I am wondering if there are any budget priced third party canon EF or EF-S prime lenses that are less than 35mm, and better yet, pancake compact?

I have investigated it and come up with nothing....

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    One photographer's budget priced lens is another's luxury lens. Please define "budget priced" for you. – Michael C Feb 16 '17 at 1:05
  • I am starting to realize (not being a photographer) that this statement is very true!! I think $100-150usd is budget priced, at least I thought it was, but it is clearly not the case. – Scorb Feb 16 '17 at 1:06
  • what exactly are you calling "nothing"? 35mm lenses are a bit away from normal, hence more expensive and complicated. Also, from question it is not clear what you need. – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Feb 16 '17 at 4:30

There aren't any third party lenses of which I am aware. Certainly not new for less than $150 USD. The closest thing you'll probably find is the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM pancake. Of course being an EF-S lens, it only casts an image circle large enough for an APS-C sized sensor. If you are using a Canon M-series camera, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is relatively inexpensive.

In general lenses made specifically for APS-C cameras will be more budget oriented than lenses made for full frame sized cameras. Sigma's "DC" series, Tamron's "Di II" series, and Tokina's "DX" series of lenses are for APS-C sized sensors and can be considered equivalent to EF-S lenses. Unfortunately, most of their APS-C lenses wider than 35mm are zooms, not primes. The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM mentioned above along with the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro are Canon's only two EF-S prime lenses at any focal length.

The problem with wide angle lenses in the EF mount is that they must use a retrofocus design to allow focal lengths shorter than the distance between the front of the lens and the focal plane. Both EF and EF-S lenses have the same registration distance, also referred to as the flange focal distance, of 44 mm in front of the image plane. A retrofocus lens is like a telephoto lens in reverse. The wider you get, the more complex, larger, and expensive such a lens becomes.

If you don't need autofocus Samyang/ Rokinon/ Bower/ Walimex/ Falcon/ Albinar/ Opteka/ Quantaray/ Bell & Howell/ whatever else they're calling it this week make some fairly affordable wide angle prime lenses. They're all made in the Samyang factory in South Korea and marketed/distributed by a variety of nameplates. Among the various resellers, Rokinon seems to have the best warranty service setup in the U.S. The 14mm f/2.8 ($339) and 16mm f/2 ($360) lenses are APS-C only. The 24mm f/1.4 is also FF compatible at about $460.

Sigma once made a relatively cheap 24mm f/1.8 DG lens but it has been discontinued for a while. You can find used copies for around $250-400 in the U.S. A few places still list new copies at around $550 and up. The replacement 24mm f/1.4 DG Art lens is bit pricier at around $850.

Older, used copies of discontinued versions of Canon lenses such as the EF 20mm f/2.8, EF 24mm f/2.8, EF 28mm f/1.8, and EF 28mm f/2.8 can sometimes be found on a budget. Canon still lists them for between $400-500 at their direct refurb store, but it's hard to find them actually in stock as they go quickly when they are listed.

Any wider than that and the "budget" market is dominated by zoom lenses made for APS-C cameras. But none of them are anywhere near "pancake" sized.

To get a full frame sized image circle wider than 20mm gets expensive fairly fast. The Tokina 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX, Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX, or EF 17-40mm f/4 are probably the cheapest options for that.

  • Great explanation of why pancakes are not likely to be found wider than about 35mm (for full frame). Also, Wikipedia has a decent list of pancakes that can be sorted by format size: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancake_lens – scottbb Feb 16 '17 at 0:50
  • Just to clarify, my camera is a Rebel t3i. So it is an APS-C sized sensor. The reason I made the topic EF and not EF-S is because I was under the impression to all camera's that fit EF-S will also fit EF, and EF-S is a subset of EF, so EF-S was implicitly included. My assumptions about these lens types could most certainly be wrong though. – Scorb Feb 16 '17 at 0:56
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    Other than the EF-S 24mm STM pancake there are no EF-S prime lenses from Canon. The rest of the EF-S lenses are zooms. – Michael C Feb 16 '17 at 1:03
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    @ScottF "EF-S is a subset of EF": I wouldn't quite think of it that way. If you're familiar with "duck-typed" programming languages, EF-S doesn't quite fit the "is a" relationship, at least from a lens perspective. It's kinda the opposite in a way. If you specifically require EF lenses, that implies you probably can't use EF-S lenses, which is to say you probably are using a "pro"/EF body. Consumer/EF-S bodies can use both EF-S (crop) lenses, and EF (full frame) lenses. – scottbb Feb 16 '17 at 1:04
  • Answer updated to reflect the acceptability of APS-C only lenses. – Michael C Feb 16 '17 at 1:43

I am wondering if there are any budget priced third party canon EF or EF-S prime lenses that are less than 35mm, and better yet, pancake compact?

Canon's EF-S 24mm f/2.8 is exactly that: a 24mm EF-S pancake lens priced at $150.

There's a Yongnuo EF-mount 35mm f/2 lens currently priced at $93 on Amazon that also fits your criteria. You're not likely to find a lens more budget-friendly than that. Reviews are mixed, though; caveat emptor.

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    I flagged this as the answer because it was a succinct response that actually succeeded in be the most correct answer to my question. Apparently there is one lens that fits the bill on amazon. Though Michael Clarks answer is very thorough, and informative. So I was torn on which to flag. – Scorb Feb 16 '17 at 16:41
  • @ScottF Just a couple of minor quibbles. Your question asked about third party lenses with focal lengths less than 35mm. While this answer may well be the information you were looking for, neither of the suggested lenses fit both of those criteria specified in your question. – Michael C Feb 16 '17 at 18:20
  • ahh correct i think i will update the selected answer. – Scorb Feb 16 '17 at 18:50

Sigma 30mm Art is not pancake-compact but pretty lightweight and compact nonetheless.


if you are not afraid of old manual lenses, get an adaptor for about $10, like for the EF to M42 mount, and use one of the legion of cheap, from $20, legacy "unpopular" lenses.

old lenses didn't do UWA well, but there are a lot of 24mm & 28mm.

  • Would this lens fit my needs described in the original post? kijiji.ca/v-camera-camcorder-lens/winnipeg/… – Scorb Feb 23 '17 at 20:36
  • yes, there are many options, not just M42 mounts, the takumars are very good lenses. The one shown here has good reviews if the seller can be trusted, as his pictures are useless. but the risk isn't great, and unlike modern lenses, they can take quite a beating. – Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land Mar 2 '17 at 5:50

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