Canon 40mm f2.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by nick_h|5, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone,
    May I ask your advice on the pancake lens please. I currently use a 50mm f1.8 lens, however looking for a prime lens with a little wider angle of view on full frame.
    Searching a few online reviews, there seems positive experiences with sharpness and build quality on this little lens. The vast majority of shots I will be taking are of landscapes at around f8 - f11. Could this be the right lens for me to purchase or would I need to go for a wider prime?
    Many thanks.
     
  2. I can't speak to the 40mm pancake as a landscape lens, but for what I shoot, it's essentially the only lens I
    use on my 6D when shooting on the street. I do wish it were a bit wider though...
     
  3. What kind of camera? 35mm-sensor camera, or APS-C?
    There are two other inexpensive alternatives- the EF 28mm f/2.8 and the slightly more pricey EF35mm f/2 (in both cases, the non-IS older versions, still widely available).
    If you are doing video, then the STM 40mm is probably to be preferred. I have been tempted by the 40mm but my 35mm lens still serves me well. Reports on the 40mm are good, and the price is certainly right for what makes a very compact combination, especially with an APS-C camera.
     
  4. I can't say if it's the right lens for you. What I can say is that it is an excellent one that I have used for landscape work to good effect on a 5DmkII.
     
  5. I own an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS and the 40/f2.8 pancake. When I shoot landscapes I grab the 24-105mm and often shoot it a 24mm on my full-frame 5D3. It depends on the subject, but I'll shoot all over my 24-105mm's range, including maybe 20% at 24mm.
    If you must stick with a prime, I'd suggest going wider, like 24 or 28mm, particularly since you already have a 50mm. 10mm isn't really a whole lot of difference and, I suspect, that you'll just end up using one or the other almost all the time.
     
  6. Love the 40mm. I find it a perfect one lens unit that otherwise might require the 35 and the 50mm. I usually take it when I want a smaller 24/40/135 or 85 kit. There is no "landscape lens", so there is no real way to answer your question re landscapes. All I will say is that is will do a great job on any subject, should you like the focal length.
     
  7. You can carry a basket of primes or one or two good zooms.
    If you shoot in Raw and convert using Digital Lens Optimization to correct your zoom for geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, softness, etc. for every camera/lens combination at every aperture and focal length, then you'll wonder why you need primes.
    A 24-105mm on a full-frame body, combined with a 70-200mm, will cover just about all landscape situations that you find. For the rest of the situations, then either a 15mm fish-eye or long super-telephoto will cover the extreme ends of the landscape spectrum. That's the four lens that I use and then supplement them with 1.4x and 2.0x TC-IIIs.
     
  8. If you shoot in Raw and convert using Digital Lens Optimization to correct your zoom for geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, softness, etc. for every camera/lens combination at every aperture and focal length, then you'll wonder why you need primes.​
    f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8 and f/2.0?
     
  9. f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8 and f/2.0?​
    What for? I thought we were talking about landscapes. (f/11, f/16, etc.)
     
  10. [[What for? I thought we were talking about landscapes. (f/11, f/16, etc.)]]
    We are. The OP stated:
    The vast majority of shots I will be taking are of landscapes at around f8 - f11.​
     
  11. What for? I thought we were talking about landscapes. (f/11, f/16, etc.)​
    00cF7s-544260684.jpg
     
  12. Raise the ISO next time Jamie, or put it on your tripod. In no way did that shot demand f/2.2.
     
  13. I put the pancake 40 on my 5DMk3 when I want ultimate portability to walk around and still know I have a kit than can capture quality images. So, it's a great street combo. But I prefer the 24-105 when I have the room.
     
  14. Raise the ISO next time Jamie, or put it on your tripod. In no way did that shot demand f/2.2.​
    You are implying that I shot it handheld. If you looked at the EXIF data you would see that I used a shutter speed of 20 seconds and the ISO was set at 1600. I obviously used a tripod.
    Seeing as you think there is no way the shot demanded f/2.2, I'd be interested to hear how you would have taken the same shot without trailing the stars. Shoot at f/8 and use an ISO of 25,000?
     
  15. f/4, ISO 3200.
     
  16. f/4, ISO 3200.​
    Then it would be underexposed. f/4 would require an ISO of approx 5000 - 6400. The tiny extra bit of depth of field at f/4 wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference at 28mm because everything was at infinity. Then you'd have the pleasure of an extra 1.75 - 2.0 stops of ISO noise to deal with if you'd used the correct ISO of 5000 - 6400.
     
  17. Jamie, I don't know what camera you use, but my 5D MkIII has long-exposure, high-ISO noise reduction, which take a second black image (shutter closed) and subtracts the noise from the original exposure. DxO Optics Pro 9.1 wouldn't have any trouble even without the in-camera NR at an ISO as low as 3200 or even 6400, if you prefer.
    No one said this was a DOF shot. It's a mood shot, with little detail, but for the stars, which are easy to bring out clearly in Raw conversion.
    The question really is, how many times per year does one take a night shot and how good is your camera's high-ISO performance. If you shoot this type of shot often, then, perhaps, you can justify a fast prime. Most only take a handful or less per year and can do as well by bumping the ISO rather than investing in a limited focal length lens.
    BTW, just in case anyone thinks that I'm against prime lenses, my biggest investment in my lens arsenal is in my primes, a 15mm fisheye, the 40/f2.8 pancake (which I'll likely sell soon) and my 500/f4.
     
  18. 1) Even if you don't regularly shoot at wide or near wide open apertures,having that extra one to two extra stops makes
    focusing, whether in manual or auto-focus modes, whether using the viewfinder or live view screen, much easier.

    2) The higher ISO you use as both of you point out, you have to do something to mitigate the electronic noise, and no
    matter how you do it, noise reduction reduces real actual detail as well.

    3) Another, and more rarely remarked on aspect of high ISO settings: you start narrowing the dynamic range the camera
    can record.
     
  19. Ellis, you're talking about issues of the past:
    1) Modern cameras have no trouble with AF at f/4.
    2) Modern cameras have little trouble with noise below ISO 6400 and, even then, software, such as DxO Optics Pro's "PRIME" NR does an excellent job of preserving detail while reducing noise.
    3) Subject DR is usually not high when high-ISO is required. Of course, there can be exceptions, but then HDR techniques can fix that.
    All the points you make were valid five-years ago. It's a new day.
     
  20. David,
    I use a 5D MkII and, whilst I do use long-exposure high-ISO noise reduction, shooting at a lower ISO ALWAYS gives a cleaner result. Even with DxO Optics Pro, if you start with a lower ISO the end result is always better.

    OK, I admit I have been a little cheeky in this thread. I'm just trying to point out that primes certainly still have a place in landscape photography and that all landscape photos are not simply shot at f/11 on a tripod.
     
  21. If you shoot in Raw and convert using Digital Lens Optimization to correct your zoom for geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, softness, etc. for every camera/lens combination at every aperture and focal length, then you'll wonder why you need primes.​
    David I know you swear by DLO (are you a stockholder), but LR and DPP all do exactly the same for any Canon prime (probably so does DLO), so potentially you still gain an edge if you are after highest quality. Also any time you correct heavy distortion (such as is seen on the 24-105mm wide end) you will be losing angle of view and/or resolution wherever the software stretches or inserts pixels to correct it. The 40mm is an excellent small lens and when size and weight and optical excellence are a priority then it is pretty well top of the list.
     
  22. Robin, zooms benefit from DLO more than primes because the varying focal lengths almost invariably create some weak areas in their performance where they're not as strong as their average and best performance. A stupendous prime lens, like the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, will receive almost no benefit from DLO. Process with and without and you can't tell them apart. With a lens like the 24-105mm, the performance is brought up to at or near prime level, at every focal length and every aperture.
    A few years ago, I had received permission from Canon to send my then-new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM in for a check because it seemed soft to me. At the same time (early 2009) I bought my first version of DxO Optics Pro. The DLO module in DxO was one of the first available and did such a stunning job with my 24-105mm that I ended up not sending it in. Even at 24mm, the field of view lost at 24mm is close to nil and I've blown up several in 48" prints with stunning detail all the way out in the corners.
    My ultra-wide Canon prime 15/f2.8 will lose a few degrees from field of view with DLO, but that's an extreme case of geometric distortion, common to all such wide-angle lenses. I've done a couple of 48" prints with that lens corrected and you can see a bit of smear in the corners if you know what you're looking for.
    I wouldn't put my 40/f2.8 at the top of any list, except for its small size. The color and contrast of my 500/f4 blows it into the weeds, but the 40mm is very serviceable and useful lens and will surely make some awsome 48" prints with the right processing and printing, including DLO.
    I still think that if the OP already has a 50mm prime that he likes and uses a lot, then buying a 40mm prime isn't going to give him much different. A wide zoom or a 24 or 28mm prime will be a more logical purchase, unless he plans to replace the 50mm with the 40mm.
     
  23. Not sure what camera you are shooting with, but even on my 5D2 40mm is not wide enough for landscapes. I shoot landscapes primarily with my Canon 17-40 F4L which is IMOP the best lens for this type of work. If I want to shoot landscapes with a prime I would definitely go to my Canon 28 1.8 especially if I am shooting at night. Personally, I would get the 35 F2.0 before a 40mm pancake lens.
     
  24. David - agreed about the similarity with the 50mm field of view - although I actually like the 40mm. To me it is a wonderful compromise between the 50 and 35mm: perfect, as Brad says, for street and general shooting. The main thing though is it is really more like a lenscap than a lens in size, so it fits anywhere and if you need to put a camera in a thin briefcase or similar it fits right in, minimizing the depth of the camera. I also think it is at least as good as any of the Canon 50s at f2.8. The only downside is it is not so great for manual focusing as it has a fly by wire focus. I think the way I would look at is that getting a 40mm gives you all the benefits of a 50 and 35 in a tiny lens and this can mean either allowing you to take your camera with you when you couldn't before, or it allows room for you to take another lens in the same space.
     

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