Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM - Full Format Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/6400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM represents a bit of a debatable concept on a DSLR - at least when compared to the much smaller mirrorless camera system. Honestly speaking there is also not really much of a size and weight advantage when thinking of its closest cousin - the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 - which is also a faster lens. However, we wouldn't dare to state that it's not an attractive lens. It is just too cute for that. Other than that it has also several hard arguments on its side. The optical performance is certainly very impressive. This is especially true for the bitingly sharp center but even the border and corner quality is on a very high level straight from f/2.8. The very low amount of lateral CAs contributes to the very high sharpness perception and the barrel distortion is nothing to worry about either. The lens produces some light falloff at max. aperture but this is nothing unheard of on full format cameras anyway and stopping down helps, of course. The quality of the bokeh is good but we wouldn't really call it a highlight. Bokeh fringing is generally a non-issue. The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM suffers a bit from a focus shift when stopping down (residual spherical aberration). In very shallow depth-of-field situation (thus at close focus distances) this may be noticeable because DSLRs take AF readings at max. aperture only so the guidance for the other aperture settings can be very slightly off. Don't worry too much about this though.

The build quality of the lens is on a very high level although we would have preferred to get a lens with a constant physical length across the focus range. We are slight unsure what to think of Canon's new STM (stepping motor) AF. As of the time of this review the EOS 650D is the only camera that has been optimized for the new AF motor. On older models the AF is certainly fast and also virtually silent but not really an improvement over the conventional USM (ultrasonic) AF. The AF tracking capabilities are sub-par although that's not really a primary use case here anyway.

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM may not be perfect but that's whining on a very high level. So if you can make sense of the lens' focal length and max. aperture we can certainly recommend it highly!

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