Truland Photography

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Tiny Body for a Tiny Lens

I have been thinking of picking up Canon's new miniature EOS SL1 at some point over the Summer. This new camera has a touch screen LCD with all camera controls accessible by touch. Using it in Live View would be like using an iPhone but with much better image quality. And, with a mirror, focusing screen and viewfinder it's also a true DSLR with the advantage of quick and accurate focusing.

The primary lens I expect to use with the camera is Canon's 40mm pancake, more formally referred to as the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. Here is a photo from which illustrates the size of the camera with the 40mm pancake attached. You can read all about this little camera at's SL1 Review.

used with permission

By contrast, here is my pancake affixed to my EOS 5D mark II with battery grip.

The SL1 is an APS-C sensor camera with a crop factor of 1.6X, which means that the combination would have the field of view of a 64mm lens on a full frame body. I've used the pancake on full frame and 1.3X crop bodies (where it has the field of view of a 52mm lens) but not on smaller sensor bodies. As an exercise to see how that combination works in the field, I've been using the pancake on an EOS 30D body, which also has a 1.6X crop factor.

I found that it's certainly a usable combination as long as you can get far enough away from subjects without cluttering the foreground. The 17-40mm f/4L will also be very useful with the SL1 although it will add quite a bit of size and weight. My hope is that Canon will market an EF-S 22mm pancake lens which would be a perfect two lens combination with the 40mm pancake.

Here are a few examples from the past several days with the 30D and 40mm lens:

Visitors Center at Waterford Harbor

Lock 2 on the Erie portion of the NYS Canal, Waterford, NY

Old locks on the Champlain Canal bypass, Waterford, NY

UPDATE 5/1/13: And here's one, this time with my EOS 7D, from near the end of today's 2.7 mile daily walk of some people too lazy to get out of their cars to buy donuts. I even had room to crop a bit. I guess the 40mm focal length will work nicely with the SL1.

Canon EOS 7D, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, f/8, 1/350 sec., ISO 100

FURTHER UPDATE 5/4/13: Again, toward the end of my daily walk today, as I was crossing over the Hudson River. With some practice, I think I could get used to planning and framing shots with the 64mm equivalent focal length.

Canon EOS 7D, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, f/6.7, 1/350 sec., ISO 100

ONE FINAL UPDATE 5/6/13: This morning I walked over to, and around, Peebles Island with my EOS 50D and the 40mm pancake. The 50D without the battery grip may just be small enough to serve the purpose of the SL1. It's much closer in technology to my 5DII and 7D than the 30D and since it currently just sits around, it may be wasteful to spend $650 on the SL1.

Here are two shots from this morning, the first trail scenics I'd made since the end of the project in early March. These are three 1 1/2 EV bracketed HDR processed images. Shooting information is for the normally exposed photo.

Canon EOS 50D, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, f/4, 1/350 sec., ISO 200

Canon EOS 50D, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 200

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