Handling and Features
ePHOTOzine lens guru, Gary Wolstenholme shows us the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens.
An ultra-wide angle zoom lens for use on Canon's EF-S compatible cameras, which gives an equivalent angle of view of a 16-35mm lens on 35mm cameras.
This 10-22mm lens from Canon costs around £670, has an ultrasonic focusing motor, with full-time manual focus override capability, Super Spectra lens coatings to minimise ghosting and flare and weighs only 385 grams, making it perfect for those who wish to travel light.
Many third-party manufacturers offer lenses that cover this focal range. Sigma currently have two lenses in their line-up, both with a range from 10mm to 20mm. The cheaper of the two has a maximum aperture of f/4-5.6 and costs around £400. A newer version with a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5 is also available costing around £480. Both sport silent focusing motors with full-time manual override.
Tamron offer a 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 lens
, which costs around £385 but doesn't have a silent focusing motor.
Last, but not least, Tokina have three lenses in their line-up covering this range, although none are as wide as the Canon or Sigma equivalents. Two 12-24mm lenses with a constant maximum aperture of f/4 are available. The older of the two costs around £430, and the newer version, which has an improved focusing motor costs around £485. Tokina are currently the only manufacturer to offer a lens in this range with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. Their 11-16mm lens only has a limited zoom range, but will be more suitable for work under low-light conditions and costs around £490.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Handling and features
For a lightweight lens, the EF-S 10-22mm feels well put together. Typical of Canon's high-end consumer lenses, high quality plastics are used for the construction of the lens barrel and the lens doesn't extend during focus or zooming as the front element moves back and forth inside the plastic front filter ring enclosure. Care not to cross-thread filters when attaching them to the front may need to be taken due to the kind of plastic used, but overall this is only a minor-niggle. The build is very good, down to the metal lens mount and smooth zooming action.
Typical of EF-S lenses, a black plastic baffle sticks out a little further than the lens mount at the rear of the lens. Photographers still using Canon's older digital bodies, such as the EOS 10D, will not be able to mount this lens on their camera as a result.
Overall, I really enjoyed using this lens as it handles well, and balances superbly, even on the diminutive EOS 500D used for testing.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Performance
For this review, the lens was tested on a 15.1Mp Canon EOS 500D using Imatest.
Resolution-wise, this lens is a superb performer. At 10mm images already have excellent sharpness in the centre from the maximum aperture and stopping down to F/5.6 improves the sharpness towards the edges of the frame without reducing that excellent centre resolution. Unfortunately, as with all smaller sensor formats, diffraction starts to rob images of sharpness quite early on, although images taken at f/8 still show excellent levels of sharpness and very good levels at f/11. Images taken at f/22 are noticeably softer, but still acceptable.
When zoomed in a little to 14mm, the lens still performs excellently in the centre at apertures down to f/8 before diffraction sets in again. At 22mm, the centre performance is still very good, but sharpness towards the edges of the frame is just acceptable at maximum aperture. Stopping down to f/11 will yield images with good resolution across the frame at this setting.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Resolution at 10mm
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Resolution at 14mm
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Resolution at 22mm
Chromatic Aberrations are kept in check well with levels barely exceeding 0.5 pixel-widths at any focal length or aperture. This will pose few problems in normal picture taking situations.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Chromatic Aberrations at 10mm
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Chromatic Aberrations at 14mm
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Chromatic Aberrations at 22mm
As with all wide angle lenses, light falloff towards the corners can be quite noticeable at maximum aperture. The results are not unacceptable though, with the corners being 1.9 stops darker than the image centre at 10mm and f/3.5. Stopping down to f/5.6 virtually eliminates this effect. At 22mm the falloff at maximum aperture decreases a little to 1.23stops. At this focal length stopping down to F/8 is required for even illumination.
Barrel distortion at 10mm is quite strong, with Imatest recording a level of 4.39%. The distortion pattern is constant though, making this phenomenon easy to correct with simple lens correction tools in image editing software. By 22mm lines appear straighter, with Imatest only recording 0.539% barrel distortion.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 wide angle view.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 zoomed view.
Despite Canon's Super Spectra Coating being used, the 10-22mm is quite prone to flare and ghosting in contra-light conditions. Strong point sources of light in the frame will cause large brightly coloured flare patterns across the centre of the image and similar light sources just outside the frame will cause a severe loss of contrast if the light catches the front element right. Unfortunately Canon don't supply this lens with a hood, so adding the EW-83E petal shaped hood to your shopping list will set you back another £35.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Verdict
Very little can be found to fault this lens, although it really would benefit from being supplied with a hood to shade the front element. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would object to having to pay another £35 for something that in this case, appears to be quite necessary. This would push the price for the lens up to £705, which I feel must be taken into account when considering the value of the lens.
Niggles aside, Canon's EF-S 10-22mm is a high-quality optic, capable of producing images with excellent resolution right from the maximum aperture. For this alone, it may be worth the premium for many.
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Pros
Excellent resolution in the centre at most apertures and focal lengths
Good build quality
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Cons
May be prone to flare and no lens hood is supplied
Falloff in resolution towards the edges at 22mm
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5: Lens specification
|VALUE FOR MONEY
||13 elements in 10 groups
||107º 30' - 63º 30
|35mm equivalent focal length (on APS-C body):
||89.8mm x 83.5mm
|In the box:
||No accessories besides the lens caps.
The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 costs £669.99 and is available from Warehouse Express here:
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5