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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Standard "pancake" prime lens for Canon EOS SLR cameras

8 Reviews


Our take on the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

If you own a Canon DSLR, this lens will fast become part of your essential traveling kit. Its "pancake" profile and low weight make it too portable to ignore, and when you add Canon's impeccable build quality and the lens' light sensitivity into the equation, it all adds up to "I have to have one."

If you own a Canon DSLR, this lens will fast become part of your essential traveling kit. Its "pancake" profile and low weight make it too portable to ignore, and when you add Canon's impeccable build quality and the lens' light sensitivity into the equation, it all adds up to "I have to have one."

You can shoot a huge variety of subjects, near and far, with this lens due to its versatile fixed focal length: 40mm on full-frame sensors/35mm film cameras, and 64mm on APS-C sensors. And the newly designed stepping motor for the autofocus system is incredibly quiet, making it perfect for video capture.

Product Highlights:

  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (stepping autofocus motor)
  • compatible with Canon digital and autofocus film SLR cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 40mm with 35mm film or full-frame digital cameras
    • 64mm with APS-C sensor cameras
  • lightweight, low-profile "normal" lens is truly versatile
  • ultra-quiet autofocus stepping motor for responsive yet silent video shooting
  • consistent image quality across the frame
  • internal focusing system maintains constant lens length
  • optimized coatings and an aspherical element preserve sharpness and minimize flares
  • minimum focus distance: 1.81" (from film or sensor plane to subject)
  • minimum aperture: f22
  • lens construction: 6 elements in 4 groups
  • diaphragm blades: 7
  • attachment/filter size: 52mm
  • front and rear lens caps supplied
  • lens is 2-11/16" in diameter, 1-3/16" long
  • weight: 4.6 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • EF40mm f/2.8 STM lens
  • 52mm Front lens cap (installed)
  • Rear lens cap (installed)
  • Instructions
  • Warranty/Registration card

Awesome lens specially for taking close-up portrait shots and low-light night scenes.

Manny, California


Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(8 Reviews)

Great lens - small and with excellent image quality

Steve from Pennsylvania on 12/3/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am using this lens with an SL1. This is a great camera and lens combination. I have the 18-55 STM which is also very good, but the size, image quality and small aperture of the 40mm makes it an excellent all around carry lens. I was recently at an evening reception and was able to get some great images without using a flash.

Pros: Image quality, size, aperture, build quality.

Cons: None.

Awesome Lens

Manny from California on 5/19/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome lens specially for taking close-up portrait shots and low-light night scenes.



Shorty-Forty: An excellent pancake lens at an excellent price

JP from Ohio on 4/11/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

At under-$200, the Shorty-Forty is an amazing deal hands-down. It combines extreme compactness with excellent image quality. I've already used it for a commercial gig where I was using it interchangeably with the Canon 24-70mm 2.8L. The size of the Shorty Forty gave it an advantage during that shoot as I had more flexibility with angling the camera (5D mk3) to get the shots I wanted. The 24-70mm 2.8L is still the "better" lens and takes better pictures (and it should, for $1800-more) but I didn't feel handicapped by the image quality of the 40mm. I also use the 24-105mm IS 4L, 35mm 1.4L, 100-400mm IS 4.5-5.6L, and 70-300mm IS 4-5.6L. I would say that the Shorty-Forty images "look" better than the 24-105mm and 100-400mm but the 35mm prime, the 70-300mm, and the 24-70mm have it beat. That's astounding since it's a fraction of the price of every other lens I'm comparing it to. It's not going to survive in the harsher environments I'd take my weather-sealed L-series lenses to (hello monsoon-season!) but I wouldn't hesitate to put it "in danger" since it's so cheap to replace.

Pros: 1. Insanely affordable (and replaceable) 2. Compact 3. Excellent Image Quality (approaching that of newer L-series lenses) 4. Very solid-feeling build quality

Cons: 1. Slow AF motor (STM) 2. STM is NOT silent, regardless of what people say 3. Manually correcting AF requires AF to be engaged (half-press hold on shutter) 4. Not as solidly-built as L-series lenses (but at 1/5 price, this isn't a knock)

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Don from Illinois on 4/2/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Lens works great on my SL1. Camera is mounted overhead and is being used for product videos.




shenlonco from NJ on 7/2/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very sharp even at 2.8! compared to my older 1.8 50mm II lens this one is worlds better in every way!

Pros: light weight can bring every place you go and super sharp crisp photos focus point on all the time!

Cons: wish the lens motor for focusing was not as loud you can here it in video.

excellent lens

Paul from Charlottesville on 7/6/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Read the reviews. This is an excellent lens. It's fast. It's sharp at the edges, as well as at the center. It gathers enough light to work very well indoors under a wide range of lighting conditions without a flash. In terms of bang for the buck, this is probably Canon's best. Crutchfield, as always, was top notch. I've been a customer for 30 years. There's good reason for it.

Pros: Sharp, fast, small, light-weight (turns your DSLR into an easy walk-around camera), works well indoors and out.

Cons: Read about losing manual focus when the camera sleeps. It's easy to get back by half depressing shutter release. I think there's a firmware fix also.

Quick focusing

Denz from Ny,11373 on 6/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fast focusing and very sharp. The material is made of steel, sturdy & heavy unlike the other prime lens that made of plastic.

Pros: Great for details and low light

Cons: Produce a little noise in video

Great Little Lens

FredW from Kingsport, TN on 7/17/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this lens to use on my 5D Mk3. It is the perfect small lens. It is small, light, and fast with extremely good image quality. Focus is fast, contrast is high, and corner to corner sharpness is great even at f2.8. I plan to use this lens indoors, as a walk around or anywhere that I don't want to carry my 24-105L.

Pros: Sharp corner to corner Very low CA Very low distortion Good focus speed and manual focusing override Very little vignetting at f5.6 and narrower.

Cons: Fair amount of vignetting at f2.8 Some vignetting at f4.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Mount Type Canon EF-mount
Sensor Size Full frame
Image Stabilization No
Lens Type Normal prime
Focal Length 40mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8
Weight 4.6 ounces
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is an ultra-slim, standard single focal point lens. This lightweight lens weighs only 4.6 oz. (130g).

Compatibility: The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM has a standard Canon EF mount, and is compatible with all Canon digital SLRs, as well as Canon EOS film SLRs. It has a focal length of 40mm with 35mm film and full-frame digital cameras. With APS-C sensor cameras, the focal length is 64mm.

Lens Construction: The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens features a lens construction with 6 elements in 4 groups.

Diagonal Angle Of View: This Canon standard telephoto lens provides a diagonal angle of view of 57° 30'.

Auto/Manual Focus: The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.98'. To shoot in Autofocus mode, set the focus mode switch on the lens to "AF". To manually focus the camera, set the switch to "MF", and focus by turning the focusing ring. The focusing ring always works, regardless of the focus mode.

Stepping Motor (STM): The lens provides smooth and quiet continuous Auto Focus due to the newly developed stepping motor.

Optional Accessories: The lens has a filter diameter of 52mm. Optional filters and a lens hood can be attached to the lens, if desired.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

I love pancakes!

Written by Zak Billmeier, Video Producer, on 6/4/2013 9:04:00 AM

One complaint many people have with SLR cameras is their bulk — really, though, it's the combined bulk of camera and lens that makes an SLR difficult to carry. But strap on this tiny (Canon's lightest) lens, and you may feel differently.

It's got a lot going for it other than it's small size. First and foremost, it's seriously sharp, even wide open at f/2.8. Second, it renders out-of-focus backgrounds with a creamy smoothness that helps accentuate your in-focus subject. Get in close with this little lens and your backgrounds melt away.

But back to the size: you barely even notice this little gem is there on your camera. I took it on a trip recently and was walking around a city for four days snapping tons of photos. Compared to some of the other lenses I lug around, the 40mm pancake was a delight. You could even slip it into a pocket for a second lens. It's a great value, and I recommend it highly.

What are the Labs?
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great lens! [ Steven  Aug 15, 2017 ]
Cheap but extremely useful and effective! [ Nicholas  Nov 24, 2016 ]