quite apparent red fringing.

The EF-S 18-200mm IS greatly improves beyond f5.6, but the EF-S 18-55mm IS remains superior throughout in this particular test. So does this softness on the EF-S 18-200mm IS only affect the corners when zoomed-out to 18mm? Find out by scrolling to the bottom of this page where you’ll find comparisons against its corner and centre performance. Alternatively if you’ve already seen enough, let’s zoom-in and move onto our Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS Real life corner results at telephoto.

Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS
with Canon EOS 50D
Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS
with Canon EOS 50D
f3.5, 100 ISO
f3.5, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO

Real-life corner vs centre sharpness at 18mm – Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS

The crops below are from the same series of images taken with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS mounted on the EOS 50D body and zoomed-out to 18mm – but this time we’ve taken crops from both the corner and the centre at different apertures to compare the differences.

Judging from the crops below, the EF-S 18-200mm IS suffers from softness across the frame when zoomed-out to 18mm and at large apertures. Again the situation greatly improves at f5.6 and beyond, but for the best results, you’ll want to avoid using the EF-S 18-200mm IS between f3.5 and f5.6 when zoomed-out if possible. Now let’s zoom-in and move onto our Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS Real life corner results at telephoto.

Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS with Canon EOS 50D
Wide (18mm) corner
Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS with Canon EOS 50D
Wide (18mm) centre
f3.5, 100 ISO
f3.5, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
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