All About the Canon 40mm Pancake Lens
These short lenses have a long history. So-called because of their flat look, pancake lenses are primes made with thin glass. They have been a convenient carry-along for photographers for over 100 years. They are unobtrusive lenses with aesthetic appeal and are a longtime favorite in the mirrorless/Micro Four Thirds community. Canon has jumped on the bandwagon with its inaugural pancake lens: the EF 40mm f/2.8.
Most pancake lenses fall into the normal-to-wide focal range and this one is no exception. While most, especially older, pancake lenses are unable to focus down on anything closer than 18 inches, this one is able to home in at a relatively close 11.8 inches. And with 7 diaphragm blades at f/2.8, the bokeh on this lens is quite good. While it’s certainly a great go-to for travelers looking to pack light, the technology of the 40mm is principally for video and will allow select Canon cameras to focus continuously while shooting video. The STM (STepping Motor) feature of this lens offers smooth and quiet continuous auto focusing when used with AI Servo Focus while shooting video.
The focal length is a bit of a novelty. The most commonly found lengths for prime lenses are 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm. For some, choosing the 40mm is just a matter of having a very specific preference – the 35mm, on a full frame camera, is just a little wide while the 50mm is a little long. For a crop sensor camera, the 40mm is the equivalent to about 64mm – still a good “middle ground” length.
If you’re a photographer looking for a lightweight lens with a decent focusing distance, good bokeh, and is unobtrusive (a great feature for street photographers), give the 40mm a try. If you’re a videographer, especially if you are trying out cameras with AI Servo Focus, like the in the Rebel series, the STM will impress, especially for the price.
Are pancake lens recommend for a film camera.
Canon STM lenses work with any EOS body. They are built especially for video, because they are fast, accurate and silent focus.
Hi ! Can I use this pancake lens to shoot some group photos ? Also, is it a good lens to use for indoor event photography ? Thank you very much.
will this lens work with the Cannon Mark I (considered the Classic D5)
Balaji d gupta
Will this less lens work with a EOS T300 rebel model?
I own this 40mm STM lens and yes, it works with the Canon 60D – for video and stills – which is my current DSLR.
For under $200, I’m going tp pick one of these up fairly soon. If it’s half as good as the now-famous “nifty-fifty”, Canon will have another winner on their hands. Also, Glad to see i can now pick-up lenses in Manhattan, saving me the $100+ in shipping and insurance. Good move!!!!!!
John MacLean Photography
I bought one to use on my 5D Mark II and have done a couple of tests with it. The best of it is in the f4 ~ f8 range. I do like it, but I have a long time friend (and a Canon Explorer of Light) telling me that the 50mm f1.8 Mark II is optically a better lens. I’d prefer something in the 30-35mm range, but it’s ok.
I feel like item #3 is a bit misleading. The T4i will do continuous autofocus with any lens that is capable of autofocusing but it is the STM that will do this most smoothly and silently . To answer several questions above – The STM technology will work fine on ALL canon cameras but it will NOT make any of these cameras continuously AF during filming.
Well, the continuous autofocus only works with the T4i, this is still a GREAT buy for someone who needs a good “any time” lens at a VERY affordable price.
So a lens that only works with T4i, that’s just doody.
same question here; i own the 60D and am wondering whether the SMT will work for me.
I have the exact same question. I own a 60D and need to know if the SMT technology works on my camera.
Can the new Canon 40mm pancake lens be used with the video function on the 60D and the 7D?
Will the 40 mm pancake lens be adaptable to T5i Canon Camera ?