Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hands On: Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

 
I couldn't stop myself from buying this lens, it's Canon's first pancake lens, it's extremely tiny (almost as thick as the rear lens cap), it's $200, it's f/2.8 (I know, not very fast, but WTH), it's very sharp and it has very pleasing bokeh. Hit the jump for more.

Roger Cicala's test of the lens showed that it is very sharp wide open all the way to the corners, that was the first glimmer in my eyes, other tests and reviews praised it a lot, so why shouldn't I try it for myself? The worst that could happen is that I don't like it and sell it.
 
I didn't have a chance to try it except on an indoor bowling day (awful light), and my niece when I returned home, both shots were available light only, wide open & ISO 3200, it was my first time to use the lens, I didn't have a chance to see if the focus needed micro adjustment or anything at all.
 
My initial impressions are that it is very sharp wide open (even using the outer cross type focus points), it is not a very fast focusing lens, it's not even as fast as my 50mm 1.4, on similar focusing distances, for example moving subjects far away, it is very quick, but moving from close to far focusing distances, it is not that quick.
 
Headshot, 40 STM wide open, ISO 3200
 
100% crop, a higher shutter speed would get a sharper picture still
 
It is noticeably wider than the 50mm on full frame, reminds me of my 35mm f/2 before I sold it, it is good to include more in the shot. I still have to shoot in better light and different subjects to see how it works, more to come.
 
f/2.8, ISO 3200, the magenta light you see on the right is from the TV