Canon 10-18 vs 10-22: Cheaper is Better?

Canon 10-18 vs 10-22

Two years ago Canon introduced a new cheap ultra wide angle lens, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. This lens is suitable for Canon’s APS-C crop camera offerings. Before that the only lens Canon had to offer in this segment was the proven Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.

If you are interested to buy an ultra wide angle (UWA) lens for your Canon camera, and you want to know which lens to choose, you have come to the right place. We will break down the differences, and show you some great images along the way. Read on for the Canon 10-18 vs 10-22 shootout.

Canon 10-18 vs 10-22

Let’s list all the differences between the two lenses.

Image quality

Image quality is on par. Both lenses deliver very sharp and impressive images. If anything, the Canon 10-18 has slightly more vignetting, and slightly more distortion at 10mm. But these things are easy to fix in post-processing. If you look at the great images in this post, you have to agree that both lenses can produce awesome results. This is all the more impressive for the lower priced Canon 10-18mm lens. We have a separate post with some more images shot with the Canon 10-18mm.

Morning Sunlight by Martin Smolak on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-18mm lens.

Autofocus

Both lenses feature quick and silent autofocus. The Canon 10-22mm uses Canon’s USM technology, while the 10-18mm is equipped with Canon’s newer STM technology which is more suitable for video as well.

Esslingen am Neckar by Dennis Brendel on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-22mm lens.

Low light performance

The Canon 10-22mm has a larger aperture over the whole range, moving from 3.5 to 4.5. On the Canon 10-18, the aperture range is 4.5-5.6. This difference is less than one stop, and is therefore not a very big advantage for the 10-22. Especially  given the fact that the 10-18mm has image stabilisation and most ultra wide angle photographs contain static subjects. The image stabilisation is supposed to give you 4 additional stops.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park by Christoph Schöter on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-18mm lens.

Build quality

The Canon 10-18 has a plastic lens mount instead of the metal lens mount on the Canon 10-22mm. Besides that, both lenses have a very good build quality. But we have to say that the 10-22mm scores a little bit better in this area.

Da-An Forest Park MRT Station by Babi Hsu on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-22mm lens.

Filter thread

The Canon 10-22mm takes 77mm filters, whereas the 10-18 can do with 67mm filters. 77mm is a more common thread size, however, this is changing now with more expensive lenses even having larger filter thread diameters. In any case, smaller filters are cheaper, so we see this as an advantage for the Canon 10-18mm lens.

Brooklyn Bridge at Night by ZIEMANN PhotoArt on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-18mm lens.

Size

In this category the 10-18mm is the clear winner. This tiny lens weighs only 8.5oz (240 gram) compared to 13.6 oz (385 gram) for its bigger brother. The relative dimensions in our first image should give you an indication of the size difference.

Lofoten golden dawn by t d on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-22mm lens.

Price

At the moment of writing, the pricing of the Canon 10-18 vs 10-22 is clearly in favor of the former. The smaller 10-18 lens sells currently for $279 as compared to $649 for the 10-22 lens.

Kopské sedlo by Marek Kopnický on 500px.com

This image has been shot with the Canon 10-18mm lens.

Our recommendation

Canon 10-18mm

Given the list of differences and similarities we just gave you, we cannot do anything else but highly recommend you the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM which is the clear winner in this Canon 10-18 vs 10-22 comparison.

To be fair, both lenses are very good products. But we cannot ignore the $279 price tag for the 10-18mm as compared to $649 for the 10-22 lens. There is no way the 10-22mm, which is lacking image stabilisation, is worth more than twice the price of the 10-18mm. All in all the Canon 10-18mm is a highly recommended lens at a very friendly price point.

If you are interested, also check out our post with 11 more stunning sample images shot with the 10-18mm.

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