Slightly thicker then 2 stacked body caps, the 40mm f2.8 STM lens represents Canon’s first modern pancake lens. I have no idea whether or not this lens will spark a new line of mirrorless Canon cameras, but it is a refreshing change of concept when compared to the rest of Canon’s lineup.

The STM designation stands for Stepper motor which is a slightly slower but quieter method of focusing. This replaces the USM (ultrasonic motor) system Canon uses in most of their modern lenses in an effort to reduce or eliminate focusing noise from recorded videos. The new format is designed to work with the continuous auto focus system included in the new Canon t2i t4i.

At a list price of $199, I pre-ordered the Canon 40mm f2.8 lens as soon as I heard the announcement. I don’t think it’ll take over the number one spot in my lens collection but early test results show it performing better then both the Canon 50mm f1.8 II and Canon 50mm f1.4. The test results, size, and minimum focal distance of 0.98 feet could make it a very popular walk around lens for the price. I’m very interested to test it out.

The Canon 40mm f2.8 lens is available for pre-order from both B&H and Amazon.  From what I’ve gathered it should be shipping in the next few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.