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EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Review: Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens Offers Dynamic Perspectives

The EF-M series ultra-wide angle zoom lens, EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, weighs approximately 220g and comes in a compact size that matches the petite EOS M camera series. Able to cover an angle required for landscape photography, it is a perfect lens to bring along for travelling. In this article, we review the features of the lens and also share some tips to maximize its use. (Reported by: Yoshiki Fujiwara)


Outstanding resolving power throughout its focal range

The appeal of the EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM not only lies in its compact size, it also has excellent resolving power at any focal length within its range. At the wide-angle end of 11mm, it enables clear resolution even around the edges and with minimal aberration.

As a drop in resolution due to diffraction tends to occur when you narrow the aperture above f/11, I recommend narrowing the aperture up to f/8 to allow the abilities of the lens to fully manifest.

While a minimum focusing distance of 15cm enables you to get very near to the subject to take up-close shots, you can also capture vast landscapes with its wide macro abilities, or easily create a distortion effect by applying a exaggerated perspective.

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (f/8, 25 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 400/ WB: Auto

I narrowed the aperture to enable a pan focus, and shot at a shutter speed of 25 secs to blur the appearance of the water flow at the basin, located at the bottom left of the picture.


EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 22mm (35mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (f/8, 1/60 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto

I depicted the water flowing through the gaps of the rocks covered in moss. To give it a tranquil feel, I narrowed the aperture to f/8.


EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (f/8, 13 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

This was a picturesque spot where you could appreciate looking upon the vast lands of Aso (Kumamoto prefecture). At the wide-angle end of 11mm, I was able to capture the changes of the morning sun amongst the impressive clouds.


EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (f/16, 1/100 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I searched for the position where the sun would shine through the gaps between the branches, and shot at an aperture of f/16. I added an accent of a starburst that had 14 light rays.


Usage Tip #1: Apply distortion to the subject

It is easy to create an exaggerated perspective using a wide-angle lens, and make something near appear much closer, and something far away appear much further. As a result, a subject also becomes narrower the closer it gets towards the centre. If you are able to make use of the effect of exaggerated perspective, you can capture shots that are even more dynamic.


Getting close to a subject

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 1/125 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I got as close as possible to a tree trunk in order to create distortion. I pressed the shutter with the lens facing upwards along the tree trunk. By doing so, the wide angle lens enables a whole new way of seeing things, as it creates a different shape to the one that we can see with the naked eye.


Shooting the overall view without getting close to the subject

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 1/125 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

When I shot the overall view of the tree without getting close to the tree trunk, the red leaves became visible, however, the resulting picture seemed more suitable as a photographic record.

For more, check out the following:
Exploring Wide Angle Lenses Part 2: Composition Techniques for Wide-Angle Lenses


Usage Tip #2: Narrow the aperture to f/16 to bring out beautiful starbursts

It is easy to create starbursts when you make use of a strong light source, such as the sun or artificial lighting. To do so, use either Aperture-priority AE or manual exposure and simply narrow the aperture as much as possible.

During the day, you would most likely use the sun as a light source, however, if you were to capture it as it is, it may appear to overwhelm the picture. Therefore, it is recommended to compose the image such that the sun only has a subtle presence, such when it is filtering through foliage.

Whether or not to include the sun is a decision photographers often find themselves making. For more, read:
Decisions in Landscape Photography: Whether or Not to Include the Sun in the Frame

The lens is equipped with a 7-blade circular aperture. Narrowing the aperture between f/11 and f/14 creates starbursts, which add an accent to your photos. Since the lens has a deep depth of field, one of its advantages is that it produces a sharp pan focus from the front of the picture all the way to the end.


In Aperture-priority AE mode, narrow the aperture until starbursts appear

In Aperture-priority AE mode, I set the aperture to f/16, and the shutter speed and ISO speed to a correct exposure. Use a tripod if you intend to shoot at a slow shutter speed.


Left: f/16
Right: f/4

Both images: EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (1/60 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 400/ WB: Auto

When compared to shooting at an aperture of f/4, you can tell that the light rays appear more distinct at a larger f-number.


Summary: A lens perfect for landscape and travel photography

Wide-angle lenses have the ability to capture landscapes in a dynamic way, and I would definitely recommend that you use this lens to capture scenic landscapes that are so vast they are beyond the range of human vision. The compactness of the EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM makes it a lens that is perfect for landscape and travel photography. If you intend to bring it out, I would recommend that you also purchase the separate lens hood.



Lens Hood EW-60E



A: Aspherical Lens
B: IS Unit

35mm equivalent focal length: 18-35mm
Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.15m
Maximum magnification: 0.3x
Filter diameter: φ55mm
Size: approx. φ60.9 × 72.9mm (maximum)
Weight: approx. 220g


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Yoshiki Fujiwara

Yoshiki Fujiwara

Formerly a professional snowboarder, Fujiwara took the opportunity to embark on a second career as a photographer after retiring due to an injury. He has since won a number of international photography awards for his nature photography and cultural portraits. In 2019, he became the first Japanese person to win an award in the 'People' category of the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. Besides providing photos for National Geographic, Fujiawa also contributes to camera magazines in Japan and abroad, and engages in a wide range of activities including books, talk shows, and company calendars.
Instagram: @yoshiki_fujiwara