Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

 
Lens Reviews / Canon Lenses i Not yet tested
15-45mm $299
average price
image of Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

(From Canon lens literature) The EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is a compact, stylish zoom lens for EOS M series digital cameras. A special retraction mechanism shortens the length of the lens to just 1.76 inches (44.5mm) when the camera is off, to help make carrying and storing the lens and camera even easier. The quiet stepping motor (STM) design helps ensure low-noise focusing that's ideal for recording movies. The 35mm-equivalent 24-72mm range combines a wide angle for landscapes and big group photos, with a telephoto zoom for close-ups and detailed headshots. Carefully designed lens placement and special Canon coatings help keep ghosting and other lens flare from your images. The integral image stabilization (up to 3.5 stops faster) can help capture sharp images, even in low light and while taking panoramas.

Like other EF-M lenses, the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM features an AF+MF focusing mode that combines quick and accurate autofocus with the artistic possibilities of manual focus. This EF-M lens is available in graphite or silver.

Features

  • Compact and stylish standard zoom lens with image stabilization for EOS M series digital cameras.
  • A stepping motor (lead screw-type STM) helps provide smooth and quiet operation when taking photos, and near-silence when shooting videos.
  • High-speed, high-precision autofocusing is achieved by utilizing the full-time manual focus mode (AF+MF) to make fine adjustments after focusing.
  • Optical Image Stabilizer technology helps reduce camera shake, and achieves a level of sharpness equivalent to a shutter speed 3.5 settings faster* for great performance even when using for handheld photography.
  • Efficiently designed with three aspheric lenses and uses short back focus to help produce high-quality results.
  • Lens retraction mechanism helps shorten the length of the lens and a compact, lightweight design allows easy portability.
  • Optimized lens placement helps to minimize ghosting and flare.

* Focal length of 45mm (72mm equivalent in 35mm format), using an EOS M series digital camera. Conforms to CIPA standards.

Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM User Reviews

9.0/10 average of 2 reviews Build Quality 7.5/10 Image Quality 8.5/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Great utiliy regarding minimal size and weight. Very good image quality. Effective image stabilization.
    Performance open at 15 mm (weak corners). Prone to lens flare, use lens hood. Small apertures, difficult to isolate subjects.

    I bought this lens as a kit with the M3 together with a Bilora UV filter, a 16 GB Sandisk card and a Tamrac pouch for 500 Euro (ca. 560 US$). If it was the idea of the engineers to offer maximum value with minimal size, then this has been well achieved. The lens covers the focal range I use for 90% of my fotos. It is really small, much smaller and lighter than the 18-55 kit lens, protruding just 45 mm out of the M3. It is made from plastic, however, it is functional and build quality is more than OK regarding its size, weight and price.

    Image quality was surprisingly good. I made raw pictures of my bookshelf at 15 mm, 24 mm and 45 mm at f/6.3 and f/8 (Iso 100) and compared them with raw pics I made in parallel with my Nikon D610 with the 24-85 mm kit zoom at f/8 and corresponding focal lenghts (Iso 100). I then corrected all files in DXO (standard settings including correction of vignetting and distortion) with manual correction of WB and exposure and with the same color output (Canon 6D profile). I carefully compared all files on a 5K Retina iMac and printed some of them at 30x45cm (A3+) on an Epson SC-P600. From a normal viewing distance or at smaller print sizes it was barely possible for me to decide which picture was made by which camera. Yes, viewed from 10 cm distance, i could see a very slight difference in sharpness and contrast in favor of the D610/24-85 combo, but this was minimal and only visible in the side-by-side comparison. The visible difference was not greater in the corners. When I sharpened the M3/15-45 pics a little bit more in DXO (Lens softness module e.g. +0.7, Detail 60) the difference in the 30x45 prints was gone. Under the conditions mentioned I am perfectly happy with the IQ at printing sizes up to 30x45 cm. IQ wide open at 15 mm was not so good (weak corners), however, most often I use f/8 or f/11 for landscape pictures, and - when sharpened with DXO (e.g. +2.0) - 30x45 prints from pics made with 15mm f/3.5 were fully usible.
    From my rather preliminary and non-professional tests I conclude that for practical use with prints up to A3+ and in combination with DXO there is no real limitation in image quality using the M3/15-45 - even at its weakest spot (15mm wide open).

    I was surprised how minimal the differences in IQ were compared to a FF DSLR. I have learned that IQ differences in lab tests obviously occur on a very high level (at least for a hobbyist like me) and that I have overrated the differences described in lab tests for practical use with the smaller print sizes I use.

    The image stabilisation is quite effective and compensates well for the small apertures - I can get good results at 1/4s. So I can take useful pictures at 1/4s, f/4 and Iso 3200 (EV 1) without tripod which - in such a small packet - is something I have dreamed of for years. In many situations the 15-45 might be more useful in low light than the 22 mm f/2 which is not stabilized. On the negative side, the lens is prone to flare, so one should use a lens hood or give shadow with the hand. Due to the small apertures it is difficult to isolate subjects.

    In summary, one really gets a lot from this lens (image quality, stabilization, focal range) regarding its size, weight and price, and it is quite easy to circumvent its major weak points. I do not have to worry about image quality when I go out with my M3/15-45.

    reviewed October 15th, 2016 (purchased for $100)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Very light - yet has what I would call "quality" construction for the genre. Optical quality is actually much better than I had originally assumed when it was released. And the price is outstanding also.
    All plastic construction, but that's par for the course now-a-days among many lenses being released at this price-point. In addition, I tend to forget to unlock the lens, causing me to have to go back to unlock it before you can shoot.

    This is the lens that came with the EOS-M10 which I purchased for my wife. I love the focal range, considering that most of us spend over 90% of our efforts within this area.

    So just for curiosity's sake, I took this lens off the M10 and tried in on the likes of the M, M2, and M3. And I've got to tell you, that for the most part, it is a stellar optic for the price and genre. Like most lenses in this price range, you'll get solid performance in the center and then that gradually erodes as you get to the sides. I'd say at f6.3 you get about the best you can get on the sides. Having a wider 25 MM equivalent focal area makes for great scenic and/or architectural photography.

    It is a small lens to be sure (similar to the 11-22), so it's not an optic that brings attention to itself with regards to size. My wife has captured some absolutely wonderful shots using her M10 and this lens combo - I'm actually jealous on some of them because they were so good.

    So don't let the price or focal range bother you. This lens will do quite well.

    reviewed October 14th, 2016 (purchased for $150)