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Monday, 05 November 2012


The new Canon 40 2.8 pancake is the best lens I have bought from them. It is simply a delight to use. Nice sharpness all around wide open, small, makes your camera look cheap and funky, which is a good thing if you like street shooting, and it goes for 150 dollars right now in a B&H deal. Can´t beat that with a probably expensive 5mm shorter, bigger, and heavier lens.

I love the X-Pro1 + 35/1.4 but I do miss fast AF. Canon then brings this nice little body. The only thing I don't like about that it is the price - US $900. That is a lot of money.

Why do you need IS in a 35mm f/2 lens?

"Why do you need IS in a 35mm f/2 lens?"

Why wouldn't you? IS allows you to shoot handheld at slower speeds than you could otherwise. What does the focal length have to do with it if you frequently shoot at marginal shutter speeds?


This rumor has got me so excited! I am already dreaming of teaming up this 35mm with the excellent 85mm f1.8. If this lens comes to fruition, I know what camera to get in 2013. Oh, and I almost forgot the lovely 40mm f2.8 pancake for a truly light weight outfit.

Dammit. I have a weakness for lenses like this. Stupid latent objects.

I'm eagerly awaiting the Sigma 35/1.4 Art lens in Alpha mount. Image stabilized via the a850 IBS and, I'm willing to bet, better than the canon.

What you need is the innards of the D800E inside a smaller container, like a Leica or Fuji or GF1 clone, so you won't have to hire a Sherpa guide every time you go for a walk. I keep going over to Stephen Gandy's site to see if Cosina or some other rogue company has decided to do something radical like that, but so far, no joy. Maybe that peculiar Pentax/Ricoh combo will do something unexpected. By that I mean something ever more unexpected than usual.

I own a 2nd hand Olympics E3 because I end up going to car rallies, where you're either in rain or dust, so I wanted a sealed camera. My neck always hurts on the drive home. I know, I know, I should do some neck strengthening exercises, I'll add that to the list right away.

If this is true, it also makes it very likely that, after producing an IS version of the 24, 28 and 35, Canon will also make IS versions of the 50/1.4, the 85/ 1.8, and perhaps also the 135/2. Could become a pretty compact and attractiv system, made of lenses originally made in the late 1980's...

I definitely find IS valuable at the wide as well as long ends of P&S camera zooms like on the LX3. The ways I hold DSLRs are a lot different, but my guess is that I'd find IS valuable there, too; I've just never been able to try (have only two IS lenses, one wide end is 70mm, one 120mm, so no normal to wide test cases in my kit).

Mike, they have these new gadgets called "airplanes" that can, sometimes very cheaply, move one, along with one's camera, out of inclement weather into nice weather.

Somewhat slower is the somewhat older gadget called a "car", with which one can maneuver oneself to sunnier/warmer climes, frequently for less money than one would need for an "airplane".

Grab the rented Nikon and some lenses and get yer butt in gear.

I'm just sayin'.


I guess the next logical question then is, do you like the look of the Canon 5D Mk3 (or Mk2) in B/W?

Remember, keep it simple.

Here is an example from a good old Nikkor 35/2.

Bokeh, resolution, character. What more do you need?


Well I really liked that my Sony 35/1.4 was stabilized, when I took photos around a campfire at f1.4, iso 3200 (that is high for a900) and 1/30s.

The Sony 35/1.4 is a strange lens, it score lousy in test, but many users really likes, myself included very much included.

More or less test shots from when, I just had gotten it.


In Malaysia, our daylight is harsh. Very harsh.

At present we've been getting weeks of dull weather and torrential rain.

Something to do with a weakened El Nino I'm told. But who are cares?

We love it.

Every day we're getting lovely muted light for hours. Light we usually get only at 6.30AM.

Pass the D800E over!

The lens of my dreams. The lens that I have been waiting for all my photographic life. The lens, or the lack thereof, that made me spent a fortune on other lenses - notably a Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS, just for using it at 70mm, stabilised. Why 70mm? Well, because - just as 35mm - 70 is very close to 50.

yes! i really hope the canon 5d mkiv has 36mp and they revamp the 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 in like fashion.

As I said, 5DIII. And a Zeiss 35 f2 for Canon wouldn't be a bad option either (except for lack of weather seal).

Although I admit that my existing lenses carried over from my film cameras made the decision a no-brainer, I think that I would have still purchased the Minolta and Sony digital SLR cameras that I have. The reason - the in-body stabilization that works with all of my lenses, regardless of the focal length.

With best wishes,
- Tom -

Ive been waiting for you to write about this camera as I really enjoy TOP and your insights and opinions on all things photographic.and I am a happy user of a D800e. I was disappointed to read that you chose the new uber expensive 35 f1.4 instead of the much smaller but amazing performer at 35mm the f2.0 AF-D. The d800e with this version of the Nikkor 35mm lens is a great and not too big to me walk around setup.

Though I have no Canon digital equipment I do have a Elan 7e with the new 40 2.8 pancake. Love the this lens. My favorite street combo loaded with Tri-x. It's cheap too!

this is fantastic. too bad it'll be exorbitantly priced if the recent 24 and 28 f/2.8 IS lenses are any indication. keeping my fingers crossed...

Everyone is pilin' on here, but I do have to say that the film camera is a weak, if humorous, note. When you can get the fantastic F100 for around 120 bucks nowadays, there's no reason to base digital buying on film bodies. They're all cheap now:) I would say that the cost differential 'twixt a canon 35 1.4 and the Nikon IS worth thinking about, as it's certain substantial, and there's far more used examples to pick from.

Grey days have the best light! I sometimes wait a month or more to get a day like that to go out shooting.

A beautiful tree stands in the middle of a snow-covered corn field in rural Indiana.

I don't get it. Canon's existing 35/2 is an under the radar crowd favorite and the lens that spends the most time on my camera. Canon's 35/1.4 is a legend. Both are great for available light, especially with the high ISO capability we have today. Can't see parting with my money just for the IS. This lens will have to be stellar to make a splash IMHO.

Is not the D600 a "good thing"? Why does it have to be the D800?

My best work was done with the Sigma 20-35mm on film bodies. I like the 20mm view, but I also like 28mm and 35mm. That gave me all three.

Now I have the Sigma 10-20mm on the K-5. That covers much the same views - not quite but close - 15, 18, 20-21, 24, 28. That's the way I see. Yes, a bit big and heavy but I'm used to heavy cameras from the film days. If I could only have one lens, I think it would be 28mm. Or 35mm. Or 20mm. Oh hell ...

PS, I just clicked on the Lens Work book to have a look. Back in the 80s and 90s, I used to have all those books - put out by Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Minolta. Thick glossy, heavy and absolutely drool worthy. I remember buying the Nikon one during a holiday in Bangkok and lugging it home!

In terms of images I thought Nikon's was the best by a fair margin, pro quality, followed by Minolta and Olympus. Their strength was the macro and flash stuff. I thought Canon's images were very amateur. I don't know what they're like now. Minolta Mirror is greatly missed.

I thought someone said Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZF.2 ...

The rumor looks like it was solid - dpreview has the announcement. Maybe that decision to rent instead of buy will prove to be serendipitous. Of course, you'll have to remember that you were getting into this for b&w ... it would be something other than serendipitous if you ended up with a full frame DSLR that doesn't do b&w any better than your previous cameras just because of a new lens.

BTW, Fuji has a 23/1.4 (not IS) in their 2013 road map.

The SLR is dead. Long live the SLR.

I can't begin to imagine why anyone would want to shoot a lens like that on a big fat ugly FF body when the Zeiss 24/1.8 is already available for the NEX, the Fujinon 23/1.4 will be available for the X-cameras soon, and the Leica 35/1.4 ASPH and CV 35/1.2 have been available for quite some time.

Oh, and then there's the Zeiss 35/2 on the Sony RX1...

Mike, just buy the Sony RX1 and save some money!

Yes, Hurray. Take a decent $300 lens and add IS. Now it's $850. Same as the 24mm f/2.8 and the 28mm f/2.8. I just can't wait until I can no longer afford a single Canon lens for my cameras. My cup overfloweth with joy.


For you shopping for a camera to play with and then return is similar to purchasing an automobile; you're never really satisified regardless.

Just more satisified with some vehicles (cameras) than others.

The other advantage of IS that people seldom mention is that it can allow you to stop down further than you'd otherwise be able to. With a 35mm lens I'm often working very close and need f/5.6 or so where the light would normally only allow about f/2.8.

I understand our exitement. 35mm and f 2.0 is a hard to beat combo (waiting for the 1.8/17 mft myself) BUT...
Didnt you in an earlier post say something about Contax and their non-existent line of lenses? Onthe plus side, there is no hurry and if this lens materializes you can start deciding which digital body to put it on. Have fun with the D800E

Wow... I've been wanting an updated 35mm/2.0 for ages. Might even replace my 35mm/1.4L.

Better hire the 5D3 for a few days as well. I love it. Got a quiet shutter mode as well.

I'd have thought grey days were perfect for assessing B+W tonalities?

YES! At last my dream lens with dream specifications! Although I would have been just as happy if it was 'only' F2.8...I will probably use it most between F5.6 to F11. Now even Canons new cameras (6d and 5d3) have the the things I have missed since the day of film...'quiet' shutters, and in the case of the 6d, a smaller form factor. Is this combination of 5d3 or 6d and new 35mm f2 IS lens the ultimate street machine? Me thinks so...move over aps-c and 4/3rds, the Big Boys have arrived!

According to everybody's tests and reviews out there, the new 24mm and 28mm are only average in term of IQ. This IQ in 2012 at that very high price point is just not competitive at all. Recent lenses from Fuji, Olympus, Nikon are just much more value for the money. It is likely that this 35/2 will be the same.

I bet the 35/2 Zeiss of the RX1 as well as the future 23mm f/1.4 from Fuji will both smoke the canon lens. And there is also the new 35/1.4 from Sigma. Suddenly 35mm equivalent lenses everywhere ^_^

I figure there's no such thing as bad weather - weather is always interesting. I call those "crappy grey days" non-weather.

One of the interesting things about climate change in my part of the UK is that we always seem to get some sort of weather now - the cliché of endless English drizzle seems to be a thing of the past ... hope I haven't jinxed it.



I'm not sure why, but I don't like 35mm. It's just too wide for me. I love 45mm though and I could easily have it as the only lens.

New Sigma 35/1.4 is going to cost 835$ in our country, and it could cost even less in US.

If you count in not-included hood for Canon - Sigma looks like even better deal.

Extra F-stop instead of IS.
+50% longer and probably +50% heavier, but after you attach it to a camera difference would be much smaller.

And it would be available for Nikon as well ;)

The importance of IS, to me, has diminished. If you need stability, just crank up the ISO. Nowadays, high ISO has gotten really good.

Nikon, Nikon, calling Nikon...where are your moderately priced, single focal length wide angles in the "G" configuration and in the f/2 or f/2.8 range....no where...

Recent reports of the Nikon new 28mm "G", not even being as sharp as their older shaft drive auto-focus saddens me, and needless at 1.8, why? Why not just make the 1.4 and then the 2.8 for cheap...who are the monkeys behind the marketing at these companies?

It's all in the lenses. Last night I looked at a buddy's work shot 8 years ago with a Canon 10D (aps-c and 6 megapixel), converted to black and white, and printed 16X20 (jpeg originals too), and I was just stunned. The megapixel race is a ruse. Just make the lenses...

Mike, just buy the Sony RX1 and save some money!

I never thought I would hear (see) those words... and have them make sense.

I just bought my last bit of photo gear for the year (I swear!), the Pentax FA 31mm F1.8. It's a wonderful hunk of glass and metal that acts as a semi-wide normal on the Pentax K-01 and K-5 and a long normal when shooting video with the Panasonic GH-2. And one of these days Pentax will come out with a full-frame digital for which it will act as a semi-wide.

In other words, it's my most important lens of 2012, and beyond!

I have the 35 1.4L Canon. It is big and expensive. But gosh-darn it is SUPERB. You already have a film Canon - get the 5D Classic and use this gem of a lens on both ;) you did mention lovely B&W results from the 5D... Oh. and I do hope that the film body is a 1nRS.

Here's an example from the 1nRS and 35 combo:

I agree, "crappy, gray days" are great for photography. Work close and keep the sky out of the frame. Increase the contrast in post.

I sometimes call my monopod "poor man's IS".

If canon is going to put IS in all its lenses, why not break down and put it in the body instead? I know they say lens specific IS is better, but I've got to say the body based IS in my Olympus OM-D is great, and all of a sudden all my m4/3 lenses are stabilized.

I'll be holding steady with my Zeiss 35/2.

> If canon is going to put IS in all its lenses, why not break down and put it in the body instead?

Easy. Because the lenses are more expensive and the R&D is already there. Why sell a lens without IS but with an extended product life for $300 when you could sell the IS enabled version for $500 while only investing pennies into additional R&D and have it redmade every time the old IS becomes "obsolete"? You could in fact obsolete it by not supporting it in newer bodies. This is capitalism, my friend.

Hi Mike,
Sigma 35 1.4 just announced, with an awesome price of $800+.

I love my old 35mm non-is canon f2.0. You will often find it attached to my faithful 5D for the purpose of walking around without being loaded down with too much crap. I love the close ups, portraits, semi wide angle that it shoots so well. This ought to be a sweet lens for the full frame folks out there.

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