Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Lens Reviews / Canon Lenses i Lab tested

Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provde a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landsape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At the wide end (18mm), we see around two stops of hand-holding improvement: image stabilization improvement is not generally as noticeable at wider angles than at telephoto. It's worth noting that you can achieve sharp images consistently at a quarter of a second.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

At 135mm, we see more impressive performance: at least three, if not three and a half stops of hand-holding improvements. Without image stabilization on, we get sharp images only in the 1/160 or even 1/320 shutter speed range: with IS on, we can shoot as slow as 1/20s and get almost 100% consistently sharp images.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.