Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review

July 5, 2012

Playing with my new lens.

[zilla_one_third] Just added a couple new Canon 5d Mark IIIs to my arsenal as well as a tiny little Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ‘Pancake’ lens.

It’s hard to motivate myself to take photos on my day off taking photos…so in order to make testing the 5d III & 40mm STM Pancake lens fun, I had to step back and remove all traces of my technical working practice, and become free from the pressure to perform. [/zilla_one_third] [zilla_one_third] How did I do that? Easy, but first of all I used a black marker to debadge the whole dam set up (advertise what I have in my hand, for Canon? NO!). Then I set the ISO to auto, stuck her in Aperture Priority (AV) mode at f5.6 – put the astonishing auto focus into mindless mode, and my absolute favourite option was to turn the f stop to F5.6 and get down and dirty. F5.6 neither here nor there thus concentration on the good stuff; the moment!  [/zilla_one_third]


[zilla_one_third] The following photos where shot on a rare day off and document a few of the things that surrounded me: my family, and my Lifeguard buddies down at my local beach Porthtowan. I also shot some random objects just to test the sharpness of the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM lens… Which turns out to be wicked sharp and only £200. This lens is going to be so much fun, especially for travelling light and keeping it simple. [/zilla_one_third]















[zilla_one_third] The new Canon 5d mark III has a multi shot mode which merges two photos in camera. The next couple of shots are an example of this multi shot feature. I found it’s best to shoot one of the frames with a lot of negative space (sky, plan wall etc). Here they work well in telling the story of a lifeguard watching over his flock.. [/zilla_one_third]









great pics. i was unsure about this lens until i saw these.

Fantastic work – it makes fun to look at these photos!

I also bought this lens – using it on the old lady 5D – it´s a perfect team.

Keep on this blog and your fine photos.


from Germany

GREAT shots. I really wish there was some video up there as well to get a feel for the lense in that type of situation. but the pictures that you have are very impressive and have me really considering this for my next lense. Thanks for the time spent sharing your experience.

Love these shots, my type of thing………….great stuff.

i am now using this lens for last two weeks and has become very much impressed with the clarity and sharpness of the lens and the quality has remained even after cropping and enlargement. i am seriously thinking of buying the other new lens 18-135mm stp
as well. i have not tried movie-shooting yet.

Hey there, i found your review on the fm forums as i am looking to purchase this lens. You demonstrated well what the lens can do and I am going to pick one up later this morning.

on a side note, do you know your wife’s breast is showing in one of the pictures, she ok with it? hehe. my wife would kill me if i had to put a pic like that up.

anycase, nice photos

Thanks for taking time to comment Phil. I’m glad the review helps towards your decision to buy the lens. It’s a fantastic edition to any camera bag.

Regarding the touch of breast. We’re both fine with it. Too be honest I couldn’t really think of a reason why this is a problem… but she is half French and I am quite hard to offend. Wish the world would catch up…

Great review. Managed to knock one out over the bath photo

The wife will be thrilled she’s still got it…

Lovely review and great photos to illustrate this lens’ performance. I also bought one last week (same 5D Mk III ‘parent’).

How did you manage to time the shot of the two dogs both bounding simultaneously?

Cornwall looks great!

I actually shot in S2 mode which bangs out a 1980 px wide 600kb JPG. I did a little fast post prosessing. I was far from interested in spending anytime on these.

1 month on and the lens keeps impressing me, as does the 5D3 apart from the rediculous – fail of the year – black focus points…

awesome…thanks for getting me pumped up.. i just ordered my pancake lens to go on my 5d3.

just wondering, in keeping it simple, did you shoot jpeg or raw, and how much post work did you do?

i have become very much impressed after seeing all these samples of photographs that i have already ordrered one for myself.

have been looking at this 40mm and wanted to see some real world examples – those beach shots have convinced me – they look great – did you do much post-production?

seems to be a sharp lens, nice shots