Wide Angle Prime Lens for Canon (Who Should Buy This Lens?)

Wide angle lenses are incredible at capturing wider views than normal lenses, allowing the photographer to squeeze enormous subjects into the frame.

Hence, they are that lens every photographer with a particular interest in capturing large buildings, a sweeping landscape, cramped interior or just a group shot with family and friends must have among their arsenal of lenses.

Canon, known for being in the business of breaking boundaries on how wide a lens can get, has some pretty wide lenses like the Sigma 14-24mm with an aperture of  f/2.8, EF-S 10-18mm IS STM and Sigma 12-24/4.0 zoom, all of which are top competitors in the market right now. But besides these, there seems to be an additional Canon wide prime angle lens of the greatest width and is also considered by many as the widest ever made by Canon, EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM.

In this article, we will look at some of its interesting features and how many of its characteristics have asserted its dominance as the Wide Angle Prime Lens for Canon.

What is the widest prime lens available in Canon?

Popularly regarded as the prime pancake Canon lens, EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is the widest prime lens in the brand’s catalogue. It is specifically built for cropped frame DSLRs with APS-C sensors and covers the 38mm equivalent, making it a photographer’s ideal walkaround optical tool.

Canon engineers for this lens touched essential areas of optical concerns, like aperture, size and focus, as the lens had a focal ratio of f/2.8, accommodating more light than a conventional kit zoom.

Another key feature of the lens is its STM motor, which ensures quiet and smooth focusing on modern bodies. However, the major selling point and what seems to be the most flattering feature of the lens is its size.

Being dubbed a pancake lens due to its size, mounting it on your DSLR further transforms it into a much more portable camera system. Being relatively affordable is another reason it’s, since its launch, had an unbelievable level of patronage in the market.

Best Wide Angle Prime Lens for Canon

In the last decade, Canon has been relentlessly punching out a variety of lenses with unbelievable focal length ranges; what seems to be the widest at a year only needs a matter of months or another year to lose that tag.

Hence, we have combed everything called “wide” that the brand has under its name to arrive at the highest performing prime lens currently selling under its name. In a couple of sections below this, we will review the best EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM wide-angle prime lens for Canon . Sit tight!

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

01. About system

The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is indeed one of a kind as it is the only prime lens produced by the Canon brand, specifically for its APS-C DSLR type.

Moreover, having the EF-S qualification automatically means they provide a large-enough image circle that covers the APS-C sensor. APS-C format cameras compatible with EF-S lenses include models like the Rebel and the 70D series.

This isn’t to say you cannot use a compatible full frame 24mm lens, but for this dinky optic, there’s just a lot going for it.

As a pancake lens, it’s lightweight and compact, making it stealthy for taking street shots, especially when mounted on smaller cameras of Canon like the 2000D or the 250D.

02. Body design and ergonomics

A lens like this can be rightly referred to as bare bone, but like what is obtainable with the 40 STM, it has robust yet soft handling. The body of the lens doesn’t have weather-sealing elements, as they are made with plastics and matched with a metal mount.

Other external lens components include a single watch, a small MF ring and an inner lens barrel capable of extending in length. Also, the MF ring has an almost insignificant wobble/play in its design.

As already stated, the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a miniature one with a featherweight design, and parts such as the hood with an insufficient thickness fail to be a significant protection impact on the front elements of the lens. Another frustrating part of the lens’s design is its small difference in angle of view for blocking light.

03. Autofocus and focus performance

The lens uses an AF implementation system of focus-by-wire with an STM design. The focusing ring during AF does not turn, and the lens supports a Full-Time Manual Focusing(FTM). Manual focus is usable when the lens is in AF mode and the shutter release is only half-pressed. This option can be enabled through the camera’s menu when the option is present.

The lens switch has to be in MF position, and the camera’s meter has to be on/awake mode to enable manual focusing. Moreover, as expected for focus-by-wire designs, the meter doesn’t necessarily have to be active for the MF to work.

Also, the size of the focusing ring, like many other parts of the lens, is tiny. However, being placed on the lens barrel’s outermost part, the MF ring’s utility is quite insignificant. Nonetheless, the MF ring is flexibly smooth and easy to rotate.

The lens also fields a front-focusing design, and its inner barrel extends decently at the minimum focus distance. There are no markings for DOF or focus distance on the lens, and there is no provision for a distance window, and with the focus ring not directly linked to the focusing gears, printed markings aren’t an option.

04. Image quality

One might be tempted to rule out the possibility of optical excellence with a lens as compact as this. That, however, in operation, isn’t the case.

The lens has impeccable sharpness across the frame and features an impressive contrast. Stopping down significantly yet mildly increases contrast and resolution, especially at the frame’s extreme edges.

Another incredible thing about the lens is that it can be stopped down to apertures such as f/5.6 or even f/8 to initiate the extension of the depth of field, rather than due to a need for an increase in sharpness. With little post-processing, images really glow out of this lens.

05. Special Features

Here are a few special features that add more user flare to the camera and make it an irreplaceable option for wide-angle photography

  • Excellent out-of-focus detail
  • STM for quiet and smooth focus tracking
  • Micro-stepping drive for making aperture changes smooth and quiet
  • Specialized coatings for ghosting and flare reduction

Internal and external video capture

For video shooting, one of the fundamental reasons you should consider a wide-angle lens like the EF 24mm f/2.8 STM is that more can be fitted into the frame. Normal and telephoto lenses cannot create frames wide enough to pick out the details of the production design of the shooting scene.

The EF 24mm f/2.8 STM allows shot composition and camera framing and can create great subjective perspectives. Moreover, this is one of the few wide-angle lenses with very few problems with adjusting aperture, and hence while recording a video wouldn’t pose many problems with light entry and its control.

Exposure controlling

Adding to the lens’s credit for multipurpose ability is its broad f/2.8 aperture, and this is usually regarded as the minimum night sky photography or for stopping indoor motion.

Its aperture is controlling ability and also ensures the right amount of light is welcomed into the lens. Being a wide-angle lens, it expects minimal darkening even in low light conditions.

Still image capturing

As you may already know, the lens is a fixed focal length type. However, the good this is that often time, the 24mm focal length is the juicy spot of most kinds of photography, meaning shooting still images like landscapes, wildlife, and other kinds of photography poses very little discomfort and minimal dissatisfaction, as subjects captured at a focal length as this provide an angle of view with a satisfying perspective and great field of depth.

The subjects are not drawn in too close and don’t seem disengaged from the background at the same time.

Purposes of use

The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM has been used extensively in shooting wildlife, architectural, and landscape photography. Niches like this are most suitable for photography areas like this because the subjects are allowed to find full expression in the frame without any segment or part of them being ignored.

The fascinating thing about the Canon EF 24-70mm is its immersive image delivery and how well it can take subjects of huge sizes into the frame while at the same time not scarfing the contrast and sharpness of the image.


  • Excellent image quality
  • Multipurpose focal length
  • Unique APS-C lens


  • The autofocus system seems slower than APS-C lenses.

06. Key Specifications

Key specifications Standing
Maximum focal length 24mm
Lens type Wide angle
Diagonal angle of view 59°10′
Focus adjustment Full lens extension
Filter size 52mm
Closest focusing distance 0.16m
Weight 4.4 ounces

When to Use Wide-Angle Lenses (Who should Buy)

01. Staging wide shots

Although normal lenses and telephoto ones can suffice as a great option for capturing close-up shots for cinematography, they aren’t sufficient to capture the movements and actions of the actors. Movie makers are known to use wide-angle lenses to captivate wide shots.

Wide shots are crucial because they can very effectively capture the staging and blocking of a scene. Rather than getting access to the face or upper body alone, we see the entire movement and body language.

02. For shooting travel

When travelling, you don’t want to deal with dragging along with you lots of lenses, as lighter gears translate to more room to fit in other stuff, or simply, more convenient light travel.

So for most photographers, the best option is a standard zoom lens. But travelling to a place with an enormous number of landscapes, including at least one wide-angle lens, is recommended.

03. For real estate and architectural shooting

You’ll need a wide-angle lens if you care about capturing real estate shots or buildings. For real estate, ultra-wide lenses are indispensable for interiors, and you may choose to opt for a tilt-shift, as they are known for advanced controls and excellent image quality.

What is considered an ultra-wide angle lens?

Ultra is everything the name suggests it is. In the lens industry, terms are known to be as literal as they can be, making it easy to distinguish the numbers and model tags various lenses from diverse brands carry. To be called ultra-wide, the image the lens can produce must be of an extremely wide angle of view.

Some ultra-wide angle lenses are rectilinear, while others are fisheye type. To nail a number to their optical range capability is to say they cover focal lengths that don’t go beyond 24mm when considered in what would be the equivalent of a full-frame field of view.

Ultra-wide lenses include both zoom and prime lenses. However, it is crucial to note that for a lens to be called ultra-wide, both sensor size and focal length must be considered.

The implication of this for a prime lens with a focal length of 200m and aperture of f/1.8 is that while it perfectly meets the requirement of the wide angle lens on a full-frame camera, on an APS-C sensor, it loses that term.

This is due to its 1.5x sensor crop factor that alters the field of view to approximately 30mm in an equivalent full-frame.

Top Questions (FAQs)

Does the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM have image stabilization?

Among the features of the Canon EF-S 24mm, f/2.8 STM lens is an image stabilization system that makes images shot with the lens in incredible sharpness, excellent corner performance and minimal distortion.

Is a 24mm focal length lens good for portraits?

You might want to consider lenses with more image close-up ability in an indoor environment than a 24mm lens. Hence, the 24mm lens isn’t as ideal for shooting indoor portraits as other smaller lenses and is only suitable for shooting environmental portraits.

What is the width of a 24mm lens of a full-frame camera?

When mounted on a cropped sensor camera like EOS 50D or Rebel XSi, the view obtainable from a 24mm lens is equivalent to a 38.4mm field of view on a full-frame camera. A focal length like this is considered the most useful and appropriate for shooting various shots.

Final Thoughts

Canon loves to cross the borderline and box themselves up when making lenses with unbelievable features. This isn’t different from what we see in their EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, which is one of the widest prime lenses at the moment.

This post has very carefully highlighted the details of the lens, including its strong and weakest point. We hope you enjoyed it.