Canon 40mm Pancake Review

Hiking With My Canon 40mm Pancake

I am extremely pleased with this small lens. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 Pancake is probably the most value priced lens from Canon. It’s very tiny, and if you’ve never used a pancake lens before, you’re perhaps very skeptical; how can a lens so small work so well on a DSLR?

If you’ve been following my blogs, you probably already know that I love snow and I enjoy hiking. Imagine how hiking in the snow feels like for me. This past weekend I went hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Covered by a foot of fresh snow, the Tuckerman Ravine trail was more spectacular than ever on this beautiful sunny day. We planned on doing only a quick hike, but we decided not to stop until we made it to Hermit Lake. It’s only about 3 miles up from the trail head.

Mountain trail with snow, Canon 40mm Pancake Review

I decided to bring the camera with me this time with one of my newly acquired lenses, Canon 40mm Pancake. I wanted a lens that wouldn’t add much weight and will motivate me to bring the camera with me more often. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered it, but I am really impressed with this lens.

First of all, Canon 40mm Pancake is much smaller and lighter than I expected. I was able to carry my Canon EOS 5D Mark II with this lens directly in my pocket (it did look a little ridiculous, but who cares). It felt so good not having to bring a camera bag with me. Since this is a prime lens, you have to zoom… with your feet. Easier said than done, especially when you are almost knee deep in the snow. But it’s fun, it forces you to be more creative and see things differently.

This is a minimal profile, unobtrusive, a great walk around lens. No, it’s not an L Series Lens, but it’s fast, quiet and pretty sharp. It will not attract attention to the camera, so it can be used in street photography as well (or trail photography in this case).

Hiker in the snow, Canon 40mm Pancake Review

Priced not to break the bank, this lens is an excellent prime lens. The focal length is great on full frame cameras. On a cropped camera body (such as Canon EOS 70D) the 1.6x crop factor results in a 64mm focal length, which I wouldn’t find very useful. Give Canon 40mm Pancake a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, especially if you own a full frame Canon.

Here are some more shots I took with this lens.

Happy Shooting!

Red rocks with ice, Canon 40mm Pancake Review

Snow and blue sky in the forest, Canon 40mm Pancake Review

For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photographynow available at Amazon.


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