The Canon 40mm f/2.8 – An Overview

So there you are with your new Canon T7i and some Christmas money… so what to do?

Buy the pancake of pancakes! The Canon 40mm f/2.8!

It’s a cheap, sharp, straightforward lens!

Build Quality

Canon’s 40mm f/2.8 lens comes in at a whole four and a half ounces and a massive ~ 1 inch thick.

It’s cute, it’s simple, it’s super easy to carry around with you.

Dust really doesn’t seem to be a problem.

And the weakest part of the build of this lens is the focus ring. It becomes extremely loose after extended use. But still usable.

A Bokeh Example

At f/2.8 you still have a relatively sharp lens with okay bokeh.

But the bokeh only gets worse from there… You’ll reach the end of usable artsy out of focus areas at f/3.5… It’s just not pretty.

I have years of experience with the lens and I can tell you that not once have I gone “that’s a pretty background” when looking at images from this lens.

So bokeh is genuinely something not to like with this lens. But for $180 I suppose that’s okay.

Anyways, you’re better off skipping everything past f/2.8 and just go straight to f/7.1. At f/7.1 and f/9 you’ll get nice sharp photos.


The price of the Canon 40mm f/2.8 really doesn’t change much. I bought mine five years ago for $179. You can now purchase the same lens for… $179.

Pricing is also pretty constant in the used market for this lens at about $130.


Ultimately this is an okay lens at an okay price. You could do worse than spend your Christmas money on this lens. It’s basic, straightforward, and very usable.

One thought on “The Canon 40mm f/2.8 – An Overview”

  1. As an FYI, the dust on my lens is external. Very dusty environment here… despite that, it’s still fairly clean internally if that tells you anything…

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