Lens: Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM (Photography Museum)

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Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM

The Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM (released 2018) is Canon’s fastest lens for EOS M-series cameras and only their third prime for the system. It is also arguable the sharpest EF-M mount lens.

This lens initially flew under the radar as it was quietly announced the same day as the EOS R, Canon’s inaugural (and controversial) full-frame mirrorless camera body.

In late 2019 my sister-in-law was due to have a baby and my wife was going back home to Poland to help out. I was going along, but would be on my own for much of the month, so I planned to take my EOS M5 along to pass the time. At the last minute I decided to buy and take the Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM as I knew I would be called upon to take pictures of the new baby. This decision turned out to be very worth it as I also spent many days walking around the city and the forest with this lens.

A 50mm equivalent lens is not the focal length I normally gravitate towards, but a fast and sharp prime is always a joy to use. Using a fixed and unfamiliar focal length is also a very good creative challenge, forcing one to see and compose differently.

The one issue I have with this lens (which is a common problem with many fast primes) is fairly strong lateral chromatic aberration. The resulting purple and green fringing can be corrected, but unfortunately the built-in Adobe Lightroom lens profile is woefully inadequate in this respect and I often have to spend a lot of time applying manual lens corrections.

This is one of two Canon EF-M lenses to date that lack optical image stabilization (the other being the Canon EF-M 22mm ƒ/2 STM). The omission of stabilization is understandable as it would make an already bulky lens (in EF-M terms) even bulkier, and the fast aperture reduces the need for stabilization when shooting stills.

In mid-2019, Sigma announced a trio of fast primes (16mm, 30mm, 56mm) for the EF-M mount. The SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN is a much cheaper (though not as sharp) alternative to the Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM. The price difference is even greater if you consider that Canon sells their ES-60 lens hood as a $40 USD optional accessory.

Early-2020 MSRP prices comparison:

Lens MSRP (USD)
Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM $479
Canon EF-M 32mm ƒ/1.4 STM + Canon ES-60 Lens Hood $479 + $40 = $519
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN incl. Lens Hood $339

Samples

https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/ef470.html

Photography Museum | Lenses | Canon EF-M Mount