Yay Canon Canada
I have had the 11-22 for a week or so now from Henry’s here in Canada and took the chance to compare it to the 10-22 EF-S with the EF-M to EF adapter on the EOS-M. Up until now I’ve kept the 10-22 on the EOS-M for tourist and casual shooting as well as a few commercial shoots as a secondary camera.
Considering that a good micro four thirds super wide costs $650-$800 and the EF-S 10-22mm is closer to $900, $400 is a bit of a steal.
Here are my findings in using it and comparing it to the EF-S 10-22mm
Like all EF-S lenses, it is subtle and simple and minimalist and metal (externally at least). The actions all feel damped and smooth. The viscous feel makes USM focus rings feel a bit like grindy sand is in them by comparison. Zoom also feels more damped than a EF lens. All in all it feelds more like a manual lens even though it is focus-by wire.
Focusing and IS – Stepper motor versus Ultrasonic
It focuses more smoothly, is better in video for servo AF than the 10-22, and I don’t miss the extra half stop at the wide end, where it is mostly used.
The IS is a great feature compared to the 10-22, and works without fuss and relieves any worry of microblur in later image review. There is no jumpiness during panning. The focus pulling is accurate and subtle – a real improvement for casual videos where AF is on during video. (Here is the Wiki page on Canon lens focus and IS tech)
The images seem the same quality as the 10-22 in practical terms, which means totally satisfactory for the sensor. I don’t think you have to stop it down at all at 11mm to get full on sharpness.
Physical Size and Weight
The key part of all this is the size – it is essentially identical to the EF-M 18-55, so much more compact that the 10-22. In other words you pretty much put the EOS-M on the 10-22, but you put the 11-22 on the EOS-M. The whole camera and lens for the 10-22 and adapter is over 800 grams while the 11-22 and camera are about 500 grams, about half the weight.
One caveat – having a polarizer or other filter on this lens can result in vignetting so make sure it is slimline. I could not use a standard thickness polarizer with a 55mm to 58mm step-up ring without seeing the filter in the corners of the image. Might have to get a bigger step-up ring to a 62mm.
Field of View
The field of view is maybe a few degrees narrower than the 10-22 but in practical terms you would not notice. aberrations and distortion are corrected in camera and not noticeable. Specs say 95 degrees horizontal.
Focus is a fast with firmware 2.02 as the other EF-M lenses, which means it’s just fast enough that you don’t complain. The two lenses focus for still shots at almost exactly the same speed – the focus confirmation beeps are within 200ms of one another when done on two side-by-side EOS-Ms. The difference is really in motor technology – the ultrasonic has only one focus rate speed: fast, while the STM on the 11-22 can smoothly pull from one focus to another without overshooting – this makes video with autofocus a better experience without jarring “twitch-focusing”.
Like all lenses on this body, I would love a snap-to-hyperfocal touchscreen item, especially in a wide angle like this.
It would be nice if the lens extender switch (which uncollapses the lens for shooting) was instead a detent, so that a firm turn on the zoom ring would free it up rather than fiddling with a small switch.
Finally, focus peaking in the firmware would be very nice, or an auto zoom on the display when using MF or MF override.
I really think this EOS-M is a bargain at current prices since the lenses have shown themselves to be elegant, functional, and well curated. Try getting 3 great lenses and a body with APC-C for under $800 elsewhere right now, and at a final image quality that for most practical purposes matches any other EF-[S] and L lens I’ve used on the 7D workhorse over the years.