A recent announcement by Canon which sort of slipped under the radar was the announcement of a new EF 40mm F2.8 “Pancake” lens, I believe am correct in saying Canon’s first EF pancake lens.Now the announcement was curious. Why introduce a tiny pancake lens into the EF range of lenses? Well there’s probably two answers, video (the lens has been optimized for fast, quiet autofocus) and possibly (according to rumours) as maybe a preclude to a mirrorless camera body.
Anyway there has been some lab testing of this new lens posted via Dpreview and the results are very impressive for a “pancake” design. Then you realise that this little gem will be coming in around the £240 mark so it starts to become an interesting proposition. On an APS-C body (i.e. 7D, 60D or new 650D) the 40mm focal lenght comes out as around 60mm (35 mm equivalent) quite handy as a short telephoto and well suited to street photography possibly even sometimes doubling as portrait lens. Canon’s blah upon its release talked about the lenses compactness and its certainly looks that, its tiny.
The new Canon EF 40mm F2.8 lens looks a real gem, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a popular lens choice for Canon owners, its small, appears to have great optical qualities and is really good value, a no brainer really?
Mark Baynham (June 2012)