Enjoy Very Long Exposures With Will Cheung And MPB

Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM standard zoom lens through its paces to find out if it's a great lens to have in your kit bag.

| Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM in Interchangeable Lenses
BUY NOW CANON RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review: Canon RF S 18 45mm IS STM Front Oblique View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100

Having well-established its full-frame mirrorless cameras and lenses, Canon now turns its attention to a more compact range of APS-C, crop sensor kit. Aimed to appeal to those who want to travel light, for lifestyle applications, travel, family shots, and even vlogging. There are two camera bodies, the 24MP R10 and the 32.5MP R7, and two lenses. First, we look at the 18-45mm, and following is the review of the 18-150mm. For the 18-45mm, technical tests with the higher pixel count R7 body, plus sample shots using both the R7 and the R10 should give us a good idea of how the lens handles and performs. Let's see how it all works out and whether or not the lens fits in perfectly with its perceived slot in the photographers' arsenal.


Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Handling and Features

Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review: Canon RF S 18 45mm IS STM Lens On R10 | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

The lens is compact and weighs in at a very modest 130g, clearly helped by the extensive use of plastics. The standard EOS R mount is huge and the lens rapidly reduces diameter as we move away from the camera mount, giving it a slightly odd, unbalanced look. However, this is just appearance and it is so light that it hardly changes the balance of the camera body at all. The “35mm equivalent” field of view is 29-72mm, taking into account the Canon 1.6x crop factor. The lens diameter is 69mm, and the length is just 44.3mm in its retracted state. The camera will warn us to move the lens into its shooting position, should we forget to do so before we switch on. There is a bayonet fitting for lens hood EW-53, although the hood is not provided with the lens. As mentioned in other reviews, this is a pity as a lens hood has value in protecting the front element as well as reducing flare. Within the bayonet mount is a standard 49mm filter thread.

The thin control ring can be used as the manual focus ring, or by altering the function in the camera menu as a control ring, adjusting exposure compensation by default. The ring is only active when the shutter release is half depressed. This is useful as it prevents the ring from being accidentally nudged before the shot is taken.

Manual focus allows a slightly closer focus than AF, and this also varies with focal length.


Focal Legnth AF Closest Focus AF Mag MF Closest Focus MF Mag
18mm 0.2m 0.14x 0.15m 0.24x
35mm 0.3m 0.15x 0.21m 0.21x
45mm 0.35m 0.16x 0.25m 0.26x


AF is driven by a stepping motor and is virtually silent, very fast and very accurate. There may be many photographers who never switch to MF as for most purposes the AF system is spot on.

The ribbed zoom ring also has a click-stop position for retracting the lens for storage and carrying. The focal lengths are clearly and accurately marked at 18mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 45mm. The scale appears to be accurate as it agrees very precisely with the focal length as reported electronically in the camera display.

The lens mount is plastic, but this is not a negative as the fit is absolutely precise and the lens locks in with smooth ease. There is no rotational play in the mount. The lens is not compatible with either extension tubes or extenders.

Canon RF-S 18-45mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review: Canon RF S 18 45mm IS STM Lens Front Element View | 1/5 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100

Optical construction is 7 elements in 7 groups, including 2 PMo (plastic moulded) aspherical. The diaphragm consists of 7 blades. We have Canon's excellent SSC (Super Spectra Coating) but no fluorine coating on the front element and no dust and moisture resistance. We do have inbuilt OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) offering a 4-stop advantage. This is compatible with camera body IBIS and the two systems working together offer an advantage of 6.5 stops. This goes some way towards compensating for the fairly slow maximum aperture and enabling those travel shots to be continued as the light fades towards evening.

We might slot this handy little lens into the category of a “plastic fantastic” and in terms of handling it is so light that it melds really well with the Canon EOS R10 mirrorless body. The two gel together and make natural partners, ideal for vlogging and general holiday and travel applications. Let's see if the technical performance matches the superb handling of this tiny gem.


Buy Now


Sell or trade used photo and video kit with MPB

With MPB you can get a free instant quote for the kit you want to sell, including a trade-in all-in-one transaction - no need for callbacks or waiting for an email quote. Then, if you decide to sell, MPB will pick up your kit with a free insured DPD collection and you’ll get paid cash into your account within days. MPB will also keep you informed about the status of your gear at every step of the way and the whole process is carbon neutral.

Sell your unwanted gear with MPB

Amazon UK Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM SEARCH
Amazon US Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM SEARCH
MPB Logo

We transform the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.


Support this site by purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Other articles you might find interesting...

Yongnuo YN 85mm f/1.8S FE Lens Review
Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8 FE Lens Review
Nikon Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8S Plena Lens Review
Sigma 10-18mm F/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Meike 85mm F1.4 Lens In E/Z Mount Now Available
Canon Unveils Three New RF Lenses
Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Hands-On Review
Canon RF 200-800mm F/6.3-9 IS USM Lens Hands-On Review

There are no comments here! Be the first!


You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.