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June 26, 2013
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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Review (Photography Blog)

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EF 40mm

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

Photography Blog reviewed Canon’s full-frame pancake lens, the amazing EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (now just $149), a lens with an excellent value for the money. All other reviews I featured here on Canon Watch confirmed the good optical performance of this relatively “cheap” lens. Cheap, here, means inexpensive and doesn’t mean there are compromises on build or optical quality. Sure, it is not an “L” grade lens, but the little pancake has more to offer than just a low price tag or a great ease of use. The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM has a discount of $50 and is sold for $149 at both Adorama and B&H.

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June 12, 2013
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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Review (dpreview)

EF 40mm

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

dpreview posted the review of Canon’s little pancake lens, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, a lens with a low price tag that delivers surprising good image quality. dpreview says:

The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is a fairly unprepossessing little lens, and its tiny size and relatively low price might make you wonder whether significant compromises have been made in its design and construction. But the moment you start shooting with it and looking at the images it produces, any such thoughts rapidly disappear – it’s actually a very fine lens.

So, the optics are good, the AF is quiet and fast, and it has a decent build. Actuall in the US the lens has a $50 discount and is sold for $149. dpreview also posted a sample image gallery. The lens got an overall score of 84% and hence dpreview’s Gold Award.

ef 40mm

Click the image to see dpreview’s EF 40mm sample pic gallery

November 27, 2012
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Yet Another Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Review

The Phoblographer posted their Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review. Another very positive review of Canon’s cheap and sharp pancake lens. The reviewer was

[...] was extremely surprised with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens, the image quality delivered was beyond what I expected from a lens at this price point. I do wish the manual focus feel was a bit more responsive, and the AF speed just a touch faster, but I can certainly live with it as-is and have no issues. For $150 (as of Nov’ 2012) I feel like this should be a no-brainer purchase if you want the smallest lens that Canon currently produces.

Pros and cons:

  • Tiny physical size
  • Accurate AF
  • MFD under 12″
  • Very, very good image quality
  • Better AF during live-view (on STM friendly cameras like the T4i)
  • Highly Flare Resistant
  • Inexpensive!
Minuses:
  • Electronic AF  motor means camera has to be powered on to retract lens
  • Slight lag when manually focusing
  • Not quite as fast as Canon’s USM lenses
  • Manual focusing ring is tiny (though this is unavoidable given the size of the lens)

Sample pics are provided. Check it out!

Product specs:

  • Continuous Autofocus for Video With T4i
  • Bright f/2.8 Aperture
  • Lightweight 4.6 oz Lens
  • Unobtrusive–Less Than 1″ Long
  • Aspherical Element–High Image Quality
  • Optimized Coatings Reduce Ghost & Flare
  • Exceptional Color Balance
  • 7-Blade Diaphragm for Beautiful Bokeh
  • Close Focusing to 11.81″
  • 64mm Equivalent If Used on APS-C Camera

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

November 17, 2012
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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Reviews Roundup (Update)

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Reviews Roundup

Update: Adorama also has the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM for $149 (click here)

A Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM reviews roundup. The small and super sharp Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($149 on Amazon) pancake gets absolutely positive reviews. Keep in mind that this is a sub $199 lens! I really would like Canon was giving us more high quality gear at an affordable price.

Let’s start with The Digital Picture’s comprehensive review. Some excerpts from their review:

  • Small size and small price are great, but … image quality is a sacrifice one would expect to make to gain these attributes. Amazingly, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens delivers impressively in this regard.
  • The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens is very usably sharp at f/2.8 with a modest increase in softness as the outer portion of the image circle is reached. Stopping down to f/4 results in a sharp image across the frame save the extreme full frame corners. At f/5.6, even the extreme full frame corners are very sharp – allowing this lens to compete with lenses at far higher prices.
  • CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled – nearly absent. Same with flare. Even with the sun in the full frame corner, flare is hard to notice. Flare performance is certainly advantaged by the use of only 6 lenses in 4 groups.

Next, The Phoblographer:

The compact size of this lens was the main reason for my purchasing this lens. Moreso than focal length or lens speed, I was dying to have a compact lens that would allow me to take my 5DmkII with me daily and not have to carry a bulky setup. This is because I no longer have a compact camera system and my 5D remains as my main digital camera. Right out of the box I was really impressed with the level of build quality for a lens of this size and price. By comparison, the EF 50mm f/1.8II is pretty much entirely plastic, right down to the lens mount. Does this make it a bad lens? No, certainly not, I just tend to prefer things with a more solid construction. Because, even though I am careful with my equipment, it does get used hard and I expect it to hold up for more than a year.

Scott Bourne at Photofocus:

It’s fast – f/2.8. It’s light and small, less than one inch long – it uses a high-quality aspherical element and is coated to reduce flare. The detail this lens produces is nothing short of a miracle given its price point.

One of my favorite features about this lens is it’s close focusing distance of just under one foot. This means that those of you who want to use this for street photography and who understand how to use hyper-focal distance will never have to worry about focus – AF or not. You’ll be able to shoot thing anywhere from one foot to about forever.

Finally, EOSHD thoughts about Canon’s pancake

Canon have produced a decent lens here for the price. It does make your Canon DSLR more stealthy like a mirrorless camera. Well – 50% of the way there. It has advantages with an anamorphic as outlined above although that is a very niche use for it, it is the main reason I bought one. AF on the lens although not silent is fast, and the aperture seems to have the ability to be continuously variable rather than stepped in movie and live view mode on cameras that support it.

Close focus is excellent, right down to 0.3m or just less than 1ft. By comparison the already quite nifty Olympus 45mm F1.8 gets to around 0.5m and the Lumix 20mm to 0.2mm although that has a considerably shorter focal length. Vignetting is fair on full frame, no disaster and certainly not an issue on a crop sensor. Corner sharpness wide open isn’t great on full frame but again this is fine on a crop sensor. Centre sharpness wide open is pretty good, I’d say above average here as is suppression of lens flair although there’s some purple fringing when not removed in-camera or in post. Distortion I’d say it was average. Nothing to get too excited about here. Build quality though is definitely above average for the price range.

I want one! :-)

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

 

June 27, 2012
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[Review] Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Reviewed By Photozone (Yet Another Pancake Review – Update)

UPDATE: Cameta Camera on Amazon has some cool pancake bundles (15 items available for each kit – act quickly):

  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + 3 (UV/FLD/CPL) Filters + Hood + Cleaning Kit for EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs $214.95 (click here)
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + 3 (UV/FLD/CPL) Filters + Hood + Tripod + Accessory Kit for  EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs for $224.95 (click here)
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + Canon 62″ Tripod + 3 (UV/FLD/CPL) Filters + Hood + Accessory Kit for  EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs for $259.95 (click here)
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + UV Filter + Hood + Cleaning Kit for EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs for $209.95 (click here)
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + 3 (UV/FLD/CPL) Filters + Hood + Backpack + Accessory Kit for EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs for $249.95 (click here)
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM + Canon 2400 Case + 3 (UV/FLD/CPL) Filters + Hood + Tripod + Accessory Kit for EOS 60D, 7D, 5D Mark II III, Rebel T3, T3i, T4i DSLRs for $259.95 (click here)

Another review of what seems to be Canon’s most exciting new gear of the year (at least so far), the nifty EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake ($199, click here). This is not the first pancake review I feature here on CanonWatch, but it is one more (professional made) review that points out how much high quality glass you get for $199. This time photozone.de had the pancake under its finger and provides a comprehensive review of the lens. If you are still wondering if you should get the 40mm pancake, then this may be the definitive review for you. I am always a little bit surprised that all the reviews are praising the good build quality (“on a very high level” – don’t forget it’s a $199 lens). From the conclusion:

[the 40mm] is just too cute [...]. Other than that it has also several hard arguments on its side. The optical performance is certainly very impressive. [...] bitingly sharp center but even the border and corner quality is on a very high level straight from f/2.8. The very low amount of lateral CAs contributes to the very high sharpness perception and the barrel distortion is nothing to worry about either. The lens produces some light falloff at max. aperture but this is nothing unheard of on full format cameras anyway and stopping down helps[...] Bokeh fringing is generally a non-issue. The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM suffers a bit from a focus shift when stopping down (residual spherical aberration). In very shallow depth-of-field situation (thus at close focus distances) this may be noticeable because DSLRs take AF readings at max. aperture only so the guidance for the other aperture settings can be very slightly off.

EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay

June 26, 2012
Posted in Reviews

[Review] Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM vs Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SL-II

The new Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($199, click here) is getting very good reviews, so it’s time to compare it to other lenses, in our case to the Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SL-II ($499, click here) lens. The comparison was done by Photo Pensieve.The Voigtlander is a manual focus lens, has faster aperture, better build quality and costs $300 more. Nevertheless, I think the comparison is interesting. The little Canon pancake doesn’t fall short when it comes to positive surprises (as seen in previous reviews, here and here). The review/comparison is fairly exhaustive, with lots of sample images and technical details. From the conclusion:

 [...] I did not expect that it beats the sharpness of already excellent Voigtlander 40mm F2.0, but it did. It is also showed more resistance to flare. [...]The canon is much cheaper than the Voigtlander, but its built quality is not in the same league as the Voigtlander’s. Although the Canon is built very well, and at least considerably better than the 50mm F1.8 and 35mm F2.0. The only shortcoming that I can see with the Canon is that it does not focus fast, like the Canon 85mm f1.8, for example. But if you compare the autofocus speed on the Canon with “your” manual focus speed with the Voigtlander, it’s a no-brainer.[...]
So all in all, if you need f2.0, shallower depth of field, love the metallic lenses, and are ok with focusing manually, the Voigtlander is the choice. Otherwise, the Canon is a tiny bit Sharper (specifically in the corner, wide open), more resistant to flare, punchier, slightly wider, considerably cheaper and lighter, and it does AUTOFOCUS.[...]
Sounds good, doesn’t it? No wonder the little Canon pancake is selling that good.
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay
Voigtlander 40mm f/2 SL-II availability and price check: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay
January 19, 2013
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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM DxOMarked (very sharp!)

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM DxOMarked

DxOMark analyzed the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (price & specs) using a EOS 5D Mark II (price & specs), and the nifty pancake got figures:

Considering its relatively low price, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM was a solid performer on our DxOMark Camera Lens Ratings. [...] it rates among the top seven standard prime lenses (with a focal range between 35mm and 85mm) achieving an overall DxOMark Score of 26.

Strengths of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM include resolution [...] Additionally, our sharpness measurements and field maps [...] indicated that the lens delivered relatively consistent edge-to-edge sharpness from f/2.8 to f/11.

Other strengths include its low geometric distortion and well-controlled chromatic aberration as indicated by its low Chromatic Aberration score of 10µm.

The one weakness of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM was the strong vignetting evident at the widest apertures. You can see from the vignetting field maps below that at f/2.8, there is heavy shading across 2/3 of the field.

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM actually has price tag of $149. A bargain for a lens that has such a good perfomance (click on shop name): Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, Digitalrev, eBay.

The 40mm pancake performs slightly better than the much pricier Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM(price & specs), and the cheaper EF 50mm f/1.8. As you can see, all three lenses have very good sharpness figures.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM DxOMarked

[via DxOMark]

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