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40mm Anyone?
Old 06-17-2018   #1
Pfreddee
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40mm Anyone?

I know it's an odd size for a prime lens, but does anyone else use a 40mm as their main prime? I started out with a 50mm prime on a Canon AE1, went to zooms, and now I'm back to the 40mm f/2.8 Pancake (love that term!) lens as my prime on a Canon 6D. Aside from the fact that it looks a little bit odd sitting on a full-size DSLR, I've found that the biggest advantage for me is the light weight. That, and the fact that I'm not bumping a large prime into car doors when I take the camera with me. In fact, it's my only EF Canon lens; I bought it to try out on a film Canon, and put it on the 6D when I bought it. Maybe I'll pick up the 24-105 next.

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Old 06-17-2018   #2
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Honestly, that 40mm f2.8 stm lens is one lens I'm jealous of. Used to use one on a 5d mkIII and an old eos 1n, and it's a seriously fantastic little lens. I'm with Fuji now, and the 27 is technically a good lens too, but lacks the ability to have some depth at f2.8 like the little canon does.
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Old 06-17-2018   #3
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I have a Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2.0 permanently fitted to my Pentax KX slr, a wonderful combo!
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Old 06-17-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfreddee View Post
I know it's an odd size for a prime lens, but does anyone else use a 40mm as their main prime?

Yes - and the Canon 40mm pancake is an excellent lens.

The 40mm focal length hits the 'sweet spot' between 35mm and 50mm, and provides a very comfortable 'feel'. I also use the 40mm (eq.) focal length in other ways e.g. 27mm prime on an APS-c body, and when using zooms, of course.
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Old 06-17-2018   #5
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I regularly use the 40mm Nokton Voigtlander F1.2 on my Leica digitals. I like the way the lens renders, and the focusing is very quick.
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Old 06-17-2018   #6
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I have a Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2.0 for my Nikons. Especially like it on my Nikon FE. Also have the CV 40/1.4 lens. That and a CV Bessa R3A started my rangefinder revival in 2006.
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Old 06-17-2018   #7
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I just last week got a 27mm 2.8 new-to-me Fuji pancake

It's a nice mate to the little XE2.
to me, the 40mm FOV is "right" in a lot of circumstances.



Have taken it out twice, quite pleased---
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Old 06-17-2018   #8
Gerry M
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I use 40 & equiv on MX, EP2, XE2 & XPro2. For me, it makes a great walkabout kit.
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Old 06-17-2018   #9
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The Canon 40mm pancake has probably become my most-used lens. It just never lets me down.

I have the 27mm Fuji pancake as my only lens on my X-M1. The size, usage and coverage is almost exactly the same as an old Trip 35.

I just picked up a Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8 pancake. It was on an ME, which I have since sold (with a different lens).

Now I have it on my K1000 and it looks kind of ridiculous to have such a tiny lens on such a big camera.
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Old 06-17-2018   #10
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I used to own a Konica Autroreflex which came with a standard 40mm f1.8 lens, which had a filter thread of 55mm.

I think I only put one film through it. Dunno why I sold it. Probably 'cos I decided I'd rather have the money, although I'm pretty sure I wasted it.
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Old 06-17-2018   #11
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LOL I have one of those, too, but no body to attach it to. Maybe I need to lay off the 40s for a while (or go whole hog and get some for my rangefinders).
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Old 06-17-2018   #12
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Personally, I prefer a 35mm; however, 40mm is my second choice, 45mm my third, and 50mm my fourth.
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Old 06-17-2018   #13
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For some time an age ago, my entire kit with a Leica CL was the Summicron-C 40mm f/2 and Elmar-C 90mm f/4. I also spent years using a Rollei 35S with its Sonnar 40mm f/2.8 lens.

40mm is a good and versatile normal lens for 35mm format film or digital, and can replace both 35 and 50 in my bag. The primary reason I use 35mm nowadays is that it matches the frame lines in both my M-D and M4-2 more closely, where the CL had 40mm frame lines as standard.

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Old 06-17-2018   #14
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I have the 6D with the 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake and love it. Great little lens and the 6D is light and compact with the lens on it. Terrific IQ.

Also I like the Rollei 35S, and CL with M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.

35mm is probably my favourite focal length but these 40s are so good I find myself using them a lot.
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Old 06-17-2018   #15
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My first RF camera was a Canonet G-III QL 17. Ever since I've been fond of the 40mm FOV.

Like others above, I now enjoy using the Fujinon XF 27/2.8. It is my main prime when I don't have a specific plan in mind. Otherwise, when appropriate I use the XF 35/2 or the 23/2.

I wish the X100T was designed with a 27mm lens.
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Old 06-17-2018   #16
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Here's a cool article that Mike Johnston wrote awhile ago on "Why 40mm?"
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.../why-40mm.html

I really like the 40mm field of view, seems natural to me. 40mm f2.0 M Rokkor that came with the Minolta CLE is a wonderful lens and sells for very little compared to its Leica cousins. The Canon EF 40mm STM is an amazing lens that is also a steal:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...hoot-film.html
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Old 06-17-2018   #17
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I shot a contax t2 with the fixed 38mm for years. That was really my true focal length. When I went to leica I settled for 35mm and while I do love it, I wish I just had that little more. I may buckle down and buy a 40mm cron, or find a t2 lens and have it converted.
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Old 06-18-2018   #18
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Hexanon 40/1.8. Great lens.
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Old 06-18-2018   #19
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If I could only have one lens, I'd like it to be a 40. I like the fixed-lens rangefinders from the 60s with their ~40s, if only they had bigger viewfinders...

To me 35 is a place where the tension between foreground and background feels big at my typical subjects and working distances, which can make composition difficult in a way, but rewarding. Shorter or longer, and the foreground or background becomes dominant more easily, and composition is easier. 40 seems just a tad easier and avoids the danger of looking like it's supposed to be wide, but doesn't include enough I often feel with 35. Broad generalizations that have no foundation in facts and I will probably change my mind about this again.
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Old 06-18-2018   #20
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I use a Pentax 40mm 2.8 pancake on my Mx have done since the early 1980's
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Old 06-18-2018   #21
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My favorite Rangefinder the Olympus 35-S (1957) comes in two versions, a 4.2cm or 4.8cm lens, the 4.2 being the faster of the two...
I love the 4.2cm lens and what it will produce...
If I could find an SLR version of it I would own one...
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Old 06-18-2018   #22
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I took a Rollei 35 with me on my first Big Tour of America and Europe when I was 22. I really enjoyed that camera and its 40mm lens and never found myself wanting anything else. In fact I had bought myself my first serious camera just before that trip, an OM1 and a few lenses, but I vetoed them just before I left, in favour of borrowing my dad's Rollei.
Nowadays I prefer a 35mm or 50mm lens, so much so that I use them both on a CL, even though that camera has 40 (and 50) framelines and using a 35 means guesstimating with the whole viewfinder window.
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Old 06-18-2018   #23
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I've used rollei35 & Leica CL & Minolta CLE.... but far prefer the 35mm lens
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Old 06-18-2018   #24
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If I didn't have so many examples of these (Voigtlander 40mm for M42 / Bessaflex, Pentax M 40mm f2.8, Olympus 35SP (42mm 1.7) and of course the awesome Summicrom- C 40mm for the CL) I would say the fact that they straddle the 35mm/50mm conundrum and tend to be tiny makes them the perfect antidote for GAS!
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Old 06-18-2018   #25
haempe
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After giving away my R3A and Nokton 40 it's now the 40mm Ultron and a Nikon FE for me.
Perfect starting point for nearly everything I do (having a 85/2 and a 24/2 or the 16/2.8 in the bag too).
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Old 06-19-2018   #26
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Being a pragmatist I did a simple test years ago. I selected a scene with some depth to it, then got a tripod mounted 35mm camera with both 35mm and a 40 lenses.

I shot one frame with the 40mm lens. This was the baseline.
I shot another with 35mm lens without moving the tripod position
I shot a third frame with the 35mm lens after moving the tripod so that the coverage matched that of the 40mm lens.

Then I compared the coverage of 40mm and 35mm lens from the same position. (first vs. second photo) Difference was minimal.
Then I compared the perspective of 40mm and 35mm lenses from moving the camera position to where the coverage matched (first vs. third photo) Difference was minimal.

I concluded the difference in both coverage and perspective between a 40mm and a 35mm lens was so minimal that it was not worth having both and I could do well with either in any situation.

I also noticed that the FOV of the 40mm lens matched the 35mm frame lines of my ZI rangefinder better than the 35mm lens.
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Old 06-19-2018   #27
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forgot to mention my beloved Rollei 35, (with the usual dings), has a superb 40mm lens, l carry that little gem around a lot
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Old 06-19-2018   #28
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40 does feel like the perfect field of view, 35 being a little loose and 50 too tight. i suppose the later M frame lines are a good approximation for a 40mm lens. guess i'll have to make do with my older bodies and 35s.
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Old 06-19-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevierose View Post

I really like the 40mm field of view, seems natural to me.
I have said that about the 35mm; though 40mm is close. I've been told that the focal length of the human eye is around 42mm; which may or may not explain why 40mm is a "natural" focal length!

Me, I use the 40mm f/1.4 CV lens or the Minolta 40mm only with my Leica bodies that undersized 50mm framelines. I have modified these two lenses to bring up the 35mm framelines, for which the 40mm is an better match at my shooting distances when I'm using my M6, M7, or MP. For my M2, M5, and M4-P, I use 35mm lenses. I don't use a 50 at all with my M6, M7, MP bodies because the 50mm framelines are impossibly small!
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Old 06-19-2018   #30
David Hughes
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Hi,


Whoever told you it was 42mm has never looked in a mirror. Your eyeballs are a clue to the focal length and it looks like 24 ish to me.


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Old 06-19-2018   #31
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Yeah I thought it seemed a bit large, but I don't know how deep the eye is, front to back. Can't really see that in a mirror, though.
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Old 06-20-2018   #32
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FWIW, it got me thinking and I looked and found this:-

https://www.britannica.com/science/human-eye

Scan down to somewhere between a third and half way down and you'll find a diagram followed by some of the dimensions etc.

Anyway, I'm chuffed that my guess was in the right area.

I wondered years ago why people go on and on about 50mm standard lenses being how we see things when so many swear by 35 or 40mm lenses; eventually I found it in a 1930's magazine review of the Leica...

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Old 06-20-2018   #33
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Human vision doesn't have one easily defined field of view. We can detect motion over at least 150° horizontally, whereas for reading, we only use a very small angle and move the eye around a lot. Which one shall it be? A night sky or the canopy in a forest will look perfectly natural photographed with an ultra wide angle, while distant wildlife or the moon photographed with an around normal lens always leaves photographic novices disappointed as to why it is so tiny in the picture while we could see it just fine with the naked eye.
Normal focal length was just lenses that were useful in a wide range of applications and reasonably easy to make, and later the shortest that would clear the mirror on SLRs, before retrofocal designs came along.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
FWIW, it got me thinking and I looked and found this:-

https://www.britannica.com/science/human-eye

Scan down to somewhere between a third and half way down and you'll find a diagram followed by some of the dimensions etc.

Anyway, I'm chuffed that my guess was in the right area.

I wondered years ago why people go on and on about 50mm standard lenses being how we see things when so many swear by 35 or 40mm lenses; eventually I found it in a 1930's magazine review of the Leica...

Regards, David
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Old 06-21-2018   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
I wondered years ago why people go on and on about 50mm standard lenses being how we see things
Tunnelvision?
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Old 06-21-2018   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Human vision doesn't have one easily defined field of view. We can detect motion over at least 150° horizontally...
I think it's wider than that, perhaps wider than 180° or more as I've experimented and can see LED's on stuff when I've almost walked past them.

It's one of the reasons I like the Leica CL with its two lenses, the 40 as normal and the 90 for detail and portraits.

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Old 06-21-2018   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
My first RF camera was a Canonet G-III QL 17. Ever since I've been fond of the 40mm FOV.
I actually have two of these and yes, I enjoy shooting with the wider "normal" lens. I tend to shoot with zooms on the wide side of normal as well.
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Old 06-21-2018   #37
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Quote:
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My first RF camera was a Canonet G-III QL 17. .....
I bought one of these in the early '70's. It was my first serious camera and I loved it shooting with it for about 5 years until it fell out of a canoe. I replaced it with the just released Canon AE-1.

I was given another Canonet G-III QL 17 about 7-8 years ago. Paid for a total overhaul and used it a bit but that old love just never came back.

As I said before, 35mm and 40mm lenses are the same to me.
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Old 06-21-2018   #38
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I have a 40/2.8 Rollei and a 43/1.9 Pentax that I occasionally use with RF cameras. They are not my mostly used lenses though. Both are hard to find lenses.
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