Which Canon Mirrorless Kit Lens Is Right for You?

While Canon initially focused on full frame cameras and lenses with the RF mount, the release of cameras like the EOS R7 and EOS R10 and associated RF-S lenses has shown that the company also intends to develop APS-C options in tandem with the full frame line. For those APS-C cameras, there are two relatively new lens options, the RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM. Which one is right for you? This excellent video comparison will help you pick. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this great video review compares the Canon RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lenses. I was surprised to see how much better the 18-150mm lens performed. While it is $200 more expensive than the 18-45mm, traditionally, lenses with larger focal length ranges tend to suffer optically in the quest to gain that zoom flexibility. While the 18-45mm is both cheaper and about half the size of the 18-150mm, it certainly seems like it is worth spending the extra money for the much improved image quality and performance of the latter lens. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Frost. 

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Tom Reichner's picture


For me, all I have to do is look at the specs for each lens, and it is quite obvious that one of these lenses would work okay for my purposes, and the other is not at all capable of doing what I need it to do:

Canon RF-S 18-150mm
Minimum Focus Distance 6.7" / 17 cm
Maximum Magnification 0.44x

Canon RF-S 18-45mm
Minimum Focus Distance 7.9" / 20 cm
Maximum Magnification 0.16x

The main use I have for short lenses like these is to photograph small critters such as toads and lizards and butterflies. I want these tiny subjects to be large in the frame. The 18-45mm simply isn't up for the task, as it will only produce a pathetic 0.16 magnification ratio.

The 18-150, with a magnification ratio of 0.44x, will produce pretty good results when shooting small subjects close up, although it isn't going to be able to do what my true macro lenses do. The fact that's a wide-medium telephoto with an 8x zoom range means that for some things it will actually be more useful than my macro lenses, and far more useful than my EF 24-105mm for just about everything.

If I ever get a crop sensor Canon RF camera, then I am surely going to get this 18-150 ... not because it's a "kit" lens, but because it would be extremely useful to me for a good deal of the photography that I do. I wish there was something exactly like this, but for EF mount and full frame. An 18-150mm zoom for my 5D4, that performs just as good as this lens, with a 0.44x magnification ratio, would absolutely rock! Would gladly pay upwards of $900 for such a lens, and it would be worth every penny, at that price.


Bjarne Solvik's picture

Canon never made lenses for there M crop cameras. I don’t think they will now either. Why? They are protecting the full frame segment. If they would make lenses like Fujifilm does I for one would be interested. You could get a 24-70 and put on. That would equal a 35 to 105. But at 2400 dollar it’s added so much to the price it’s pointless. I will never be friends with Canon :( Unless I am wrong.

Nikon must be happy :)