August 11th 2012 by Andrew S Gibson
You have reached the archive of articles posted on my personal blog. This blog is no longer updated, but you can read my latest articles at my new website The Creative Photographer and find my photography ebooks at my new store.
Thanks for reading! Andrew.
EOS 5D Mark II, EF 40mm f2.8 STM pancake lens, 1/125 second @ f2.8, ISO 6400
I’ve been hankering after a pancake lens for a while now, so when Canon announced the new Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM pancake lens and I saw that my local camera store had one in stock I bought it. Turns out I wasn’t the only one, the assistant said they received six of the lenses from Canon and they had sold fast – mine was the last left.
An appeal of the 40mm pancake lens for me is the size. I can put it on my EOS 5D Mark II and I almost have a portable camera, certainly one that is much easier to carry around than when I have my EF 17-40mm lens attached. The 40mm pancake lens weighs next to nothing and is easy to carry around – you can put it in a pocket. The focal length is a moderate wide-angle, and if I use it on my EOS 40D it becomes a short telephoto lens, ideal for portraits. Or at least I hope so, I haven’t had chance to try it yet.
Another interesting feature is the minimum focusing distance of 30 cm. Add a close-up lens or extension tube and it becomes even closer. I took the opening photo with an EF 25 extension tube fitted – the extension tube is actually wider than the 40mm pancake lens itself (above).
My girlfriend has just had some new eyelash extensions fitted and I wanted to try out the close-up capabilities of this lens. I asked her to stand next to a window, and the photo is lit just by natural light. It was quite dim, so I had to use ISO 6400.
I took this photo with my EOS 5D Mark II, a full-frame camera. The crop below shows what it would have looked like if I had used my EOS 40D, which has a smaller sensor.
I will post some more photos taken with this lens soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Canon lenses, then take a look at my new eBook Understanding Lenses: Part I. If you’d like to learn more about close-up and macro photography, then you may like Up Close, available from Craft & Vision.