My Review: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (Front)

I paid: £105

Beginner in price, not in quality

I looked a lot at this lens before I bought it. I read a lot of reviews and downloaded a lot of sample images and eventually I decided I wanted one. This lens may not be for everyone and in this review I will give you a run down of why. For me this is perfect.

Why I bought it.

I bought this lens for one very specific reason. The size. On a day to day I have been previously carrying around a 5D MII With a 24–105mm L or a 17–40mm L or even both. The 5D MII is heavy for a start, 810g to be precise. The 24–105mm is not light either weighing in at 670g. That is almost 1.5kg of camera alone. Add in a Macbook, Apple Charger, Spare Batteries and cards, A Water bottle and Lunch and the bag gets pretty heavy.

On a day to day basis I don’t need 1.5kg worth of full frame loveliness, But I take it because I have it. Meanwhile my 550D sits in a flight case unused.


My solution to this was to buy this for my 550D and keep it in my bag every day.

Spec Rundown:

Direct from the Canon Website

Image size: APS-C

35mm film equivalent focal length (mm): 38mm

Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl): 59º 10', 50º 35',34º 55'

Lens construction (elements/groups): 6/5

No. of diaphragm blades: 7

Minimum aperture: 2²¹

Closest focussing distance (m): 0.16

Maximum magnification (x): 0.27

Distance Information: Yes

Image stabilizer: No

AF actuator: STM


Filter diameter (mm): 52

Max. diameter x length (mm): 68.2 x 22.8

Weight (g): 125

The Bad.

Lets get the negatives out of the way first. Because there aren’t many.

This lens is EF-S so it can only use it on my 550D and 40D. I put this in the negatives because this may be a deal breaker for some people. I bought it to use exclusively with my 550D so It doesn’t deter me.

This lens is not perfect for video. The focus is fly-by-wire. If you’re used to L glass like I am, This is irritating. Constantly. The focus only works when the camera is on and when you turn the wheel on the front, it isn’t moving anything mechanical. All of the focus is done by the STM Motor. Great? No. Some people may prefer this but for me it is personal irritation.

That motor is noisy, not deafeningly so but unusable for video. With no external microphone it is all you can hear. Even with an external mic on camera you can still hear it. You could easily avoid this with off camera mics or wireless lavs but I would imagine if you have reason to use this kind of gear you’re probably using higher end lenses and cameras anyway.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (Bottom)

The Good.

Yes thats it. 3 Gripes.

The build quality is fantastic. I bought this to replace a MII 5omm. The £60 one. It is a serious step up. Metal construction and metal mounts. It feels solid. I imagine it could take a beating, Im not going to test this but should it happen i’ll update this part.

Excellent image quality. In certain conditions I think at f/11 it may be on per with my F4 L glass. The f/2.8 aperture lets me keep the ISO low and shutter speed fast. Its perfect for day to day.

The autofocus is fast. Almost L fast It rarely misses. In fact the only time I have any trouble with it is when i’m sitting on the minimum focus distance. It tends to have a little hissy fit then.

It is small and light. The reason I bought it is the form factor is barely bigger than the 550D without a lens on it. It weighs in at 125g and is 22.8 mm thick. (Slightly more with my HOYA UV filter).

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM on a Canon 550D

My Conclusion

Would I buy again? Yes. Definitely. This lens is perfect for my day to day work. 24mm is Wide enough for most of what I do without needing to resort Pro gear. It is beginner in price but not in quality. It is light and sturdy and the image quality is great. If you’re traveling, just learning or a pro just digging out an older EF-S camera I recommend this lens.

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