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.
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.
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.[…]
At borrowlenses.com they made a short comparison between the Rebel T4i/650D and the Rebel T3i/600D. The comparison is made side by side. Watch and judge for yourself. Btw, the Rebel T3i/600D may be available at reduced price since the T4i is out and shipping. Check the live-ticker below for possible T3i bargains.
Roger Cicala at lensrental.com tested the brand new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens (he tested eight copies of the lens.) The impressions are more than positive, and in the title of the post, Roger is asking “how did they do that?“. Imatest MTF 50 was used to test the lens.
My first impression was the build quality was better than I expected. It has a metal mount, not plastic. The aperture blades appear more curved than most of the Canon 7 blade aperture rings, making a more circular opening. The little STM motor is not silent, but it’s pretty quiet.
The (very good) results were consistent over all tested copies, showing that Canon is able to produce such a high quality yet affordable lens in batch. The conclusion of the test says it all:
Overall, though, I’m extremely impressed. I’d be impressed if a lens this size and price was just decent, but this one is excellent. I might as well go ahead and get in trouble with the business manager: if you think you want this lens, just go ahead and buy it. At this price, unless some of the more thorough reviewers find something I missed on this quick overview, you can’t go wrong.
The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake can be bought for $199, and it is in stock at Adorama (click here), B&H (click here) and Amazon US (click here). DigitalRev (click here) also has the pancake in stock. Note: due to high request there may be shipping delays, and the lens may soon be temporary out of stock.
World-wide EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check:
Asia & Australia: AliExpress, Amazon JAPAN, Amazon CHINA, Amazon USA, Digitalrev, Adorama, B&H Photo, eBay Australia, Rakuten JP
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, DigitalRev, eBay DE, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Canon DE, Canon UK, Canon IT, Canon FR
USA/Canada: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy