It'sCanon Optics

10-22mm Lens Report


All POV, All the time.

Canon glass. Known for its extra measure of quality and cleverness, it's just the thing to make your Rebel, Rebel XT or 20D perk right up.

With dSLRs comes a constraint: The image chip, except for a few notable drool cameras, is smaller than the 35mm film so many lenses are made for.

An appropriate wide angle for APS-C sized image sensors doesn't have to cover so much territory. That's why the hot new products from Canon are so often pointed at this newer image size. Witness the 17-85mm IS Kit Lens for the 20D. Or the new 60mm Macro with auto-focus right up to 1:1.

It's no coincidence that EF-S lenses made for the smaller image patch are entering the line these days.

Now for something completely wide.

I'd like something in a 10

The kit lens, although plastic in much of its construction, is well corrected, sharp and usefully wide to usefully tele. About the 28-90mm range so often seen in 35 cameras.

If you want wider, the world has awakened to the wide angle digital need and Sigma, Tokina and Tamron will be quite happy to sell you one of theirs.

I'll help: Check out the Sigma 12-24mm. Made for full 35mm coverage, the central APS-C sweet spot is sharp, free of barrel distortion and delivers 12mm wide (as if a 35 camera had a rectilinear 19.2mm lens on it). $660 in better toy stores everywhere.

If I could have my druthers, I'd go even wider, being something of a wide angle freak. The native drama of a super wide angle point of view has always drawn me. For decades, one of the most often used lenses in my bag of 35mm tricks was an old 20mm.

So when Canon announced its 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 EF-S ultra wide lens for its digital SLRs, I couldn't wait. Here's a lens that covers what you might expect from a 16-35mm lens on a film 35 camera, or as we like to say in the shooting pictures racket: Wider than Zeus.


It's kinda big. About as large in your bag as the 17-85mm IS Kit Lens for the 20D. And it is definitely not cheap. Be prepared to slap down eight hundred clams, US, for the USA warrantee model (gray market prices may save fifty bucks, but try not to delude yourself into believing the loss of US warrantee is favorable to your sense of value). What do you get for your hard-earned mollusks?

2.2:1 Zoom. That's 10% more zoomie stuff than the Sigma and 20% more wideness. At least that's what the numbers report. In Reality, a straight 10mm lens would cover 106.5 degrees on its diagonal while a 12mm would cover 96.5 degrees. Every little 10 degrees helps.

Just to put that into perspective, Here's a shot made with the 10mm setting.

Rollover this image with your mouse to see the area covered by a 12mm lens on the same camera at the same spot.

These numbers are derived with the 22.4 x 14.8mm image sensor of the EOS 350D. The same lens on the 20D catches about 1/2 of one degree more image. And on the 300D it catches about 3/4 of one degree more picture.

It's virtually barrel distortion free. But of course there are purists out there so in the DSLR: Canon Rebel XT eBook we have iNovaFX Photoshop Actions for PS7, CS and CS2 that absolutely zero out the small barrel effect.

Tele Wide. At the telephoto end of things, the Canon 22mm nicely overlaps the Kit Lens focal lengths for both the 18-55mm and 17-85mm Kits. At 22mm, diagonal angle of view is 63.76 degrees.

Here's the full zoom range on location. You'll have to rollover the image with your mouse to see the 22mm "tele" position.

The church is in Korcula, Croatia, and was as dim as they get with indirect lighting coming from only the windows. Exposures were 1/50 sec and 1/30 sec at only f/4 and f/4.5 (20D at ISO 3200), both hand held. Like flash, tripods in a church are a fundamental no-no.

This is the sort of situation that many lenses would interpret with a lot of internal reflection and ghosts of the spectral window light.

The 10-22 handled them with ease. Night shots made with lamps in the shot show no ghost reflections at all. The eBook galleries for DSLR: Canon Digital Rebel XT and DSLR: Canon 20D will show examples in all sorts of potentially punishing conditions and lighting. My personal opinion of this lens is that every time I pick it up, I know I'm going to have a good experience.

Filtration. With a lens this wide you will be seriously thinking about protecting that front element. May I suggest something in a thin? Check out the 3mm thick Clear filters over at

The 77mm Hoyas look good today ranging from 54 to 85 bucks. Be sure to get a clear protective filter that is extra-well coated. No sense having your safety measure become your artifact generator. High quality security isn't cheap.

Room mate. Architects take note: Here's your lens. That makes your base-line package a 20D or 350D body plus a 10-22mm EF-S.

With this lens you can stand in the corner and get Every Thing. It's just what you always wanted and just what the order doctored.

More may come with updates to this page.


This is an A+ lens. I no longer leave home without it. It's one of those lenses that is destined for legend like Canon's 16-35mm zoom for full frame 35. A true 10. High value although not inexpensive.

--Peter iNova (

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itscanon is © 2005, Peter iNova. All rights reserved. Images by the author. They're © 2006, too.
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