Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens

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84% Gold Award
The EF 40mm F2.8 STM is a lens whose impressive image quality belies its low price and tiny size. For APS-C users it's a tiny, inexpensive companion to a kit zoom, and on full frame it offers a great option for general shooting.”

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Key Features

  • 40mm focal length
  • 64mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F2.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Stepper-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • 52mm filters
  • 0.30m/11.81" minimum focus
  • Canon EF mount for full frame, APS-H and APS-C DSLRs

Product Description

The Canon EF 40mm F2.8 STM is a very slim, very lightweight pancake-style prime lens for both full-frame and APS-C Canon DSLR cameras. It features a stepper motor for fast, quiet focus, particularly important with the contrast-detection method of autofocus used for live view and video. Its optical construction includes an aspherical element and coatings optimized to reduce flare. Its closest focus distance is a mere 30cm, and a circular 7-bladed aperture ensures pleasant rendition of out of focus areas.

The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is a lens whose impressive image quality belies its low price and tiny size. For APS-C users it's a tiny, inexpensive companion to a kit zoom, and on full frame it offers a great option for general shooting. It's taken a while for Canon to come to the pancake party, but the 40mm takes its place alongside its peers as one of the best examples of its type.


Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 40 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Canon EF
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes Rounded aperture
Elements 6
Groups 4
Special elements / coatings 1 aspherical element
Minimum focus 0.30 m (11.81)
Maximum magnification 0.18×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Unit
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Weight 130 g (0.29 lb)
Diameter 68 mm (2.68)
Length 22 mm (0.87)
Sealing No
Colour Black
Filter thread 52 mm
Hood supplied No
Tripod collar No


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Optical Quality
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Gold Award
Gold Award
84 %
Overall Score

The EF 40mm F2.8 STM offers excellent image quality in a tiny, well-made package. For APS-C users it provides a great carry-everywhere complement to a kit zoom, and for full frame shooters it's an excellent general-purpose 'normal' lens. The STM motor means that autofocus is almost completely silent, but it's not super-fast.

Good For

Canon SLR owners who want the image quality of a prime in a tiny, relatively inexpensive package.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

4.63636 out of 5 stars
  • jpmalohesr, Feb 10, 2013 GMT:
    Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

    I have used this lens exclusively since late January and feel that it is well worth the money. While not quite as sharp or fast as the Nifty 50 it more than makes up for it with the improved BOKEH and almost complete lack of lens distortion. I have used it for close-ups as well as landscapes and it performs very well for each. I will get more experience soon as I am attending an indoor concert at my granddaughter's school. Flash is not allowed, or at least discouraged, so the F2.8 should ...

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  • David zzzzzzzzzz, Jan 5, 2013 GMT:
    Great value for the money and makes my Canon T3i small!

    I use this for family pictures and it works out for me as far as focal length goes. Sharpness is definitely there and focus is not a problem. No real problems, just would like it to be wider, say 35mm. Only drawback is for video use, I definitely notice the lack of stabilization and get this incredible jittering or is that just me. The main attraction of this is how incredibly small and unobtrusive it makes my camera. If you add a speedllite then the balance deteriorates but I have ...

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  • biancmb, Jan 2, 2013 GMT:
    Astonishing results

    this lens is giving me excellent results. On my 60D, it's perfect for street photography. It makes the whole camera a lot lighter and as unobtrusive as possible. It focuses quite rapidly and precisely, with zero noticeable noise. At a street price of around EUR 200.00, it is highly recommended. I'd love to see more of this kind from Canon. Problems: none so far.

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  • ljgude, Dec 10, 2012 GMT:
    40mm Canon Pancake

    The lens gets the full gong because Canon beautifully executes a quite new form factor - pancake while delivering an optically excellent lens for a very affordable price. The form factor alone allows me to bring my 600D nearly as easily as my Olympus EPL-1. I have mostly shot B&W so far because the lens puts me in mind to shoot in the street as I did 35mm cameras with a 50mm normal lens. The 40mm translates to 64mm on my APSC sensor Canon, but that doesn't cramp my style and found that ...

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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens by DPReview

Questions & Answers


Should I go for the 50mm?

I recently purchased the Canon 600D/Rebel T3i along with 18-55mm IS II & 55-250 IS II lenses. I don't have a big budget and its just my hobby(at least as of yet :P)! Only th 40mm f/2.8 STM and 50mm f/1.8 II lens comes within my 3rd lens budget! Should I go for it or not waste my money on it? Remember I have an APS-C sensor... and if I should go for a 3rd lens which one should it be? The pancake or the nifty fifty? Please advice! Thanks a lot in advance :D

UK Pics asked
10 months ago


What's missing? You shouldn't get another lens until you can figure out why the lenses you have aren't enough. You've got pretty sharp lenses with focal lengths from 18 to 250mm. That should cover a whole lot of photography. What wall are you crashing into? You might be better off spending your 3rd lens budget on some good wine. That's what I would do. Continue Reading

Leonard Migliore answered
10 months ago

Well, lenses other than the kit lens are good for stuff. But why a 50? It's a niche focal length on a crop sensor camera. It's OK for portraits but too tight for most indoor shots. The 50mm f/1.8 Canon's only benefit is that it's spectacularly cheap. If the O.P. likes landscapes, he might be better off with a 10-22 or a 10-20 Sigma. If the O.P. likes wildlife shots, he might be better off with a real telephoto. If the O.P.'s budget only allows for the least expensive lenses, he may be better off not wasting his money on lenses and should buy a flash. So my comment was based on it being premature for the O.P. to select a specific lens when it may not be something useful. I have a 50mm f/1.8 for my crop-sensor Nikon. I never use it; the 35 is much better. Some people like 50's on a crop sensor but that's an individual decision. Continue Reading

Leonard Migliore answered
10 months ago

Goodness if all we were gonna use was the kit lenses, why get a dlsr in the first place. Of course they need a fast prime. If all they can afford to start off is a 50-1.8 then get it! It will spank the crapola out of those silly kit lenses for everything except bright sunshine... Maybe the bottle of wine may make the kit lens shots look great for a little while, but eventually the buzz wears off... 8^) gus Continue Reading

Britney Elvis answered
10 months ago


Wierd sharpness outputs on 40mm f2.8

These are some of the pics i took just to show the weird result i want to show. All images were shot using a tripod and the lens was in MF. I find this weird sharpness issue in the 40mm pics since a couple of months. I know that this lens is super sharp from f2.8 from my initial days of using this lens. Can anyone help me in finding what exactly is wrong with this lens. Its still under warranty. I don't see any traces of fungus on the lens. I don’t quite know how to describe the problem, but its something like this: "I used LV and zoomed in to MF and i find that am not getting any sharpness that i used to get ,even when focus is where i want. As the subject moved further, the problem got more serious, mainly at f2.8 coz i almost always shoot at f2.8". This is one of my initial shots using the 40mm lens: Its a bit overexposed i know, 1/640s | f2.8 | ISO 100 | 70D | AF The pics below is the current scenario : :-( :-( 1/125s | f2.8 | ISO 125 | 70D 1/125s | f3.2 | ISO 160 | 70D 1/125s | ...

Sree7 asked
6 days ago


Clarify a few things for me. 1.) Was the image sharp in LV but turned out oof or was it oof in LV and never got sharp? 2.) What is the main subject of the photos below? 3.) What element was your focus point covering? 4.) How far away were you from that tree trunk? Continue Reading

Rick Knepper answered
6 days ago

Regardless of where the point of focus was on the coconut trunk shot, the pen shot doesn't look normal at all. I have the 40mm and it doesn't loose too much sharpness when close focusing. I can't give any explanation as to why it looks like this but I would have it examined. Continue Reading

MayaTlab0 answered
3 days ago

Image had the "oof" thing while in LV and in the final output. the coconut tree trunk ( single af point ) only the trunk may be around 5-6 meters. If my memory is right, the shot of the boy is almost at the same distance. I have a doubt: The lenses that i own: canon 18-135 stm ( perfectly fine ) canon 40 stm both of these were taken to Shimla(India) which is a mountain region and temperature as u can guess varies. Did carry Silica gel crystal all the time in the bag. Could this be a possible fluid vaporization or sort of? Continue Reading

Sree7 answered
6 days ago


No. of 5D3 AF Points + 40 f/2.8 STM

Just received my Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, I updated the firmware successfully to v1.2.0 on the 5D3, and I have a simple question, when selecting AF points using this combo (41 cross types only option selected), I see some lines of AF points missing. I am aware of the different lens groups, but I couldn't find the 40 STM amongst them, but I thought that since this is an f/2.8 lens it would show all AF points as usual. Both my 100 Macro L & 200 L show all AF points and they are f/2.8 lenses as well.

mshafik asked
2 years ago


Looking at the different groups it does seem like not all f/2.8 lenses are in the same group. Continue Reading

dave_bass5 answered
2 years ago

Well, I tried yesterday enabling all 61 focus points, and now I can select any of them, but for cross type ones only, it gives me a weird pattern unlike any of the groups in Canon's guide. What's more, I get all 41 cross types working even on my 24-105, and it's an f/4 lens, weird. I'll consider this answered since I doubt I'd be able to get more details except from Canon themselves. Thanks dave. Continue Reading

mshafik answered
2 years ago

It might be helpful to show exactly what pattern of points were being shown available or at least the number of them. Continue Reading

billythek answered
2 years ago

Warranty Information

"A Product, when delivered to you in new condition in its original container, is warranted against defects in materials or workmanship as follows: for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase, defective parts or a defective Product returned to Canon, or its authorized service providers, and proven to be defective upon inspection, will be repaired with new or comparable rebuilt parts or exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by Canon or the authorized service provider n their sole discretion. Replaced parts and exchanged Products will become the property of Canon."

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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