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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why I love the Canon EF 40mm

By Richard M. Reyes

I love the Canon EF 40mm lens ( for a number of reasons.  The order below most likely represents the order of importance:

1. Sharpness/Focus
2. Lightweight
3. Portable
4. Quiet
5. Good for photo and video
6. Price

This is a very sharp lens.  I have used this lens on a number of different camera bodies and the results are always sharp: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon EOS 60D, and Canon EOS SL1.

Canon website referenced above lists the weight at 130 grams.  When I pair this lens with the Canon EOS SL1, I can shoot all day without having to put the camera down because I am tired.  I can keep shooting from morning till night (or until the camera batteries are fully drained-whichever comes first).

This lens has been referred to as a pancake lens.  Like a pancake it does not extended much in front of the camera compared to other medium telephoto to zoom telephoto lenses.  While it is more noticeable on a camera body such as the Canon EOS SL1, it is hardly noticeable on professional bodies on the 5D and 1D series.

It is quiet because it uses Canon STM technology.  This is Canon's Stepping Motor that is designed to make shooting video a quiet experience.  Non STM lenses typically tend to be noticeably noisy when shooting video.

Good for photo and video
Because it uses an STM lens motor it is quiet and fast enough that it is good for both photography and video.

It is about $149.00.

I have long been a fan of Ken Rockwell's article reflecting his motto of "Don't Worry: Just Shoot".  Just as in the article, it probably took me about 5 years of worrying about what gear I have instead of just shooting.  This article reflects my departure into the journey of "just creating better pictures."  Ken, I have quoted you because although I have read your article a whole lot of times, it took a little while to live it.  For a more technical review with examples please check out Ken Rockwell's review of the Canon 40mm (

I do encourage the photographer to be proficient with their equipment.  That is a smart way to make the most of what you have and know the limitations.   However, take the time you would have spent comparing even more specs and just shoot (photographs).

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