Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance

Started Jun 29, 2012 | Discussions
KamilK
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Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
Jun 29, 2012

Hi all,

Based on many positive reviews, I have recently purchased Canon EF-S 10-22 for my 400D. I decided to buy it, even though quite high price, as it seemed to be best UW choice for crop sensor Canon cameras. Following few weeks of shooting with the lens using my 400d, I must admit that I am not satisfied at all with the performance of the lens. I am not happy with the colors that are kind of reddish/purplish (abberation??). In my opinion it also suffers from variable sharpness across the frame.

Please see below sample photos and let me know what you think. I will appreciate any comments as I am quite desparate at the moment having spent so much and not receiving the performance I have expected. As it is my first UW zoom, I was truly looking forward to shooting with that lens, however based on my experience it is not a pleasure at all. Should I return the lens as a faulty one?

10

Canon EOS 400D (EOS Digital Rebel XTi / EOS Kiss Digital X)
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rsn48
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Some thoughts
In reply to KamilK, Jun 29, 2012

First since you don't have IS on this lens you have to set a minimum shutter speed you won't go under. Secondly you have to know that that minimum shutter speed is as true at 10mm as at 22 mm, the long end of the focal length of a zoom determines minimum shutter speed on all zooms, many don't know that.

So your lens is the equivalent of a 35mm on full frame, the reason this is important is that the old equation for minimum shutter speed was developed during the time of film slr's, crop sensors didn't exist. The old formula was 1/focal length for minimum shutter speed, so 1/35 in the case of this lens. But the photo school I went to recommended if you can get away with it, to use the formula 1/2 times the focal length so in this lenses case 1/70. In the light conditions you were shooting in this minimum would have been easy to achieve. Some of your photos are shot lower and that will affect sharpness.

Also some of your photos are shot "wide" open and most lenses sweet spot is two f stops in. So if you are shooting at 22mm (which is f5.6) then the sweet spot would be f11 ( f8, f11). So shoot faster than you think, and close down the lens to shoot in its sweet spot.

I have a zoom lens that I wasn't happy with at the widest, and when I went in two stops and shot images faster than I thought (it doesn't have IS either) the pics came out sharper. My suggestion is to keep your shutter speed up around 1/100th or faster which I notice you did on some of your pics.

Don't be afraid to boost ISO, I know ISO 100 is suppose to be the "best" but a sharp contrasty colour saturated picture looks better even if you have to violate the ISO rule of "base ISO."

Now the red could be due to under exposure, most are set at a - on EC. Or you could have your camera set to a "style" that is boosting those colours, that I can't say.
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Timbukto
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 29, 2012

Your compositions could be better (I personally am quite bad at UWA compositions...its difficult!).

Your upper right border is soft and IMO your copy is potentially decentered. This is looking at the brick building with a mostly even focal plane. A lot of the other images I cannot judge since the focus point could be way off focusing on something in the front and nothing really intersects with the focal plane, etc. On the whole however I do feel my 17-40L to be much better than this at f8, and technically I have a less deep DOF on FF than you (although obviously much higher resolution advantage). Then again the fact that you have a lower resolution sensor and still show image softness, its pretty clear that its optically soft even when heavily stepped down.

Here is my 17-40L at f8.

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victorian squid
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 29, 2012

First you'll need to be aware (as mentioned) a UWA is different from any other lens you'll shoot with. I think all I'm seeing is possible exposure problems (easily changed by metering) and a possible soft corner. Motion blur is harder on a UWA, but you can do it. I don't think I'm seeing that here.

Otherwise, besides getting the converging lines thing down, the lens looks good and sharp. Lots of contrast - and the colors WILL be different depending on the lens you're comparing against. Canon usually tend to lean a bit on the cool side as far as I'm concerned. This looks correct. The edges on a UWA will always be a bit soft, because of the incredible range they take in. What's at the edge of frame (what, a couple of feet?) and the center of frame can vary an incredible amount. Depending on your aperture, something's gotta give.

Try shooting some things that are basically all in the same plane if possible to help you determine if you're getting a soft corner (decentering) or if it's because of varying distance. Rotate the camera, and shoot the same subject again. If that corner stays soft you could have an issue. From your sample shots it's hard to tell.

Here are shots on a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 - uncorrected straight from camera JPEG.

Check this review - it's for a Tokina, but scroll down to see comparison photos of all the UWA lenses. Canon is still pretty much his favorite, and you'll see what you're getting is pretty normal. With a little practice, you'll fall in love!

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victorian squid
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Ugh! Forgot link!
In reply to victorian squid, Jun 29, 2012
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loafer
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jpg or RAW?
In reply to KamilK, Jun 29, 2012

First of all, I thought your shots looked nicely focussed and sharp. I would say that you should try to keep shutter speed at about 1/60 - even at this focal length to be certain to avoid camera shake. I did some DOF testing with this camera and I found that you need f/10 to keep as much as possible in focus - your examples were right around there. But if you use it wide open then the part that you focus on should be very sharp.

But if you are not pleased with the colors (and they did look off in your shots), then I would suggest that you shoot RAW. The JPG engine has to decide what is neutral and then it exposes the shot. With the super wide angle there is often direct lighting, indirect lighting and reflections so deciding on a white balance and toning is often not best left to the camera.

Finally, if you really are certain the sharpness is off, then you should return it.

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urasob2
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Re: jpg or RAW?
In reply to loafer, Jun 30, 2012

It is actually kind of normal. Back in the days when I shot with a crop sensor more, I used my first copy of the 10-22 until it broke, then bought a second copy. It is a good lens, but it is overhyped IMHO. Nowhere even close to what some wide angle primes can do on a Full frame.

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leosfo
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Re: jpg or RAW?
In reply to urasob2, Jun 30, 2012

Any examples of FF UWA to show us?

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cedrec
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

On a DSLR, I have come to consider 200 to be my base ISO, and only go lower than that in situations like high sunlight or if I'm getting a lot of light and need to decrease my shutter speed lower than 1/4000 sec. My father has the same lens you do and he shoots every shot - EVERY SHOT - at 100 ISO, and will only bump it up to 400 ISO on a very overcast day. Bless his heart, but over half his shots come out motion-blurred and he just can't seem to figure out why. The shots he gets right, though, are indeed tack sharp, and I don't think the lens in general is as poor-performing as you suspect it is.

If you want to pixel-peep your lenses, you need to know something about how they behave and where their sweet spots are. Typically a lens' optimal sharpness is achieved between f/5.6 and f/8.

The 1/focal length rule, as mentioned by other people, is really only for getting "acceptable" shots, and was never intended for looking at photos on a microscopic scale (i.e. a "100%" crop on your computer screen). If I were going for enlargability on a wide angle lens and didn't have a tripod, I'd try to keep my shutter speed above about 1/250 sec. I'd only go below 1/100 sec. if a lens had IS, which that one does not.

Stop stopping down to f/10 and using exposure compensation to darken your shots. Instead, put the aperture in the sweet spot of f/5.6-f/8, increase the shutter speed and expose the shot right the first time. Exposure compensation should only really be a last resort. Sometimes you will need to go up to 400 ISO in broad daylight to get a high enough shutter speed. Do you want to get a sharp shot or don't you? It's counter-intuitive, I know, but try to think of 100 ISO as your tripod ISO and not even a candidate for hand-held shooting, if that helps.

One last thing: few zoom lenses perform their best at the ends of their focal length range. My 17-40L produces enough purple-fringing at 17mm to make a Renaissance-era artist blush. Some lenses are less sharp at the long or short end. I notice your shots are all at 10mm. Might want to try other focal lengths before making a judgment here.

Your lens may be off-centered like you say, or it may not. I've looked closely at all your photos and I honestly can not tell. Next time, use a tripod, carefully manually focus every shot (a couple do not look like anywhere is in focus, but others have well-focused objects in sight, so I have trouble blaming the lens), and aim at a subject with details in all corners of the lens. Trees across a field can make for a decent test target. If you're unsure about focus accuracy while manually focusing, then shoot several shots all with slightly different planes of focus. Short of bringing your lens into a professional for testing, there's a lot you can do on your own if you are careful about how you do it.

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KamilK
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

Many thanks for your comments. Greatly appreciate all of them!

All of shots were taken in RAW, so I have done some post processing (e.g. changed the exposure, saturation, WB, lens correction). See below. But still, I am not fully satisfied. It might be just that my expectation related to IQ and colors were too high.

Tops of railings are blurred

The building on the left hand side is not sharp

Tree on the left hand side is kind of blurred.

The flashes on the cars are reddish and the top right corner is not sharp

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cedrec
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

KamilK wrote:

Tops of railings are blurred

Um... you focused on the storefront 12 feet beyond the railings, though.

The building on the left hand side is not sharp

I actually would have said that that building was the best example of sharpness in all your photos.

Tree on the left hand side is kind of blurred.
The flashes on the cars are reddish and the top right corner is not sharp

I don't know what a car flash is, but those things you pointed out are in the extreme outer 10% of the image. Things get blurry out there. I would have actually said that the trees across the lake in the 3rd photo don't look too sharp and the image may be mis-focused, but applying a sharpening filter in post might fix some of this. I always check focus in live view for critical applications. I'm not sure if your camera has this feature, though.

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photonius
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

KamilK wrote:

Many thanks for your comments. Greatly appreciate all of them!

All of shots were taken in RAW, so I have done some post processing (e.g. changed the exposure, saturation, WB, lens correction). See below. But still, I am not fully satisfied. It might be just that my expectation related to IQ and colors were too high.

Tops of railings are blurred

That's just normal, they are not within DOF. Even UWA, not everything will be sharp when you pixel peep. Even if something is within DOF, it only means it's perhaps sharp within a radius of three pixels, the DOF circle of confusing is larger than a single pixel.
Even with a fish-eye, it's amazing that not everything is in dof.

The building on the left hand side is not sharp

Hmm, the low, brown building on the very left, it's not as sharp as the center, but if you look at the street sign, it still looks quite sharp. The lens is not as sharp at the edge as in center, it's normal. See photozone de. Also, it looks like focus is a bit in front (the building in the right which is very close is still sharp). what focus points did you use?

Tree on the left hand side is kind of blurred.

Yes, in the very corners, the lens is a bit blurry, at least mine as well. Again, the lens looks a bit front focused, the stuff in the water in the front looks quite sharp, the tree in the middle back behind the white structure doesn't seem to be optimally sharp.

The flashes on the cars are reddish and the top right corner is not sharp

What do you mean with "flashes"? The red turn signal lights? Or white highlights from reflections?

The whole picture is rather saturated. To what other lenses are you comparing with? The Canon 10-22 has very good contrast, and colors "pop".

If you refer to CA at edges, yes, any UWA has CA at the edge, it's normal. You can correct in post.

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foy
foy
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

I had a 10-22 and I had more or less the same opinion as you. CA was quite pronounced towards the outer edges, also some blurring towards the outer edges as well.

I actually miss this lens. I sold my copy because I moved to a 5DII. I have the 24-105 which is wide enough on that body.

One workaround for the CA and blurriness would be to not go to the super wide end of the lens. I remember reading that around 15-66mm is where the quality improves.

The CA can be corrected quite well using the Canon DPP software that came with your camera. I was never able to totally correct for the issue using the Adobe camera raw importer, so I stuck with DPP.

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Timbukto
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

You own a Tamron 17-50 2.8, so I assume you understand DOF, but your comment about the top railing being soft seems to indicate you do not. Look at your reflection in the mirror, it looks like you are right behind the railing. You are clearly focusing on the wall...I am not a UWA expert to judge distance as UWA's will distort perspective such that the railing will look extremely close and the wall more distant, etc. But it does seem clear that if you focus on the wall, and your railing is extremely close to your camera, it quite possibly should be out of DOF, this should be obvious to you if you understand DOF. This is also why so many of your pictures cannot be judged in sharpness except for the more distant brick building in which admittedly camera shake can not be ruled out.

Have you shot at 50mm f2.8 on this lens and do you have some understanding of DOF? Are you intently picking focusing distances in all of these pictures or all these all-auto? My only hesitation on saying its completely a DOF issue however is the railing picture shows the upper right is pretty sharp. With the building picture technically the upper right should have been sharp too, that is the only confusing part since at that subject distance it would be difficult to pick the wrong focus distance to have that portion of the picture be OOF, etc. But it could also be that camera shake will affect peripheral borders more than center as the peripheral motion is more significant at the borders than center. Sometimes lenses actually perform differently at different focal distances...with a UWA typically you need to be extremely demanding of its performance as it truly needs to be sharp and consistent from MFD to infinity to really get the most out of it.

My other hesitation is that your Tamron 17-50 pictures at 17mm overall look better than your 10-22 does. But the Tamron is indeed an extremely high performer at 17mm so I don't know what the right expectation is on the 10-22 as I have not shot one.

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RS_RS
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Re: Some thoughts
In reply to rsn48, Jun 30, 2012

rsn48 wrote:

Secondly you have to know that that minimum shutter speed is as true at 10mm as at 22 mm, the long end of the focal length of a zoom determines minimum shutter speed on all zooms, many don't know that.

Probably not well known because it is complete rubbish.

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kidcharles
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Re: Some thoughts
In reply to RS_RS, Jun 30, 2012

RS_RS wrote:

rsn48 wrote:

Secondly you have to know that that minimum shutter speed is as true at 10mm as at 22 mm, the long end of the focal length of a zoom determines minimum shutter speed on all zooms, many don't know that.

Probably not well known because it is complete rubbish.

I agree, this makes no sense. The minimum shutter speed recommended should be calculated from the actual focal length used for a particular shot, regardless if the lens is a zoom or prime.

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kidcharles
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to foy, Jun 30, 2012

foy wrote:

The CA can be corrected quite well using the Canon DPP software that came with your camera. I was never able to totally correct for the issue using the Adobe camera raw importer, so I stuck with DPP.

I second this. Post-processing lens corrections for distortion and chromatic aberration are particularly critical when using ultra wide angle lenses. Personally I get very good results using the lens corrections in Lightroom 3 (I think the same as Adobe Camera RAW) but I'm sure DPP does a good job too.

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fwampler
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Re: Canon EF-S 10-22 not satisfactory performance
In reply to KamilK, Jun 30, 2012

Use DPP to correct the lens's flaws. You will be amazed at the image quality from that lens.
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photosen
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Looks fine to me
In reply to KamilK, Jul 1, 2012

The ones at f5.6 could have been taken at f8, and the corners also look blurry in mine, but I think that's just the nature of the beast... I get good architectural shots but I can't get used to it with foliage...

So the lens looks normal, but if you still aren't satisfied return it if you can so you don't have to live with the nagging doubt; you might want to try the Samyang/Rokinon fisheye or the 14mm, which are cheaper but very sharp (no autofocus though).

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