Lensrental.com, the online lens renting company, has received a dozen copies of the newly announced pancake lens, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. Roger Cicala seized this opportunity to put Canon’s compact lens to the test on its imatest benchmark. He noticed that the lens was pretty well built and offers rounder aperture blades than usually on Canon’s 7-blades aperture diaphragm which should give smoother bokeh, especially when you will use the 40mm f/2.8 STM on an APS-C digital SLR with which the lens becomes a small portrait lens (40 x 1.6 = 64mm). Usually, pancake lenses make a lot of compromises on image quality to enhance compactness and lightweight. We, photographers, can understand that. A tiny and light lens will not be as good as a bulky and heavy pro lens. But, the lensrental review of the 40mm F/2.8 STM shows that this little piece of glass gives better results than one could have expected. I feel that this lens is going to be an iconic lens in the coming years. Surprinsingly enough, this compact lens has three optical qualities which will undoubtedly lead to a successful carrer :
- The lens is sharp, and the sharpness is relatively even on the filed, doesn’t soften much on the edges and corners.
- The lens is sharp as soon as its fastest aperture (f/2.8) and the review of Roger Cicala states that the slight sharpness improvement at f/5.6 over f/2.8 shouldn’t be enough so that you can notice it on a print. That’s a signature of a top notch prime lens.
- He tested 12 copies of the lens and they gave consistant results. Quite often, even expensive lenses don’t deliver equally image quality and the performance level you will get with your copy is a big lottery, a lottery you don’t have to fear to loose at with that lens. That is what the review tends to prove at least.
Read the full review of the Canon EF 40mm F2.8 STM lens at lensrental.com.