Amazing... until it breaks so soon!!!

Started Jul 10, 2018 | User reviews
HL Photography New Member • Posts: 1
Amazing... until it breaks so soon!!!

I bought this lens with an M100. The quality is great, low aberrations, very sharp (although this sharpness is really not needed). That is... until after using it for about 10 big events.

When I returned, I discovered some problems. When retracted, the camera still allowed me to capture an image. For some reason, the camera focused to infinity when the lens was in the lock position. The image wasn't the same; it was full of spherochromatism (like CA but in the center) and all white objects appeared to surround with a blue glow. Also, the distortion became more noticeable (pincushion) and corners were very soft, like an old vintage lens. I couldn't focus the lens and so had to move the lens 'zoom' between the dot and 15 for mid-close up. At 15, the lens is a despicable macro lens, and is heavily soft. It does, though, focus around 2cm close. At 45, it returns to infinity but cannot focus close. I think one of the elements inside has come loose. Also, the lens registers everything (aperture, corrections etc.) at 45mm so clearly it is very broken.

In other words, the lens is not suitable for photographers needing top build quality (like an f/2.8 or f/4 PRO zoom).

Personally, if you want a decent standard 3x zoom, stick with an 18-55mm (EF-M or -S). This is because the build quality is definitely better, you get f/5.6 rather than f/6.3, and these problems I had will not happen with these lenses (the lenses here are constructed differently.

Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
Wideangle zoom lens • Canon EF-M
Announced: Oct 13, 2015
HL Photography's score
1.0
Average community score
3.2
Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
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Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,246
Re: Amazing... until it breaks so soon!!!

Thanks for the review. Confirms it's kind of cheap build for $300 MSRP (USD), or compared to other EF-M lenses.

HL Photography wrote:

I bought this lens with an M100. The quality is great, low aberrations, very sharp (although this sharpness is really not needed). That is... until after using it for about 10 big events.

When I returned, I discovered some problems. When retracted, the camera still allowed me to capture an image. For some reason, the camera focused to infinity when the lens was in the lock position.

When fully retracted the lens elements are not in position to achieve focus. It may be focused to infinity (and probably beyond). But that is interesting to know the camera will shoot with the lens in its retracted position. I would have expected the lens to communicate its retracted position to the camera and inhibit shooting.

The image wasn't the same; it was full of spherochromatism (like CA but in the center) and all white objects appeared to surround with a blue glow.

Is this only when shooting with it retracted, or also normally? CA is confirmed by other reviews. e.g. http://www.opticallimits.com/canon-eos/972-canon_m1545_3563?start=1

Also, the distortion became more noticeable (pincushion) and corners were very soft, like an old vintage lens.

Yep, lots of vignetting also confirmed in the reviews. Still, both CA and vignetting are easily corrected applying lens corrections in-camera or better yet in post-processing with the supplied DPP software.

I couldn't focus the lens and so had to move the lens 'zoom' between the dot and 15 for mid-close up.

The lens is not intended to be used with the zoom in the retracted position (dot) nor between the dot and 15. Only when zoomed between 15 and 45.

At 15, the lens is a despicable macro lens, and is heavily soft. It does, though, focus around 2cm close.

? Closest focus is given in the lens's spec as 25 cm. And yes, zoomed to 15 is not typical for macro. Typically shoot close-up with much longer focal length. The lens's "macro" ability is spec'd at the 45mm zoom position, close focus at 25cm to give max. magnification of 1:4.

At 45, it returns to infinity but cannot focus close. I think one of the elements inside has come loose. Also, the lens registers everything (aperture, corrections etc.) at 45mm so clearly it is very broken.

Could be. Have it serviced under warranty or shop for a replacement. If beyond the warranty it'll probably cost as much to repair as to replace.

In other words, the lens is not suitable for photographers needing top build quality (like an f/2.8 or f/4 PRO zoom).

Personally, if you want a decent standard 3x zoom, stick with an 18-55mm (EF-M or -S). This is because the build quality is definitely better, you get f/5.6 rather than f/6.3, and these problems I had will not happen with these lenses (the lenses here are constructed differently.

Yes, but ...

Conceptually, getting the much wider angle 15 at the short end instead of 18 would otherwise be a good trade for giving up some of the long end. Thus my preference for the EF-S 15-85 over the EF-S 18-135. And f/6.3 is only 1/3 stop less than f/5.6, which is another good trade off for smaller/lighter carry. But you make the case that this 15-45 went a bit too cheap in construction.

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