Canon's EOS-M camera with the EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens. Sans the optional Lens Hood. A Hoya Pro1 filter is attached.
A simple review of the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens - designed as a native lens for the Canon EOS-M series mirrorless cameras
This lens equates to a 17.6mm - 35.2mm focal range on an APS-C camera and I know quite a few photographers who enjoy using this lens for landscapes. The focal length is VERY similar to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens capabilities. Both of these lenses offer very similar experiences and image quality... and that's a great reason to consider this lens because it's quite wide and very sharp. Anything wider starts to seriously distort and you eventually end up heading into fish-eye territory. Whether you use this lens on an early model EOS-M camera or a more recent model, the results and the performance is much the same. I use this one on the original Mk1 EOSM camera and the more recently released EOS M6 with new type of DPAF sensor. I think that the M6 performs a little better and faster than the earlier models but performance and image quality is very similar across all the M-series cameras with this lens. I'm certainly glad to be carrying this lens on my EOSM instead of the EF 16-35 (or wider) because of the reduction in size, weight, cost and bulk. There are times when I wear it clipped to my shoulder with a Peak Design clasp when hiking into remote locations with other heavy equipment.
EOS M6 + EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens - taken using the camera's inbuilt HDR setting. - this is the Big Dish [DSS 43] at the NASA Deep Space Tracking Array at the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Communication Complex. [Canberra ACT Australia].
Construction, materials and finish are excellent. The color on the metal shell of the lens body is a dark, gun-metal grey that compliments the black bodies of the EOS-M cameras nicely. So the metal shell on the outside of the lens is perhaps thick enough to sustain normal wear but it may dent slightly on impact if struck against a hard object. The optional (yet somewhat necessary) Lens Hood is both affordable and well built. It clips firmly onto the lens with a bayonet fitting and is easily reversed for transport. This lens, unlike some of the more recent EF-M lenses, has a metal lens mount (not a plastic one).
Image Quality from this lens is Excellent. This is as sharp as you'll get... and it's sharp from corner-to-corner. Even at different focal lengths. You'll have plenty of fun with dynamic angles when shooting with it and I didn't even need to select an aperture for most of these shots... I just let the camera and lens sort it out for me. These pictures were all shot as JPEG images rather than RAW. Those who shoot RAW will possibly get even more mileage from this lens than I did.
This lens does not produce bokeh. The only way to produces anything close to resembling bokeh is to shoot an object up close with a very distant background and the resulting blur (which is complex and unattractive) might be visible in some instances. This is not the lens to buy for Bokeh. This is a lens for wide landscapes and architecture.
In most instances, I would not (and do not) use this lens for astrophotography. If you want to shoot a sweeping image of the Milky Way, this lens is too dim to capture the multitude of stars that form the bright mass at the center of the Galactic Core. I gave it a shot though, with RAW + JPEG and yes, even with aggressive editing, the results were less than ideal. The EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens is a much better choice for this sort of photography and has been similarly tested with excellent results. This lens produces muddy looking astro shots, even with longer exposures... and you'll need to use a very high ISO setting *(eg above ISO 3200+) which is going to generate banding and excessive noise, even with the right exposure times. You can capture some basic details but it's not ideal for this kind of work. I'll post an example in this thread shortly (in the reply section below).
.EOS-M + EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens. An example of the dynamic perspective produced by a wide lens like this one at 11mm. Note that a Circular Polarizer was used for two of these pictures.
Using Filters with this lens:
Photographers familiar with wide lenses know that filters can often be tricky. I purchased an expensive Hoya Variable ND filter, only to find that it has no threads on the outer side of the filter. This meant I couldn't place my lens cap over the front of the lens. I also found that it produced considerable banding on the sensor and images. Circular Polarizer filters also produce dark regions (banding) when set to maximum on a lens this wide when set to maximum effect.. UV Filters were the only type of filter that I felt served a purpose with this lens. On one recent occasion I forgot that I had a UV filter on the lens and then mounted a CPL filter over the top. In this instance there was considerable vignetting in the corners. Without the UV filter in the way, there was no corner vignetting at all.
Image Stabilization is all powered internally and the settings are buried in the camera's menu. But it does appear to do a good job although it's a little strange to have no external IS switch to operate as needed. New lens designs available today can deactivate their IS when the camera determines it's not needed and I'm fairly sure that this is the principle behind the IS in this lens as well. It's effective and i was able to take some rather lowlight indoor shots.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
LENS LOCK SWITCH: The design of this lens includes a small switch on the barrel shroud. You have to press this switch forward before you can engage the lens and use the zoom. You have to press this button every time you want to close the lens and every time you need to open it. This switch was designed to secure the lens and prevent "lens-creep" when it's not in use.
NO LENS HOOD! Though many websites state that this lens ships with a Lens-Hood.... Mine didn't. And Canon USA/Australia both said that it's an optional accessory. The icons on the side of the box also state that the Lens Hood is an 'optional' accessory. I think that this is a little cheap of Canon not to include it because it's so small that it would easily fit into the box. It retails locally for a measly $15 which means Canon make this tiny thing fos a buck or two.
Taken at the Australian National Art Gallery - the Versailles Exhibition
This is great lens with a strong reputation among other users for being sharp and reliable. The image quality is excellent. The price is quite reasonable and affordable. At 220 grams it's exceptionally lightweight. The distortion of a wide lens at 11mm (close to 18mm equiv) is not for everyone's tastes but the results are almost entirely dependent on your subject matter and the nature of the available light.
You can get quite close to your subjects with this lens... and if you like to shoot portraits of people or animals this isn't going to make your shots any more flattering if you shoot wide... although some pet shots that I sampled were far more interesting with such dynamic perspective. One way to eliminate the barrel distortion is to use the zoom instead of shooting wide. At 22mm the results are still consistently sharp and the image stabilizer is often useful when the zoom is engaged. When photographing interiors or wide-open spaces, the other other alternative is to shoot-and-stitch your pictures with a narrower lens. This one captures the light in a very natural manner. Sometimes the color transmission response from this lens is amazing. But, as noted above, f/4 is just a little too dark for astrophotography when mounted on an APS-C sensor and so you'd be better served with a different lens (even the EF-M 22mm f/2) if you want to shoot the night sky and the Milky Way.
I like the results from this lens and the diminutive size and weight of it makes it easy to carry. I'd recommend it to people who like to shoot wide images in a single exposure, especially landscapes. It's commonly suited to being used outdoors but proved itself indoors for me when needed and I've also seen some incredible shots from other photographers all around the world using this lens. It performs exceptionally well with a Canon Speedlite Flash as well. I wouldn't consider this a necessary lens for everyone, but if you want more excitement in your image portfolio and you want more 'dynamic' angles in your shots, this is a hard lens to pass up. This lens produces crisp blacks with great contrast and sharp details. I could still recover considerable image detail from the shadows in JPEGS when necessary. Many owners consider this to be the sharpest lens from the native EF-M lens range. I recommend this lens highly to those who travel to scenic locations or who enjoy the benefits of a wider-than-usual focal length.
Feel free too add your own photographs to this thread if you've taken them with this lens.