I recently purchased the EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens for the Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera. I love the EOS-M. It is far from a perfect camera, but its strengths are very much appreciated.
Up until now I have only used the EF-M 22mm f/2 lens along with all of my full sized EF lenses via the EF to EF-M mount adapter. I decided to get the ultra wide zoom lens for video work.
But it only took a couple of frames to see that this is a lens worth more than it’s purchase price. It is quite sharp right to the corners of the frame. Aberrations do increase, but they never get as severe as even the Canon L zooms tend to get.
I travelled by Kayak across the waters of the Harvey Dam to the northern edge, a bit upstream of the camping grounds. The EOS-M hung by my neck. My intention was to go for a paddle and photograph the waters edge. When I came across the bottom of a dry creek I had to get out and investigate.
The creek is the run off of rain water into the reservoir during the winter months. It will be interesting to return here during heavy rainfall to see the place in action. There were large rocky cascades and some areas which look like they could even produce water falls.
A scene such as this is usually challenging on a wide angle lens. The extreme amount of detail that exists everywhere with grasses, sticks, and rocky textures, put a lot of demand on the system. While not perfect, I am currently thinking that this might be Canon’s best wide angle zoom lens. The 16-35mm L lens is terrible. The 17-40mm is decent. The EF-S 10-22mm is quite good. But the new EF-M 11-22 is just fantastic. And to make it more appealing, it’s so small that it’s easy to forget you are wearing it.
I had no intention of doing any of this bushwalking, so I had left my shoes in the car and hopped onto the Kayak with bare feet. When I came across this steep slope full of grass trees of different varieties, I had to pursue it further. I continued, meter by meter, into the dense bushland. I would sometimes spend 5 minutes just mapping out how I can move forward through the rough ground, always aware of the risk of encountering snakes or spiders at this time of year. The buildup of dry leaves on the ground meant that I never really knew what I was sticking my foot into until after my foot had settled through the leaves.
I constantly considered turning back, but the view of the crest of the hill showed a flat rocky opening in the terrain that would give me a nice view over the water. Once my mind is set on something it’s difficult to let it go.
Victory. I made it to the top.
The 11-22mm lens continued to provide excellent results in every situation. Even when under the canopy of the trees, the IS on the lens allowed me to shoot with a very deep depth of field with slow shutter speeds and maintain reasonably sharp results. Only a few times did it fail me.
One area of concern was the terrible flaring that the lens could produce when looking into the sun. Granted that many photographers love playing with lens flare, so it could be perceived as a positive. Me however, I love lenses free from flare. It’s why I spend so much money on Leica cameras.
From up here you can see how far I walked from the water where I left my kayak.
The amount of fine contrast that this lens delivers to the EOS-M’s 18 megapixel sensor means that you should be able to produce fairly large, high quality prints. Even though I perfer to use cameras where the image produced by the lens is already perfect, the optical flaws here are easily fixed with Lightroom’s profile corrections. This is a terrific camera/lens combo for taking into risky situations. It small, inexpensive and very high quality.
I purchased the lens from PRA Imaging in the city of Perth.
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