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: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA


Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II Review By The Phoblographer

Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II Review By The Phoblographer
Image credit: The Phoblographer

The Phoblographer posted an interesting review of Canon’s much discussed EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. A great, sharp lens with no IS (why?) and a rather hefty price tag ($2,299). They had two copies of the lens and found some inconsistencies (one sharper than the other). This is was known (unfortunately). There have been other reviews (Lensrentals and The Digital Picture) that reported variations in optical performance among copies if this lens. That’s a pity, given the price tag. And they clearly recommend the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 SP VC over the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II. Don’t get it wrong: the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II is a great lens, maybe a must for professional photographers, but the Tamron costs less and still delivers outstanding performance.

If the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is in your mind you should have a look at The Phoblographer’s informative review. Sample images are provided. Quoting the verdict:

What’s Awesome: Extremely versatile lens with excellent performance overall for a photographer that needs it versatility.

What’s Not So Awesome: Prime lenses are still sharper, more reliable, and faster to focus. Copies of the lens vary; we tested three different ones. Lack of image stabilization shows that Canon’s corporate philosophy still hasn’t changed and does not realize that sometimes they need to cannibalize their own work to improve.

Verdict: This lens is quite expensive. Tamron’s 24-70mm f2.8 with VC is a better choice for the money.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II Review By The Phoblographer


More Canon Powershot G15 Reviews

More PowerShot G15 (price & specs) reviews, both detailed and exhaustive, and with lots of sample pictures. Photographyblog writes:

The new Canon PowerShot G15 is the most well-balanced G-series camera to date. It may not offer the admittedly more versatile articulating screen of its predecessor, the G12, or the DSLR-like image quality of its big brother, the G1 X, but the combination of greater portability, faster lens, higher-resolution screen and smaller size is a winning one.

Cameralabs says:

[…] the G15 still has plenty to offer. Its bright f1.8-2.8 lens combined with excellent optical image stabilisation not only provides it with great low light performance, the 1cm close focus distance at the wide angle setting together with it’s ability to focus reasonably close when zoomed in, makes it possible to achieve a fairly shallow depth of field on macros and portraits, something that’s often proved elusive on small sensor cameras. The abundance of physical controls will continue to endear it to enthusiasts and while dropping the articulated screen may not meet with universal approval, for me, the more compact lightweight form that results is well worth the sacrifice.

More Canon Powershot G15 Reviews

Canon PowerShot G15 price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA


Street Photography And Telephoto Lenses: A Challenge That Works

The milk carton golfer. 90mm – Image credit: Napier Lopez

Very interesting post by Napier Lopez on PetaPixel about street photography, and about telephoto lenses used for this purpose. The focal lengths that are normally recommended (and used) for street photography are roughly between 28mm and 50mm. And there is a good reason for that: focal lengths of 35-50mm are more or less equivalent to the perspective humans have, i.e. they correspond to the angle of view of our eyes. That’s why a 50mm lens is called “normal”; according to Wikipedianormal lens is a lens that reproduces a field of view that generally looks “natural” to a human observer under normal viewing conditions. Everyone who is into street photography (I am) has his own recipe on that matter, and telephoto lenses may appear to be not the best choice for street photography. Indeed, they are a powerful tool for that purpose, yet not necessarily easy to use. I am often using telephoto lenses when I am out to shot on the streets, mainly to shot candids.

The post, in the authors words, tries to “challenge the most basic tenet most serious street photographers will tell you: that you need a wide-ish or normal lens in order to do the genre properly, and that you need to get close“. The article tackles the following points in regard to street photography and telephoto lenses:

  • Shooting candid: with a telephoto lens you can take pictures without getting noticed
  • The artistic element you may add to your pics due to the background flattening effect of telephoto lenses
  • Z-Axis and perspective. This one is very interesting (check the picture above) Quoting Lopez:
    • People generally think of telephoto lenses as capturing less space than a wide angle lens for a given framing, but this isn’t totally true. If you’re framing your subject similarly, the compositional space you lose on the 2D plane, you can essentially regain on the Z axis. Meaning, since you have to stand further from your subject for equivalent framing, you get more space in between the camera and your subject to work with, space that so often goes unused. Although photography is a 2 dimensional medium (usually), that doesn’t mean the option to express yourself through the third dimension isn’t there. It just takes a little more work.
  • You are not loosing the intimacy and the human element just by using a telephoto lens

An article that’s absolutely worth to be read, even if street photography is not among your main interests. You can follow Napier Lopez on 500px.

[via PetaPixel]

Canon PowerShot G15 vs G12 vs S110 Comparison (and some reviews)

Canon PowerShot G15 vs G12 vs S110 Comparison
Image credit: Ron Martinsen

Ron Martinsen compares three Canon Powershot cameras: PowerShot G15 ($499) vs Powershot G12 ($379) vs PowerShot S110 ($449). The last one features built-in WiFi. Some excerpts from Martinsen’s review:

  • Functionality-wise [he] found the G12 and G15 to be mostly the same with the biggest feature difference being the Full HD (1920×1080) support added to the G15 and the max ISO jumping from 3200 to 12,800
  • The big WOW feature of the s110 has to be its touch screen which really helps it to overcome its lack of buttons.
  • The addition of integrated Wi-Fi support on s110 was pretty exciting when I first started to review it. Once setup […] it became even more obvious how this is so much more than Eye-Fi. What you end up with is a device on your network that you can pair with your phone, printer, computer and more for an integrated wireless experience

From the conclusion:

[…] For starters, the s110 is much improved over the s95 that I reviewed back when the G12 came out. The touch screen helps it to overcome some of my past gripes, and the Wi-Fi support plus big rear display really up its value beyond just being compact. As a result, I feel a lot more comfortable recommending the s110 as a nice pocketable point and shoot.

The G15 on the other hand has made good progress getting smaller, but I honestly think it’s lost some of the things that made the G12 so great in the process. While it is smaller and lighter, I still don’t think people will consider it any more pocketable (and truth be told if you can fit a G15 in your pocket, you most likely can a G12 too – both fit in my back jeans pocket). It’s also disappointing to not see some of the s110’s features on the G15 which make it feel a bit dated by comparison.

There are also sample pics shot which each camera. More links for you to check:

  • Photographyblog has another batch of PowerShot G15 sample shots (studio shots inclusive) to check.
  • c|net has a PowerShot S110 review, they write: Nice photo quality, improved autofocus performance, and a very compact design make the Canon PowerShot S110 a solid option if you’re looking for something between a point-and-shoot and an enthusiast compact.

Canon PowerShot G15 price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA Canon Powershot G12 price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA Canon Powershot S110 price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

[via ronmartblog]

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Hands-On

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Hands-On

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE hands-on at The Phoblographer. This lens is a superlative wide-angle prime with outstanding optical properties. As The Phoblographer states: «for when Canon’s L series isn’t good enough», and «the lens is made extremely well with fit and finish being absolutely fantastic. The build seriously puts Canon’s L series to shame».

Please have a look to the review if this lens is in your thoughts. Sample images are provided. From the conclusion:

There is an extremely luxurious feel to this lens and the quality of the shots is fantastic. You can use it for a lot of things: architecture, landscapes, creative portraits and wherever you’d like a nice, large field of view. Just make sure you’re using this on a full frame camera, or else you end up with a more pedestrian 28mm or 35mm focal length (depending on your crop factor). Zeiss lenses will cost you but we are talking the difference between driving a Toyota or a BMW here

Tech specs (see also Zeiss’ site):

  • Focal length 21 mm
  • Aperture range f/2.8 – f/22
  • Focusing range 0.22 m – ∞
  • Number of elements/groups 16/13
  • Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 90°/81°/59°
  • Coverage at close range 18 x 12 cm
  • Filter thread M 82 x 0.75
  • Dimensions (with caps) ø 87 mm, length 110-112 mm
  • Weight 600g – 720g

The Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE costs $1843 and can be ordered at the following shops: Amazon | B&H | Adorama

Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZE Hands-On