[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: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA
Voigtlander 40mm f/2 SL-II availability and price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

[Review] Rebel T4i/650D vs. Rebel T3i/600D

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.

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[Review] An Excellent Lens: The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

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.

[via dpreview]

World-wide EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Canon DE, Canon UK, Canon IT, Canon FR

[Review] Rebel T4i/650D/X6i Studio Test Shots

imaging-resource published test shots made with a production Rebel T4i/650D/X6i. The whole ISO range is covered (up to 25.600), RAW files are also available, all samples can be downloaded in original resolution. These are studio test shots, i.e. test shots made in a laboratory setting. Btw, it seems that Canon was really fast to make the Rebel T4i/650D/X6i available: most shops are reporting that they have the camera in stock and ready to ship.

Rebel T4i/650D/X6i price and availability check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

[Review] Tamron AF 24-70mm f/2.8 SP Di USD VC Getting More Positive Reviews

Chris over at thephoblographer.com just reviewed Tamron’s new zoom lens, the AF 24-70mm f/2.8 SP Di USD VC (click here) for Canon mount. As with the other reviews I featured (here, here, and here) this one too confirms the absolutely positive impression people has with this lens. The review is detailed and comprehensive, and comes with lot of sample images. From the conclusion:

The Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC SP USD wins nothing less than my highest recommendations. Sure, it is expensive, but when you really weigh what you’re getting, it is quite worth its weight in gold. You’re getting excellent image stabilization, great build quality […] excellent sharpness, accurate focusing that doesn’t need microadjusting, and versatile color rendition.

Tamron AF 24-70mm f/2.8 SP Di USD VC availability and price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA

Image courtesy of thephoblographer.com

[ebook] Free (e)Book About Street Photography

Image courtesy of erickimphotography.com

Well known photographer Eric Kim wrote a book about street photography. To download the ebook (PDF and MS Word formats available) click here and scroll down a little bit. From the introduction:

So why did I decide to write this book? Well one quote that I love is from famous hockey player Wayne Gretsky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In street photography, one of the biggest problems that most aspiring street photographers is getting over their initial fear of taking photos of strangers in public (without permission).

To photograph strangers without their permission is strange. Most societies in the world teach that it is wrong to take a photo of a stranger without their permission. In-fact, we are so socialized against doing this that we are worried what repercussions may happen to us if we do so. We are worried that the photos of others we shoot may become belligerent, yell at us, or even call the police on us. Therefore “normal” people don’t take photographs of strangers without their permission—but who ever said that street photographers were “normal” people?

If I could estimate, I have probably shot over 300,000 street photographs in my last five years in the streets. Out of all of these shots, I have only gotten around 3 really negative responses. The first encounter involves an old man grabbing my arm and asking me what I was doing, the second a man in Downtown LA trying to grab my camera from me, and the third being an old Chinese man karate-chopping me in the back of the neck (from a bike) when I took a photograph of him during the night with my flash. Needles to say I am still alive (and in great health) and haven’t ever gotten punched, stabbed, or killed (yet). Also if you do the math, 3 really negative experiences out of 300,000 is only .001%– which is statistically insignificant. You are probably more likely to get run over by a car, die in a plane crash, or win the lottery.