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Just Posted: Canon EF40mm F2.8 STM sample images

By dpreview staff on Jun 27, 2012 at 23:34 GMT

Just posted: Canon EF40mm F2.8 STM pancake prime lens sample images. We've been using Canon's latest diminutive prime lens for the last couple of days and have prepared an image gallery of both full-frame and APS-C samples. These have been shot at a variety of apertures in a range of lighting conditions, using the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Mark II for full-frame images, with APS-C shots taken with the Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i and 600D / Rebel T3i.

Canon EF40mm F2.8 STM sample images

There are 31 images in this review samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it. Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

Canon EF40mm F2.8 STM samples gallery - Posted Jun 28th 2012

Comments

Total comments: 61
pinoguin
By pinoguin (Nov 5, 2012)

This is an amazing lens ... I've had it almost all the time in my 5d mkiii , been neglecting my 17-40mm and 70-200 f4L's due to their nasty weight. Been shooting strobist and natural light and am loving it, you can see my shots in my website.

One issue though is that my copy seems to be front-focusing, I fixed it by using 5d's micro focus adjust. However it's unfortunate for my 60d not have one >.< , I will send this to Canon soon.

Another issue is to be careful not to apply pressure at the lens front, since it extends like a 50mm 1.8, it will simply stop focusing if held with pressure - a quick fix is to remove the lens (or battery) and put it back again. A permanent fix is by applying the newly released firmware.

Enjoying the lens so far, I hope Canon makes more of these soon!! :D

0 upvotes
Gasman66
By Gasman66 (Jul 2, 2012)

Very interesting lens. From a pure image quality perspective, I'd rate it "very good" rather than excellent. There is some light falloff towards the edges; distortion is noticeable especially for a prime and also contrast isn't anything stellar.

That said, if you take into consideration the lens's price, and size, it starts to make a great deal of sense. I'll be buying one. Even if I only use it for a few hundred shots over the life of the lens, it'll have paid for itself in my view. Because of its size and price alone, I suspect it'll give me more sheer enjoyment than my $2000 L series lenses.

0 upvotes
Gasman66
By Gasman66 (Jul 2, 2012)

Actually no, scratch that. I've just re-looked at some of the images. It would qualify as excellent. :)

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Jul 15, 2012)

> I'd rate it "very good" rather than excellent.

it's not bad.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Jun 30, 2012)

Is it just me or are some of these images simply way out of focus?

0 upvotes
Taym
By Taym (Jul 1, 2012)

It does not seems so. Have you waited for the image to fully load? They do look out of focus before loading is complete, in your browser. :)

0 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Jun 30, 2012)

We can't complain about poor DPR sample shots anymore. Nice samples. Interesting lens. Maybe a 16 or 18mm in the future like this??

0 upvotes
Mark Bellon
By Mark Bellon (Jun 28, 2012)

At first I thought, nice shots. Oh look the Space Needle. I wonder if Richard took these? Oh... nice hike! :P

I'm jealous. I hope the Shorty Forty was fun. A bit awkward on a 5D - hoping for something a little more 'portable' soon.

2 upvotes
ShouterFin
By ShouterFin (Jun 28, 2012)

Just received my pre-order, 231€ with shipping is really not a bad price for this one. Maybe I'll have some time to test it this weekend.
First thing I notice, is that the autofocus makes a really funny noise :D And it looks real small on my 5D Mark II.

0 upvotes
rghoag
By rghoag (Jun 28, 2012)

Much better than expected...
http://jpgmag.com/photos/3374331

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 28, 2012)

Interesting lens. But this begs the question, why not just use a 50 1.8 or faster short prime? As someone pointed out, the lightest FF is 950g, is a slightly larger lens going to make much difference in usability?

1 upvote
bradleyg5
By bradleyg5 (Jun 28, 2012)

I think it's that the pancake doesn't stick out much past the grip. So if you have a lens that's twice as long it actually sticks out significantly more past the grip. The 50mm f1.8 isn't really usable till F2.8 anyway so the speed advantage isn't an issue.

It's about fitting your camera in a small bag that isn't triangle shaped, you could fit this in a bag that is normally intended only for the camera body.

2 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (Jun 28, 2012)

This means I can pack my camera and lens into my computer bag. For me bigger factors than size were, 40mm is a 50mm fov on APS-H, much better out of focus highlights (I don't care for the pentagons), it's sharper than the 50mm across the frame (at common apertures) and it's same price as the 50mm Mk I (but you get a new lens).

The improvement in out of focus areas is enough that I'd reccomend it over the 50.

2 upvotes
bradleyg5
By bradleyg5 (Jun 28, 2012)

impressed with the quality of the pictures. Certainly a very strong performer on full frame :D definitely will be picking one up as soon as possible.

1 upvote
blank_
By blank_ (Jun 28, 2012)

the only drawback this lens has is that the "smallest" FF dslr weights 950g.

1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (Dec 12, 2012)

6D weighs 770g ;-)

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 28, 2012)

Having used a pancake lens for a while, I can say these designs have virtues and shortcomings: they're nimble to use, practical and very fast to focus. On the down side they're usually not too fast - f2.8 seems to be the standard -, plus they tend to produce vignetting, chromatic aberration and softness at the corners. This, however, seems to have only a little - very little - vignetting. Exceptional for the price. If I had a Canon body, I'd buy this lens as soon as it hit the shelves.
While I think a pancake lens does make sense on a DSLR body, this lens could mean Canon has got something new on its way. Is it the MILC everyone is talking about?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Elaka Farmor
By Elaka Farmor (Jun 28, 2012)

"this lens could mean Canon has got something new on its way. Is it the MILC everyone is talking about?"

Logically, it must be.........

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Jun 28, 2012)

Not so logical. We were expecting the mirrorless Canon early this year, instead we got the G1X... hence my reservations.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Jul 15, 2012)

the vignetting of 40/2.8 is much worse than zoom lenses.
a rumor says you might have a mirrorless Canon later this year.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jun 28, 2012)

i have tested it yesterday.

it´s a fantastic lens if you can live with f2.8.
it´s very sharp from f2.8 onwards.. as writen in all reviews.

if only it would be f2.0 .. i would pay 500 euro for it with this image quality.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Jul 15, 2012)

in general, a one stop faster lens will be 2-3 times as heavy and 3-4 times more expensive.

or if you are looking for a similar lens for your Sony NEX, you should be able to have a 24/1.8 at about the same size, performance, and price if Sony is as honest as Canon.

0 upvotes
Franz Kerschbaum
By Franz Kerschbaum (Jun 28, 2012)

When using it on the new 5d III with the newest firmware 1.1.3. but also in the newest dpp there is no lens data available in order to correct vigneting and the rest. Hope that this is updated soon! (Aside this I love this lens!)

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Jun 28, 2012)

At first glance the images don't look any better than the Pentax DA40, and definitely can't compete with the (admittedly more expensive) Pentax FA43. The FA43 is often classified as a pancake lens as well - especially without the lens hood. In fact, the FA43 is exactly the same length as the Canon (27mm) according to the specs.

But it's good to see Canon creating this lens, and dpreview reviewing it right away. The fact that it has STM is certainly impressive, and the price is so reasonable.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Jun 28, 2012)

While the Pentax DA40 f/2.8 is very good, there is one problem: it is designed for APS-C and not FF. So, it's hard to compare.

As for the FA43 f/1.9, its performance is already severely compromised wide-open on APS-C. On FF, it's probably a disaster. :)

3 upvotes
joelR42
By joelR42 (Jun 29, 2012)

Actually the DA40 works on Pentax's "full-frame" film cameras since it is actually an updated version of the old KA manual focus pancake lens. So, yes, this lens is remarkable like the Pentax lens only a little bigger. I've never used the FA43 but it was designed for a FF (AKA film) camera so I have trouble believing it would be a "disaster".

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Jun 29, 2012)

@photo nuts - If the FA43 is better than the EF40 from f/2.8 on then it's still "better."

I'm not sure if you're speaking from experience, but I've looked at many FA43 photos (including my own) as well as many dpreview samples. The FA43 produces better shots without even putting much effort in. These EF40 shots aren't as nice, and it's not the fault of the photographer.

As I implied, the DA40 can't live up to the FA43 either.

I'd like to see all three compared here on DPR, even if it's only in the form of using the EF40 on the T4i review and the DA40 AND FA43 on the K30 review (especially since the two cameras are direct competitors).

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jun 29, 2012)

> definitely can't compete with the (admittedly more expensive) Pentax FA43

And which Pentax FF body do you use it on?

1 upvote
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Jun 28, 2012)

Just lined up my collection of Canon bodies and tried to imagine what they'd be like to handle and transport with this pancake lens attached... Although my 20D, 30D, 50D, 5DmkII, and XTi are thick bodies, the lens would make the cameras slide much easier into small spaces and still be ready to shoot (having a lens attached)... where otherwise you'd have to either take time to attach a lens to the body after removing the body cap, or make much more room for a zoom. At about $200... it's hard to justify for that alone... but hell when did logic rule the day completely in our lives as photographers? I think I might bite someday when the need for "retail therapy" becomes necessary!

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (Jun 28, 2012)

In my experience, $200 is a very small price to pay for that convenience, but that's for me hiking up mountains with all my other gear (camera & hiking gear). It'll mean it has more chance of actually leaving home with me. No point spending $1500 on a lens that'll sit in a cupboard. Now, if they can just make a tilt/shift lens this small & light...

3 upvotes
ivan1973
By ivan1973 (Jun 28, 2012)

If 40mm can be made so small, why not the rest of the lens?

0 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Jun 28, 2012)

Because it is F/2.8. 35L is a monster comparing to this. F/2.8 lenses have been small forever, because there is nothing remarkable about F/2.8..... Now you start going to F/1.8 and it is hard to make a pencake that would cover a full-frame sensor

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 28, 2012)

actually, it becomes weird to notice that the thinnest pancakes are usually 40mm....

0 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (Jun 28, 2012)

Because of mirrors and angles of incidence of light on mirrorless sensors which restrict how near you can put lenses to the sensor plane. Aperture stops are easiest to design when they're close to the focal length of the lens from the sensor (really old rangefinder lenses will typically have the aperture stop exactly the focal length from the sensor). Putting the lens further from the sensor means you have to have a retrofocal design (requiring a large negative front element), putting it closer to the sensor is limited to perhaps half the focal length, but most people prefer fast telephotos which puts a minimum size on the front element too. I'm guessing it would be easy to design a nice small 85mm f/4, too but who would want one?

40-60mm lenses are the right focal lengths to not need substantial optical adjustment of the effective focal length, while not being so long that they require huge front elements to be fastish, and many people don't really care for 50-60mm lenses.

0 upvotes
healer81
By healer81 (Jun 28, 2012)

More lens in the line is always a good thing. I dont see why people are complaining. If you dont like the lens then dont buy it. Im sure there are people that would be interested in it.

10 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jun 28, 2012)

So I paid about $1200 more for 2 more stops and 5 less mm... hmm...

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Jun 28, 2012)

I own this 40mm lens and I am craving the 35L.... There is no comparison, don't worry your $1400 was smartly spent. In fact, I'll eventually get the 35L despite having the 40

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Jun 28, 2012)

Ok thanks!! :-) I do love having f/1.4, and 35mm feels right to me.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jun 28, 2012)

i dont understand the apeal of a pancake lens for a full size slr. i cant see this as being noticeable more portable than a 50mm1.8 attachted to any camera body

0 upvotes
jadrzew
By jadrzew (Jun 28, 2012)

Pancake on a DSLR makes little sense .... so what is Canon cooking next is the real question. Good looking lens anyway!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Jun 28, 2012)

Whether the nifty-fifty is something you don't mind in comparison to this is all opinion, but as for size, this lens is definitely more pocketable on it's own. Just throw one in your pocket while the rest of your carrying capacity is dominated by larger lenses/other gear.
And to a minor extent, on the body it does help keep the camera from standing out as much, and that's of course for people who don't have/don't want to use other compact camera solutions.

8 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jun 28, 2012)

if you don't see the appeal then don't try too, its either a no brainer to you or it isn't no right or wrong in that.

Carl

5 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Jun 28, 2012)

Sharpness aside (where it most likely beats the 50mm 1.8 at f2.8 and the f1.8 is soft wide-open). Bokeh aside where the 50mm 1.8 quickly degenerates into polygonal shapes where as the 40mm 2.8 is perfectly round from f2.8 to f5.6. AF motor sounds aside, where the 50mm sounds like a made in china wind up toy. Build quality aside where it looks like a made in china wind up toy. I just want an Auto focus hit rate that ain't nifty fifty fifty!

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jun 28, 2012)

@Timbukto well i am nikon shooter and i havent tried canon 1.8 50 so youmay be right that is is crap. but isnt that a more solid arument to create a better 50 1.8 than it is to make alens like this?

2 upvotes
laquila65
By laquila65 (Jul 2, 2012)

I agree with Kodachrome200. Canon should make good quality 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 already. The current f/1.8 is crap and the f/1.4 has a well-known mechanical design flaw. Nikon's 50mm lenses are perfect and very affordable, all of them. This 40mm doesn't make any sense to me.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 28, 2012)

Nice samples and it looks like a heck of a lens. Favorite shot: the bottle of Pellegrino. It's a really well shot image. Good job.

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (Jun 28, 2012)

Looks nice but I expected a bit more especially that this looks like it will battle head to head w/ the Pentax DA40 f2.8 Limited/ XS. Color looks great but not as sharp vs the DA40 (at least for me).

The bokeh when used with the FF seemed busy especially when compared to the ASPC, might be suited more for the APSC than the FF.

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Jun 28, 2012)

Looks good, though some of the 5D shots look a little front focused. Perhaps a click or two adjustment is needed.

0 upvotes
thincrust88
By thincrust88 (Jun 28, 2012)

One Fine Lens :-)

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 27, 2012)

I'd like to see a 1-1 comparison with a pentax da 40mm. This looks fine but with nothing to compare it to it doesn't tell us much.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jun 28, 2012)

Go to photozone. Canon lens gets a highly recommended rating on a Full frame (it will be even better on APSC)

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/752-canon_40_28_ff

so obviously it's pretty good optically.

2 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Jun 28, 2012)

Hmm, it looks like it should easily beat the Pentax 40mm and its cheaper to boot !

Its good considering Canon has launched a string of high priced lenses lately so the only sub $500 lens they have launched recently is a stellar performer.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jun 28, 2012)

Nah, I don't think it can stomp on the Pentax 40 Limited right out, except on terms of price.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jun 28, 2012)

Photozone gave it a similar scoring as the pentax(pentax a little more on build quality), can't compare the figures very well, because of the difference between FF and APS-C. Bokeh seems somewhat better on the Canon. Pentax also has a xs version of this lens at $249 which is even more compact and has the same optics.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Jun 28, 2012)

The newer Pentax that came with K01 and is cheaper didn't perform as well as the older one . see

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1490/cat/45

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Jun 27, 2012)

Much nicer than expected from a pancake, and a nice cross-section of subjects too. Thanks for getting these up. I'd love to see much more in the way lens testing on this site because virtually every manufacture now has a Silver or Gold award camera body. Now is the time for lenses.

Can you comment on whether these were PD-AF or CD-AF?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jun 27, 2012)

I'll check with the other photographers, but of the ones I shot, PT3C9288 on the 5D Mk III and IMG_0838 on the 600D were CDAF - the rest PDAF.

Work is being done to reintroduce lens reviews later this year - there'll be news on the front page when we're ready to announce something.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Jun 28, 2012)

Thanks, great news about the lens testing. I love the interactive test results widget, it really gives a good sense of what to expect from a lens performance and of those lenses I have the result correlate well, so I am very likely to buy lenses on the strength of your testing.

1 upvote
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Jun 28, 2012)

All the 5DII shots (IMG_5xxx) were using PDAF.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tongki
By tongki (Jun 28, 2012)

sorry for asking, what is PD-AF and CD-AF ?

1 upvote
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Jun 28, 2012)

Phase detection auto focus and contrast detection auto focus, respectively.

1 upvote
Total comments: 61