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

Gary Wolstenholme reviews this compact 24mm prime pancake lens for Canon EOS EF-S cameras.

| Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM in Interchangeable Lenses

Handling and Features

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review: Canon EF S 24mm STM (3)

This compact wide-angle pancake lens for Canon APS-C format digital SLRs features Canon's latest stepping focusing motor technology, which promises, smoother, quieter autofocus performance, which is especially suited to recording video. The lens is super-cheap as well being priced at around £170. In this review, we'll take a look at how it performs.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Handling and Features

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review: Canon EF S 24mm STM (5)

Being a pancake-type lens, this optic is remarkably compact and lightweight too, tipping the scales at only 125 grams. The lens barrel is constructed from high-quality plastics, finished with a silver ring around the front of the lens. As it is an EF-S lens, it can only be mounted on E-FS compatible Canon cameras, like the EOS 600D used for testing. The lens balances well with this camera, thanks to its compact size, making a good combination for travel.
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review: Canon EF S 24mm STM (1)

Autofocus is very swift and precise and virtually silent. Unlike many of Canon's USM lenses, full-time manual focus override is not possible and manual focusing is performed by the focusing motor. Manual adjustments can be made in single focus mode once the lens has locked onto a target. The manual focusing is only very lightly damped, which can make applying fine focus adjustments less easy than with lenses that have more resistance on the focus ring. A small switch on the side of the lens allows switching between manual and autofocus quickly.

The 52mm filter thread doesn't rotate, making this lens ideal for use with polarising and graduated filters.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Review: Canon EF S 24mm STM (6)

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Performance

At maximum aperture sharpness is already outstanding in the centre of the frame, with the clarity towards the edges of the frame only reaching fairly good levels. Peak performance across the frame is achieved between f/5.6 and f/8, and sharpness is excellent across the frame between these apertures.


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

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 600D using Imatest.


Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, only just exceeding three-quarters of a pixel width at f/2.8 and when stopped down beyond f/16 towards the edges of the frame. These low levels of CA will rarely be visible, even in images with high contrast towards the edges of the frame.


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

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 600D using Imatest.


Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is well controlled, with the corners only being 1.8 stops darker than the image centre at f/2.8 and visually uniform illumination being achieved when stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond.

Distortion is fairly typical for a wide angle prime lens, with mild barrel distortion being present. Imatest detected 1.7% barrel distortion, which should pose few issues. If straight lines are paramount, then you'll be glad to hear that the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make corrections fairly easy to apply.

Few issues with flare were encountered during testing and contrast holds up well when shooting into the light. However, no lens hood is supplied as standard, so if you require one for peace of mind, then an ES-52 hood can set you back up to £20.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Sample Photos

Value For Money

Currently, this lens is available for around £170, which seems very reasonable, especially as this lens has only just been launched.

There aren't really any other direct equivalents to this pancake lens for EF-S cameras. The closest equivalent would be Canon's EF 24mm IS USM lens, which costs around £450, but sports image stabilisation and works with full frame cameras. However, it is more bulky, as well as being more expensive.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Verdict

Those looking for a compact companion for their EF-S camera body need look no further. The 38mm equivalent field of view this lens provides is only a little wider than a standard lens, which will make it suited for a wide range of subjects. The compact size and light weight make this ideal for travel, or any other time that you may wish to keep things compact. The £170 price is very reasonable given how this lens performs also.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Pros

Excellent sharpness
Fast focusing
Good value for money

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Cons

No hood included as standard


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

The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is ideal for travel and delivers excellent sharpness.


Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Canon EF-S
Focal Length24mm
Angle of View59.1
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size52mm
35mm equivalent38mm
Internal focusingNo
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus16cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsFront and rear lens caps

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