June 23, 2018, 02:13:45 PM

Author Topic: OpticalLimits reviews the Canon EF-M 18-55 STM IS and EF-M 55-200mm STM IS  (Read 5202 times)

canonnews

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OpticalLimits formerly called photozone.de, has decided to dust off their copies of the EF-M 18-55 and EF-M 55-200 and give them a go.

As long suspected by EF-M users, the 18-55 is actually pretty good.  While Canon has stopped shipping the 18-55 included in with new EOS-M kits. It’s still pretty readily available via ebay and other sources.

You may have felt my rather -say- reluctant vibrations regarding the Canon EOS M system at the beginning of this review (despite a long history as Canon user). However, my reservations don’t really apply to the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS. Sure, its specs aren’t hot on paper but it is a solid offering especially considering the fact that it is a kit lens.

Their review on the 55-200 surprised me a bit.  I have that lens on my M5 and always found it to be a very credible performer, and turns into a pretty good performer once you run the results through DPP’s DLO.

Usually, Canon gets it right but not this time. The Canon EF-S 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 STM IS is a bit … meh. It is very sharp at 55mm but the middle range and long end are substandard. This is accompanied by noticeable lateral CAs at 200mm although they don’t reach extreme levels. The vignetting is generally high at max. aperture. On the upside, image distortions are low.

At a glance the EF-M 18-55;

  • 29-88mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5-38
  • Three Aspherical Elements
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Stepping Motor, Inner Focusing System
  • Supports Movie Servo AF Feature
  • Dynamic IS in Movie Mode
  • Constant Minimum Focus Distance: 9.8″
  • 52mm Filter Diameter

Read the EF-M 18-55 review here.. 

and the EF-M 55-200mm;

  • 88-320mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5 to f/32
  • One UD Element & One Aspherical Element
  • STM Stepping AF Motor
  • Full-Time Manual Focus Override
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm

Read the 55-200mm review here.. 

« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 12:13:27 PM by canonnews »

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Woody

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I'm rather happy I got the EF-S 55-250, contrary to the advice of many in this forum. :b

neuroanatomist

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Their review on the 55-200 surprised me a bit.  I have that lens on my M5 and always found it to be a very credible performer...
Quote
Usually, Canon gets it right but not this time. The Canon EF-S 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 STM IS is a bit … meh. It is very sharp at 55mm but the middle range and long end are substandard.

I don't find the M55-200 to be 'substandard' at the long end, by any means.  For example:

"Down the Hatch"

EOS M2, EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM @ 200mm, 1/1600 s, f/6.3, ISO 800
EOS 1D X, EOS M6, lots of lenses
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Tyroop

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This is basically the same conclusion I came to. I wouldn't go as far to say the EF-M 55-200mm is sub-standard, but I have never been greatly impressed with this lens. I bought it specifically for a trip I made last October, but after some preliminary testing decided not to take it. Images are acceptable, just, but they don't have that extra 'something' that makes them pop.

I love my first three EF-M lenses - 18-55mm, 22mm and 11-22mm, but have not been impressed with either the 15-45mm or 55-200mm. Incidentally, the first three have metal lens mounts and the last two have plastic mounts. I have no experience of the EF-M 28mm macro (probably my next lens acquisition) or 18-150mm, but from what I have read the 18-150mm is only mediocre and it isn't a lens that interests me.

If any fast prime EF-M lenses come to fruition it will be interesting to see how they perform. I hope Canon go back to the metal lens mounts for any such lenses.

http://phil.uk.net/photography/canon-ef-m-55-200mm-f4p5-f6p3-is-stm.html

Larsskv

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This is basically the same conclusion I came to. I wouldn't go as far to say the EF-M 55-200mm is sub-standard, but I have never been greatly impressed with this lens. I bought it specifically for a trip I made last October, but after some preliminary testing decided not to take it. Images are acceptable, just, but they don't have that extra 'something' that makes them pop.

I love my first three EF-M lenses - 18-55mm, 22mm and 11-22mm, but have not been impressed with either the 15-45mm or 55-200mm. Incidentally, the first three have metal lens mounts and the last two have plastic mounts. I have no experience of the EF-M 28mm macro (probably my next lens acquisition) or 18-150mm, but from what I have read the 18-150mm is only mediocre and it isn't a lens that interests me.

If any fast prime EF-M lenses come to fruition it will be interesting to see how they perform. I hope Canon go back to the metal lens mounts for any such lenses.

http://phil.uk.net/photography/canon-ef-m-55-200mm-f4p5-f6p3-is-stm.html

I have the 18-55, the 22 and the 11-22. I find them very good in terms of sharpness, especially the 11-22, but none of them have that factor that is hard to measure, in terms of pop or color (that you can get with L-optics.) Of course, for the price you are paying one shouldn’t expect that either. Anyway, I end up leaving my EOS M3 at home, in favor of my FF DSLRs.

I hope Canon will release som L quality glass for the M series, to serve the enthusiasts.

jolyonralph

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I have no experience of the EF-M 28mm macro (probably my next lens acquisition) or 18-150mm, but from what I have read the 18-150mm is only mediocre and it isn't a lens that interests me.

I have *all* the Canon EF-M Lenses (and the M3, M5 and M6). In terms of pure optical quality I'd rate them top to bottom:

22mm
28mm
11-22mm
18-55mm
18-150mm
55-200mm
15-45mm

But none of these lenses are terrible. The primes are clearly better than the others, and the 11-22 is a knockout lens (and is the reason I converted my M3 to full spectrum just to use with this lens and appropriate IR filters.)

I got the 18-150 in a bundle with the M6 and for a lightweight travel combo it really can't be beaten. If I'm travelling ultra-light I'll go just with that and the M5 or M6, if I have spare pocket space I'll take the 22 and the 11-22 and then I'm good for pretty much anything.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 06:00:18 AM by jolyonralph »
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AlanF

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The 11-22mm indeed has a stellar reputation, but I don't find it better than the others. I have had two copies of the 11-22mm. The first was very sharp at the centre and poor at the edges, the second was very good across the frame but not quite as sharp at the centre and so I kept that one. I carefully checked my 22mm, 15-45mm and 11-22mm at 22mm with charts and there is nothing to choose between them wide open - they are all really good. I don't know why the 15-45mm gets dumped upon, it's a decent little lens but doesn't have a metal mount, which is hardly a key feature. The 15-45 according to opticallimits has generally better MTFs than the 18-55. I much prefer to have 15mm at the wide end than 19mm, and gave my 18-55mm to my grandson.


« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 06:57:06 AM by AlanF »
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andrei1989

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i have also found the 15-45 to be very good. i don't really get why people say it's not sharp...maybe copy variation..
i will get an 18-55 very soon (not by choice, it's just bundled with a second-hand EOS M i'm getting) and i can compare it to the 15-45, but i don't expect to be impressed

and i also prefer having the 55-250 STM with an adapter on the M5 over the 55-200. the price, together with canon's official adapter is about the same, you get 1/3 more light and 25% more reach at the cost of almost twice the weight, but i find that it balances very well with the M5.
Canon M5|Canon EF-M 15-45mm| Canon EF-M 11-22mm|Canon 15-85mm|Canon 55-250mm IS STM|Canon 40mm STM|Samyang 85mm f/1.4|Meike 35mm f/1.7| Samyang 14mm f/2.8

john kriegsmann

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I am a long time Canon DSLR user. I believe the entire Canon M system is substandard- when compared to the competition. Fuji has both a small form factor and a killer lineup of lenses. Sony has the best sensors in the business ( just ask Nikon and fuji) but terrible menus and a limited offering of very vey lenses. Canon's M5 bodies are coming of age with the M5 but they have a limited lens offering. The original offering came with an 18-55 f 3.5-5.6 which was adequate. The f22 pancake is good as is the 11-22. Why Canon discontinued the 18-55 and replaced it wit a slower 45 mm f6 in inexplicable. Sure Canon has a converter but, lets get serious, the M series have very small bodies and Eos simply do not fit the form factor of the M bodies. I would like to buy an M system but will refrain from doing so until they offer some fast  zooms and prime lenses that fit the form factor. Good heavens if Fuji can create s slew of well regarded lenses why can't Canon.

neuroanatomist

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Good heavens if Fuji can create s slew of well regarded lenses why can't Canon.

You keep asking that question, but you can't seem to come up with a reason as to why they should.  As I mentioned previously, "Because you wants them, Precious," is not a valid reason for Canon.  Cold, hard marketing data would be a valid reason…except those very data show that Canon has gone from no mirrorless presence to #2 globally in a relatively short span of years, and are currently experiencing double-digit growth in the M lineup – without these 'well regarded' (= expensive) lenses for which you seem to be clamoring.
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canonnews

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This is basically the same conclusion I came to. I wouldn't go as far to say the EF-M 55-200mm is sub-standard, but I have never been greatly impressed with this lens. I bought it specifically for a trip I made last October, but after some preliminary testing decided not to take it. Images are acceptable, just, but they don't have that extra 'something' that makes them pop.

Try running your images through DPP's DLO.  The 55-200 is one lens that i find needs some DLO love, then it cleans up nicely.

All of the Canon EF-M lenses pop one heck of alot more after running through DLO, but i find in particular the 18-150 and the 55-200 need it the most.

DLO is a magic secret sauce to getting the most out of EF-M ecosystem I find and the adjustments are crazy enough that the core LR adjustments just don't cover enough.


AlanF

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i have also found the 15-45 to be very good. i don't really get why people say it's not sharp...maybe copy variation..
i will get an 18-55 very soon (not by choice, it's just bundled with a second-hand EOS M i'm getting) and i can compare it to the 15-45, but i don't expect to be impressed

and i also prefer having the 55-250 STM with an adapter on the M5 over the 55-200. the price, together with canon's official adapter is about the same, you get 1/3 more light and 25% more reach at the cost of almost twice the weight, but i find that it balances very well with the M5.

My 55-250 STM is sharper on my M5 than my 70-200mm L IS - it's one of the great bargains in the Canon line up and often very cheap by being sold unbundled from kits.
5D IV, 5DS R, 400mm DO II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, EF 1.8 STM,  EF 24-105, 100-400 II, EF-S 15-85, Sigma 150-600mm C, EOS-M5 15-45, f/2 22, 11-22, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye: sold 7D II, EOS-M, Powershot G3 X,  Sigma 10-20, EF 300/2.8 II, 70-200/4 IS.

BillB

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I am a long time Canon DSLR user. I believe the entire Canon M system is substandard- when compared to the competition. Fuji has both a small form factor and a killer lineup of lenses. Sony has the best sensors in the business ( just ask Nikon and fuji) but terrible menus and a limited offering of very vey lenses. Canon's M5 bodies are coming of age with the M5 but they have a limited lens offering. The original offering came with an 18-55 f 3.5-5.6 which was adequate. The f22 pancake is good as is the 11-22. Why Canon discontinued the 18-55 and replaced it wit a slower 45 mm f6 in inexplicable. Sure Canon has a converter but, lets get serious, the M series have very small bodies and Eos simply do not fit the form factor of the M bodies. I would like to buy an M system but will refrain from doing so until they offer some fast  zooms and prime lenses that fit the form factor. Good heavens if Fuji can create s slew of well regarded lenses why can't Canon.

The EF-M 18-55 is still available new at the Canon Store, Amazon and various other places for anyone that wants one.

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Act444

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The 18-55 was a good lens - but for me, it just wasn’t wide nor tele enough for walk around everyday use.

The 55-200, well, I more or less have to concur with the review. The EF-S version is an excellent lens, especially for the price. I cannot say the same for the EF-M lens, which is significantly softer near the long end, not to mention slower. That said, though, I like its smaller size and have used that to my advantage at times...

But compared to the 18-150 at 150, the 55-200 is a good performer. But it lacks the wide end - so it’s that age-old compromise of (merely competent) quality vs. convenience...

docsmith

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Their review on the 55-200 surprised me a bit.  I have that lens on my M5 and always found it to be a very credible performer, and turns into a pretty good performer once you run the results through DPP’s DLO.

In my experience with photozone, you two are saying very similar things.  They like to "call it the way they see it."  "Average" isn't bad, it is truly the median of what they have seen.  And disclaimers don't count.  "Good, for a $300 lens"...nope, that is not how they do things.  They are comparing a $300 lens to a $3,000 lens. 

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