19 In Lifestyle/ Photography

Canon 40mm vs 24mm lens


When I bought my Canon 100D I got the 40mm lens as part of the package. After having used a rather large 18-55mm lens on my previous camera, I was thrilled to use the compact pancake lens. It was also my first time using a prime lens, a lens without a zoom. Here in Korea they say that if you want to use a prime lens you’ll have to get used to using the bahl-zoom; bahl meaning feet. So I’d been pacing back and forth to zoom in and out, but I found more often than not I’d have to back up as much as I could to get everything inside the frame. The problem was, that sometimes there simply wasn’t enough room to back up. There might be an obstacle such as a wall that makes it impossible to back up to take a picture. A few weeks later, Canon released the 24mm lens and I immediately knew that it was exactly what I wanted.


To give you an idea of the difference between the 40mm and the 24mm, I placed the camera at a fixed distance from my prop. I’m using a makeshift tripod with a box and a folded towel to angle it down towards the prop. If you take a look at the screens, you can see that the 40mm lens doesn’t capture as wide a view as the 24mm lens. Here are the resulting shots from the same distance away from the props:



As you can see, the wide-angle 24mm lens captures a lot more white-space around the props. Keep in mind though, that the 40mm is an EF lens while the 24mm is an EF-S lens. EF lenses can be used on both the cropped sensor (that the 100D sports) and the full frame cameras, while the EF-S lens was made specifically for the cropped sensor cameras. On a cropped sensor, the EF 40mm lens acts as 64mm lens and the EF-S 24mm lens  will act as a 38mm lens. I originally thought that because the EF-S lenses are made specifically for the crop body, that the EF-S lens would produce a 24mm effect on the cropped body. Unfortunately, the EF-S lens does not compensate for the crop of the sensor. Thanks to David for leaving a comment below and clearing that up!


Another reason why I’ve been running around with the 24mm rather than the 40mm is because I can get really close to the subject matter. As you can see, the 40mm needs a fair bit of distance between the lens and the object in order to be able to focus.

As you can see, I can get a macro shot of sorts with the 24mm where as I need some distance with the 40mm. It’s probably not going to be able to do extreme macro -filling the entire screen with flowers and bugs and what not- but it’s enough to be able to get some pretty lovely detailed shots when need be. So if you were wondering whether you should get the 40mm, the 24mm, I would wholeheartedly recommend the 24mm. With its wide-angle and macro abilities, the 24mm is a much more versatile lens than the 40mm. If you would like to see some photo comparisons please click here. You can find the lens on Amazon here.

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Your turn ♥ What’s your current staple lens? Have you ever used a prime lens before?

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