Canon EF-M lens options increased by half, as new ultrawide zoom launches in Europe


posted Friday, June 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM EDT

Until now, life for owners of Canon's first compact system camera, the EOS M mirrorless, has been uncomplicated -- or depending on your point of view, perhaps limited. Almost a year after the EOS M first launched, the system has but two native lens options: an 18-55mm zoom lens, and a 22mm prime whose focal length is already covered by that same zoom. That's about to change, though, thanks to an announcement made in Europe that sees the EF-M mount lens lineup increased by half.

Of course, further options were available in the form of Canon's EF-mount adapter for the EOS M, but that somewhat defeated the purpose, since it doubled the thickness of the package even before a lens was attached. (And EF-mount lenses are, by nature, larger than those designed for the shorter flange back distance of a mirrorless camera.)

Canon's EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens accepts 55mm threaded filters.

The new Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens expands the native options for EOS M shooters to encompass three lenses, and for the first time, you can now reach beyond the original 18-55mm range without reaching for a mount adapter. 35mm-equivalent focal range for the new optic is approximately 18 to 35mm. Focusing is possible to as close as six inches (15cm), and the maximum magnification is 0.30x at 22mm. Maximum aperture starts at f/4 and falls to f/5.6 by the telephoto position.

Uniquely for a Canon ultrawide zoom, the optic includes stabilization, said to be good for a three-stop correction. When shooting movies, a greater corrective range is possible, taking advantage of the relatively low resolution even of Full HD video. Canon suggests that the lens is also well-suited to video capture thanks to the use of a quiet STM autofocus drive.

The EF-M 11-22mm lens has an extending design that helps make it

Thanks to a retracting design, the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM has dimensions of 2.4 inches in diameter by 2.3 inches in length (60.9 x 58.2mm) when not in use. According to Canon, without the retracting design the lens would otherwise be 2.8 inches (71.2mm) in length. The optical formula consists of 12 elements in nine groups, with a seven-bladed aperture diaphragm. Canon has also included Super Spectra lens coatings to reduce ghosting and flare.

55mm threaded filters are accepted, and alongside the new optic Canon has also released an E-55 lens cap and a 55mm Protect Filter. The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens also accepts a new EW-60E lens hood, and fits in the LP814 lens pouch.

To support the new lens, Canon will be releasing a firmware update for the EOS M camera body. No information on pricing and availability were provided by Canon Europe, and the company has yet to announce any plans to offer this optic in the US market.