Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens

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82% Tried & Tested
This lens is a general purpose solution which allows the photographer not to worry about fiddling around changing lenses when out traveling, but makes inevitable optical compromises to achieve this goal.”

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Key Features

  • 18-200mm focal length
  • 28.8-320mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F3.5-5.6 maximum aperture; F22-38 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization, 4 stops
  • 72mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Canon EF-S mount for APS-C DSLRs

Product Description

The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is a compact, lightweight super-zoom lens for use exclusively with Canon's APS-C format DSLRs, on which it offers an equivalent focal length range of 29-320mm. It features an Optical Image Stabilizer for up to 4 stops of effective correction, but disappointingly its USM focus motor is of the micro-motor type, so full-time manual focus is not possible. Although this is a decent lens which offers undeniable versatility, those seeking the ultimate in technical image quality should consider third-party alternatives.


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 18–200 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (4 stops)
Lens mount Canon EF-S
Maximum aperture F3.5 - F5.6
Minimum aperture F22.0 - F38.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 6
Aperture notes Circular aperture
Elements 16
Groups 12
Special elements / coatings Super Spectra coatings 2 high-precision aspheric lenses 2 UD lenses
Minimum focus 0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification 0.24×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual No
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Weight 595 g (1.31 lb)
Diameter 79 mm (3.09)
Length 102 mm (4.02)
Materials Plastic barrel, metal mount
Sealing No
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (internal)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock Yes
Filter thread 72 mm
Hood supplied No
Hood product code EW-78D
Tripod collar No
Optional accessories Soft Case LP1116


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Image Quality
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
82 %
Overall Score

This lens has to be accepted for what it is: a general purpose solution which allows the photographer not to worry about fiddling around changing lenses when out traveling, but which makes inevitable optical compromises to achieve this goal. The superb image stabilizer extends the capability of the lens still further, allowing you to keep the lens stopped down to optimum apertures for longer as light levels drop.

Good For

General-purpose use, such as travelling, where the wide zoom range and effective image stabilization combine to give a very useful package

Not So Good For

User Reviews

3.45 out of 5 stars
  • montygm, Sep 24, 2012 GMT:
    Canon 18-200mm

    Bought this lens mainly as an all rounder travel lens over 7 years ago, it had an average retail price of around $1000 plus at various stores. Not a shabby price back then. Price has considerably dropped since then and more accurately reflects on the true value of product quality.The 18-200 has an incredible zoom range if you want a lens that will cover pretty much everything when travelling and is great if you don't want to keep changing lenses and carrying too much gear with you as it ...

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  • Tamati, May 10, 2012 GMT:
    Great all rounder

    I have been using this lens for well over a year now, paired up with a Canon 60D and it has been great. I originally had the twin lens kit 18-55 and 70-300 but found I was missing a lot of shots when I had the wrong lens on - this has totally eliminated the issue due to its fantastic range. You do need to be aware of some of the limitations: at the 18mm there is a lot of distortion at the edges - people will have 'fat arm' syndrome at this length if they are positioned close to the sides of ...

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  • ChadWright, May 7, 2012 GMT:
    Really underrated for the price

    This lens is a work horse, it has been on many travels and sports days with me and it hasn’t given up on me yet. The optical quality might not be the best, but for the price you are paying it is well worth it. The huge focal length, light weight and built in IS all add up in the end. I originally bought this lens as a walk around multi-functional lens, I now use it for sport and wildlife and it has done me proud. One does need to play to the lens' strengths to avoid the drawbacks. Anything ...

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  • paulphotogenix, Dec 20, 2011 GMT:
    Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

    I would have to say thiat this lens is mediocre. The lens has trouble focusing in close up situations as well as picture quality is degredated at best.

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Questions & Answers


CANON 18-200MM

Hello looking at buying the 18-200mm as my family is taking a trip to Disney next month. I've been told that this lense should cover any school activities simple portraits, etc. We just welcomed my first nephew on my side of the family this month and my sister has asked me to take his new born pictures since I took her maternity pics. I just want to be sure that I'm spending my money on something that will last and will do the job.

KND11212 asked
2 years ago


I haven't used it myself, but it's my understanding that it makes some substantial compromises optically in order to get that range. One other thing to consider: that lens is big, and heavy.  If you're going to be wrangling small children, the last thing you are going to want is four pounds of camera hanging around your neck.  Not to mention that Disney itself is going to be busy and crowded.  People everywhere = poor opportunities for nice photos. I was just at Disney a couple years ago, and by the end of the week, I was sick to death of my point-and-shoot.  I couldn't imagine having hauled an SLR along with me (especially on rides). My advice to you would be to take the money you would have spent on the lens, and buy a compact P&S superzoom.  I honestly think you'll have a better time of it. Continue Reading

Messiah Complex answered
2 years ago

It really depends on what you plan on doing with your images.  If you aren't going to enlarge them much, i.e., small prints and viewing on small to medium sized monitors and little or no cropping, then you might not even notice the limitations of the 18-200.  There is distortion at both ends of the zoom range so vertical or horizontal lines near the edges will appear bent.  At 200mm it is not sharp enough to enlarge much, especially in the corners.  It is also fairly slow at 200mm so it needs a lot of light. I started with a Sigma 18-200 OS (Canon hadn't released theirs yet) in order to have a single lens solution for a vacation to Germany.  I had some shots along the Rhine river that required cropping out at least 50% and the results were not good - definitely fuzzy.  I also had a lot of trouble with indoors shots with no flash and no tripod (not allowed).  Bracing the camera on something helped but didn't solve the problem.  Eventually I got to compare my Sigma to the Canon 18-200 ... Continue Reading

rickpoole answered
2 years ago

What body and other lenses do you have. Any of the 18-200/250/270 lenses have some compromises but are a good one lens solution. For portraits you may want to consider a lens with less zoom range or a fixed focal length. Kent Continue Reading

KENTGA answered
2 years ago


Canon 70D with 18-55 IS STM and EF 70-300 IS USM

Hi, I am planning to buy Canon 70D Please let me know which of the below combination would be more useful- 1. 18-55 IS STM and EF 70-300 IS USM . 2. 18-200 IS 3. Downgrade to Canon 60D and have better lens options Side question: Can 70 mm on a APS-C be used for normal photography like functions and celebrations while using 18-55 only for wide angle landscapes/full family portraits/close macro?

2 months ago


The 70-300 is a very old lens with very compromised optical qualities eg, its not particularly sharp. The 70D is also available with a twins lens pack/bundle consisting of both the 18-55 STM & the 55-250 STM for a very good price. The 18-200 is also a very old lens with compromised optical qualities. These days it has been sort of replaced by the EF-S 18-135 STM. The 18-135 has a long 7.5x zoom range. The 15-85 also has a very very long zoom range & is also designed to be a "one lens" solution, however the 15-85 is more designed for shorter focal lengths for a wider angle of view. Any lens with a very long zoom range is very convenient, but has compromised optical qualities. Hence a "prime" lens has only the one focal length, not so convenient, but has the sharpest & brightest optical qualities. A zoom lens with a moderate zoom range is the typical compromise between a prime & a zoom with a very very long zoom range. The STM are the latest features in their lens range featuring a ... Continue Reading

peterharvey answered
2 months ago

Actually the 75-300 is the lens that should be ignored and the 70-300 is a very good lens for its price range and intended target, albeit full frame and thus slightly off range compared to the 55-250. Continue Reading

NetMage answered
2 months ago

NetMage is correct.  There was an old non-IS version of the 70-300mm which, like the 75-300mm, had a bad reputation.  The 70-300mm IS is an excellent lens although on APS-C the 55-250mm is better value for money. Continue Reading

Chris R-UK answered
2 months ago


Blurred low light, indoor fast action images Canon 7D with 18-200

I am new to the big wide world of DSLR and have recently upgraded to a Canon 7D with an 18-200 and 10-20.  I have been using it mainly for action shots [skateboarding] and getting amazing results. This week I am attending an indoor badminton comp.  Today was opening day, so spent time trying to get the setting right for the poor low light [fluro only] and dark painted interior of the complex. I had read up on what I should be looking out for and things I need to be aware of & adjusted setting as I went along.  However the results were dreadful! In fact the best results were virtually stationary shots in auto mode! In AV everything was blurred. I think I got to the point were I had simply confused myself so much.  The comp is on for another week and I would like to be able to stop the action just as I can do with the skateboarding shots [in bright sunlight as well as overcast weather] rather than just turning out blurred images. I had read the setting for best results in these ...

SharynLVDB asked
1 year ago


Posting an example shot would be helpful. Some things to check. Make sure you are in AIServo focus mode. I prefer to use the center AF point with point expansion in that situation, but, you might find Zone AF point selection works too. You are using pretty slow lenses for shooting indoors. I typically use an EF 85mm f/1.8 for indoors on the 7D, if you have an EF 50mm f/1.8 or EF 40mm f/2.8 STM those might work in a pinch. I would recommend you increase your Auto ISO limit to ISO 6400, and set your camera to Auto ISO. High ISO noise can be removed in post processing, a motion blurred photo can't be fixed. Shoot RAW if you aren't doing so already. I would use Tv mode and Auto ISO, you are going to want your lenses wide open anyway, which will probably be f/5.6. Start with a shutter speed of 1/800 and see what your results look like. Continue Reading

TTMartin answered
1 year ago

Your shots are blurred because you have insufficient shutter speed. These are different recommendations for different lighting conditions.  Your camera and lens are not capable of shooting indoors with these settings - there simply isn't enough light. If you want to shoot indoor badminton you need a different lens with a larger aperture.  You could try a 50mm f1.8 or an 85mm f1.8 but you may find the focal length limiting unless you are close to the court.  Don't expect to be able to freeze fast action. You may have to go up to ISO 3200 or even 6400. Continue Reading

Chris R-UK answered
1 year ago

Two points have been made above. There is insufficient light indoors, compared to outdoors/sunny conditions and your equipment is unable to compensate for the lack of light. There is also a third problem to contend with, which is the quality of the light. In addition to being nice and bright the sun puts out a (relatively) consistent amount of light over time and that light contains all the colours of the visible light spectrum. By comparison the fluorescent lights in most halls/gyms don't contain the entire visible light spectrum and they fluctuate in power on a 1/60th sec cycle. This can cause two problems: 1. images taken under these conditions can show a noticeable colour caste meaning you will need to adjust your white balance. 2. You may suffer inconsistent exposure levels between images if you shoot with a shutter speed faster than 1/60th. What is happening is that a faster shutter speed results in your image being taken during one part of the lights cycle. If you capture the ... Continue Reading

Dan Marchant answered
1 year ago

Warranty Information

"A Product, when delivered to you in new condition in its original container, is warranted against defects in materials or workmanship as follows: for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase, defective parts or a defective Product returned to Canon, or its authorized service providers, and proven to be defective upon inspection, will be repaired with new or comparable rebuilt parts or exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by Canon or the authorized service provider n their sole discretion. Replaced parts and exchanged Products will become the property of Canon."

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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