Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens Review

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This was actually an impulse buy right before flying to New York. I’ve been hearing lots of great things about this lens so I checked out Craigslist and found one for $120 “lightly used”. They are currently going for $199 on Amazon. I also highly recommend checking out the Canon Refurbished Store. I thought this would be a perfect time to test this little lens in New York. And boy was I blown away! Especially for the price I paid!

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Sharpness
It is pretty darn sharp! Even at 2.8! I had an easy time editing these photos. I didn’t even need to add any sharpness in lightroom. At 2.8 there is a significant amount of vignette, but can easily be fixed in lightroom. Canon really surprised me with this lens. Quality lens at a really reasonable price. Thanks Canon!
 
iso 4000, f/2.8, 1/125
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iso 200, f/5.6, 1/3200
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Auto Focus
I tested the auto focus in New York City when the sun was hiding behind thick overcast clouds and tall buildings. I had no problem focusing as long as my focus point had enough light to read. I was able to focus on the “New Yorker” sign with no problem. It has an STM (smooth transitions for motion) motor. This lens was made for smooth/quiet focus during video recording, but it’s really nice for photos as well.

iso 2000, f/2.8, 1/80
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iso 2500, f/2.8, 1/250
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Build Quality/Size
Build quality is amazing for the price. It’s not like an “L” lens, but it feels pretty darn good!
Size, Size, Size. I am in love with the size. Don’t get me wrong. I love my “L” lenses, but this thing… crazy compact! I use it on my Canon 5d mk III, and it’s so light. My wrists love it!

35mm mk II (favorite all around lens) vs 40mm (favorite travel lens)
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Summary
In my Opinion, this is the perfect lens for travel and/or “just starting off”. The focal length is close to 35mm(my favorite), which is a win for me. A wonderful low profile/compact lens that doesn’t shout $$$$$. I wish I brought this lens to Europe! I traveled all over Europe (mostly by myself), and there were times I was scared for my camera and I. This lens is phenomenal! I also highly recommend this lens to people who want to focus more on shooting, and less focused on gear. I hope Canon makes more Pancake Lenses for Full Frame cameras. I hope this review was somewhat helpful! Feel free to contact/comment if you have any questions.

+ photos taken in new york, mexico, and hawaii
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