A New Pancake Lens is Coming, the ExperimentalOptics 35mm f/2.7 for FF Cameras

Experimentaloptics 35mm F/2.8

A new lens got a funding campaign at Kickstarter. The ExperimentalOptics 35mm f/2.7 full frame pancake lens claims to the “Smallest Fastest Pancake Lens in the World”.

About the mount type they say “the lens has a clever combined Leica M and M39 mount to make it universally adaptable to virtually any camera (apart from SLRs), especially any mirrorless present or future“. So not Canon DSLRs, but hopefully it will work with the Canon EOS R.

The ExperimentalOptics 35mm f/2.7 full frame pancake lens, 7mm thin, 40g light, stealth, sturdy and razor sharp. This is not just an engineering achievement, it is truly the perfect lens for photographers: it puts the least amount of glass and kit between you and your world. It’s a joy to handle and operate, a beautifully crafted object in itself, and creates absolutely stunning results. Our careful choice of focal length, aperture, design and handling allow photographers to capture the world exactly as they see it and truly express their creative vision.

This is not a toy lens. It is a special piece of equipment for professionals, aficionados and connoisseurs. We spent more than two years developing and testing it, and now it’s ready. Almost, that is, because it still needs to be produced… To bring this unique, uncompromising project to life, we’ve gone on kickstarter.

It all will be handmade and, as a result, in very limited quantities only. We expect to ship a first batch of 20 lenses in 2018 and a second batch of another 20 lenses in 2019. That should make this not only the tiniest, but also one of the rarest lenses in the world.

[Review] EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Sample Pics And Another Review

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.

EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check: [shopcountry 5686]

[Rumor] Latest About Canon’s Mirrorless Camera

Canon Mirrorless Concept by D. Riesenberg

A new rumour about Canon’s eagerly awaited mirrorless camera has surfaced. NI reports that the mirrorless system camera Canon is supposed to work on, will come “with a kit zoom and an adapter for EF lenses such as the new pancake 40mm lens“. There is also a patent for an EF adapter by Canon (see picture below), filed last year (machine translated). An EF adapter for a Canon mirrorless makes sense, especially if you consider the huge amount of excellent Canon lenses that everyone would like to use on a Canon mirrorless camera. There is a nice animation on NI, showing how much the adapter would contribute to the overall thickness (not very much) when used with the new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ($199, click here).

Canon EF adapter

[via NI]

[Review] Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Reviewed By Photozone (Yet Another Pancake Review – Update)

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.

EF 40mm f/2.8 STM availability and price check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, Canon CA, Canon USA

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