Advantages Of A Pancake Lens (Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM)



Intersting article by professional photographer Andrew Gibson at picturecorrect about advantages of pancake lenses in general, and of Canon's supersharp EF 40mm f/2.8 STM in particular. The pancake is tested for various photograhic settings, i.e. landscape, portrait and so on. Close up/macro photography is also contemplated. Moreover, EF 40mm f/2.8 is lightweighted, not too espensive ($199), and has excellent optical properties. From the conclusion:

Landscape photography aside, the Canon 40mm pancake lens hasn’t disappointed. It’s light, well-built, the autofocus works well and it has excellent image quality. Furthermore it’s one of Canon’s cheapest lenses and probably the best value for money out of the entire Canon range.

Technical specifications of the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM:

  • Continuous Autofocus for Video With Rebel T4i/EOS M
  • 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: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II Sharper Than Mark I, But There Are Variations


When the EF 24-70 f/2.8L Mark II came out earlier this year it started lots of discussions, mainly because of the hefty price tag ($2299). With this price tag, basically same specs and no image stabilization this lens had to be very good. Indeed, this lens has an amazing image quality.

Roger Cicala at Lensrentals com compared the previous iteration of the EF 24-70 f/2.8L to the new one using Imatest to measure the resolution properties of both lens. Well, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II sharpness figures are excellent, better than it predecessor. But there was more Roger Cicala wanted to learn. There have been concerns by users that some copies of the EF 24-70mm didn't have the sharpness they were expecting. He compared 70 copies of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II to 125 copies of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 to see if and how much variation there was in the resolution figures. There is, look at the next picture.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II Sharper Than Mark I, But There Are Variations

While the Mark II is clearly topping the Mark I, there are huge differences among both batches. Quoting Roger Cicala:

A look at the graph shows a couple of things. Overall, the range of variation of the Mk II lens is about the same as the Mk I version. (And these are recent Mk Is after we learned how to keep the 70mm variation to a minimum. It used to be much greater.)

You can also see that three of the tested Mk II lenses seem to be out-of-sorts. Even with 70 copies, though, it’s hard to be absolutely certain where the ‘acceptable’ cutoff should be by just looking at the graph. […]

The bottom line is that 3 lenses out of the 70 copies were not up to expectations. That is a bit higher than the 2% unacceptable rate we usually see ‘out of the box’.

One other thing demonstrates the difficulty we have with one of the less-than-expected copies; they’re still better than the best of the 24-70 Mk I versions. They just aren’t as much better as they should be.

Ok, so the worst performing of the Mark II is better than the best performing of the Mark I lens, but variation is pronounced. There is more in Cicala's post, for instance the EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is compared to the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II at 70mm. Check it out.

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

EF 24-70mm f/2.8 price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA [lensrentals via petapixel]


Canon PowerShot G15 Reviewed By Gizmodo

Canon PowerShot G15 Reviewed By Gizmodo

Gizmodo published its Canon PowerShot G15 review, Canon’s latest iteration of the enormously popular PowerShot series. This enthusiasts’ compact camera sports a very fast lens (f/1.8) in a small housing with all the manual controls you may wish. RAW is also supported, price is around $500. Let’s start with what Gizmodo thinks about the design:

Kudos on this one, Canon. Where looks are concerned, the G15 goes the distance. Everything is well-proportioned and well-placed, with an understated, sleek, yet classic look to it. It is small-ish and more compact than the camera it replaces, the G12.

Image quality:

The images you will produce are quite nice. For a compact, it packs decent sharpness and solid high ISO performance, with an ISO range topping out at 12800.

About the lens:

That ultra-fast f/1.8-2.8 aperture makes for low-light goodness and a shallow depth of field. Even the terrific Sony RX100 can’t match that at the long end.

Image samples are provided.

Technical specifications:

  • 12.1MP CMOS Sensor
  • 3.0″ LCD Monitor
  • 5x Optical Zoom 6.1-30.5mm Lens
  • 28-140mm 35mm Equivalent Focal Length
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 1080p HD Video Capture
  • 12800 ISO
  • Intelligent IS Image Stabilization
  • 10fps Continuous Capture
  • RAW & JPEG Capture

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

More Canon EOS M Sample Pictures Published

DPreview just posted a batch of Canon EOS M (production model) sample shots.

[dpreview] had a chance to shoot with the Canon EOS M, the [Canon’s] first mirrorless camera, over a weekend on Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shooting exclusively with the 22mm F2 prime lens, [dpreview] prepared a gallery of real-world images shot in a variety of situations and under a range of lighting conditions. In addition to camera JPEGs, we’ve processed a series of images at different ISO settings through the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw.

There is also a rather significant sentence:

[…] it’s hard to shake the impression that a potentially promising camera risks being undermined by woefully slow autofocus.

If you live in Europe you can get the Canon EOS M at DigitalRev with a concrete discount, usually €200 less than other EU-based online shops.

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

Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135mm f/2 ZE First Impressions (by The Phoblographer)

Video above: Michael Schiehlen, Sales Director at Carl Zeiss, introduces the new tele lens Apo Sonnar T* 2/135.

The Phoblographer had the opportunity to briefly test the new Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135mm f/2 ZE lens (Canon mount) on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. As expected first impressions of this high end lens are totally positive. Sample shots are provided. Quoting The Phoblographer:

As a slightly long portrait lens or for non-macro closeups the Zeiss 135mm f/2.0 is an upper class contender. It is super sharp with the typical micro-contrast that Zeiss optics give, and it also provides a clinically clean and beautiful look that is valued by many photographers willing to pay top dollar for what they put in front of their camera sensor. In fact, when a Zeiss lens is put on a Canon body, it only seems like the white balancing right out of the camera just becomes better vs actual Canon glass. We’re looking forward to putting this one through its pace

More on Carl Zeiss' homepage

Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135mm f/2 ZE First Impressions
Image credit: The Phoblographer