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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is a unique lens from Canon. It is a so-called “pancake” lens due to it’s very short length. This lens is designed for full frame Canon DSLR cameras, but can also be used on APS-C bodies. When used on an APS-C body the lens shows an equivalent 64mm lens field of view on a full frame body.

I personally own and love this lens, especially on my Canon EOS 6D. The 40mm focal length is a near perfect match for my preferred photographic vision and style. When mounted on my 6D the lens is hardly even noticeable, and makes the camera very small and unobtrusive.


  • Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM - $199.99

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Image quality

Image quality from this lens is excellent. Because it is not an extremely wide or telephoto lens, and a skimpier deisgn there is not a lot of glass to get in the way of great images. The f/2.8 aperture also helps with depth of field control as well.


The lens does show a little bit of vignetting, but nothing extreme and that can be easily corrected in post. Processing.


the lens exhibits a little bit of barrel distortion, but he lens profile in Adobe Lightroom deals with this very well.

Chromatic Aberration

Again, this is a simple design and as a result the lens does have a little bit of chromatic aberration, however, like the disrtortion and vignetting characteristics, CA is easily fixed in post processing.

Lens Flare

I have not noticed any severe lens flare issues, even when shooting directly into the sun. The lens does not include a lens hood, and the optional hood is a very odd design that makes using filters difficult.

Build Quality

Build quality is decent. The lens has a metal mount while the rest of the lens body is made from good quality plastics.

What I Like

  • Size and weight
  • Image quality
  • autofocus performance

What I Don't Like

  • Does not include a lens hood
  • the lens hood is an odd design that makes filter use difficult
  • no image stabilization
  • no focus distance scale or hyperfocal distance markings

The Bottom Line

I LOVE this lens! It is a great focal length, and a very small lens to keep in your bag. The f/2.8 aperture is great for low light and shallow depth of field operations.

Sample Images

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  • 30s f/5 ISO 100 Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

  • 1/5s f/11 ISO 100 Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

  • .3s f/14 ISO 100 Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Overall User Rating

4.68 out of 5

based on 1743 user reviews online.

: 74% (1287.2)
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