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CanonEF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens
 
4.6

(based on 738 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (490)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (221)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (482)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (289)
  • Consistent output (250)
  • Easily interchangeable (250)
  • Nice bokeh (228)

Cons

  • Slow focus (54)
  • Poor in low light (33)
  • Weak casing (19)
  • Tough to attach (10)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Low light (257)
  • Landscape/scenery (250)
  • Video (157)
  • Weddings (129)
  • Night photography (114)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (218), Semi-pro photographer (122), Pro photographer (83), Casual photographer (56), Photography student (25)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (474), Yes (19)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent value, a pleasure to use

Great lens. Quite sharp. Accurate and fast focus. It's a joy to use. Of course, it delivers in terms of being compact. I'm using it on a 1.6x camera, so it's...Read complete review

Great lens. Quite sharp. Accurate and fast focus. It's a joy to use. Of course, it delivers in terms of being compact. I'm using it on a 1.6x camera, so it's a somewhat awkward focal length. I look forward to the day I get to use it on a full frame. But you all know it's 40mm, so onward.

The mounting ring is really tight with my camera, and I have this feeling that I'm grinding something down when I mount or remove the lens. I don't think it hurts anything, so that's fine with me.

Unfortunately, the lens data is not pre-loaded on my t4i. But the image quality is so good that you hardly would ever need it. I will include a couple of photos. Both are unedited and were taken with in-camera settings neutral, and sharpness set to 0. The one of the leaf was taken with the lens wide open. You can see how quickly it passes in and out of focus. The background light shows the chromatic aberration about as badly as it ever gets, which is hardly at all! You can just barely see the opposing red vs. green fringe in the light. The one of the flowers is also wide open at 2.8, also neutral and unsharpened and unedited. With even the most light-handed increase of sharpness and contrast, stunningly crisp images, as well as softer ones, are at your disposal, and all at a ridiculously low price. I really like it, and it manages to jostle my other lenses off the camera which, on paper, should have much more versatility and utility.

Another note: The STM focusing is not silent. This is fine with me, but for those of you who might be interested, read on. In AF, there's a soft whine that it gives off, louder than my USM lens but quieter than my kit lens. In manual mode, the focus ring is, as many have pointed out, NOT a mechanically engaged gear, but rather an electronic input. When turning the ring medium to fast, it makes a lower and slightly softer hum. When turning the ring slowly, it makes a rather disturbing groan. However, when you turn it REALLY slowly, the focus moves with an amazingly controlled slow creep, and it's _completely silent_. That could come in handy for some nice cinematic effects.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Quality Control, Early Production Issues

I am 0 for 2 on this lens so B&H has given me a refund. The first lens caused underexposure on my 5D Mark II and quit working a couple of times...Read complete review

I am 0 for 2 on this lens so B&H has given me a refund. The first lens caused underexposure on my 5D Mark II and quit working a couple of times so I had to remount it to get it to work. That's simply not acceptable for professional work. So B&H replaced it with a 2nd unit which had a large clump of debris inside the optic and vignetted so bad that it gave a a "Toy Camera" look at 2.8 that could not be properly corrected in post-processing, not to mention the grinding it did when mounted. All this may simply be a result of early production and quality control issues, but I just don't have the time or sense of humor to "mess around" with it.

Reviewed by 738 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Excellent value

By Brad

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

This is a great little, lightweight lens with the typical solid build quality you've come to expect from Canon. Image quality is far better than one might expect from a lens costing less than two hundred dollars. I wish it had a mechanical focus ring but that's really just nit-picking on my part. The lens auto-focuses plenty fast enough.

I bought this lens because I wanted a small, lightweight but decent lens on my camera to encourage me to bring it out with me more often. The bulk and weight of my larger L lenses was often discouraging me from carrying the camera.

There is a fair bit of vignetting wide open but it was easily corrected in post.

 
5.0

The best lens at this price

By Ana

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Super light and convenient. Super sharp and very soft focus ring, specially for video.

 
3.0

For the money, it can't be beat!

By Anthony

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Its a great lens when used on either a crop of full frame sensor. Ive used it on my t5i I've used it on my mark iii. Both produced very good image quality. Not great, but pretty good. It lacks a little in the sharpness department, and the autofocus is a tad slow for my liking (but its useable). The 50mm 1.8 II in my opinion is sharper but the autofocus is terrible.  So I guess you have to make a choice (depending on what you shoot) a lens thats a little Sharper or a lens thats a little faster autofocusing. In my opinion for under 200 bucks, you won't be disappointed.

 
5.0

Great little lens

By Gerard

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Whats not to like? It's a Canon lens with the usual clarity and reliability. Very compact and lightweight.

 
5.0

No better lens for the money.

By William

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I use one zoom lens primarily and had 3 primes I almost never used. I ended up selling off the primes but wanted some kind of 2nd lens in case I didn't want to carry a massive zoom around. I ended up going for this 40mm pancake lens mainly because of the price. The other cheap lens in Canon's arsenal is the 50mm that is under $100. That 50 feels cheap and plasticy, it takes an OK picture but I find it too long a length even on a Full Frame. So I ended up getting the 40mm pancake without knowing what to expect. Upon arrival I was pleased with the build quality. The only thing I don't like about it is the focus ring seems a little vague, but I am used to L lenses and this is not L money. That one thing aside this is an amazing lens. It is very sharp, very small, and 40 is a great focal length. If you want a small walk around lens that won't hurt your wallet this is it.

 
5.0

Everyone needs this lens.

By Chris

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Love this lens. Well made and works great for all occasions.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good results wide open and stopped down

By Maciejj

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I have tested this lens with portraits, printed pages, and some routine internal scenes. It gives good results across the full field both wide open and stopped down. The images are sharp with good color quality. Depth of field is acceptably shallow when you move in close. The Background is pleasantly Out of Focus when in close wide open. I would have preferred the lens to be a bit faster but I knew that going in so it is not a fault of the lens. This lens has limited application in my collection of glass but I think it is a worthwhile addition none the less. It should be great for landscapes.

 
5.0

Great little pancake

By lonlonphotos

from London, England

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

This is a great pancake lens, with a low f-stop if you need to do some night photography or low-light photography. I use this primarily at night and it works great. Highly recommend, using with a 7D and a 5D3.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best value EF lens on the market by far. Brilliant image!!

By Douglas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I'm the kind of person that really appreciates value. That is why this lens is my new favorite. I don't know how it had been out so long before I finally learned of it. This lens is worth every penny of it's regular price, but I got it on sale. It was so cheap, I'm pretty sure it is the cheapest lens I've ever bought new. The quality of the image from this lens rivals that of lenses 4 or 5 times the cost.

For stills on my crop sensor Canon T3i, the AF is super-fast and the image is tack sharp edge-to-edge. For RAW 4k video on my Sony FS700 (using a Metabones Speedbooster) it's a little more difficult to use, but can still yield impressive results.

The focus-by-wire stepper motor (STM) is not quite as responsive as others that I've used. It takes a few seconds to get the focus dialed in when desiring a shallow depth of field. I'll often repeatedly go past where I want to be a few times before nailing it.

So, it's great for locked-off static shots with a shallow DOP or when it's stopped down with a wide DOP. Run and gun with shallow DOP is not possible with this lens if manual focus must be used. I don't have any Canon cameras that utilize the STM video auto-focus, so I can't comment on it's effectiveness.

On my crop sensor T3i, the 64mm (approx.) focal length is a little closer than I'd like, but not bad. I just move back. Using the Speedbooster on my FS700, I've got the real 40mm focal length, and it's my favorite.

It does feel a little more fragile than most of my other lenses. But I'm pretty careful, so I'm not too worried.

Buy this lens. You will not regret it.

 
5.0

Sharp as a tack

By Daniel

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Wow a super sharp and inexpensive lens, just the right FL for so many types of photography.
I love how small and inconspicuous it is on camera
The color rendition and resolution and phenomenal, everyone should have one in there bag, great for close work also and 35mm is to wide and 50 is to narrow for excellent family shots

 
5.0

The little lens that can

By Lucas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Love this little guy! Threw new life into my canon t3i. Even though I was expecting it to be just slightly quieter, it is loads and loads better than the kit lens. SO Smooooth...

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Suffering from SLR fatigue? Here's the cure...

By Scott

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Question: What is the best camera? Answer: The one you have with you. Observation: If you're not taking your SLR with you on outings because of that honkin' big zoom lens mounted on the front, then you need this lens.

When slung over your shoulder or neck with a camera strap, an SLR with the EF40mm f/2.8 STM mounted lies comfortably flat against your body, not tilted forward. Additionally, I can carry the camera (6D) with lens mounted in my coat pocket. It's so much less awkward, heavy, fatiguing, hassling, unwanted attention getting than just about any other lens Canon offers. The handling is great! Superb for street photography and candid snapshots involving people, where speed and discreteness are essential. Point-and-shoot cameras and phone cameras are fine for static, posed shots or selfies, but they just can't keep up with the action when you're trying to capture natural gestures, expressions, and movements. I have 10 lenses in my Canon kit, most of them L, but this EF40mm pancake lens is my second most used lens since I bought it about 4 years ago (24-105mm f/4L IS USM is my most used lens). I absolutely love it. For someone just purchasing their first full frame SLR, I would recommend a general wide-to-tele zoom and this 40mm jewel as a great way to get started. It's sharp and I have no hesitation shooting it wide open @ f / 2.8.

The other usage where I see great value in this lens is for situations where I'm worried about ruining an expensive lens. So for me this is typically a windy day at the beach, where I'm concerned about salt spray working its way into the lens. If this lens should die from abuse, I'll replace it with a new one without any regret, because I've gotten plenty of satisfying shots in conditions where I wouldn't have risked other lenses.

The build quality doesn't look especially great on the outside, but this lens delivers optically, and is cheap. It's truly an outstanding value.

One last thought. You may be contemplating the EF35mm f/2 IS USM, which I also have (and it's a great lens). Although both lenses are close in focal length, I see them as filling 2 rather distinct niches. If I could only have 1, I would take the 40mm pancake because of its compactness and light weight. The one thing this lens gives me that all my other Canon SLR lenses lack is take-it-anywhere/anytime portability.

 
5.0

Great Quality in a Small Package

By Pandahawk

from Undisclosed

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Been shooting with this lename for the last three weeks. Very pleased with the image quality. 2.8 is still pretty fast and the portability is worth every penny, I can finally cart my 6D and EOS-1V around without having a giant lens hanging off the front.

 
5.0

EF40mm on T3i

By Nakamura CA

from Undisclosed

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I'll be using this Lens for travel and street shooting. It's very short and much lighter than my other Sigma 17-70mm mounted on the camera. I prefer EF lenses since they're compatible with APS-C and of course Full Frame sensors. The image quality is fantastic, it's my first prime Lens and it makes you move back or forward and makes you move around to get the best angle when composing your shots. I've been buying my photo gear from B&H for 3 years now since they have a huge selection of products and customer service is always excellent!

 
5.0

Love this little lens

By Henry

from LA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Amazing lens, very sharp

 
4.0

Excellent IQ & Value

By Greg

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

Hard to believe that a lens this small, light and inexpensive could have such excellent image quality. Very sharp across the frame at all apertures. Does show that a prime lens can have better IQ than most zooms, which makes sense. AF is a bit slow but adequate. Also, has a metal lens mount, which some larger and more lenses do not for some reason. The only limitation is the focal length on an APS sensor camera is a bit odd for me at about 64mm. A bit too much telephoto for general use but not enough when more reach is needed.

 
5.0

I love this lens

By jon the photographer

from ohio

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I am very please with this lens. I wasn't sure what I would think about it cause my go to lens is a 50mm 1.8 but I have to tell you this 40mm lens is sharper and the colors are just outside of amazing. the only thing I don't like about it is it is so small I fear I will break it. All in all this is a great lens and for the price you can't go wrong

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fun and convenient lens to have! =]

By @JaimeChanPhoto

from Los Angeles, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

+ I bought this particular Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens to have for quick shoots (shooting fashion & beauty portraits) and travels on the stills department. I prefer waffles over pancakes, with this is the exception!
+ What I love about it is not only its compactness, but also how it's metal mount, has a nice, yet lightweight form factor, and it has f/2.8 max aperture which is not bad at all for it being a compact lens. The STM allows for a much better focus than the standard lenses that do not have an STM (ex the nifty 50 f/1.8 II). The AF seems to quick and accurate for such an affordable lens. Also, 43mm filter thread means lower prices on the filters! The images I've produced with this lens are consistent and sharp. :D
+ What I don't like about it. Can't really say I dislike anything about this lens. The only thing that could possibly make this lens better than it is would be a wider max aperture for more light intake. All of my lenses are f/2.8 or faster anyways, so this is still a treat to have.
+ Overall? I think this is a great lens to own. I saw a previous review on how this is a lens every Canon shooter should have and I do agree. It's perfect for anyone who wants to have some lightweight yet reasonably well-performing. Perfect for on-the-run portraits/photoshoots, travel photography, and street shooting. I feel like it bridges a gap between the 35mm and 50mm focal lengths.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

This is better than the 50mm 1.4

By Uncle D

from Knoxville, TN

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

I bought this lens to use for travel video because it's small and it's an STM lens so it's really pretty quiet. After fiddling around with it, I kinda started to fall in love with the little fella. I'm a professional photographer for a national brand, so I took it to the office and gave it a beating in the studio. Man, this this is great. It has a nice wide aperture, it gives you a little more room than a 50 prime does and, frankly, I think it looks equally as good. People are always asking me what they should choose as a first lens, and I used to say that the 50mm 1.4 was a great starter lens. But, for the price and the results, you could get one of these and go a really long way on it. I think this thing represents a tremendous value, it's absolutely the most underrated lens in Canon's lineup. I only gave it four stars because screwing a filter on the end of this thing is kinda of a pain. Outside of that, this is a really nice little chunk of glass.

 
5.0

Very nice

By Chris

from Undisclosed

Comments about Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens:

A great lens to have in your inventory.

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