Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II USM vs non USM lens.

Discussion in 'Canon' started by default, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. default

    default Guest

    I got a chance today to compare the USM and kit versions of the two 18-55mm
    Canon lenses. They were both the II revision. I thought I would share the
    results since non of the online review sites seems to compare the two lenses
    head to head. I am sure that many would say "who cares" to this but a lot
    of people use this lens and some must wonder what the difference is.

    They are pretty much identical visually except the lens cap and the USM
    label on the front and "ultrasonic" written on the side. Same size, same
    weight (190g), and apparently optically identical. They use the same hood
    too. Same close focusing limit etc. The only difference appears to be the
    use of a MicroUSM drive vs a MicroMotor drive.

    The USM version sells for $139 at B&H and Adorama while the non USM version
    adds between $75-100 to the price of a camera body. Is it worth the extra
    $39-64 to get the body only and USM lens separately compared to a body and
    lens kit with the non USM lens? I now think that some people might find
    that it is worth the extra money for the USM lens if you are buying a Canon
    camera kit and want the 18-55mm lens.

    The USM version focused considerably faster with no loss in accuracy or
    increase in overshoot or hunting. They seem to perform identically in the
    same situations, but the USM version does it much faster. The non USM lens
    focuses pretty fast, but the USM version is surprisingly quicker. You can
    see the barrel turning much faster.

    The USM version is a lot quieter too. No motor noise is audible whereas the
    motor is audible on the non USM version. The USM lens is not quite silent,
    you can hear the plastic barrel turning and extending, but it is very quiet.

    If those are important factors, then the USM version might be a better
    choice for some. Maybe the resale value would be a bit better also.
    default, Dec 13, 2006
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  2. default

    t_rust Guest

    I prefer USM versions. The fast auto-focus helps a lot. Also there is
    almost no "noise" compared to non-USM versions. I have a light-weight
    28-200 Tamron as all-in-one travel lens. It delivers acceptable results
    when stopped down, but the autofocus noise is annoying.

    t_rust, Dec 14, 2006
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