Digital Photography Reviews

A very un-technical review of the Canon 40mm f/2.8 lens

I have a new lens! It’s a Canon 40mm f/2.8 lens – a pancake lens (I always feel hungry when I hear the P word). I haven’t had a chance to take any ‘serious’ shots with it yet but I have snapped enough to get a feel for it and know that… I love it!

Canon EF 40mm f?2.8 STM lens

1. It’s teeny-weeny. Yes, this means that on the behemoth Canon 5D MkII it looks a bit out of place (like one of those cats with a squashed-up face), however it also means it’s a lot easier to sling in my bag and take everywhere I go, and we all know it’s the camera you have with you that’s the best camera in the world.

blobby house plants

2. The depth of field is superb. I wasn’t expecting much from f/2.8 but for whatever reason it feels much wider than that and it makes the things in focus look very ‘3Dish’ (can you tell I’m not a technical reviewer), a bit like using a ground-glass focussing screen on a TLR.

vietnamese restaurant

3. The 5D MkII is a bit notorious for being rubbish at focusing, with this lens though it seems a lot more responsive and my ‘hit rate’ is way up compared to my other lenses.

feed me letters

4. The price is very nice; just over £100 (I got mine from DigitalRev in Hong Kong). I know a hundred squids is a lot of money in these hard times but when it comes to camera lenses that’s a huge bargain and in my opinion it’s as good as lenses 10 times that price.

happy hitler biscuits

5. If you use your camera to shoot video or for spying purposes you’ll be delighted to know that this lens is silent when focusing.

chopping board

6. I’ve already said it but I can’t over-emphasise how fabulous the smallness of this lens is. I  take my camera out much more often now thanks to this little beauty!

I just need it to stop raining for 5 minutes so I can get out there and use it some more. What’s your favourite lens? This one is definitely my new fave!

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  • Reply
    30 January 2014 at 19:38

    I’m so glad you reviewed this. I’m thinking of switching to Canon from Nikon and getting this lens too.

    I like my lenses to be able to focus close up though. how would you say this is for macro shots (looks amazing from your photos!)

    • Reply
      30 January 2014 at 21:11

      Hi Troy – it’s not a ‘proper’ macro lens, however you can get about 30cm to your subject if necessary and see lots of fine detail. If you’re moving over to Canon there are lots of great macro lenses to choose from – I have the 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro.

      • Reply
        30 January 2014 at 21:15

        Which would you say is better out of the two?

        • Reply
          30 January 2014 at 23:25

          If you’re keen on macro photography I’d go for the 50mm macro lens – it’s lovely and sharp when used as a regular lens too.

  • Reply
    30 January 2014 at 21:46

    DO NOT MAKE ME WANT ANOTHER LENS. I’m still (not) saving up for the 85mm 1,2L that I want so very much(I say no, because, realistically, you can’t save up for a lens that costs over $2000 – you just have to hope you win the lottery). But I am attracted to the idea of a super tiny lens to lighten the load of my behemoth of a camera. Hmm…

  • Reply
    30 January 2014 at 21:47

    That was meant to say “I say not” not “I say no”. Silly keyboard.

    • Reply
      30 January 2014 at 23:30

      Now that 85mm WOULD be an amazing purchase! This little number was an attempt at stopping me jumping in and buying a fuji x-pro 1 – so far it’s working!

  • Reply
    Life with Kaishon
    31 January 2014 at 00:45

    I know seriously. Can you stop it. I can’t add any more lenses to my want list!

  • Reply
    5 February 2014 at 04:36

    I’ve read about this! I want one, too! I have the kit lens and the 50mm for my digital. But right now, I’m using film and a 35mm is what I really want!

  • Reply
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    It’s our pleasure to serve you. I am looking forward to your next vist!

    Christy =)

  • Reply
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