This lens is exciting because it is cheap, tiny and a focal length that I think is perfect for many different kinds of photography. At less than $200 it is less expensive than good filters for my other lenses. The lens is officially called the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM but most people will call it the 40mm pancake.
Wikipedia describes a pancake lens as "a flat, thin lens (short barrel), generally a normal or slightly wide prime lens. Pancake lenses are primarily valued for providing quality optics in a compact package."
STM stands for stepping motor. A different kind of auto focus motor than used in Canon's line of USM lenses. The lens focuses to just under a foot and with a short extension tube will be capable of nice closeups and still be shorter than a normal lens. I can also get out my Cokin A series filter set which will not fit on my bigger lenses. This will give me a polarizer, graduated neutral density, neutral density and other filter options for the lens.
Here is a picture of the lens on my 5D Mark II with battery grip.
I have mostly been using the lens on my 5D without a grip. Here are a few shots from the last couple of days.
|Canon EOS 5D, EF 40mmm f/2.8 STM, f/5.6, 1/20 sec., ISO 400|
|Canon EOS 5D, EF 40mmm f/2.8 STM, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100|
|Canon EOS 5D, EF 40mmm f/2.8 STM, f/4, 1/200 sec., ISO 100|
If you want your own pancake you can order one from Adorama here.
UPDATE: Here are two more shots taken with the lens. The first is at at the lens' minimum focusing distance, the second at the minimum focusing distance with a 20mm extension tube attached. I was shooting just for demonstration purposes and was hand holding. Not what I would do normally.
ISO was ridiculously high. You wouldn't want to see 100% crops of the full image.
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 40mmm f/2.8 STM, f/8, 1/750 sec., ISO 3200|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 40mmm f/2.8 STM, f/5.6, 1/750 sec., ISO 3200|