« on: January 20, 2015, 09:54:24 AM »
Curious. The-Digital-Picture.com confirms your note on vignetting, but the bokeh looks pretty good. I use mine wide open most of the time (which is one reason for buying an f2.0 lens) and haven't noticed the vignetting at all. I have no complaints on bokeh, but then my subject matter hasn't revealed it much.Since getting a 35mm f/2 IS, I rarely use the 40mm pancake. If the 35mm IS fits in your budget, I'd recommend going for that instead of the 40mm. I also find myself preferring to either use the 35mm or any of the 50mm options I have, including the 50mm f/1.8 II. The positives about the 40mm pancake are the low cost, fast and quiet focusing, and size. My negatives are "just OK" image quality (maybe I have a bad copy) and the short barrel doesn't give you much to hold onto.
I don't mind the build quality and noisy AF of the 50mm 1.8 II. I don't think the AF is that slow. Yeah, the bokeh isn't as pleasing as that of other 50mm lenses, but it costs a lot less. If I had to make a recommendation to someone, I'd advise the 40mm pancake over the 50mm 1.8 II. They'd probably be happiest with the 40mm, but I know they'd be even happier with the 35mm f/2 IS.
Even though I don't use it often, I can't bring myself to sell the 40mm pancake. First, I wouldn't get much for it. Second, it's so convenient to carry as a wide-ish just-in-case option when I am using telephoto lenses.
TBH, from what I've seen, 35 IS has some really nervous and bad looking bokeh, which perhaps is typical for 35mm. Not to mention the monstrous 3 stops of vignetting wide open. The IS is good for video, very good, but is it worth 4 times more than the 40mm pancake? The tiny thing is one stop slower, but it vignettes one stop less too. I'm just trying to be objective, the pancake has it's own shortcomings, but (IMHO) there is a lot less to hate about it, for the price.
You make a good point on value. The pancake is an incredible lens for a great price. The 35 IS shines in low light, action, and creative slow shutter shots. One needs to determine whether these scenarios are worth the extra price tag.