Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM

Wide-angle prime lens • Digital era • Discontinued

EF The lens is designed for Canon EOS 35mm SLR cameras but can be also used on Canon EOS APS-C digital SLR cameras.
STM The lens is equipped with Stepping Motor.

Sample photos

F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/4
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/3.2
F/2.8
F/3.2
F/4.5
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/3.5
F/2.8
F/3.5
F/2.8
F/4.5
F/4.5
F/4.5
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/3.5
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8

Sample photos uploaded by users

F/3.2
F/4
F/5.6
F/2.8

Canon EOS 650

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:March 1987
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x108x68mm
Weight:660g

Canon EOS 620

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:May 1987
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x108x68mm
Weight:700g

Canon EOS 750 QD

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:October 1988
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:2 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Dimensions:149x102x71mm
Weight:620g

Canon EOS 850

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:October 1988
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:2 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Dimensions:149x97x70mm
Weight:560g

Canon EOS 630

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 600
Announced:April 1989
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x108x68mm
Weight:670g

Canon EOS-1

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:September 1989
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:161x107x72mm
Weight:890g

Canon EOS RT

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:October 1989
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x108x68mm
Weight:660g

Canon EOS 10 S

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 10
Canon EOS 10 QD
Announced:March 1990
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:158x106x70mm
Weight:625g

Canon EOS 700

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 700 QD
Announced:March 1990
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:2 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Dimensions:149x102x71mm
Weight:615g

Canon EOS ELAN

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 100
Canon EOS 100 QD
Canon EOS 100 panorama
Announced:August 1991
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:154x105x69mm
Weight:580g

Canon EOS Rebel S II QD

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 1000 F N QD
Canon EOS 1000 S QD
Announced:March 1992
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x100x69mm
Weight:470g

Canon EOS A2

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS A2E
Canon EOS 5
Canon EOS 5 QD
Announced:November 1992
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:154x121x74mm
Weight:675g

Canon EOS Rebel XS

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 500
Canon EOS Kiss
Announced:September 1993
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:145x92x62mm
Weight:370g

Canon EOS Rebel X

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:November 1993
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:145x92x70mm
Weight:315g

Canon EOS-1N

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:November 1994
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:161x112x72mm
Weight:855g

Canon EOS-1N RS

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:March 1995
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:161x160x78mm
Weight:1295g

Canon EOS ELAN II

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS ELAN IIE
Canon EOS 50
Canon EOS 50E
Canon EOS 55
Announced:September 1995
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:153x105x71mm
Weight:595g

Canon EOS Rebel G

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 500N
Canon New EOS Kiss
Announced:September 1996
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:146x92x62mm
Weight:400g

Canon EOS IX

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS IX E
Announced:October 1996
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:132x80x59mm
Weight:485g

Canon EOS IX Lite

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS IX 7
Canon EOS IX 50
Announced:March 1998
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:123x80x64mm
Weight:360g

Canon EOS-3

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:November 1998
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:161x119.2x70.8mm
Weight:780g

Canon EOS Rebel 2000

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 300
Canon EOS Kiss III
Announced:April 1999
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:140x90x58.5mm
Weight:335g

Canon EOS-1V

35mm AF film SLR camera

Announced:March 2000
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:161x120.8x70.8mm
Weight:945g

Canon EOS ELAN 7E

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS ELAN 7
Canon EOS 30
Canon EOS 33
Canon EOS 7
Announced:October 2000
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:146.7x103x69mm
Weight:580g

Canon EOS Rebel XS N DATE

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 3000N
Canon EOS 66
Announced:February 2002
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:145x92x61.9mm
Weight:365g

Canon EOS Rebel Ti

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 300V
Canon EOS Kiss 5
Announced:September 2002
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:130x88x64mm
Weight:365g

Canon EOS Rebel K2

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 3000V
Canon EOS Kiss Lite
Announced:September 2003
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:130x88x64mm
Weight:365g

Canon EOS ELAN 7NE

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS ELAN 7N
Canon EOS 30V
Canon EOS 33V
Canon EOS 7s
Announced:April 2004
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:146.7x103x69mm
Weight:580g

Canon EOS Rebel T2

35mm AF film SLR camera

Also known as:Canon EOS 300X
Canon EOS Kiss 7
Announced:September 2004
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:130x90x64mm
Weight:365g

Canon EOS 1Ds

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:September 2002
Mount:Canon EF
Format:35.8 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4064 × 2704 - 11 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 1Ds mark II

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:September 2004
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:4992 × 3328 - 17 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5D

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:August 2005
Mount:Canon EF
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:4368 × 2912 - 13 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 1Ds mark III

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:August 2007
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5616 × 3744 - 21 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5D mark II

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:September 2008
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5616 × 3744 - 21 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 1D X

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:October 2011
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5184 × 3456 - 18 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5D mark III

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:March 2012
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5760 × 3840 - 22 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 6D

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:September 2012
Mount:Canon EF
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5472 × 3648 - 20 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5Ds

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:February 2015
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:8688 × 5792 - 50 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5Ds R

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:February 2015
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:8688 × 5792 - 50 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:February 2016
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5472 × 3648 - 20 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 5D mark IV

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:August 2016
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:6720 × 4480 - 30 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:June 2017
Mount:Canon EF
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:6240 × 4160 - 26 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Canon EOS 1D X Mark III

35mm AF digital SLR camera

Announced:January 2020
Mount:Canon EF
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5472 × 3648 - 20 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Designed for

Click to expand or collapse section(s)

Features highlight

Fast
1 ASPH
STM
FTM
Compact
Lightweight

Compatibility

  • You have to use a EOS camera with Hybrid CMOS AF or Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology in order to achieve smooth transfer of focus and effective subject tracking during video recording.

Specification

Production details
Announced:June 2012
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Original name:CANON LENS EF 40mm 1:2.8 STM
Optical design
Focal length:40mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Canon EF
Diagonal angle of view:56.8° (35mm full frame)
46.4° (Canon EF APS-H)
Lens construction:6 elements - 4 groups
1 ASPH
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm control system:Electromagnetic
Number of blades:7
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.3m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:5.56 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Overall linear extension
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Stepping motor (Gear-type)
Focus mode selector:AF/MF
Full-Time Manual Focus (FTM):Yes
Image Stabilizer (IS)
Built-in IS:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:130g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀68.2×22.8mm
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 52mm
Lens hood:Screw-type ES-52 (round)

Manufacturer description

A unique and indispensable addition to Canon's series of EF lenses, the new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM offers an ultra-slim and lightweight design. Incredibly compact in size, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM delivers high image quality from the center to the periphery thanks to its advanced lens configuration including an aspherical element, a bright 2.8 aperture, and optimized coatings that minimize ghosting and flare while providing exceptional color balance. The EF 40mm f/2.8 STM's unobtrusive design helps the photographer avoid overwhelming their subjects with a large lens and to remain discreet in sensitive shooting situations with no compromise in performance. Its diminutive design is complemented by features such as a newly developed stepping motor for smooth and quiet continuous AF while capturing video with the Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR, a circular aperture (7 blades) for beautiful soft-focus backgrounds, and a short minimum focusing distance of only 0.98 ft./0.30 m.

From the editor

Canon’s first pancake lens for digital SLR cameras.

At first sight, focal length of 40mm seems a bit unusual (for those who accustomed to traditional focal lengths of 35 or 50mm), however pancake lenses with such focal length can be easily found, for example, in the Pentax lineup: smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited (2004), smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 XS (2012) and HD Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited (2013), or in the Cosina’s lineup of manual focus lenses: Cosina Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F/2 Aspherical SL II (2007). On full frame cameras, 40mm lenses provide more natural perspective to images compared to standard prime lenses with focal lengths of 50-55mm.

The Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM is also company’s first lens to feature stepping motor - a motor that is driven in synchronization with pulse power, and rotates one step per electrical pulse. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as a pulse motor. It’s a simple, lightweight and reliable autofocus motor with excellent start-stop response and controllability. Canon currently uses two types of stepping motors:

  • STM + Gear Type has helical gears with angled edges in the gear unit to realize more silent and smooth autofocus during video recording than a micromotor. This STM is not totally silent though: the camera microphone can pick up the focusing noise in a quiet environments. On the other hand, it allows for compact lens designs, that’s why it was used, for example, in such lenses as the Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM and the Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM.
  • STM + Lead Screw Type is a simple direct drive mechanism that moves the lens barrel to realize truly silent and smooth autofocus during video recording. This type of stepping motor, however, is too large to fit inside compact prime lenses.

Since both types offer smooth transfer of focus from one point to the other, STM lenses are especially suitable for video recording compared to other types of Canon autofocus motors, though excluding Nano USM – a completely new type of ultrasonic motor introduced in 2016 which combines very compact design and near silent operation with fast speed for shooting stills and smooth focus transfer for video recording. To the date, the only two lenses for digital SLR cameras which use Nano USM are Canon EF-S 18–135mm F/3.5–5.6 IS USM and Canon EF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 IS II USM.

The Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM lens is very inexpensive, ideal for movie makers, documentary, action or travel photography. Being a versatile lens, it is also suitable for landscape and even portrait photography.

The dedicated lens hood is too shallow to block a reasonable amount of stray light or to provide a decent protection from physical impact. It is not a part of the package though.

If pressure is applied to the lens barrel while the lens is mounted on a camera (for example, when attaching the lens cap), the autofocus of the lens may stop working. The issue can be resolved by simply remounting the lens. In August 2012 Canon released a lens firmware update which resolves the issue. For firmware update, you have to use cameras like EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III or EOS Rebel T4i.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, full to mid-body portraits, photojournalism, weddings, parties, carnivals, live concerts, street, travel

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Pancake lens

Pancake lenses get their name due to the thin and flat size. The other distinctive features are fixed focal length and light weight.

First pancake lenses appeared in the 1950s and were standard prime lenses based on the famous Tessar design – a brilliantly simple design which was developed by Paul Rudolph in 1902, patented by Zeiss company and provided a good optical performance.

With the improvement of optical technologies in the 1970s the optical design of pancake lenses became more complicated and the latest generation has overcome the limitations of traditional designs. As a result, pancake lenses are now also available in wide-angle and even short telephoto variations.

Due to the increasing demand for cameras with a compact form factor, pancake lenses are experiencing a second wave of popularity while having reasonable prices, which makes them accessible to a wide range of photographers. Such lenses are especially useful for those who enjoy travel photography.

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best wide-angle prime lenses

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Stepping motor (Gear-type)

Has helical gears with angled edges in the gear unit to realize more silent and smooth autofocus during video recording than a micromotor. Allows for compact lens designs.

AF/MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.