The 18-200mm Canon Lens – One Lens Is All You Need
Author: Wayne Rasku
As the owner of a Canon digital Rebel or a Canon 50D (or one of its predecessors) you really need to find out about the advantages of the 18-200mm Canon lens as an all-in-one lens option.
What’s In a Name
While we refer to it as the 18-200mm Canon lens, it has an official name. It is a Canon EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS telephoto lens.. How would you like to have to live up to a label like that? As we examine the name, we see EF-S. This would mean the lens is made for Canon’s lower end cameras, such as the Canon Digital Rebel sequence and its 50D digital SLR (along with the earlier xxD models). That means that you can not use this general walk around lens on the more high quality models such as the Canon 7D and the full frame models.
Thanks to the super focal spectrum of these types of Super-Zoom lenses, you can keep them on your camera nearly continuously. This makes them fantastic as traveling or holiday lenses..
With the 18-200mm Canon lens you seldom have to stop to change lenses. You are almost sure to have the right lens for each and every shot.
In fact, having to change lenses is one of the blessings AND the curses of digital SLR owners. We actually buy the cameras so we can change the lens, then we are frustrated when we have to.
First, as pointed out is the focal range, which is 11x. Taking into consideration the amazing variation in range, the image quality is outstanding.
Also, there is IS (image stabilization) which is supposed to give you an additional 4-stops of aperture without having to use a tripod. This is important because the widest aperture is only f/3.5, and it increases from there to a max of f/5.6. This is typical of the super-zoom lenses, whether Canon or some other manufacturer.
One more benefit is the bokeh that is produced when using a wide aperture. Photographers are always comparing bokeh. Briefly, it is when you try to get the main subject of your photo in sharp focus and have the other areas of the photo in a pleasingly blurred focus. The 18-200 does a pretty good job with this, but it is not considered the best.
The last benefit has to do with a comparison to the “kit lenses” that Canon promotes. Sometimes new buyers purchase the 18-55mm starter lens and an additional 55-250mm lens for the mid-range focal lengths. These two lenses are not bad as far as image quality goes, but they are not high quality construction.
The Canon 18-200mm lens is far better constructed than the kit lenses.
The Down Side
There are some concerns to consider. You will find this true of most super-zooms, whether they are Canon, Nikon, Sigma, or Tamron lenses. There is a compromise in image quality if you want to get the wide focal range. Most will have barrel distortion at the wide angles and chromatic aberration issues at both the shortest and the longest focal lengths.
This is not to say that the images are bad – the lens produces really good images. The issues are barely noticeable to the novice. However if you are seeking for the pixel-perfect image, you will either need to fork out more money or work with a more precise focal length lens.
Finally, consider a Canon look-alike
Third party producers have produced some excellent lenses that fit Canon digital SLR cameras. If the advantages and problem areas are identical, why don’t you think about saving some money for one of those? Give it some thought.
About the Author
As you look at the 18-200mm Canon lens, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it really does perform.
But do take a look at the other lenses in the same category. You can do that at Canon EOS Lenses.