Lens: Canon EF-M 11-22mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS STM (Photography Museum)

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Canon EF-M 11-22mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS STM

The Canon EF-M 11-22mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS STM, released in 2013, is the third lens for Canon’s EOS M series of compact MILC cameras, and quickly became one of my favourite lenses of  all-time (particularly for landscape work).

This is the first lens I owned with a collapsible design. For transportation the lens is very small. It is a sharp lens and I have never had any complaints about corner sharpness or other lens aberrations. Expect moderate vignetting at maximum aperture, but this is easily corrected in post-production if shooting RAW or via in-camera peripheral illumination correction if shooting JPEG.

It works well for expansive landscapes or for working in tight spaces (canyons or interiors), but it is a bit too wide for people photos—expect unflattering results if you try to use it for portraits.

This lens highlights one of the main advantages of short back flange distance (the distance from the lens mount interface to the sensor) for ultra-wide angle lens design. It also exemplifies the benefits of the EF-M mount on an APS-C camera. To get the similar focal range in EF mount for APS-C you would look at the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM1 which is 55% longer, 75% heavier, and you will probably not see any difference in real-world image quality. To get the similar focal range on EF full-frame, you still need to step up to the EF 16-35mm ƒ/4L IS USM2 which, again, is twice as long, three times as heavy, and three times the price of the EF-M lens.

  1. Admittedly, the EF-S lens is slightly wider and offers 1/3 faster and 2/3 faster apertures at the minimum and maximum focal lengths respectively. On the other hand, the EF-M lens offers 3 stops of optical image stabilization.
  2. This is a tough comparison, because Canon has never made a non-professional ultra-wide zoom lens for full-frame and the EF 16-35mm ƒ/4L IS USM is a professional lens with internal zoom, constant aperture, weather sealing, and four stops of optical image stabilization. The Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD would be a cheaper third-party alternative.



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