Credit where credit’s due: Canon’s STM lenses focus quickly and silently at incredibly reasonable price points, and their EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM does that while also being exceptionally compact and having a very close focusing distance. Down-under planet5D reader Chris Winter gives us a quick look – and likes it very much. But like everything, this new pancake has its limitations.
Canon makes some great glass. You already know their legendary L series lenses, but what has been delightfully surprising is their STM line.
I own three of them.
When I tested their EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM last year in the august company of Canon’s own 24mm T1.5L F Cine prime and the lovely Voigtländer Nokton 17mm f/0.95, the little Canon held its own on sharpness and lateral chromatic aberration (it could not, of course, compete on depth of field). The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM has proven to be an incredibly versatile piece, with a full frame focal length equivalent on the long end of 400mm and sharpness on a Rebel SL1 surprisingly close to that of Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. Check out DxoMark’s side-by-side if you don’t believe me (though Canon's mighty EF 300 2.8L IS II USM crushes both of them at a dramatically — and for the right person, appropriately — higher cost). Finally their EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is my go-to lens whenever I use my 3-axis gimbal, with its wonderful sharpness, great depth of field, image stabilization, and – of course – fast and silent auto-focus.
So it was no surprise that Chris likes their new pancake lens.
Still, on the crop factor bodies for which it is specifically and exclusively designed, that 24mm is the full-frame focal length equivalent of 38.4mm, and its f/2.8 maximum aperture becomes the depth of field equivalent of a full frame f/4.5. As I already own and enjoy the 18-55 IS STM, the 24mm pancake doesn’t really offer me much more than I already have with the possible exception, as Chris points out, of a much closer focusing distance (6.3” vs. 9.8”).
For me, the only reason to acquire a prime (beyond sharpness) is shallow depth of field at ordinary viewing distances – which the just-announced Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4 (on full frame cameras) would provide (though it must be added: at six times the price).
Finally, if I want shallow depth of field for close-up work, I have the oldie-but-goodie EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM– another tack-sharp lens from Canon, surprisingly lovely as a portrait lens, too.
As I find myself writing with increasing frequency, to each his own. [bctt tweet=”Canon 24mm Pancake Lens: More — and Less — Than You Think It Is”]
Message from Chris Winter:
Just thought you'd be interested in sharing with your readers my review on the Canon 24mm STM pancake lens. I've been using this lens for 2 weeks now and it's turned out to be absolutely fantastic. Its sharp from the centre all the way to the edges and it's autofocus is as fast as you'd expect from a new STM lens.
In fact I'd say it's about as fast as any Canon prime right now.
If you'd like to share the video, the link is here.
Again thanks for taking the time to make such a great blog, I've been reading for a few years now.
Canon 24mm Pancake 2.8 STM Lens Full Review with Photo & Video Samples // Chris Winter
Via Youtube Description:
More videos on this lens (Filmed on the Canon 70d & T5i/T3i):
Canon 24mm STM Face Tracking Autofocus Test: youtu.be/ZGlViL4SJtg
Canon 24mm STM Autofocus Sound: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsrR2C4xvALmBDk1tFBsyBSSClWoJ_XNW
Canon 24mm STM Stills Autofocus Speed Test: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsrR2C4xvALmBDk1tFBsyBSSClWoJ_XNW
I review the new Canon 24mm f2.8 STM lens which I think is definitely going to be one of the best lenses for 2015.
Only just released, I picked mine up on amazon and have done a full review, testing it out in a number of situations. The bottom line? It performs fantastically.
The autofocus speed of the Stepping Motor (STM) works like a charm, loocking on focus in both stills and video mode without a problem.
It's a tiny pancake lens, but don't let that stop you thinking it's not built well. It's built like a little tank. Canon have done a great job making this lens so small.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)