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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾѾѾ Highly recommended with warm fuzzies!

Having used the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 Image Stabilized USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLR's for more than six years, this is the perfect focal length range for use as a day-to-day walkabout lens on my Canon 40D. Other Canon gear that I have include their excellent Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras , their razor-sharp Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras ,Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens for Canon EOS Cameras , the extremely sharp Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras ,Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras , and Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite for Canon Digital SLR Cameras.

In low light or wider-angle scenery shots, this lens is not as sharp as my 17-55mm f/2.8. When used to photograph macro-like shots of butterflies and flowers, it is not as sharp as my 100mm f/2.8. When used at its 200mm focal length to focus onto distant birds and turtles sitting on a stone in a pond, it is not as sharp as my 70-200mm f/4L. But as a one-lens solution for covering that kind of focal lengths, it is pretty good. On sunny days, I use this lens on a 40D with a B&W multi-coated MRC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer. I consider this to be a very useful hiking/travel/walkabout lens, or if (like me) you hate changing lenses back and forth :-) , or if capturing the moments in both wide-angle and zoom situations is more important than getting that perfect shot by carrying multiple lenses and/or camera bodies. This is my first experience with a Canon lens that does not use USM, and the micro-motor is barely slightly slower and noisier than USM... but not knowing what to expect, I was expecting even slower focusing and, in nearly all situations, I found its focus speed totally adequate - still very quick and without any back-and-forth hunting in lower lighting. But my main gripe about this lens is that Canon did not use USM (who knows what kind of marketing decisions went into this, much as I wondered why the 40D had a 3.0-inch LCD but kept the same 230,000 pixels as the 2.5-inch LCD on the 30D - one of my main gripes with the 40D). For the price, Canon should have included USM with full-time manual focusing. But I did notice that the price has dropped by more than 60 dollars since I bought the lens less than three weeks ago.

The use of a zoom lock switch to prevent lens creep is a very welcome addition that I always wished that their 17-85mm and 17-55mm lenses also had. Because of the 11 lens elements in this lens, it slides out to a zoomed length far more than my 17-85mm lens does when the camera is pointing downward and slung around my neck and/or shoulder. Other super-zooms have this same lens creep problem and this is likely a design compromise that the Canon engineers had to consider in still wanting to minimize the amount of friction and effort it takes to turn the zoom ring versus the propensity of the lens elements' weight to pull the zoom downward due to gravity. I have learned to always flick the zoom lock switch on when I am just carrying the camera, quickly flick the zoom lock switch off as I begin to aim and focus (after a short while, it becomes easily habitual to use the middle or ring finger of my right hand to lock/unlock the zoom lock switch while aiming), and to just hold the camera more horizontal if I am actively looking to photograph more. The lens does not rotate during focusing, so circular polarizer filters stay in place.

Unlike Canon's USM lenses, the micro-motor focus design of this lens does not allow you to override the autofocus mechanism until you first flip the AF/MF switch on the lens. Furthermore, while the 17-85mm lens lets you use both the focus ring and zoom ring when the lens hood is inverted on the lens, on the 18-200mm lens, since the slim manual focus ring is now placed at the very front of the lens (and in front of the much-wider zoom ring), when its Canon EW78D Lens Hood for EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon SLR Lens (not included with the lens) is inverted, the lens hood's "petals" block most of the focus ring and I have to use my middle finger and thumb to reach in between the hood petals to rotate the focus ring when the hood is screwed on in its inverted position. I would have much preferred that Canon either (a) retain the same focus-ring-closer-to-camera-body design that they used on the 17-85mm, or (b) increase the width of the focus ring so that it is more accessible when the lens hood is inverted onto the lens. But with the zoom ring being 2.2" wide, the bulk of the lens barrel is occupied by the zoom ring, as if Canon expects that most people will not be using manual focus much on this lens. Since I mainly use manual focus on my two 65mm and 100mm macro lenses, this is not that big of a deal for me. In looking across Canon's entire zoom lens product line, Canon seems to be inconsistent in their placement of the zoom and focus rings, with some lenses having the zoom ring closer to the camera body, and some lenses having the focus ring closer to the camera body.

At both 18mm and 200mm wide open, the image corners can be a little on the soft side, but when stopped down between f/5.6 and f/11, the image is sharp from edge to edge. The image stabilizer on this lens works very well, allowing me to get non-blurry handheld shots in dimmer light while I try to stay within this lens' optimum aperture range of f/5.6 to f/11. Of course, Canon's "17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens" is better in lower light than this 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. But if you use a tripod with this lens, it becomes even more suitable for indoor and night shots. I did not notice any chromatic aberration or purple fringing in my photos. Background bokeh is pleasant and visually appealing. At its maximum 18mm wide-angle and 200mm zoomed-out extremes, there is noticeable barrel and pincushion distortion in the photos, but these are easily correctable using post-processing software, and all super-zoom lenses like this have barrel/pincushion distortion anyway, so I think that this is a physical limitation of the current state of super-zoom lens designs.

Even Canon's 28-300mm L glass, which is also f/3.5-5.6, has its share of design compromises and sharpness issues in a super-zoom lens design, and the big and bulky Canon 28-300mm L lens is not much sharper than this 18-200mm lens, even though it costs more than four times the cost of this lens. In fact, if you compare the MTF charts between this 18-200mm lens and Canon's really big and expensive 28-300mm L lens, both at their wide-angle and telephoto ends, this 18-200mm lens' MTF charts are actually BETTER than the 28-300mm MTF measurements! This 18-200mm lens does lack the weather sealing and better build quality that the 28-300mm L lens has. Any lens encompassing this sort of zoom range will be tripping over various physical limitations of what can be achieved when compared to a lens with a smaller zoom range; i.e. a 17-40mm or 17-55mm lens will beat this 18-200mm or the 28-300mm L lens on the wide-angle end, and a 70-200mm lens will beat both super-zooms on the telephoto end. A 18-200mm lens (or, why not, a 17-300mm lens) at a fixed f/2.8 with USM and L-grade glass and weather sealing in a lens that weighs less than 3 pounds would be wonderful, and I would gladly pay a lot more for it as a single-lens travel/walkabout lens solution, but that product still only exists in my dreams right now.

This 18-200mm lens will now make my 17-85mm lens the least-used lens that I have, so I may eventually end up selling the 17-85mm lens.

This was a great lens for me to take on an extended 4-week African vacation where multiple camera bodies and lenses would have weighed me down more and the dusty conditions of an African safari make it difficult to cleanly change lenses (not to mention that wildlife often does not wait for you to switch your camera gear around!) There were some times during my vacation when I wished that I had my 17-55 f/2.8 with my travel-sized tripod, but for most shots, you would have to squint at the pixel level to notice differences in the sharpness of daytime shots (i.e. 11x14" and 13x19" prints look great!) If you hate spending time editing each photo one-by-one during post-processing and if you do not already own a collection of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, and Lightroom software, I would recommend that you consider "Dxo Optics Pro" software since DxO Optics Pro can automatically, without much adjusting of software parameters for each photo or photo set, process all of your JPEG or RAW files and correct a whole slew of lens-related imperfections in photos.

Even though I keep thinking about eventually moving to full-frame, I got the Canon 7D (still keeping my 40D, and wondering what to do with my 30D), and as a daily "only one lens and only one camera body" walkabout/travel combination, this 18-200mm lens ROCKS when used with my spanky new 7D :-)))) My other favorite combination, when I do not mind lugging the extra bulk and weight, is to carry both the 70-200mm f/4L on my 40D and my 17-55mm f/2.8 on my 7D, with the 7D in the hand and the 40D in the Think Tank Digital Holster 30. My issue with just carrying only a 17-55mm or 17-85mm as a general walkabout lens is that, all too often, I find interesting things to photograph that need more than a 55mm or 85mm reach, especially when it comes to photographing wildlife or strangers (e.g. I love shooting "street photography" and "everyday people doing everyday things" whenever I visit foreign countries) and trying to get closer to the subject may not be practical, or some strangers may get annoyed if they know that you are photographing them, or their actions and facial expressions become more posed and less natural if they know that you are pointing a camera at them. So while I am walking around photographing scenery, if I come across an interesting "street photography portrait" opportunity (e.g. old men playing cards along a sidewalk or a young woman strutting like a peacock in colorful dress and heels), from a distance, I can discretely point my 18-200mm lens, zoom, focus, shoot, blend back into being a pedestrian, and I can have a better chance at remaining unnoticed to photograph candid unposed shots than using a larger super-zoom like Canon's 28-300mm L lens. So along with being a fine all-purpose walkabout lens, I love this lens for use in "street photography" or "guerilla travel photography" settings where the emphasis is on quickly capturing a moment in time, instead of getting the perfect shot by setting up a tripod, trying different angles and viewpoints, and looking for the perfect lighting setup. I have seen tourists in foreign countries carrying a camera backpack with a full-sized tripod, and then they would set up the tripod in the middle of a busy sidewalk, looking like they work for "National Geographic", except that no one is holding up lighting reflectors for them, bringing them cool drinks, and helping to wipe the sweat off their eyebrows :-) Real "guerilla travel photography" involves shooting hand-held, and resorting to the tripod only for night and low-light photography.

Since I recommend this lens for "street photography" or "guerilla travel photography", here are some...

Tips for Effective Street Photography and Travel Photography:

(1) Know before you go! Get a good idea of the kind of shooting situations that you will encounter, before you head out for your walk around town or before you depart for your travel outing. Use the Internet to search for photos and images of the locations where you will be visiting, and to see what special events, festivals, theater performances, or other activities may be taking place.

(2) Have you camera always accessible within a matter of seconds. This means having your camera either right in front of you, or at waist-level or by your side. If your camera is stored inside a backpack on your back, it will take you longer to get it ready if you suddenly encounter a perfect shot in the city or a perfect wildlife shot while hiking or on safari. For rapid shoot-and-scoot camera deployment, I like the Think Tank "Digital Holster" and Lowepro "Toploader Pro" line of camera holsters.

(3) Learn how to shoot quickly. This means a lot of things: thoroughly being familiar with ISO, aperture, shutter speed, aperture priority, shutter priority, "Manual", and other settings on your camera, not relying on tripod setup for shots that are not nighttime or low-light, having good camera-steadying technique that involves a steady hand and calm continuous breathing, and knowing when to quickly use a nearby structure (e.g. table, wall, light pole) to brace and steady your hands or arms while shooting hand-held, especially if the scene is darker and may require a longer shutter speed.

(4) "Real photographers" do NOT only shoot in "Manual" mode with manually-set white balance each time. Some people have this weird macho belief that the best photography can only come from adjusting Manual-mode settings and white balance with each shot. While that is nice in a studio, portrait, or landscape photography setting, if you spend too much time twirling camera setting dials, you will miss out on street photography opportunities. I shoot aperture-priority as much as manual-mode, and switch to shutter-priority when I want a specific motion-freezing effect on moving subjects. And if you shoot in RAW, you can shoot in Auto White Balance and change it later.

(5) Learn to use exposure compensation, auto exposure bracketing (AEB), and circular polarizers to adjust for lighting issues. You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but when it comes to street photography, you cannot pick your lighting options. Notice that I did not mention using a fill flash. Using a fill flash is fine for outdoor portrait photography on bright sunny days to even out the shadows. But street photography and wildlife photography both involve deft speed and discreteness, and using a flash draws attention to yourself, which is usually not a good thing in these shooting situations. Learn to adjust exposure compensation and know when you need to use auto exposure bracketing (AEB). I often use AEB when there are plenty of light/dark differences in the scene since the camera meter may not always get it right. In addition, I sometimes use High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing on my bracketed shots to balance some of the brightest brights and darkest darks. HDR processing is often abused to produce surreal psychedelic photos that become tiresome to view, but when the HDR settings are adjusted so that its effects are used in moderation, it can do wonders for scenes that involve both glaring light and dark shadow regions, without needing to use a fill flash. Using AEB and HDR processing on the bracketed shots requires a steadier hand and smooth breathing so that each bracketed shot has minimal shifting of the camera; again, practice steadying your hands, arms, and breathing, and use a nearby structure for support and bracing of your arms/hands if available. While the soft light of the early morning and early evening are lovely and ideal for photography, a circular polarizer is a must during mid-day shooting. Learn how to use a circular polarizer, and when to use it and when to remove it. For street photography, you need to preemptively think about how you will set exposure compensation and AEB and whether you need to screw/unscrew your circular polarizer before you come upon a scene.

So I rate this 18-200mm lens 5 stars NOT based on absolute tack-sharp image quality, but based on pretty good image quality for covering such a wide range of focal lengths. An 11X super-zoom lens will likely always require optical compromises in its design, but the tradeoffs for not having to carry and change different lenses may be worth it for you. For wide-angle landscape photography, I use my Canon 17-55mm lens because it is sharper than this 18-200mm. But the 200mm reach on this lens is great for various "street photography" and wildlife photography purposes. Last year, I tried using a Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras at a camera store, but I was thoroughly not impressed with it. That Tamron 18-270mm lens has a very cheap build quality feel to it, it is only f/6.3 at the 270mm end, and, most importantly, its image quality and sharpness are not as good as Canon's 18-200mm lens. This year, Nikon came out with their Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX Nikkor Lens. I hope that Canon also comes out with an 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2008
Pros: Good zoom, it's the one that u want to have in your camera all time. Very Good Wide Angle. Awesome Image Stabilizer (I can take pictures up to 1/30 and they are very sharp)
Cons: In the borders have little shade sometimes (nothing that u can't correct on photoshop). Don't have a USM motor (standard motor sounds loud), but still pretty fast focusing.

Overall: This is a standard zoom lens, I'm not a professional photographer but I consider myself an Average type of photographer. I use a Rebel XSi and you can make a very good crops of the pictures because with this lenses zoom and the 12mp working together the results are awesome. Don't spec the quality of a Canon L lense but its really good one.

I don't regret for buying this lenses. I recommend this lenses for a normal photographer who like a good zooming, wideangle, lense lock, and the best Image Stabilizer which automatically detects when u're paning.

Some examples of my pictures of airplanes with this lenses are:

[...]

Note: Both of them are edited on Photoshop CS3 but just to saturate and sharp a little bit. Almost all my pictures are airplanes so always they're moving, and works perfectly. Have a Marry X-Mas
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
The Canon 18-200 mm lens is really awsome. The most important thing is you need not to carry 2 lenses. I'm using it as my prime lens and really satisfied with it. Yes it's a little heavier but I can compromise it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2011
The product arrived on time and intact, and all the extra stuff that came along with the lense was extremely handy, specially the filters that changed the saturation of the pictures quite a bit. The lense was great and since I am really into depth of field, it functioned exactly the way I wanted and made the pictures look very soft with shallow depth of field without requiring to do alot of zooming in or out,not to mention the image stabilizer which gets sharper pictures. Excellent lense, just a little heavy, but the pictures make up for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
Bought this lens for my vacation trip to China. That's all I need, the polarized filter very helpful with China weather climate.
The zoom ring lock lever made my live much easier, just had to remember to unlock when ready to shoot again. Last but not least,
the price is the best deal.
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on September 5, 2014
I am still testing my new lens but so far the results has been very good. I love the range of the 18-200mm so I find I am not constantly changing lenses like I used to. This kit was perfect with all the filters, cleaning tools and lens bag included. And the price was decent. I did have a problem (my own oversight) the first time I went on a morning shoot. When I took off the lens cap I also removed the polarizing filter so I ended up over exposing quite a few pictures. Heading off to Machu Picchu in a couple of weeks and look forward to getting some great shots. Shipment was on time and packaging was very good.
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on March 15, 2014
Clear, sharp images. Great range for close-up and depth. I had a lens exactly like this previously and gave it to my daughter. She and I both leave this lens on our Canon camera most of the time because it is so versatile.
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on July 25, 2014
Pleased with the lens; it's what I wanted. Liked getting the accessories, too. The products arrived ahead of schedule - always a nice surprise.
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on August 27, 2014
best lens so far...fotografy is my hobby...this is all u need if ur an amature...u can zoom all u want...very good quality so far...thanks\^^/
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on August 18, 2014
Came and does what it said it is. I was hesitant because it's so much less expensive than the one listed by cannon but I glad I did go with it
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