While everyone is talking about the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($199, click here), there are two more new prime lens that Canon released this year, the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM ($850, click here) and the EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM ($800, click here). Both lenses are the second iteration, adding Image Stabilization and USM to its features. They replace some rather old, and affordable, lenses, the EF 24mm f/2.8 ($374, click here) and the EF 28mm f/2.8 ($259, click here). These were solid performing, light-weighted and small consumer-grade lenses. The new iterations are considerably more expensive, having a price tag of approximately $850 (24mm) and $800 (28mm). Besides having IS and USM, the new lenses have seven curved aperture blades (compared to five in the previous 28mm and six in the 24mm). So, how do this two, little commented (why?) lens perform? Roger Cicala at lensrentals.com wanted to find it out. Imatest was used. The results are not earth-shattering (these are not L lenses). Nevertheless, the primes have a good performance, proving that they are well suited for different uses. The IS works fine, and optical performance is good. The downside is probably the fact that the price raised by 200-300%, if compared to their predecessors. While the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is a no-brainer, you will probably carefully think for what you will need the new 24mm and 28mm. Given the price, these are not lenses most of us will buy just to have them. However, there are various settings where these primes might be the right choice, e.g. night photography (f/2.8 and IS). And don’t forget that on an APS-C body, the 28mm has a normal focus length, becoming a ~44mm.
Still unsure if Canon’s new Rebel T4i (EOS 650D in EU, Kiss X6i in JP) is the right camera for you? Maybe some sample pictures might help. DPreview updated its preview of the T4i/650D with studio and real world sample images (click here). The camera’s core specifications:
- 18MP APS-C ‘Hybrid CMOS’ sensor
- Phase detection AF from imaging sensor for Live View and Video
- Continuous autofocus in movie mode with subject tracking
- 14-bit DIGIC 5 processor
- ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
- 5 fps continuous shooting
- 9 point AF system, all sensors cross type, central sensor F2.8 (from 60D)
- 63 zone iFCL metering
- 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound with internal or external mics
- 1.04m dot 3:2 touch-sensitive vari-angle ClearView II LCD (capacitative type, multi-touch support)
Btw, Adorama has various Rebel T4i/650D bundles in offer, click here to see them all.
According to Northlight Images the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens has been spotted out in the wild, shooting a tennis match in Wimbledon. There are no exact specifications for this lens. We know that the extender is build-in and switchable, meaning it becomes a 280-560mm F5.6 lens. The price is also unknown, a tag of $11,000-12,000 is rumored. This is a long awaited lens, and an imminent release now sounds plausible. The lens was announced by Canon last year:
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 7, 2011 – Canon Inc. today announced the development of a new super-telephoto lens, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x, for use with all EOS SLR cameras. A prototype of the new lens will be exhibited at the CP+ tradeshow, held in Pacifico Yokohama, from February 9 – 12, 2011.
The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x is being developed as an L-series super-telephoto lens with an integrated 1.4x extender and high-performance Image Stabilizer technology. The new lens will offer exceptional flexibility by incorporating a built-in 1.4x extender that increases the maximum focal length to 560mm for sports and wildlife photography. High-quality images with high levels of resolution and contrast will be possible through the use of advanced optical materials such as fluorite crystal. The new lens will also include dust- and water-resistant construction designed for extended usage under harsh conditions.
Canon’s little pancake, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($199, click here), is getting a lot of attention. That’s no surprise, given the outstanding performance this lens delivers (especially in regard to its price). DPreview published sample pics shot using the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (click here). The sample pics were shot using an EOS 5D Mark III and an EOS 5D Mark II for full-frame images, and using a Rebel T4i/650D and a Rebel T3i/600D for the APS-C images.
Our friend Carl over at photographic-central posted an exhaustive review of the pancake. Carl used a full-frame (an EOS 5D) and an APS-C camera (an EOS 50D) for his tests. His review confirms the exceptionally good performance of this pancake lens. From the conclusion:
Overall the Canon EF 40mm STM f/2.8 lens is a lot of bang for the buck. Certainly better results can be had with lenses at different focal lengths in the max magnification (macro) and bokeh categories but the 40mm STM does quite well considering its price anyway, especially so on the APS-C format. Sharpness is never an issue at f/4 and beyond on both formats, and sharpness only gets better up to f/8 corner to corner where it seems to reach its peak when all things are considered (center is barely softer at f/8 vs f/5.6). Barrel distortion at least in field conditions, is slightly noticeable but not really a problem.
Vignetting shows up even on APS-C but nearly gone at f4. Any weaknesses this lens exhibits (very few) are more pronounced on a full frame sensor but this lens still performs well over all considering its low price. Color and contrast are just phenomenal at f/4 and beyond on both formats, a highly desirable trait indeed. Flare can show up in extreme circumstances so I recommend a hand/hat/hood to combat it if its a problem for you.
More Canon Mirrorless newsbits (aka rumors, ) have shown up. CR reports that the mirrorless camera will «launch with at least 2 lenses and an EF adaptor. One lens will be a wide angle “kit” lens as well as a telephoto lens». Let’s hope the adapter will also be able to take EF-S lenses (we all hope so!). Moreover, the rumors CR is reporting are saying that Canon’s new primes – the 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, 28mm f/2.8 IS USM and the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM - have been thought to go along well with the upcoming mirrorless camera Canon is working on. Makes sense IMO. No exact information about the camera body: «the camera will use the 14mp CMOS G1 X sensor. A “good” ISO range and “average” video performance. A video focused camera could be “in the future”». The rumors make sense. There is only one thing that continues to baffle me: the supposed date for the announcement, July 24th. In the midst of the summer? Strange day for a new camera announcement.
Price check of the cited gear:
EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, J&R, Digitalrev, eBay, rent it at Borrow Lenses
EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, J&R, Digitalrev, eBay, rent it at Borrow Lenses
EF 40mm f/2.8 STM: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Canon USA, J&R, Digitalrev, eBay, rent it at Borrow Lenses
Looking forward to the soon-to-be-released massive firmware update for the EOS 7D, Canon made an updated version of the 7D user manual available for download (click here). The new manual reflects the new features and other changes that will be introduced with the firmware upgrade expected to be released to the public in August.