8 out of 10 points and recommendedFocal range , Image stabiliser , fairly good sharpness across the entire range , smooth bokehSlow .. not good for low light situations, some barrel distortion at the wide end.
I just got this lens for Christmas and so far I like it.reviewed January 15th, 2007 (purchased for $800)
It covers the 35mm equivalent of 27 - 136mm focal length which is very good and the sharpness is good , though not perfectly sharp.
It also has pretty even performance across the entire focal range , though it does have some barrel distortion in the wide end , but that doesn't bother me and could easily be corrected for should I need it.
It's minimum aperture is however small which makes it a poor performer in low-light situations , which is a shame because otherwise it would have been the perfect all-round everyday lens.
It still is outdoor and under clear skies so I'm happy with it.
While it's small aperture limits the amount of bokeh you can get when you shoot portrait , the bokeh it does produce is nice and smooth.
5 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap , decent quality if you know how to avoid it's limitations (hint: read SLRgears review)Need to be stopped down to be sharp, limited tele.
Cheap , cheap, cheap ! .. but actually not that bad.reviewed January 15th, 2007
Before I got my Canon 400D with this lens in the kit , I read on several forums that this lens was crap.
Well .. it's not , it's simply .. misunderstood ;)
As SLRgear shows it's actually decent once you stop it down to f/8 or f/11.
18mm (x 1.6 = 28mm) is nice and wide and quite useful , though 55mm is a bit too short for my taste.
Since it needs to be stopped down and because it's focal range is a bit limited in the tele range , I quickly replaced this with the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as my everyday lens.
The 17-85 is much better for that task but ofcourse it costs a whole deal more than this lens.
For the beginner this lens is cheap and will do fine .. but if you're looking to get more out of your camera I'd go with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens as my first lens (or possibly the Sigma 30mm) and then a second lens to cover the 18 - 80 ish range - There are several good ones , depending on your preference and size of your wallet.