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Tuesday, 23 March 2021


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Don't think they’re cheap for what they are...

I bought the 40mm f/2 Voightlander for my Nikon when I was still taking that out as my primary camera, and while it seems like a small difference from the usual 35mm and/or 50mm, I found it to be a perfect compromise. You can take 35mm-ish shots by moving back or 50mm-ish pictures by moving in. Using the aperture can enhance the effect by controlling DOF.

Now the camera in my hand is a Fujifilm model of some some sort, and I just got to get back my joy of the 40mm (E), after receiving the new redesigned version of the 27mm. Went out today and was surprised by how quick that I found myself in the right spot for the focal length.

The 40mm might be THE best general use lens. Good on Sony.

When comparing size, AF lenses seem to always be more voluminous than MF lenses, but not necessarily heavier, so it's something I think has to be considered when doing size comparisons. If low volume is especially desirable, Voigtländer has some new MF lenses that are particularly compact. The Batis lenses on the other hand has somewhat large volumes for their specs (excluding the 85).

The A7 plus 35mm f/2.8 has been my street go-to combo for ages. I'm not sure why that hasn't been on your radar since you started looking at Sony. Initially, I felt some focus delay, which was improved by a firmware update on the A7. It still isn't as immediate as a classic, manual metal rangefinder.

I've shot the Sony/Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA since I first bought my Sony. At $800, it seems like the price has gone up since I bought it. As you say, the new Sony 40mm undercuts the Sony/Zeiss.

Maybe I would be tempted by the new 40mm, if I thought it was really any better than the Sony/Zeiss 35mm, say environmental resistance or close focus or whatever.

The Sony 50mm might-should have been a 90mm to complete the 24/40/90 lens-set.

Mike that is one of the problems with many of the newer, near normal lenses. Size that is. Not that this lens is at the same level, but my Tamron 45mm 1.8 VC is huge compared to smaller normal lenses. Sure the IS and motor mechanisms increase size but this 45mm lens is the same size as my Nikon 85mm 1.4 AFD! That’s crazy.

Sorry to keep bringing up video on a photography blog, but like the Sony 50/1.2 lens mentioned the other day, these lenses have de-clicking switches to accommodate video shooting. But my larger point is that this is yet another of these lenses' "Goldilocks" or "Swiss army knife" features, in addition to the price point, aperture vs. size/weight, MF switch, macro ability, and of course the presence of the magical 40mm.

40mm needs better PR. I keep seeing it called an "in-between" focal length, when the buzz should be that it's the "native" or "ideal" or "most versatile" focal length for FF. (I know you've tried, Mike. :))

Geez. Could Sony have copied the Sigma "I" lens design any closer? Dead ringer for the 45mm Sigma. In both concept and design.

I had the Sigma 40mm 1.4 for E-Mount for a short while. I wanted it for an ultimate landscape lens on the 60mp A7RIV. I was going to resolve every single one of those pixels and make prints the size of my living room! OK, I exaggerate. But, I wanted a lens that really would take advantage of the sensor. And the Sigma did. It really was an optically stunning lens. The problem, of course, is that its size was stunning too! I never wanted to carry it around. Oh well. (It was really, really good wide open also.)

My first mirrorless camera was a Sony back in 2012. That was a vote in favour of their rate of innovation. It was my last Sony (not counting an RX100) and didn't last all that long. I was disillusioned by their slow rate of lens development. My switch to Fuji was a vote for theirs. As fas as I'm concerned, these Sony lens releases are too late, even if they're no longer too little.

The diagonal of a frame is considered the normal focal length. For a 24x36mm frame this is 43.266mm. Do the math yourself using this handy calculator https://www.easycalculation.com/area/rectangle-diagonal-calculator.php

Only Pentax makes a normal 43mm full-frame lens. The latest Pentax 43mm f/1.9 lens sells for about the same price as the new Sony 40mm f/2.5.

I'll throw in a mention of the Canon EF-S 24mm and EF 40mm lenses. Both f2.8, both pancake lenses, both very small & light, both very inexpensive, and both 'good-enough'. (Also both STM so quiet-enough for video.) They don't get the love they deserve, even in Canon-land, let alone in wider forums. But the 24mm, especially when put on a smaller APS-C body (e.g. a Rebel/XXXD), makes a combo that's small and light and good for a lot of photography. The 40mm dates from 2012, the 24mm from 2014, but you never hear them mentioned. A pity, as they're good lenses.

Tiny? There is a really tiny and very good Canon EF 40mm for little money since years!

Now (finally) Sony has a good selection of small short lenses for full frame mirrorless. I might be tempted to finally get an A7. I wish they would make a similar 85, 90 or 100. Then it would be a complete set with enough choices. I have an A900 with about a dozen lenses from 16-500, mostly leftovers from Minolta film camera. The body is big but most of the lenses are reasonably small (2.8/16, 2.8/24, 2/35, 2.8/50, even the 2.8/100 macro and 2.8/200).

Now, if only Canon would attempt this sort of thing too. I make due with Canon's ancient, smallish non-L primes mostly because they are cheap, but also because they are optically decent, and they are not huge. It would be great if they could update more of them for the RF line. I love to be able to carry a couple lenses in my jacket pockets. I can leave the camera bag behind, if I want to. Good on Sony for recognizing this market!

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