about | support
home
 


  Reviews by: Ken Schwarz  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add Ken Schwarz to your Buddy List
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: May 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, light, good build quality, easy to correct distortion and light fall-off in post-production.
Cons:
Requires expensive slim filter to avoid vignetting, and petal hood interferes with slip-on lens caps that go with slim filters (e.g., B+W).

I did my homework and researched this lens carefully. Even so, it has exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way. Good thing, too, since this is pretty much your only option (from Canon) if you want to go wide on a crop body. I held off, thinking that it would lock me into the crop format: wouldn't I prefer a full-frame body and the 16-35? Sure, but I'll be holding out a few years for the 5D replacement, and in the meanwhile, the 30D and this lens is no slouch, and their compactness and light weight will be impossible to beat with a full-frame equivalent.

Image quality is extremely good. I am spoiled by the superb Mamiya 7 and its super-wide 43mm (a symmetrical Biogon-derivative). Frankly, it's hard to justify all the expense and trouble of using it now; the Canon is SO much easier to use and produces detailed, contrasty images.

10-22mm is a great range. At 10mm, the angle of view is even bigger than that of the 43mm on the Mamiya 7 (wider on the horizontal, and about the same on the vertical). This is wide enough the swallow an entire interior from the doorway...wow.

If you don't have one already, get a 2-axis bubble level if you buy this lens. It makes it MUCH easier to get natural-looking architectural shots. Do not get a bulls-eye style bubble level because you cannot use it to judge horizontal level if you point the camera up. It's very easy to correct perspective in post-production if you keep the horizon perfectly level. If you keep the lens level on both axes, lines are close to ruler-straight right out of the camera. (Residual distortion is easy to correct; see below.)

I don't get the complaints about build quality. It's smooth as silk, and feels tough as nails in my hands. Weight is low, and balance on the 30D is very comfortable. AF is instant, accurate and silent. Does not need IS. It would be nice if it were f/2.8, but then it would be several times more expensive, heavy, and bulky. In practice, this lens is plenty fast.

Distortion is impressively low and easy to correct in post-production. (See correction figures in Ken Rockwell's website.)

Light fall-off is significant. You must fix this in post-production. Don't hold this against Canon; it is inevitable with wide-angle lenses.

I always use good quality UV filters to protect expensive lenses. Note that this lens requires a slim filter to avoid vignetting. (I tested the standard and slim B+W UV filter, and there is a difference worth paying for.) Unfortunately, the Canon-supplied lens cap will not clip into the slim filter, and the lens cap that comes with the filter is very hard to take off if the petal hood is attached. What's worse, you can't take off the petal hood if the lens cap is on; the hood pulls of the lens cap when you detach it. How annoying. Also, unlike the petal hood that goes with the 17-55, the hood for the 10-22 is completely rounded, so you cannot set the camera/lens down on a table without it tipping to one side.