Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2015

Introduction

No lens system is remotely complete without an ultra-wide angle option. While Canon doesn't seem to be overly enthusiastic about their EOS M lineup, they are recognizing the fact by offering the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM IS. In full format terms, it has an equivalent zoom range of about "18-35mm" so it's easily capable of producing all the dramatic perspectives that are possible in this lens class. Its speed is not exactly thrilling but this has one or two advantages as well - unlike the APS-C format counterparts over at Sony and Fuji, it is comparatively tiny. And the best news is that the slow speed also comes at a lower price of just 400US$/EUR. In a sea of overpriced lenses that are common in other mirrorless systems, this is quite refreshing to say the least. Canon seems to conclude that if they can't beat the other mirrorless systems in diversity, they could do it via high value. Possibly not the worst move for the time being at least.

The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM IS is a small, almost dwarfish lens. Its size does more remind of a Micro-Four-Thirds rather than an APS-C format lens. The base size alone doesn't tell the whole story about the construction though. It is a retractable zoom lens so it is primarily small in transport mode. The inner lens tube extends a bit when turning the zoom ring into shooting mode (see the product images below). The build quality is actually quite impressive thanks to a metal body, smooth controls and tight build tolerances. The inner lens tube is made of plastic but it doesn't wobble whatsoever. The front element does not rotate.

Similar to other mirrorless systems, Canon EOS M uses a stepping motor (STM) for focus operations. This works noiselessly and quite fast as well in this case. Also typical for STM lenses - manual focusing works "by-wire" thus you actually drive the AF motor by turning the focus ring. This works nicely and it's very precise actually.

As mentioned the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM IS may not be the fastest lens around but an image stabilizer compensates this limitation to some degree. Canon claims an efficiency of up to 3 f-stops which feels about right to us this time. The "Dynamic IS" is also smoothing movements which provides a more pleasing stabilization effect when shooting movies.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length"17.6-35.2mm" (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture"f/6.4-9" (full format equivalent in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction12 elements in 9 groups including 2x aspherical and 1xUD element
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.15m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.3)
Dimensions60.9 x 58.2mm
Weight220g
Filter size55mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, optional
Other featuresRetractable, STM, Dynamic IS