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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

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Reviews Views Date of last review
39 60271 Mar 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $184.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.68
9.47
9.1
pancake-1

Specifications:
A unique and indispensable addition to Canon’s series of EF lenses, the new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM offers an ultra-slim and lightweight design. Incredibly compact in size, the 40mm f/2.8 lens delivers high image quality from the center to the periphery, thanks to its advanced lens configuration including an aspherical element, a bright 2.8 aperture, and optimized coatings that minimize ghosting and flare, while providing exceptional color balance.

• STM - Continuous Autofocus for Shooting Video
• Bright f/2.8 Aperture
• Lightweight 4.6 oz Lens
• Unobtrusive--Less Than 1" Long
• Aspherical Element--High Image Quality
• Optimized Coatings Reduce Ghost & Flare
• Exceptional Color Balance
• 7-Blade Diaphragm for Beautiful Bokeh
• Close Focusing to 11.81"
• 64mm Equivalent If Used on APS-C Camera


 


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Robin Smith
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Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Review Date: Mar 25, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, excellent image quality
Cons:
manual focusing by wire is not the best (STM lens)

If you want small then this is it. With this on your DSLR you have a camera that can quite easily fit in a brief case with the lens attached - not so easy to do with a standard 50 or 35mm lens. Image quality is excellent and I use this instead of the 35IS or 50/1.4 or 24-70II and notice no significant difference. I am fan of the 40mm angle of view anyway so love the view.

As it is only f2.8 you won't get the same look as you get when shooting at wider apertures with a 50 or 35mm lens (obviously!), but that is not the point of this lens - this takes up no room and your camera is now as small as it can get, and, importantly, you give up nothing image-quality wise.

I don't bother with the hood as it is not needed as the flare is very low. Also putting a hood on only makes it bigger.

The only negative is that this is not a great lens to use when focusing manually as it is an STM lens so it focuses "by wire" with a lag that makes precise focusing in Live View slightly awkward, You can do it OK, but it's not what it is best at: so it is just as well that its AF is excellent.

Many people may have little use for this lens - but I know when I need to get it out in preference to any of my other lenses - when being compact is particularly important. It is a bargain too which is the cream on top.


Mar 25, 2014
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jordkemp
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Registered: Mar 16, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 24, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small and lightweight.
Cons:
Didn't produce photos that popped for me. Could be my fault though.

Great! Just not as good as my 35L or 50L, so it was never used.

Mar 24, 2014
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golden1245
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Registered: May 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 306
Review Date: Mar 4, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, sharp wide open at 2.8, quiet, fairly accurate colors
Cons:
colors are a bit bland, no particularly special elements to correct for aberrations.

This is a fantastic little lens! It's not the fastest lens out there in this range (50mm f1.8, 1.4, 35mm f2) but it more than makes for it in size. Camera shake is kept to a minimal because this lens is so small, flat and light. I can easily get 1/10 of a second still shots with this lens at F2.8 and still get incredible results!

The only thing I don't really like is the colors being comparable to the 50mm f1.8ii. They are a bit bland and too neutral for my taste, it usually needs a bit of sprucing up in post.

For a more detailed review and lots of example photos, check out my review of it on my website Smile

http://crashcoursephotography.com/canon-40mm-f2-8-pancake-primes/


Mar 4, 2014
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Elías Seguí
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 120
Review Date: Jan 17, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Casi todo perfecto.
Cons:
Es lento enfocando con una 70D

Todo es muy bueno menos el enfoque con mi 70D, es lento y en video mas todavia, falta probarlo en las 1Ds y 5D .....

Jan 17, 2014
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Billhansen2003
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Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 164
Review Date: Jan 17, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp 1 stop down, Compact, light, amazing lens for the price
Cons:
not the fastest focusing lens in low light, but adequate

This is an amazing lens, regardless of the price, but considering the price it's almost unbelievable. It's surprisingly sharp in the center, not bad in corners, light in weight. It's compact and unobtrusive - just beautiful.

Jan 17, 2014
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oldshutterhand
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 20, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, f2.8 aperture, good focal length, nice manual focus, not very expensive, if it were an f1.4 or 1.8 or 1.0 ?? would be a real winner
Cons:
perhaps vignetting on FF



This lens is very nice, sharp at all apertures, small, light, not long

See more detail at:

http://oldshutterhand.com/equipment-reviews/canon-40mm/


Aug 20, 2013
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ryan00013
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Registered: Mar 12, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 132
Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small, cheap, sharp
Cons:
None - it performed exactly as I expected.

This little lens is a nice one. It is sharp at all apertures and super cheap. It's also ridiculously small and compact. One of the best budget Canon lenses around.

Aug 2, 2013
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nelvayut
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Registered: Apr 26, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 104
Review Date: Jun 13, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, good image quality and color, sharp
Cons:
None

I use this on my 5d3 every week to take pictures of my kids. I love it because its very light as if I don't have any lens on my camera. The background is not as good as 50/f1.2 but for the price this is pretty good.

Jun 13, 2013
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antoleon
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Registered: Sep 18, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 3, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, solid, sharp, useful, good focal length for almost everything. Its price is a gift.
Cons:
A bit tight when you mount it. Lens moves in and out and you must take care if the lens left out when camera goes off.

It is solid, lightweight, fits in any space, even in a pocket and dramatically reduces the size of the camera. For street photography is perfect: it's like wearing a classic 35mm camera but still your reflex. A nice format because below 40mm (even on APS-C) compositions are somewhat unrealistic for my taste and 40mm looks like human eye sees reality. Good for small landscapes and macros and is great for portraits. Good colors and as sharp as the 50mm F / 1.4 (which I still adore too). Focus quickly enough, although not a rocket and no problem up to date with manual focus.
A perfect combination for 650D/700D with 18- 135mm.

It has an irresistible price and now more thanks to the Canon cashback promotion (Spring 2013): 129 € is a gift.

Just two little drawbacks.
When screwed into the camera it goes very tight in relation to other objectives.

The lens moves in and out of the body and when you turn the camera off with the lens "out", it seems to be somewhat exposed, so it is always convenient to focus to infinity before turning off the camera in order to retract the lens since it does not by itself. It is not sealed nor weather proof so you have to take care like a normal lens.


Jun 3, 2013
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caMARYnon
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Registered: Jan 29, 2013
Location: Romania
Posts: 16
Review Date: Apr 16, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, excellent IQ, useful all around focal (just in case) with a tele on the body
Cons:
nothing for the price



Apr 16, 2013
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barmaley
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Registered: Oct 23, 2009
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great image quality, very sharp, good colors, exceptionally compact and very good price.
Cons:
may be slightly slow focus.

This small lens surprised me with its excellent image quality. Optically its just great, new Canon 28 2.8 IS USM and 35 2.0 IS USM are not anywhere better but costs 3-4 times more. And this lens is very small. My experience with this baby lens and sample images here:
http://alexsukonkin.com/reviews/Canon-EF40-f28-STM_en.shtml


Mar 27, 2013
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Mar 3, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, indiscrete, super sharp, cheap costing
Cons:
IS would have been beautiful on this baby..no other negatives

This is a very solid performer. Built to similar specs as the 35mm IS and 28mm IS. It is so sharp and surprisingly compact.
I would have loved Image Stabiliser for this lens, I think that would have been the icing on the cake.
WELL DONE CANON...Top little gem this one.
I mainly shoot everything at f2.8 and the resolve of this lens does not disappoint.


Mar 3, 2013
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ChrisPiX
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Registered: Mar 3, 2011
Location: Denmark
Posts: 6
Review Date: Feb 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, Sharp, image quality, precise autofocus
Cons:

An excellent little lens, surprisingly sharp and good image quality.
My only non L lens, but still one of the sharpest.

40 mm focal length is not worse or better than 35 or 50 mm, it is what it is, and you adapt, like with any other prime.

When size matters, this one win!


Feb 23, 2013
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cdecoro
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Registered: Jun 9, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Feb 7, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $199.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Small, sharp
Cons:
Not a useful focal length / aperture combination.

I bought this lens within a week after it came out; I saw the review on the-digital-picture.com and I was instantly sold.

And then last week I resold it on eBay.

Simply put, there never was a time when I wished I had this lens on my camera instead of any other one. Or perhaps more accurately, anytime I had this lens on my camera, I regretted it.

Ultimately, this is not a useful focal length / aperture combination. I generally use either a 35mm or 50mm prime (with max aperture @ F2 and F1.4, respectively), depending on the situation. If I'm walking around outside on a trip, and want to get architecture shots, then the 35mm. If I'm inside a museum, shop, other building, then the 50mm. I thought that this lens would be a good jack-of-all trades between them -- but as the saying goes, it's the master of none.

First, it doesn't have the intimate perspective that a 50mm provides. Nor does it have the field of view that a 35mm provides. Yes, I realize that the difference seems small, but the difference is quite meaningful in practice.

But more significantly, I realized how much I missed the greater aperture control that the other lenses provided, not to mention the 2 stops of lights indoors (oh Canon, why can't you add in-body stabilization?). And so everytime I took this lens on my camera, I found myself wishing that I had one or the other primes. This one stayed in the bag.

You know, if I really wanted a 2.8 lens at 40mm, I would use a zoom. So this lens is smaller? So what? The body is huge enough. You are using this on a 5D series, at the smallest. When it comes to size, the lens is not the issue. And the 35mm/2 and 50mm/1.8 are only marginally larger. (Though admittedly, this lens is sharper and has a better AF system).

And, no, don't even think about using this on a crop. You'll get a camera system with the absurd field of view of a hypothetical 64mm lens (but with the not so-interesting perspective of the 40mm that it actually is). Such a combination is not useful -- seriously, don't waste your money on this lens if you have a crop, buy the Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC for a little more and be much happier.

And I've heard some people talk about putting this in your pocket. Don't count on it. Canon needs to design new caps -- with the front and rear caps on the lens, the length of the lens is nearly 50% larger, to say nothing if you have a filter on it. If Canon was really innovative, they would have put a protective iris in the lens (like on a point-and-shoot), so that the front cap wasn't necessary. But "innovative" and "Canon" are two words that sadly don't go together any more.

So anyways, after my virtual non-use of this lens for a couple months, I decided to sell it off to fund other purchases, and I don't miss it one bit.

Now, to be fair, I should point out the good parts. It is really quite sharp, compared to Canon's other non-L series primes (in fact, it doesn't do so badly compared to some of their L series). The build quality is really quite solid, and the AF is near silent and very responsive (esp. compared to the obnoxiously buzzing motors of Canon's other cheap primes). So if for some reason you really need a 40mm lens, and you know that you'll never need something faster than 2.8, than this lens is for you. And if you really need the smallest lens possible for your gigantic DSLR, this lens is for you. But would I recommend this to a friend? No way.


Feb 7, 2013
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sjordan93436
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Registered: May 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 152
Review Date: Feb 4, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00

 
Pros: Small size, image quality
Cons:

It is more than a new lens, it changes the camera. It makes my 5d m2 feel like a point and shoot (that is an exaggeration). But like the prior reviewers, I can move around and look innocent. I even took my camera into a pool to get a portrait.

Feb 4, 2013
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greenmind
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Registered: Aug 30, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: Jan 30, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything: excellent image quality, cheap, tiny, light, nice focal length on full frame
Cons:
Haven't used it on an ASP-C camera, but I bet it's a weird focal length there. STM isn't as great as ring USM

Great lens! The positive attributes are listed above. More details:

The image quality is surprisingly good - so much so that this has become my go-to lens. Not just when I want to travel small and light - I'm talking about all the time: it's on my camera more than any other lens since I've acquired it.

The camera as a whole becomes more portable with this lens. On more than one occasion, I have decided to bring my camera and this lens, in a situation where I usually would have left the DSLR home. This effect alone makes this lens worth it.

Anyone who complains about this lens has unreasonable expectations in the context of the price and size. You really can't expect anything more for $200 and given the size constraints Canon was shooting for. If you think a f/2.8 prime is pointless, or you don't want 40mm, or you don't want a tiny lens, then don't buy it - you probably won't like it.


Jan 30, 2013
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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
39 60271 Mar 25, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $184.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.68
9.47
9.1
pancake-1


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