Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
5 109994 6/2/2015
Recommended By Average Purchase
100% of reviewers $193.00
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Canon EF Wide Prime 35mm STM tested

Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 39
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 6/2/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $167.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very compact, lightweight, fast-ish, sharp, good contrast
Cons: None

I like this little pancake. It produces images that are sharp and contrasty straight from the widest aperture. And that's on a full frame camera. Autofocus is fairly silent, accurate and fast enough for most situations. Build quality is decent and it has a metal lens mount. If you like the focal length, this is a no brainer. For the money, I can't fault it. I just have to give it a ten out of ten.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 6
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review by babka08
Review Date: 7/24/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $130.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: small (duh), sharp, contrast/colour, quiet, cheap
Cons: it doesn't zoom from 18-400

This is a really great lens. It's tiny. And the fact that they include a very quiet lens motor, unlike Pentax with their noisy screw driven motors, is impressive. The image quality is just great. No question. I wonder about its longevity (like 10 years from now) as the electronics must be pretty tiny in there and it's plastic. But for what it costs it's still a great investment. The only question is whether you want a 40mm lens. It makes your full-frame Canon work like a rangefinder, so that's a great comparison. And it's about the same focal length as your smart phone. Another check mark. I actually find that I'm looking at things a little wider than a 'normal' 50mm lens these days, and when I want to go portrait I go up to 100mm. I'm talking full-frame. I can put my 6D with this lens in a little fanny pack (along with my Voigtlander 20mm pancake) and it's so nice and compact! I think it gives the Fuji x100 a run for its money (yes it's larger and heavier but) as a rangefinder type experience yet you still have a DSLR to work with other lenses. To conclude my ramble, don't hesitate to get one unless you don't want the 40mm length. But on a budget, it could replace your need for a 50 and 35. For under $200.

Registered: October 2013
Posts: 7
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review by caMARYnon
Review Date: 10/25/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $270.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: discreet and light weight, very sharp, good colors and contrast
Cons: slow AF, nothing else for the price

Very useful all around focal (just in case) with a tele on the body.

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/12/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $199.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sleek, very light, SHARP! nice build quality. beautiful!
Cons: none

this is not the lens for everyone. Some might want faster lens or even the L-brand. For me, this one is a PERFECT lens for street. Optically superb & sleek design. Nobody's gonna be intimidated with this tiny lens. a perfect lens for fullframe sensors.

Price is highly acceptable. If you're shooting people on streets, this one is a no brainer. must have!

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 13
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM review by kinematic
Review Date: 6/26/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $199.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact design, metal mount, STM motor (vs Micro Motor), short close up distance,
Cons: Not weather sealed, noisy for video (but quieter than micro motor), no lens hood.

This might become my favourite walk around lens. It encompasses so much in one little $200+ lens. For its value, it gives you all the sharpness you'd expect in a prime, the speed of an F/2.8 lens, the low profile of a pancake lens, and a reasonably silent inexpensive STM motor (short for stepper motor).

I tested out my new lens on my 5DmkIII, and some reports said it was slow for focusing, but honestly it wasn't all that bad. I actually found it probably on par with my Sigma 85 F/1.4 in reality (which isn't all that slow, but not super fast either).

The neat thing about this lens is that it has a wonderful close up range, so it's great for portrait as well as landscape or urban photography. If you're a street photographer, you'll love this lens.

I loved the fact that I could also just go with this in hand and capture a variety of scenes with it. Although today's weather wasn't cooperating, I did get a few shots off finding it very easy to use and flexible in all sorts of quick shooting situations. All my examples were frame and go, less than a couple of seconds. No tripods or a lot of time composing.

I also set up my 5DmkIII to not shoot lower than 1/125 of a second. This made it really handy to use this handheld in Auto ISO and not worry about needing to have IS. I had recently given up my compact Olympus EP-3 to my wife and was missing that as a quick small package for discrete street shooting, but I think this new lens will fill that void quite well (almost to the point of not caring if Canon comes out with a mirrorless system). Stripped down to just camera and 40mm lens is very nice to use. It's light in my hand and I maintain the image quality of an SLR. The only thing I need to add is a simple wrist lanyard to the kit so I don't feel like I'm going to lose my camera from my butter fingers.

The focus ring is small, and honestly I don't think I'll ever use it for manual focus (a fly by wire focus like the 85mm F/1.2 and the 300 F/2.8 lenses). One thing to note, if you do get this lens and you own the 5DmkIII, you'll need to update your firmware so it can do full time manual focus. Without the firmware update it does not manually focus when AF is set, only in MF mode. It's honestly not as bad as I thought it would be and cradling the base, it was easy to use my index finger to adjust the focus.

I've been testing AF on the new T4i as well, and I did try this lens out on that camera and believe it or not, it's the smoothest focusing of all the EF lenses with the new hybrid AF. All AF lenses seem to have this weird ratcheted like focus, which is annoying and useless. The STM motor is smooth, although slightly noisier than USM, it doesn't have quite the ratcheted AF sound when trying to get focus lock. Clearly this lens was being considered for video applications.

Lastly the one thing I do miss on this lens is a distance chart. This will make hyperfocal street focusing a little more difficult, but I guess the idea here is to lock your aperture, and trust in the AF to do the rest.

Full review on my blog:

Images examples here:


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.