Tuesday, February 11, 2014

REVIEW: Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 Pancake Lens

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I got this lens as a gift from my sister during Thanksgiving weekend last year. It was on my wishlist for Christmas, but because we were going on a sightseeing trip that weekend, my sister thought it'd be fun if she got it for me early! I've had quite some time to use it, so I thought I'd finally give a review.

Spoiler Alert; I LOVE this lens.

The Good

This lens is TINY, as you can probably see. This makes it incredibly easy for me to slip into my purse and take along with me for adventures and travels. I don't have a regular point and shoot camera, so minimizing the bulk on my DSLR was great. During my vacation home in Hawaii it was super easy for me to bring my camera with me everywhere. It's somewhat inexpensive (for a lens at least) and seemingly pretty durable. It doesn't feel like it's made out of cheapy material that will break before you expect it to.

I was also able to take some AMAZING photos with this lens. Getting a good depth of field (background blur) is easy with this lens because of the large aperture. It lets in a LOT of light, meaning photos come out super crisp. Another plus I loved with this camera is how quiet the auto focus is because of the STM

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The Bad

Obviously, because this is a fixed lens (no zooming in or out) you have limits when it comes to what you can and can't shoot. Wide landscapes are possible but difficult. I took it out to Horseshoe Bend for some canyon pictures and they came out alright, but it would've been better with a wider lens. The tight shots mean it's a little difficult to get faces in the picture unless you're standing a decent distance away from your subject. So close quarters are a no-go really. While it's a shame that you can't get tons of nice pictures of you and your friends with this lens while you're out, it's a sacrifice I'm okay with. I tend to use my cell phone for pictures with friends anyhow, because it makes it easier to post to social media.
All in all though, I love this lens. There are definitely some sacrifices made in choosing such a restrictive lens, but there are also ways to work around it and I don't mind it.

I wouldn't consider myself an expert at photography, but merely an enthusiast. I have taken photography classes in the past, and it's a skill I use as a part of my job as a journalist. However, I still feel like I have a lot to learn. If you yourself are a photo expert or if you have this lens yourself, I'd love to hear from you!