I am going to buy a DSLR camera, the Canon 550D with the 18-55mm IS lens kit, and additionally, it has a free upgrade to IS MKII Lens.

I am a bit new to photography and after doing a certain amount of research, I could only understand that MKII is Mark II Lens, which are a bit heavier, better in quality and focus. Am I right in this or is there anything else to it?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Canon likes to use the term MKII for version 2 of a lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Nov 4, 2011 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is not better in quality. Mk I and Mk II are identical in terms of performance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Nov 4, 2011 at 3:05

2 Answers 2


It means, normally a 550D comes with the older 18-55 IS lens, and now you will get the 18-55 IS Mk.II instead.

Note that optically, the two are identical. The only improvement is IS algorithm (the algorithm, not hardware)

Other than that it is cosmetic : the silver band is now painted black instead.

In terms of performance, there is no difference between the two, and the new IS algorithm provides a very slight improvement during a very specific type of shooting (panning shot)

In short, they are the same. The one with a silver band is called Mk I, the one without is called Mk II.

If you want any in-depth information, you can look through the very long and detailed reveiw here:


The sales is just trying to make you think you are getting a big offer - upgrading the lens for free. Well, now you know there is no difference between the two, it really isn't that big a deal at all. At most, the sales is just trying to fool you.


The free upgrade simply refers to the fact that you have the ability to get the newer version of that lens, which has been improved in a variety of ways, when you purchase that camera body with the older version of the lens. I presume that is simply because there are still some boxes of the 550D kit that have been sitting on retailer shelves for a while that are becoming difficult to sell since they have the older version of the lens. Its really more of a way to help retailers sell their old stock than anything else.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.