Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens

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It is only a matter of time that  pancake lens commonly used in mirrorless cameras moves on to the DSLR market. Canon introduces a small size EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens. At a featherweight 130g, this is the lightest lens (along with the 50mm f/1.8 II lens) in the EF family. It’s less than one inch long, so it is very compact and travel friendly. A bright f/2.8 maximum aperture allows you to shoot under pretty much any lighting conditions, and the sophisticated lens configuration, including one aspherical element, guarantees high image quality from the center to the edge of the frame. The optimized coatings used in constructing the lens greatly reduce ghosting and flare, and deliver superb color balance.

The equally light weight 50mm f/1.8 II is also 130g, but twice the depth. The 40mm f/2.8 measures at 23mm, whereas the 50mm f/1.8 measures at 40mm. If we compare to the Panasonic G pancake lens 20m f/1.7 which is equivalent to 40mm in 35mm, it weighs less at 99g but 46mm in depth.

Being at a focal length so close to the 50mm f/1.8 and double its price, one would ask is the pancake size worth the comprise? Not to mention the 50mm f/1.8 is one stop faster too. However I think it will be perfect  to use on an APS-C camera like the newly introduced 18 MP Canon EOS 650D which fully supports STM lenses for quiet AF in video. This 40mm lens will give you a view equivalent to 64mm when used on a camera with an APS-C sensor. They make a very light travel kit if you don’t mind shooting at 64mm.

You can pre-order your 40mm f/2.8 here (B&H)

You can pre-order your Canon EOS 650D (Rebel T4i) here (B&H)


STM is Canon’s  new stepping motor technology for quiet aperture drive, this provides quiet, smooth and continuous autofocus during video operation.

Here is the specs:

  • Newly developed STM technology for smooth and quiet continuous AF while shooting video.
  • Lightweight and unobtrusive 4.6 oz lens is less than one inch long
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture for shooting under all light conditions
  • High image quality from the center to the periphery thanks to its advanced lens configuration including an aspherical element
  • Optimized coatings that minimize ghosting and flare while providing exceptional color balance
  • A circular aperture (7 blades) for beautiful soft-focus backgrounds
  • Short minimum focusing distance of only 11.81"
  • Mounted on a camera with an APS-C sensor, this lens offers a view similar to a 64mm lens in 35mm format
  • Approx. 2.7 x 0.9" (6.86 x 2.29 cm), 4.6 oz (130 g)

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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