How One Lens Put New Life Back Into The EOS M System

Since getting my M5, I can’t say it has received a whole amount of use. It’s certainly not a bad camera, I’m just not particularly fond of crop sensor cameras. I have to admit I’m a bit of a snob and prefer full frame. You can still get great quality images with either, it’s just my personal preference.

In saying all this, the EOS M system does have some really great lenses to offer. The Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is a tiny pancake lens that makes it a great pocket sized kit. The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-f5.6 isn’t the fastest UWA you will find but it is sharp, small and cheap. In comes the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM. It is the fastest lens to date and at $699AUD, it is a must have for all EF-M owners.

I was at the point that I was considering selling my M5 to replace it with something from another brand. I would inevitably end up losing money so I was hesitant in making this decision. In my opinion, lenses are the most important part of any system. Bodies obviously play an important part in the camera ecosystem, but a lot of cheap camera expensive lens challenges such as this one by DigitalRev show the lens has a greater effect on overall image quality.

The one focal length that is available on both Fuji and Sony in APSC mounts are the 30/35mm lenses. Both the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC and Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 R were great options, despite the latter being significantly more expensive than both the Canon and Sigma options. When spending weeks contemplating over these choices, I realized something important. The EF-M mount had a 32mm f/1.4 lens that was very affordable and according to all reviews I had read, exceptional in terms of IQ.

I waited until I could find a good sale and picked up the 32mm lens for a decent price. At first impression, the size and feel are great. It probably wouldn’t survive a high fall but it is built to be small and light like all other EF-M lenses. The focus limiter is a nice addition but I haven’t found myself in a situation that the AF needed this kind of refinement.

The Focal Length is Just Right

With a 35mm equivalent of a 52mm f/2.2 lens, this acts as a very standard focal length. The fast aperture allows for some nice background separation with soft bokeh. Although the distortion is quite minimal, this lens does well for half to full body portraits rather than headshots.

When shooting Canon I almost exclusively used my 100mm macro for all my product shots. Since switching to Sony I also found myself using the 90mm focal length for product and still life images.

From that I’ve noticed, 50mm is quite a popular focal length for food photography. After using this lens for some product shots, I have actually grown to quite like the 50mm focal length for this genre.

The above image was taken with a very simple setup. The product was on our black coffee table with the plain white wall behind. I did use a Godox AD200 with the XPro-C trigger to light this image.

It terms of product and still life photos, I find the working distance to be a bit easier for individuals such as myself who shoot in a small living room. You will get a bit more of the background with this focal length, but it isn’t an extreme difference with similar framing.

Additionally, this lens does really well at street photography. The fast and responsive autofocus really allow for you to capture candid scenes and moments.

As with everything, nothing is perfect and this lens is no exception. I have noticed a small amount of CA wide open, but nothing that isn’t easily fixed in post. I may be the type that’s easy to please but I honestly have nothing to complain about this lens.

Canon really did a great job on designing this lens and it certainly shows in the final product. We just have to hope that we see some other fast primes such as an 85mm prime.

Rainy Week

Why You Should Own It

If you own a EOS M body, this lens should be a no brainer. It offers a great fast aperture with beautiful bokeh rendering in a tiny affordable package.

I have gone from being hesitant to carry my M5 with me to confidently leaving my full frame kit at home. In all honestly I do prefer the 35mm field of view over 50mm, but I’ve found the working distance to be easy to adapt to. If I had to purchase this lens again I would not hesitate considering the price to performance it offers.

I hope you have enjoyed this short review and leave a comment below if you have any questions. You can also subscribe using the form below if you want to be notified  whenever I make a new post..

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Photos By Dlee

2 responses to “How One Lens Put New Life Back Into The EOS M System”

  1. Anthony Milton Avatar
    Anthony Milton

    Do you miss IS?

    1. Daniel Lee Avatar

      Hi Anthony.
      I personally don’t miss IS as I pretty much only use that lens or the 22mm f/2 which doesn’t have IS either. I just try to make sure I keep my shutter speed a bit higher.

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