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Roger Cicala looks at the Canon 40mm F2.8 STM pancake lens

By dpreview staff on Jun 21, 2012 at 16:41 GMT
Buy on GearShop$199.00

Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has just tested Canon's EF 40mm F2.8 STM pancake prime lens, with interesting results. Cicala has tested eight copies of the $199 lens, to see what compromises have been made to offer a video-optimized lens in a small package for such a low price. His initial impressions are worth reading if you're one of the people considering this lens.

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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Comments

Total comments: 138
12
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (Jul 25, 2012)

Who needs a mirrorless. Now I can fit my 5d in my fanny pack haha. Actually an amazing lens.

0 upvotes
dave_bass5
By dave_bass5 (Jul 1, 2012)

Just got this lens yesterday. I believed all the hype about how sharp it is, can't say that mine is fantastic, although its more than usable wide open.
I need a camera that fits in my suitbag pocket. My 60D with 40mm lens on fits just perfectly. Even with my old 35f/2 on it was too large and until now I've had to use my S95.
So, it's not going to replace my zooms, it's IQ does seem better than my 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.8, and it's a bit wider. What's not to like.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jun 25, 2012)

as great as this lens is.... it is only f2.8

all reviews show it has a great IQ.
sharpness is impressiv even on the borders.

now imagine a new designed EF 50mm f1.4.
the design of the EF 50mm F1.4 is 20 years old, this lens deserves an update!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
amicus70
By amicus70 (Jun 25, 2012)

I do not own a Canon, but this is - after reading the test - absolutely a standard lens for a DSLR. Pentax have a similiar lens but with a "quick-shift"-function: that means, you could adjust the distance durcing the AF-mode... that's pretty cool.

0 upvotes
rghoag
By rghoag (Jun 24, 2012)

Mine arrived and I'm impressed. I'm using it on a cropped sensor
and It's sharp, nice bokeh. I was concerned about the focal length
but it's very usable. It's amazing wide open. Hope my 17-40 doesn't
get too dusty.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jun 23, 2012)

Nice to see the naysayers proved wrong.

4 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Jun 23, 2012)

Here is a thought for the people who think this lens is Canon's initial steps in to the mirrorless system...Judging by the focal length and the price it might be the standard lens for an APS-H (1.3x) size camera? Just speculating on a lazy saturday morning...better than brand bashing or worshipping maybe?

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 23, 2012)

One important component of mirrorless systems is compactness. It needs to be a more compact alternative or supplement to a DSLR system (APS-C or FF). Using an APS-H format would be counterproductive to that goal. Furthermore, it would drive up the cost of the camera, since cost goes up with sensor size. APS-H is obviously larger than APS-C. The chances are highly, highly unlikely that Canon will be using a sensor larger than APS-C in their mirrorless system. In fact, most even doubt that Canon will even be going as large as APS-C.

And quite frankly, I'm pretty sure that when Canon intros their mirrorless system, it will have its own set of dedicated mirrorless lenses. So trying to use this EF pancake lens as a basis of predicting the format of Canon's mirrorless system is completely pointless.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Jun 24, 2012)

You have valid points but Canon surprised everyone with a relatively large sensor G1 X and managed to keep the camera size to compact dimensions. I don't think anybody expected that.
If Canon uses APSc size sensor wouldn't they be shooting themselves in the leg? A smaller sensor than APSc? How will they then justify current G1 X price and while the competition offers mirrorless cameras with APSc sensor? In my opinion the biggest advantage of a mirrorless system is the weight saving once you put a zoom lens on it no longer pocketable so I don't think the EF mount would be a limiting aspect in terms of size. This saves the cost of designing a new lens mount and lens range from scratch. What do you think?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 26, 2012)

@oselimg- they'll be "shooting themselves in the leg" even more if they use an APS-H sensor in their mirrorless body while most of their DSLRs still use APS-C!!! There is no way Canon is going to put a larger sensor into their mirrorless cameras than what they are using in their DSLRs. That's why most people think that Canon will use a sensor equal in size to their G1X (which is slightly smaller than APS-C) or smaller.

As for "justifying current G1X prices", the G1X is basically an expendable product. I would be surprised if it even still exists a couple years from now. Canon will still keep the G1X around for those people whoabsolutely don't want an ILC, but they don't have to "justify" its price to anyone. The G1X is basically a "take it or leave it" product. I think Canon would just as well have it go away because they stand to gain more by having people buy an ILC version of the G1X so they can sell you lenses!

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 26, 2012)

Re: "...the biggest advantage of a mirrorless system is the weight saving once you put a zoom lens on it no longer pocketable"...ILC is not really about being pocketable because today's ILC cameras aren't really pocketable! I have a Oly E-PM1, which is the smallest of the m4/3 mirrorless bodies. Even with a Panny 14/2.5 pancake on it, it's /barely/ pocketable. But it doesn't matter because the overall package is still a lot more compact than a typical EF-mount DSLR. And that is primarily due to the shorter lens registration distance and made-for-mirrorless lenses.

Canon's mirrorless camera *will* have a new lens mount because it will have a new, shorter lens registration distance. Your statement about "saving the cost of designing a new lens mount and lens range from scratch" is a false economy because any costs will easily be paid off by new lens purchases! It's like saying, "Lets save us the cost of making new products by not making new products to sell!" FAIL!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Jun 23, 2012)

Hm..how does it compare to Pentax's 40mm, one has to wonder?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 27, 2012)

I'm sure they are quite comparable, except the Canon is $200 while the Pentax is around $400.

0 upvotes
Kyriacos
By Kyriacos (Jun 22, 2012)

The price is great. Wished Nikon came out with some cheaper lenses that were worth buying. Current pricing they had on their 50mm is ridiculous.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 22, 2012)

Great review , great lens - but I still wish it had been a new 35mm f2.8 which would have fitted into the current range 35 f2 (old slow AF) and the 35 1.4 L (too big too expensive) I strongly suspect Canon is trying out the market with this lens and will judge its next move based on the reaction to this pancake.

I also think that since Canon WILL bring out their own smaller format system camera at some point this lens might well be seen as a cross over model.

I just hope that when Canon do get around to it they don't do a Nikon V1 / J1 - you know The One - That doesn't sell.....

1 upvote
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 22, 2012)

I had the Pentax 40mm 2.8 SMC-M lens way back - can't say that I used it much - of course since it was so long ago the ideal of having such a small lens didn't really mean anything....

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Jun 22, 2012)

Looks like Canon has consitent performance between lens samples and has good manufacturing controls to make the same lens twice. I assume this is a four element design, would be interesting to see how it compares to the old Zeiss Contax/Yashica 45mm pancake (Tessar).

2 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (Jun 22, 2012)

The lens for a digital Canon q17 equivalent perhaps? Would be nice

0 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (Jul 25, 2012)

We can only dream.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Jun 22, 2012)

All lens reviews should include 2 or more samples

0 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Jun 22, 2012)

You'll need way more samples than 2. Statistically, 30 or more would be a good number.

You should read this article: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/06/product-variability-part-i.html

"Let me give you a numerical example. Suppose a company introduces a new piece of photographic equipment that is so poorly made that 20% of them perform horribly. I'd certainly not want to be recommending that to my readers. How many units would I have to test to discover that? If I tested 10, there would still be a 10% chance of me not getting a single lousy unit. If I reviewed two dozen products a year and I tested 10 of everything I reviewed, two or three times a year I'd be assuring my readers that some product was well made when it wasn't."

0 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Jun 22, 2012)

So, that means if they tested thirty samples and one was bad, they wouldn't recommend the product? That's a completely flawed approach.

Statistically, if you always test with ten random samples, you have a good chance of finding a bad copy from your horrible manufacturer. If you don't find one, then your tests are, safe to say, "accurate". You can be sure 80% of your readers will be perfectly happy, and the other 20% can trade theirs in for a good one.

The question is, out of your pool, how many bad copies would it take to sway your results? After all, the point of testing multiple copies is not to analyze the failure rate, but to get an average performance rating.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Jun 22, 2012)

You dont understand manufacturing statistics. I'm a semiconductor engineer and 30 pcs is the accepted minimum sample size to characterize performance of a product to a standardized confidence level. You're not looking for 'bad' parts but just measuring performance parameters, calculating mean and std dev so that you know the quality of product you are shipping. Doesnt mean that you dont recommend the product, just how bad does the consumer (and Canon) want to deal with a very high percentage of returns? Because lens manufacturers dont guarantee performance specs it does turn into a grey area.

0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (Jun 22, 2012)

That would be nice, except that most lens reviews are labors of love, people doing the work nearly for free, based on whatever copies of the lens they can get their hands on.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jun 23, 2012)

One may want to test 30 samples BEFORE releasing the product to the public. Canon has presumably done this; so the results Roger has gotten should represent what the average purchaser should get.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (Jun 22, 2012)

To me this lens smells very strongly like a precursor to a soon to be announced mirrorless system.
m43 is going to have serious competition.
This is good news.

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jun 22, 2012)

And at 40mm and f/2.8, it seems like the camera it's intended to go on will be APS-C at least...

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
don_van_vliet
By don_van_vliet (Jun 22, 2012)

Perhaps, but wouldn't that mean it would have the same register distance as a DSLR? If so, it wouldn't be as small as it could otherwise be.

1 upvote
fz750
By fz750 (Jun 22, 2012)

Not sure (personally) how useful this is for aps-c.

I have the canon 50mm F1.8 and the 28mm F1.8 and the 50mm is never used, it's just too long and the 40mm is closer to this than the 28m...

1 upvote
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Jun 22, 2012)

Well, the Pentax mirrorless camera (K-01) uses the APS-C size sensor and the K-mount lenses. So it is possible that a Canon camera of this type would have a sensor of similar size and would accept EF-S lenses. A good idea? Well, maybe for image quality (larger sensor) but not in terms of size and portability.

1 upvote
blank_
By blank_ (Jun 22, 2012)

this is an EF lens. It makes a no sense for a mirrorless system, but it would be great with smaller FF body under 600g.

4 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Jun 22, 2012)

While this looks to be an excellent performer, the EF mount will dictate a certain size. If Canon is planning on a mirrorless with EF mount (like the Pentax) it will be a great option for Canon users to have a more compact option, and gain some advantages of a mirrorless design - but Canon has had a smaller sensor option for years now and has never produced a compact prime for it. I don't really see the EF mount as serious competition for MFT buyers, more like competition for the XPro-1. If anything, this lens (and the two wide EF primes with IS) signals to me that Canon is focusing on full frame video users more than anything!

Now if they released an APS-C focal length compact prime I'd be convinced they have an APS-C / G1-X sensored mirrorless on the way... Nice little lens, though, no matter what it portends.

0 upvotes
jrfoto53
By jrfoto53 (Jun 22, 2012)

Absolutely. I have one for use on my 5D and it works very well with this camera. On an APS-C body it would be equiv. of a short telephoto and not as much use, to my mind. It wouldn't work on a small mirrorless as the lens register distance would be too much and spoil the benefits of the mirror-less design (see Pentax K-01).

0 upvotes
Max Savin
By Max Savin (Jun 22, 2012)

I have one on the way from B&H. I don't care if it looks funny on my 1ds3

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 22, 2012)

I totally agree - Canon now have most (all ? ) of the elements of such a system in place - the only questions are:

1: When ? 2: How much ? 3: APS-C or G 1X or smaller sensor?

I just hope they don't cock it up like Nikon did with the One Series. I'm a camera nut and always check out other snappers cameras (yes - I'm Sad Joe) - but I have NEVER seen a V1 or J1 outside of a demo or a shop.....

0 upvotes
tjbates
By tjbates (Jun 22, 2012)

It's funny to me that one of the main critisisms of Canon was that they didn't have auto focus lenses optimized for video. The thing is that anyone who has a clue about focussing for video with a DSLR doesn't use auto focus even if it is available.
Now we have a lens that apparently can't easily be manually focussed. OOoopps.
Which market is this for?

2 upvotes
jrfoto53
By jrfoto53 (Jun 22, 2012)

It can be manually focussed fairly easily. The focussing ring is quite thin, but it works well enough.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 22, 2012)

There are the hardcore DSLR videographers (who don't use AF), and then there are the casual DSLR videographers (who do use AF). Obviously, this $200 pancake lens is geared towards casual DSLR videographers.

So in answer to your question of which market this is for, it's for the DSLR owner who doesn't want to use their DSLR on rails with a follow-focus! They just want to point the camera at an object, and have it focus, just as if they were shooting a photo!

1 upvote
juan bobo
By juan bobo (Jun 23, 2012)

This is why DSLR video is useless in many situations. How do you focus- and stay in focus- with the camera on a jib?

0 upvotes
netjunkie9
By netjunkie9 (Jul 2, 2012)

I don't own a jib but I'd imagine you're almost always at infinity if you're using one. But if you did need to focus I suppose you'd do it the same way as with any other video camera - a monitor and a remote.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Jun 22, 2012)

Why is everyone so excited about this? Its only stand out feature is that it's thin. Big deal, how is that going to affect the handling of a big camera like any EOS? The concept might make sense on a mirrorless as it will slide into a pocket, here it's just a gimmick.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 51 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Goodmeme
By Goodmeme (Jun 22, 2012)

Actually I don't think its a gimmick. The smaller the lens, the more comfortable people feel when they're being photographed, at least in my experience. This translates into nice natural smiles.

As for size it's also helpful when you absolutely don't want to look conspicuous carrying around a large camera, or when you have children and not much room in the rucksack.

My two lenses are the 24-70L and the 35mm f2, both on a 5D. The 24-70 never leaves the house because its just too big for my non-studio shots.

I would love to swap my 35 for this pancake. I'm just a bit concerned that the price is ridiculous in the UK.

7 upvotes
doctorbza
By doctorbza (Jun 22, 2012)

"Its only stand out feature is that it's thin."

What about the solid build quality? The low price? The good optical performance? The STM AF drive? The fact that it weighs 25% of the 35 f/1.4? Or that it weighs 40% of the 50 f/1.4?

Did I mention that it's $200?

6 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jun 22, 2012)

You have to be a cantelope head to miss all those features etc. :)

C

1 upvote
joejack951
By joejack951 (Jun 22, 2012)

"The fact that it weighs 25% of the 35 f/1.4? Or that it weighs 40% of the 50 f/1.4?"

It could be even smaller if it was another two stops slower (f/5.6 vs. f/2.8) than these f/1.4 primes :)

1 upvote
Max Savin
By Max Savin (Jun 22, 2012)

anything that cuts wt. is good. after using a sony nx7 on vacation and then getting back to work with my 1dsmk3 24-105 was a stunning change. If canon can combine a viewfinder equal to the 1DS with a nx size camera that would be a wow.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jun 22, 2012)

Wow, you sure are ignorant of history. Thin pancake lenses have been popular and desirable even back in the days when all cameras were 35mm "full frame" film cameras. The advantage of a thin lens is that it makes your camera as compact as possible. That's a nice quality to have.

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Jun 23, 2012)

"It could be even smaller if it was another two stops slower (f/5.6 vs. f/2.8) than these f/1.4 primes :)"

Not really. The lens height is as small as it is because the 40mm focal length is a good match for the flange-to-film-plane distance. Its diameter is determined by the mount size. One could conceivably create a somewhat conical lens body (oh, goody—1930s-quality handling, unless you prohibit manual focus altogether) and smaller elements *may* allow closer packing of the groups, but there are still the AF motor and the iris to accommodate.

0 upvotes
blank_
By blank_ (Jun 22, 2012)

it seems like a great lens, but having 35/2, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 it's hard to justify it. I might sell the 35 and 50, but I would miss the fast aperture.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jun 22, 2012)

It's $200, you're not supposed to have to sell anything, especially not a 50/1.4 which is a completely different dish served in restaurants, not the pancake house. It could maybe replace the 35/2, but then you'd have to buy the 28/1.8 to add something wider again !

1 upvote
thinkfat
By thinkfat (Jun 22, 2012)

I like that he tested a whole batch. Gives a good idea about the sample spread. Very interesting for us customers for what to expect when we buy our own copy.

1 upvote
animal900
By animal900 (Jun 22, 2012)

Except that as he said, they were all close in serial number. Copies made on another day by someone else may vary. Or not, who knows...

0 upvotes
Jon Stern
By Jon Stern (Jun 22, 2012)

I just got home from picking one up at a Best Buy across the other side of the San Francisco bay. That was the only store I could find with one in stock.

I've immediately found a problem with this lens. My wife's taken a fancy to it and has stolen it to put on her T3i!

The review didn't warn me about that!

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Hopn
By Hopn (Jun 22, 2012)

LOL! There's a store near me with it, I'm going to pick it up.

0 upvotes
BitFarmer
By BitFarmer (Jun 22, 2012)

You should keep your wife in the nikon side if you are a canon boy, and viceversa!

1 upvote
Klaus dk
By Klaus dk (Jun 22, 2012)

Oh, the hazards we bravely face! :-)

0 upvotes
lukedwards89
By lukedwards89 (Jun 22, 2012)

Anyone have a link to some sample photos from this lens? I can't find one anywhere.

0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Jun 22, 2012)

Happy to see a $199 price... didn't the press release put the price initially around $550??? Now at $199 I might lose my fortitude and buy it if it makes my Rebel or 50D slim and trim...

No logical reason to have it, but it looks fun and I've lusted after Pentax's pancake for years, especially when it was mounted on my ME SUPER... oh those were the days!

0 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (Jun 22, 2012)

slim and trim....
how about a P&S or EVIL?

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jun 22, 2012)

raicoat.. no P&S or EVIL/MFT.. sometimes I personally wnat the responsiveness of a DSLR and the controls plus the IQ of the DSLR..

I wish nikon will make one too :-) I want a nikon lens that Auto Focuses

0 upvotes
Steve Balcombe
By Steve Balcombe (Jun 22, 2012)

$550 was the 18-135 STM. The 40 mm pancake was announced at $199.

1 upvote
davebot900
By davebot900 (Jun 22, 2012)

I'm verty interested in this lens. Can't wait for DXO to release some measurements now. The few pics I've seen look pretty good, but would still like to see some raw files with no correction.

0 upvotes
doctorbza
By doctorbza (Jun 22, 2012)

instead of waiting for DXO to take pictures of some charts, why not purchase this lens, take some photos and return it if you don't like it?

0 upvotes
newpictaker
By newpictaker (Jun 22, 2012)

How about some pictures with the lens!!!!

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 21, 2012)

How did they do that? Copied an ancient pentax design. http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/data/27/SMC_Pentax-M_40mm_Pancake.jpg

3 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (Jun 22, 2012)

Uhm pancake lens predated Pentax's own you know.

Konica Hexar has a 40mm f1,8 lens way back then as well. Carl Zeiss did, so did some other less know lens maker.

In regards to its good performance, well it's based of the tried and true planar design(purportedly) which orginated from Carl Zeiss. A design used and refined by many lens and camera makers. So duh.....

Although due to its compact form, I would be more incline to believe it's more of a tessar in its design. Also a design originated from Carl Zeiss and also a proven performer.

If Canon actually screwed up in either implementation, I would dare say that Carl Zeiss himself, will not only roll in the grave but dig himself out, search for the Canon engineers and give them a proper smackdown.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
1 upvote
spidermoon
By spidermoon (Jun 22, 2012)

Canon made a mistake, they must have copied the Samsung pancake, 30mm and F2 aperture. On an aps-c it's more or les like the good old 50 f1.8.

0 upvotes
CarVac
By CarVac (Jun 22, 2012)

It's certainly not an actual copy of the Tessar or the Pentax. The Tessar is 4 elements, 3 groups. The Pentax is 5 elements, 4 groups. This Canon is 6 elements in 4 groups. It may be a descendant of those designs, but that doesn't mean Canon was spared any work making the lens good.

2 upvotes
Jahled
By Jahled (Jun 21, 2012)

For something so cheap this bags a bargain I guess. But i'm still scratching my head as to why it would be a useful addition to my kit ultimately, given it looks fiddly to MF, and simply can't be as useful in low light as my 50L 1.2 (as equally fiddly to use for video). Seen some lovely samples though

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Jun 21, 2012)

hmmm. Somewhat nonsensical review. Auto-focus is not bad if you compare it to the 85/1.2. Well, yes, but the 85/1.2 is powered by a tortoise (I've used it). Resolution is compared to two zooms and a lens that is arguably medium format and so by its nature lacks resolution at 35mm. And CA? Not a word.

Seems fishy to me.

-

gratuitous plug for "Aeroplane Head Woman"

1 upvote
doctorbza
By doctorbza (Jun 22, 2012)

what's fishy about it?

0 upvotes
ptl-2010
By ptl-2010 (Jun 21, 2012)

I think I'll definitely look into this lens for my XSi... nice and compact. I'm wondering what camera they've designed it for though. 40mm isn't really one of those sought after focal lengths for FF or crop bodies.

1 upvote
OSAM
By OSAM (Jun 22, 2012)

I use Nikon's 40/2.8 macro as a walkaround. That's on DX. I find a 35 (50mm equiv) a touch wide, and 50 (75mm equiv) a touch long. Hand me a D700 and a 60/2.8 macro and I'm happy.

0 upvotes
Chris Crevasse
By Chris Crevasse (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks for the link, dpreview, and for the other valuable information you provide.

Because it strikes me as odd that Canon would make a pancake lens apparently designed for full-frame cameras when their current full-frame cameras are not at all small, is this new lens perhaps an indication that Canon has a compact, full-frame, mirrorless camera (in other words, my ideal camera) in the works?

6 upvotes
Steve Balcombe
By Steve Balcombe (Jun 22, 2012)

Not mirrorless, because a mirrorless body would surely not be handicapped by the EF mount with its 44 mm registration distance. But otherwise I agree.

0 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (Jun 22, 2012)

I was wondering this (enthusiant FF; like the rumoured Nikon D600), but would you not buy the excellent lightweight 50mm F1.8 as a standard lens, in that case?

I would, and I's rather have the F1.8 then F2.8 too..

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Jun 23, 2012)

There's no real penalty for going full-frame with a simple 4-element pancake design of this speed. There are neither retrofocal nor telephoto constraints, and the image circle isn't restricted by a long tube of a lens body — it would probably cost extra to add vignetting. I wouldn't read anything into it at all, beyond the fact that you can use it on a full-frame camera if you want.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks for the news guys, I wouldn't have found it otherwise. As to the armchair QB's criticizing DPR- you're a spoiled lot. Maybe you care about DPR at your core and feel they need a good shellacking, but at least have some good taste when doing so. They don't mind criticism openly long as you can at least be gentleman about it. Ending I'll say, its easy to criticize the way a man walks until you are in his shoes. That doesn't mean anything you say has any factual basis though.

But it will never end so I'm just talking to a brick wall.

Carl

5 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Jun 21, 2012)

Now these guys are good - I remember the stack'o'filters. More of Lensrentals, fewer ebooks about the sliders in Lightroom, that's what I say. Now if only Canon could repeat the magic with an APS-C only 20mm f/2.8 (for example).

2 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jun 21, 2012)

Why APS-C only? EF would mount on both, and would be far more universal.

0 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Jun 22, 2012)

APS-C only would be even smaller(in theory).

0 upvotes
DaddyG
By DaddyG (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks DPReview. I would never have seen this review if it wasn't posted by you. And well done on a great website.

3 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Jun 22, 2012)

This guy is funny. Believe me, I'm a big fan of his blog.

0 upvotes
fengyboy
By fengyboy (Jun 21, 2012)

Based on the review, this lens is definitely an excellent performer. However, I'm never a big fan of pancake lens, besides 40mm isn't a very useful focal length for me. I think I'll pass this one.

0 upvotes
BryMills
By BryMills (Jun 21, 2012)

Why not just sub-contract lens reviews to Roger Cicala ???

4 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jun 21, 2012)

I'm thinking of buying a Canon DSLR just to be able to use this lens :-) I wish Nikon can come up with something similar to this pancake lens.. an auto focusing pancake lens that is :-)

0 upvotes
zlatko
By zlatko (Jun 21, 2012)

DPReview is a great source of information ... better than ever ... and it's free. I appreciate this news item and many others. R Butler, don't be deterred by the occasional rude remarks in the comments. Some people just seem to find fault with everything.

3 upvotes
Arn
By Arn (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks for the link. Great that these days DPreview is providing links to interesting reviews and articles done by other sites.

6 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Jun 21, 2012)

Now if only they'd review lenses themselves...

1 upvote
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Jun 21, 2012)

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews ;)

0 upvotes
Martin Kulhavy
By Martin Kulhavy (Jun 21, 2012)

Last review (Hands-on Preview not counted) is from 2010. No reviews here in the last 2 years.

0 upvotes
Silat Shooter
By Silat Shooter (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks for the review link. Read it, and feel better about ordering one.

0 upvotes
juan bobo
By juan bobo (Jun 21, 2012)

Since the lens is "video-optimized", one would expect some video testing. How well does it hold the focus? How quickly does it auto focus when the camera to subject distance changes dramatically? Does the audio "hear" the auto focus? etcetera

0 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (Jun 21, 2012)

Well, at least DP Review is outsourcing their camera reviews now. But I haven't seen a new lens review in quite some time. Time to rename the site?

3 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (Jun 21, 2012)

They dont need to - DPREVIEW could just stand for Digital PREVIEW :-/

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jun 21, 2012)

Planning is underway for lens reviews to be reintroduced later this year.

7 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (Jun 21, 2012)

Thanks for the update...the rest of 2012 leaves a lot of leeway and potentially a huge gap between lens reviews.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Jun 21, 2012)

The site is a pale imitation of what it used to be .... Lack of reviews, news after everyone else has already heard it, bias to certain manufacturers and too much focus on apps and bloody camera phones!!!! Might I suggest DP pop into their local camera store and then check if their site has a review for each camera sold.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jun 21, 2012)

You may believe that, but the numbers just don't support it.

The site provides more reviews and more news than it has ever done. We don't publish rumours, but we're not behind other sites in terms of product announcements and on other news usually lag other sites only by the difference in time zones between us and them.

More high-end cameras are being released than ever so it takes us longer to get to some of the other cameras.

I'm genuinely interesting to hear about your theories of bias towards manufacturers, in terms of news coverage, though. We try to be even-handed, but some manufacturers are better at getting us information, which makes this hard sometimes. Which manufacturers do you feel aren't getting fair coverage?

14 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Jun 21, 2012)

Dpreview has never been the go-to site for lens review...that may change in the future but thats just my opinion. Their studio compare widget is awesome however so if they could possibly leverage this testing and presentation methodology towards lens it'd be nice, but lets face it, testing lens at a given focal length doesn't even take into account varying focal distances, etc so you can only test so much. DxOMark tries to review lens but IMO they suffer from low sampling. LensRental is in a unique position of being able to provide high sampled results due to their business advantage which is tremendous! What other company is going to buy or acquire anywhere close to the same amount of samples...

Than again dpreview was the first site I encountered that linked the LensRental blog, so surely they deserve credit here regardless.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
RussellInCincinnati
By RussellInCincinnati (Jun 22, 2012)

Impressive reply to Chadley_Chad's quite unimpressive post, Mr. Butler. Making lemonade out of lemons.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (Jun 22, 2012)

Regarding re-introducing lens reviews later this year, I specifically remember the same statement last year..

Anyway, I hope it's true..

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 21, 2012)

It's nice that they can ship 8 to Roger and none to customers. Then again, if it was a "GN" lens even LensRentals would have a hard time getting one.

0 upvotes
doctorbza
By doctorbza (Jun 21, 2012)

i received mine before roger, apparently. and i'm a customer.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
1 upvote
William Koehler
By William Koehler (Jun 22, 2012)

It apparantly does not occurr to you that Roger is also a customer? One who in turn provides lots of other people the opportunity to use what he purchases?

0 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Jun 21, 2012)

Nice to see that *someone* is actually still writing reviews.

et tu, DPreview? Where are your reviews?

7 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Jun 21, 2012)

They were looking for writers a few weeks ago. A perfect chance for the unhappy reader to make a difference ...

4 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Jun 21, 2012)

They were looking for article writers (technique etc.). They need to do camera reviews in house with testing equipment

List of still-unfinished *camera* reviews, sorted by date, that have had previews posted more than a month. If you don't count lazy "roundup" reviews, where they try to review five cameras as once, then this list becomes much longer. The list of unreviewed *lenses* is very long.

* Sep 2010 | Samsung NX100
* Jun 2011 | Pentax Q
* Sep 2011 | Ricoh GR IV
* Oct 2011 | Canon 1D X
* Oct 2011 | Fujifilm X10
* Jan 2012 | Nikon D4 - been shipping for months now, probably waiting for the Canon 1D X review to be finished so they can post them together (which is stupid...)
* Jan 2012 | Fujifilm X-Pro1
* Mar 2012 | Sony SLT-a57
* Apr 2012 | Panasonic Lumix DMC GF-5
* Apr 2012 | Samsung NX20
* Apr 2012 | Nikon D3200
* May 2012 | Leica M monochom
* May 2012 | Sony SLT-a37
* May 2012 | Sony Alpha NEX-F3
* May 2012 | Pentax K-30

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jun 21, 2012)

I can explain exactly which ones of those are currently being reviewed (X10, X-Pro1, D3200), haven't yet become available (GF-5, 1D X, K-30, M Mono), or are unlikely to be reviewed (GRD IV, Pentax Q), but going into detail would take all day.

We have three full-time reviewers (one of whom will soon be re-starting lens reviews), plus a reviews editor who rarely gets time to review. As such we can only be working on three reviews at a time.

And, may I point out, our group reviews are often more in-depth than many other site's 'reviews,' so to dismiss something that takes a large amount of work as 'lazy' is rather rude to say the least.

20 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Jun 21, 2012)

I agree with Richard that comparing reviews are generally more work per page than reviews of a single item. And they are very useful too. No problem with that.

2 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Jun 21, 2012)

@R Butler

Fair enough, thanks for the update.

We hold you guys to a higher standard than the other sites - you're compared to your own work, not other people's. I call your group reviews "lazy" (and I think rightly so) because they are simply *not* to the same level of detail as your other reviews.

Maybe it's time to call up Amazon HQ and get a budget to hire some more reviewers? Your lens backlog is big enough that you could have one guy reviewing lenses 40 hours a week and still never catch up to everything that's currently being manufactured.

P.S. - If you guys weren't owned by Amazon, yeah I'd cut you a lot more slack. You should be able to get any of the resources you need (Amazon has $5.7 billion of cash on it's balance sheet, I'm sure they can spare a little for you guys).

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Jun 21, 2012)

I suppose you're between a rock and a hard place. You can't easily outsource the technical side of the reviews, because what if a freelancer has a bad day and sends in mislabelled sample images? You'd look like fools and the camera manufacturers would be seriously unimpressed. Never mind the people on the forum, you'd have Nikon speaking to Amazon = interviews without coffee all round.

But conversely the technical stuff is time-consuming and difficult and requires specialist equipment. But on the other hand the chap at The-Digital-Picture appears to be one man, and he's evaluated all of Canon's lens product line by himself (plus swathes of the lesser manufacturers - Sigma, Tamron, Nikon, etc) to a high albeit waffly, slightly salesman-y standard.

The thing that worries me is that, historically, in the competition between craftsmanship and labour craftsmanship ends up as a teeny-tiny speck.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 22, 2012)

DPR does a fantastic job, but I'm curious why cameras like the Pentax Q, Ricoh GRD III or IV, Pentax K-01, Ricoh GXR, never get reviewed? They are popular cameras. A simple Flickr search for the Q or GRD III returns 16,780 and 21,428 user pictures respectively. So it's clear that they are not niche products but compelling, small shooters with tons of user interest. So why not review them? Were's the love?

And if more camera makers would offer advanced photographic features like the GRD III, everybody would win. But with no attention from the media (reviews, news, previews) what's the incentive for Ricoh to offer such cool cameras?

0 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (Jun 21, 2012)

Interesting, you might be able to compare results with a bunch of 50mm at f/2.8 here:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

The shorty 40 looks pretty good, especially for the price.

0 upvotes
tocar
By tocar (Jun 21, 2012)

I just got this lens three days ago and am surprised of the quality built and images it produced. I do find my EF50 1.8 a little sharper on the 5DII.

0 upvotes
Knallberto
By Knallberto (Jun 21, 2012)

... and price of 50mm/1.8 is less than half :-(

1 upvote
bobestremera
By bobestremera (Jun 21, 2012)

Sure would love to see a 30mm version. Too long for normal for cropped.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jun 21, 2012)

But ideal for full-frame.

7 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Jun 21, 2012)

Yep, Richard, it has stayed on my 5DM2 most of the time since I got it last week.

0 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (Jun 21, 2012)

Geez, screw the graphs and blue&green marks ..... are the images acceptable?

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (Jun 21, 2012)

Acceptable changes for each viewer, but everyone with one seems happy.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&thread=41842466

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&thread=41812853

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1029&thread=41818539

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 21, 2012)

He also has the Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC out resolving the EF 24-70 2.8 by quite a bit, so either the EF 24-70 is a mediocre lens, or the Tamron and this new 40 2.8 are great.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jun 21, 2012)

If you look at Photozone de, a site that does not sugar coat lens tests, the Tamron 24-70 really is very good. I'm no Tamron fan but good is good.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 21, 2012)

Big Photozone fan, and also have nothing against Tamron. They make fine lenses, I was just surprised about the EF 24-70's performance.

0 upvotes
zlatko
By zlatko (Jun 21, 2012)

Link is working right now. Cool little lens for Canon users.

1 upvote
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Jun 21, 2012)

And this is why I will stick with Canon. We've heard rumors of them going towards automated/robotics manufacturing. When I heard that rumor I was like wtf we haven't done that yet? If you want to drive a safe car, fly a rocket to the moon, or build anything with high precision I would have expected automated manufacturing in this day and age already. If I want to buy an expensive purse for my wife, or an overpriced Leica, hand-labor is just fine.

My bet is we are just starting to see the fruits of their non-labor! I'm tired of playing the find the best copy game with expensive old lens!

6 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Jun 21, 2012)

This might work: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/06/canon-40mm-pancake-how-did-they-do-that

It doesn't, sorry.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Jun 21, 2012)

I think website is over-loaded. It loaded for me after a minute or so.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
1 upvote
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Jun 21, 2012)

Maybe, now it works! Thanks.

0 upvotes
mbresle
By mbresle (Jun 21, 2012)

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/06/canon-40mm-pancake-how-did-they-do-that

secure everything...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 138
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