Canon 24mm efs: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – Review / Test Report
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2014


Back in 2012, Canon introduced the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM – a full format pancake lens. Pancake lenses have a short barrel in an attempt to minimize the size of the overall setup. Because of their size, pancake lenses tend to have a rather moderate speed and, for obvious reasons, they are also limited to a rather shallow range of focal lengths. Now it seems as if the concept was successful enough to release another one – the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM. As you may notice, this is not a full format lens but designed for APS-C DSLRs only. In this scope it actually resembles its full format counterpart because the field-of-view is equivalent to a “38mm” full format lens.

Pancake lenses are easy beings in terms of build quality – they are about as simple as it can get so it is not surprising that the Canon lens has no issues here. It has a tightly assembled plastic body based on a metal mount. The focus ring operates smoothly. An inner lens tube which extends a little when focusing towards shorter distances. The focus ring is decoupled from the actual focus gear so you cannot retract the inner tube after detaching the lens from the camera.

As already mentioned, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM uses a stepping motor for AF. AF operations are fairly fast in phase detection AF mode but, frankly, not quite as speedy as a ring-type USM AF. In a silent environment there’s a slightly noticeable amount of AF noise although it remains unobtrusive.

Manual focusing works “by wire” so you are actually controlling the AF motor when turning the focus ring. This works pretty well actually. Canon advertises the STM as an innovation for movie taking. This may be true on STM-optimized EOS cameras but for older cameras this is a bit of a bold statement – the progress from USM is rather marginal in this case. Just to put this into perspective, most mirrorless systems do a better job at contrast AF (thus “LiveView”).

Equiv. focal length “38mm” (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture f/4.5 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction 6 elements in 5 groups inc. 1x aspherical element
Number of aperture blades 7 (circular)
min. focus distance 0.16m (max. magnification: ~1.3.7)
Dimensions 68.2×22.8mm
Weight 125g
Filter size 52mm (non-rotating)
Hood barrel shaped, optional
Other features STM motor

An Honest Review of the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.

8 “Pancake” Lens – Sur un Boeing Bleu de Mer

Published Categorized as Chit-Chat, Technology
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Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – 1/500, f/ 4,5, ISO 640

I enjoyed using the Lumix mirrorless camera while I had it, but I love my Canon DSLR. My 7D, remains better in terms of battery life and using full-on manual settings. The main problem lies in its weight, the body itself is 1.8 lb to which I add 1.25 lb with my favourite lens, the Tamron 17–55. Walking around with close to 3 lbs around my neck becomes tiring pretty quickly.

In 2015, I had the idea of ​​buying the Canon EF-S 24 mm f/2.8 pancake lens in order to combine the advantages of DSLR with the lightness of hybrids. My review is about how I enjoy using it. I leave the more technical criticism to the experts. Besides, although these tests can be useful, I often find that articles written after two days of use and illustrated with studio photos of targets are not relevant to what I do.

A Brief Description of the Canon EF-S 24 mm f/2.8 “Pancake” Lens

This lens is manufactured by Canon and is dedicated to DSLR cameras equipped with aps-c (cropped) sensors. This is a fixed focal (no zoom) that debuted in 2014 at a very affordable price (€160/$150 US). It has an STM motor: silent, fast and suitable for video capture. It has seven diaphragm blades and it allows you take pictures as close as six inches from your subject. It is called a “pancake” because this lens is very flat, it is less than an inch long and weighs barely 0.25 lb. This makes it the lightest lens in the Canon EF-S range. This focal length is the equivalent to a 38 mm lens mounted on a full-frame or film SLR.

Raw Photo Using Canon 24 mm—1/3200 s, f / 2,8, ISO 100Raw Photo Using the Tamron 17–50 mm (24 mm focal distance)—1/3200 s, f/2,8, ISO 100Same picture with the Canon 50 mm f 1.8 Lens—1/3200, f/3,2, ISO 100

Why Buy a Pancake Lens With a Focal-Length that you already Own?

The lens I use most often on my Canon 7D is my Tamron AF 17–50 f/2. 8 XR Di II VC LD that I bought in 2010. It is wide-angle, bright and stabilized: I love it dearly! So, why cheat on it with a focal length that’s already available to me?

Portability! It’s a valuable spec, especially when travelling. I got in 2015 before vacationing in Florida when I had terrible arm pain (TOS) and needed to pack lightly. The weight of the camera body was heavy enough.

A while ago, I had purchased the Canon 50 mm f/1.8 for the same reasons but I never fell in love with it: the 50 mm often feels too up close in a city and the autofocus is a disaster.

Enlarged details of Akira’s photo

What I Love About the Canon EF-S 24 mm f/2.8 Lens

Do I have to say again? Its lightness! It is as if my Canon 7D was naked: then lens barely bigger than the cap protecting the sensor.

Fortunately, it is not the only good thing going for this lens! The focal length is just perfect, it looks like that of the 35 mm automatic film cameras that we used to take on vacation when I was little. It’s versatile enough to switch between portrait and landscape photos. The lens can focus very close to a subject, this allows you to vary point of view. Besides, since the angle is not too large so there is little optical distortion and few chromatic aberrations (less than my Tamron zoom). The dynamic range is also great.

The photos are very clear thanks to the autofocus which works smoothly and discreetly. I had a hard time with the cheap Canon 50 mm lens which led to many missed photo opportunities.

Raw Photo Using Canon 24 mm—1/250, f / 2,8, ISO 100Raw Photo Using the Tamron 17–50 mm (24 mm focal distance)—1/250 s, f/2,8, ISO 100

The Things I Don’t Like About the 24 mm Pancake Lens

I beg you to consider the negative points with grain of salt, because this lens has a great quality price ratio.

What I like the least about it is when I use it on a trip is that I find that I lack variety in my storytelling. The fixed focal length makes all the photos look alike if you are not careful to physically vary the distance with your subjects. Some photographers have chosen to buy the Canon EF-S 40 mm f/2.8 pancake in order to interchange these two lightweight lenses that can be carried in a pocket. I am not convinced that this is a great idea, given that dust will get on the sensor each time you change it. God knows how travel conditions (wind, water, sand…) are less than ideal to protect this fragile yet important part of the camera.

Tamron 55–200 mm zoom Bokeh

Even if the Pancake allows for a large aperture, the bokeh (the blur behind a subject) is not very beautiful. It’s okay, but looks nothing like the creamy texture of telephoto lenses. It is not really a defect in the sense that I did not expect such a lens to perform above average in this area.

The aperture opens up to f/2.8 and it makes it possible to take photos in low light. However, without a stabilizer, I find it difficult to obtain good handheld images below 1/30 s. It’s just enough to get passable pictures inside or for night photography but many images will need to be discarded if you are not using a tripod or a flash.

One final negative point is the clear vignetting at f/2.8. This is typical of affordable large aperture lenses. It is easy to touch up in Lightroom with the appropriate lens profile.

Final Words on My Canon 24mm Pancake Lens

I don’t care about its negative points! What this lens brings to my photography practice is pleasure and lightness. I prefer my DSLR to its mirrorless counterpart because the battery lasts for more than a week and it’s easy to make my adjustments in manual mode. My 24 mm pancake lens dispenses me from buying another camera because it lessens the main defect of my 7D: its weight.

At US $120, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of such a fun lens. A tip for Europeans: if you can, buy it in North America it’s much cheaper because of the exchange rate.

I bought this lens with my own money on Amazon. This post is not sponsored but contains affiliate links. If you use them and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission that helps me with the costs of running this website and it will not influence the price you are charged.

Tagged 24mm, Canon, Lens, Photography, Product review

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – Lenses – Camera & Photo lenses

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM – Lenses – Camera & Photo lenses – Canon Ireland

Easy to take with you wherever you go.

A portable pancake lens ideal for travel and street photography. Its improved optical design delivers excellent image quality, while its large f/2.8 maximum aperture allows for handheld shooting in low-light conditions. STM focusing delivers smooth, near-silent autofocus when shooting movies.

View full specification list


  • Ultra-thin pancake design

  • Natural perspective, close to human vision

  • Smooth and quiet focusing when shooting movies*

  • Usage Large aperture for low light shooting

  • Minimum focusing distance 0.16m

Detailed description

  • Compact pancake design

    This portable EF-S 24mm f/2. 8 STM lens is just 22.8mm thick and weighs just 125g, allowing you to take your EOS camera anywhere whatever . Plus, the miniature design makes it almost invisible, perfect for street photography.

  • Natural Perspective

    The 24mm focal length when used with an APS-C EOS camera provides the same angle of view as a 38mm lens on a full frame SLR camera. This provides an image that is close to the perception of the human eye, so the pictures look more natural and lifelike.

  • Smooth, silent focusing

    Near-silent STM focusing is fast when shooting still images and provides smooth focus changes when shooting movies, ensuring there is no unwanted focus noise during shooting.*

  • ohm lighting

    The fast f/2.8 maximum aperture lets in a lot of light, allowing you to shoot in low light without using a flash. It is also great for creating shallow depth of field effects, making your subject stand out against a soft, blurred background.

  • Enhanced optical design

    Enjoy crystal-clear shots across the frame with powerful anti-flare and color fringing. Get as close as 16 cm to small subjects for incredible close-ups. * When used with compatible EOS cameras.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Ratings & Reviews

  • Lens Accessory

    Extension Tube EF 12 II

    When used with certain lenses, this 12 mm extension tube reduces the minimum focusing distance.

    Buy Now

  • Lens Accessory

    Extension Tube EF 25 II

    When used with certain lenses, this 25mm extension tube can reduce the minimum focusing distance.


  • Lens Accessory

    Lens Hood ES-52

    Protects the lens from stray light by reducing unwanted flare.

    Buy Now

  • Lens Accessory

    Lens Cap E-52 II

    Attaches to the camera lens, allowing small objects to be taken close up. Suitable for lenses with 52mm filter thread.


  • Lens accessory

    Lens dust cover E

    Protects a Canon lens when not in use.

    Buy Now

  • Lens Accessory

    Polarizing filter PL-C B 52mm

    Polarizing filter for lenses with 52mm filter thread diameter.

    Buy now

  • Lens accessory

    Safety filter, 52 mm thread

    Polarizing filter for lenses with 52 mm filter thread diameter.


  • Lens Accessory

    ND4-L 52mm

    When attached to a lens, this filter reduces the amount of light entering the lens by 2 stops. For lenses with a 52mm filter thread.

  • Lens Accessory

    ND8-L 52mm

    When attached to a lens, this filter reduces the amount of light entering the lens by 3 stops. For lenses with a 52mm filter thread.

  • Lens accessory

    Close-up optical converter 250D 52mm

    Attaches to the camera lens, allowing you to take close-up shots of small objects. Suitable for lenses with 52mm filter thread.

    Buy Now

  • Lens Accessory

    LP811 Lens Case

    Protective soft case for certain EF lenses.

  • Lens Accessory

    Macrolite Adapter 52C

    Allows the use of Macro Twin Lite or Macro Ring Lite with lenses with a 52mm filter thread.

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    Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens Review STM

    Canon EF-S mount lenses have a lot of interesting examples, and Canon EF-S 24mm f/2. 8 STM has every reason to be so.

    Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
    Announcement date September 15, 2014
    Type wide angle lens
    Information on the manufacturer’s website

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    The hero of our study is only three years old – for optics, this is a child’s age. This is probably why this lens has not yet become widespread in the photographic environment. But this will not be the case, we are sure. As a first illustration of the capabilities of the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, here is a table of specifications according to the manufacturer.


    Full name Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
    Bayonet Canon EF-S
    Focal length (35 mm film equivalent) 24 (38) mm
    Maximum viewing angle (diagonal) 59°
    Optical design 6 elements in 5 groups
    Maximum aperture F2. 8
    Minimum aperture F22
    Number of aperture blades 7
    Minimum focus distance (MFD) 0.16 m
    Maximum magnification 0.27×
    Autofocus Motor stepper motor (STM)
    Distance scale no
    Image stabilizer no
    Filter thread ∅52 mm
    Dimensions (diameter/length) ∅68/23 mm
    Weight 125 g

    Three things make this lens so unique:

    1. Pancake layout: smallest dimensions (length 23 mm) and weight (125 g) in the line of Canon EF-S 9 optics0016
    2. Short minimum focusing distance (16cm) suitable for macro photography
    3. Surprisingly low price


    The optical design of our hero is not as complicated as it usually happens with large professional lenses. It includes a total of 6 lenses, combined into 5 groups. One of the elements (rear) is an aspherical glass.
    The lens body is made of polymer composite. It is quite light, but there is no doubt about the strength. There are only two controls: a narrow manual focus ring located in the frame of the front lens, and a switch for focusing modes (automatic / manual). The lens does not have a distance scale – obviously, due to the ultra-small body length.
    If the Canon EF-S mount were not so large in diameter, our hero could be much smaller. The useful diameter of the front lens is clearly visible in this photo. In principle, the manufacturer could make the fitting thread for filters smaller than 52 mm, but this would change the design of our ward, not for the better.
    Bayonet mount metal, carefully crafted and durable.
    On the camera Canon EOS 7D Mark II, with which we tested our hero, he looks like a toy and outwardly does not show his serious abilities.
    On the MTF (frequency-contrast response) graph, the curves are shown in blue at F8, in black at maximum aperture. Thick lines – at a resolution of 10 lines / mm, thin – 30 lines / mm; solid lines for sagittal structures (S), dotted lines for meridional structures (M). Recall that, ideally, the curves should tend to the upper limit, be as flat as possible and contain a minimum of curvature.

    The lens is well designed. It is compact, lightweight and easy to use. Let’s see what the tests in the laboratory show us.

    Lab tested

    The resolution curve is very stable. The maximum resolution is achieved in the f / 3.5-f / 5.6 region and is 85%. In the rest of the range, the lens works out the sensor by about 80%, both in the center of the frame and at the edges. Only at f / 16 the resolution drops to 70%, which can still be called a high result.

    There are chromatic aberrations in the center of the frame, but they are very weak: they can be easily removed in the editor during development. At the edge of the frame, the spectrum shift effect is slightly stronger, but also not striking. The lens exhibits a slight barrel distortion, but at this focal length and the physical dimensions of the lens, this is forgivable.

    Resolution, frame center
    Resolution, frame edge
    Distortion and chromatic aberration, center of frame
    Distortion and chromatic aberration, frame edge

    To be honest, the results of the laboratory test exceeded our expectations. From such a baby, you can’t expect high and stable resolution, and even more so minimal optical defects. At the same time, the lens looks like the cheapest “fifty kopeck” EF 50 1.8, but it works much more smoothly (thanks to the autofocus drive). And for the money that the manufacturer is asking for, this is generally a mandatory tool of choice for an amateur photographer.

    Practical photography

    Real-life photography was done in conjunction with a Canon 7D Mark II camera. Before starting work, the following shooting parameters were set:

    • aperture priority,
    • center-weighted exposure meter,
    • single-frame autofocus,
    • center focus,
    • automatic white balance (ABB).

    Captured images were saved to storage media as uncompressed RAW files, which were subsequently “developed” using Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) using an appropriate lens profile to correct vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberration. The resulting images were converted into 8-bit JPEG files with minimal compression. In situations with complex and mixed lighting, the white balance was adjusted manually. In some cases, in the interests of the composition, they resorted to cropping the frame.

    Optical properties

    Here is the first series taken at different apertures. This is the famous Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, standing on the Bogolyubsky meadow (Vladimir region).

    without profile with profile

    Sharpness in the center is good even at maximum aperture, at the edges it is satisfactory. As the aperture increases, the sharpness increases, and at F8 the difference between the center and edges of the frame is no longer determined. Vignetting is pronounced only at F2.8, but it is completely leveled by applying the lens profile when developing in ACR. And starting from F4, vignetting is no longer detected by eye.

    Barrel distortion noticeable from F2.8. It is completely removed when processing a photo with a profile, but is not compensated by the aperture of the lens. 9The 0005

    Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM captures all the richness of the midtones perfectly, with great details in both bright highlights and deep shadows.

    In general, the results are very good, even somewhat unexpected, since our hero clearly does not belong to the category of premium optics, but demonstrates qualities that are quite close to it.

    The next series was filmed in the fields of the Vladimir region.

    without profile with profile

    The picture is similar to that which we observed in the first series of images. However, with a strong aperture, traditional “diseases” begin to appear: sharpness at the periphery and in the center drops starting from F11 and reaches a maximum at the minimum aperture (F22). Note that in the latter situation, the blur reaches such a high degree that the images become unsuitable for any purpose. In our opinion, the correct measure would be to limit the aperture to the maximum value of F8.

    Low light operation

    Now let’s turn to the possibilities of working in low light conditions. The following photographs were taken in the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery in Suzdal. We shot them with an emphasis to avoid “blur” at a fairly slow shutter speed (1/5 s), which, in turn, was chosen to prevent ISO from rising above 100 units.

    We really liked how the lens performed. Of course, the sharpness at the periphery leaves much to be desired, but still it is quite decent – at least it can compete with the edge sharpness that professional wide-angle lenses provide at a similar aperture. Yes, and the color reproduction is quite correct, which did not require our intervention when converting RAW to JPEG.


    Obviously not a record maximum disclosure of our ward complicates its use for blurring the background. However, let’s try to find out what effect can be achieved. The pictures below were taken in the meadows of the Vladimir region. We specifically chose such a spotty background to be picky enough about the quality of the picture. Focusing was done on hemlock inflorescences in the lower foreground.

    F2.8; 1/1250s; ISO 100

    The lens did everything it could, but it did little. Blurring does not reach the desired degree, and the structure of the bokeh turned out to be too annoying and “nervous”. Well, it’s not the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM’s fault, but technical limitations.

    as a control sample, here is another photo taken in the same place, with the same parameters, but with a different frame arrangement.

    No, unfortunately, nothing highly artistic can be obtained here either. We will not demand from our ward an excellent result of the work for which, in general, he was not created.