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


Tripod or Monopod or Single kit solution???

Friends, I need your inputs and opinion again. I'm mainly into Nature and Wildlife photography (Specifically Bird photography) and my current setup is a Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF-s 15-85 and Canon EF 40mm. Would be picking a Canon EF 100-400 Mk2 shortly. Had finalized on Sirui P-424 monopod with L-10 Tilt head and was about to place an order, and then thought if I just go only with a Monopod what about Nature/Landscape or Cityscape or Night photography which comprises of about 40%....So, I'm again back to where I started. a. Should I go with a two accessory solution : Monopod and a Tripod b. What about heads : Ball head or Tilt head or Pan head? Then during my reviews, came across a single accessory solution, Tripod which also acts as a monopod 'Sirui N-2204x'. It ticks all my boxes for different types of photography. Now would like to know from you experts : 1. Is a single kit solution good? 2. What is your view and experience with Sirui N-2204x? Any other brands/solutions? 3. What ...

13 days ago


People have pretty strong opinions on this, and I am no exception. The reality is that wildly differing set-ups work well for different people, largely because they use their equipment in differing ways. For me, a good monopod is of much more use than a tripod for most birding contexts. I simply don't want to lug a tripod that is adequate for a birding lens into the places that I will be using it, while a good monopod is a helpful walking stick on the hike in. If you get a monopod, get one that can hold enough weight to be a good walking stick. There is no such thing as too sturdy in monopods. There is also no such thing as too long -- most folks get too short monopods because they don't realize how they should use them ( this blog does a good job showing the options. I set the monopod in front of me at an angle to make the third leg of a tripod, with my two legs being the other two. I lean forward a bit to put some pressure on the 'pod for stability. My monopod is six feet long and ... Continue Reading

tclune answered
12 days ago

Thanks for the inputs Tclune. They give a different thought. Link to the blog on how to use a monopod is good and simple. So, as per you a ball head is good enought for birding? Thats interesting. Biggest lens what I would be having is a Canon 100-400, so I dont think investing on a gimbal head makes sense for me now. Once I move to bigger primes (couple fo years down the line), I would look into this head. Continue Reading

SrinathPreddy answered
12 days ago

If you are planning to take long exposures (like at night) I doubt that any monopod will be stable enough. The monopods with tripod feet like that Sirui N-2204x or my Feisol CM-1473 are likely to move a bit in even a slight wind. IMO you need a real, stable tripod to use whenever possible. Pure monopods and tri/monopods are great for many purposes, but they have their limitations. Get both. As tclune says, a monopod doesn't have to be CF; my old Manfrotto aluminum one works fine. I like a tilt head on my pure monopod, and ball heads on my tripods and tri/monopod. Continue Reading

Austinian answered
12 days ago


Canon 100-400 MkII to compliment Canon 15-85 on 60D?

Hello All, My current gear is Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF-S 15-85 and Canon EF 40mm. I have been doing bird photography for about an year, for these I have been renting lenses Canon 100-400 (60%), Canon 300 F4 (10%), Canon 400 F5.6 (10%), Canon 300 f2.8 (20%). Lens rental in India was relatively cheap and I could rent them for a min of 1 Day(~1% cost of the lens for every rental). Now, after moving to Nottingham, UK, I find lens rental is quite expensive and since min rental is 3 days (every time I rent, its ~10% cost of the lens). So, planning to take a plunge and buy Canon 100-400 Mk II for bird photography. Until now, 95% of my photographs have been handheld ( ). So, predominantly would be shooting handheld. Few months down the line would pickup Monopod "Sirui P-424 & L10 head" Your view and opinion would help me with this investment on my first big white:-)

19 days ago


Sounds like a good combo of lenses, I had the 15-85 and loved it. The IS in particular as it meant handholding even at slow shutter speeds were possible. I have been using the 100-400 MkI for quite a few years and I really like it, check my Flickr link below loads of 100-400 shots. The MkII will be a lot easier to handhold as it will have the latest IS, the MkI was the original IS so fairly out of date. It is such a versatile lens especially as the MFD is now ½ of what it was on the MkI. So lends itself to butterfly, dragonfly and flower photography, which I did with the MkI. It's a great lens for 'mobile' bird photography where a bit of field craft can get you closer to the subjects. You may find that you will be able to use it handheld most of the time, a monopod will help in keeping the shutter speed down and then use lower ISO's. I have just got the Sirui monopod head and it's extremely well made, some seem to think Sirui is Chinese it's not its German as its address is in Berlin. ... Continue Reading

birdbrain answered
19 days ago

Thaks for sharing your view birdbrain. Agree with you 15-85 is an amazing lens. I bought this lens along with 60D as suggested by few of the experts here on DP Review. IS on this lense is amazing and best I was able to achieve was 1/4s shutter speed (handholding) during my Rome night photo tour. MFD is interesting on MKII and it could open new horizons. Could you post few pics of this monopod head, from were did you buy and can you share some more details. Also, which monopod are you using? Some awesome shots you have taken Phil. Also, I had visited your flicker page sometime back (unable to recollect when and why), are you by any chance part of Photography clubs in Nottingham? Continue Reading

SrinathPreddy answered
19 days ago

The MkII 100-400 wil have a similar IS so will lend itself to being handheld. The MkI was very good for butterflies so the MkII should be even better, as I have had to back up a bit to get MFD when after butterflies :) Here is the link to the Sirui head on Amazon Sirui L-10 Amazon Thanks for your kind words :) No connection with Nottingham, I'm Suffolk :) Continue Reading

birdbrain answered
18 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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