We gave Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis 5 minutes to discuss the Sony 40mm f2.5 G lens.
The Sony 40mm f2.5 G lens has to be something really fascinating. It’s the first time in a whole that we’ve seen a 40mm lens. The last really good one to come out was from Zeiss. And otherwise, there’s the Voigtlander that doesn’t have autofocus. We finished our review a while back, so we sat down with Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis to see what she thought.
You also may be wondering why Sony chose a 40mm lens. Well, there are several reasons. First off, back in the film days, 43mm was truly normal. It’s arguably the same thing here. The 40mm lens brings us very close to that. In terms of workability, it brings us between the 35mm and 50mm focal length. That’s fun for candids, portraiture, and everyday photography.
For what it’s worth, it’s a focal length that’s never really been romanticized. The 50mm lens and 35mm lens get a lot more of that. The reason is that they’ve traditionally been the most popular. Bresson and others always used them. The lenses also just because the most common ones until zooms came along. But we genuinely think that the industry needed more of them.
5 Minute Review: Sony 40mm f2.5 G (Check it Out Below)
For the Sony system, there is indeed a few 40mm lenses. There’s the Voigtlander option. Then there’s also the Zeiss Batis option. Further from that, we have this Sony option. Voigtlander is made of metal but has no weather sealing. Zeiss has weather sealing, is expensive, and also an f2. For what it’s worth, I really liked that lens despite a few problems.
This new 40mm f2.5 G lens from Sony is smaller than the Zeiss. It’s got a bit of weather sealing, and it’s far more affordable. Of course, it’s the most interesting option of the bunch simply because of what it is. It’s an untraditional focal length in the eyes of some.
If you really want to get technical, there’s also the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art lens. It’s a beautiful lens, but wow, is it big and heavy.
Fun fact: The Leica Minolta 40mm f2 lens was probably still one of the sharpest lenses ever made. Put it on a camera in front of some Kodak Tri-X, and you’ll be pleased.
Here’s a too long, didn’t read quote from our full review.
“The Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G looks almost exactly like the 50mm f2.5 G and even captures similar images. But, the lens is a bit more flexible with a closer autofocus range. That, plus the slightly shorter focal length, makes the affordable, compact lens a good option for working in tight spaces.”
In our conclusion of the review, we state:
“If the Sony FE 40mm f2.5 G was a $1,200 lens, I would walk away. But as a $600, six-ounce lens, this 40mm definitely has some merit. Sharpness is top-notch — though maybe a little too sharp — and the colors are great. The autofocus is excellent and even a little better than the sister 50mm lens. The smaller aperture also allows the lens to seriously slim down. You could easily shoot with this lens all day without being weighed down.”
“While the 40mm is a solid lens, it uses a narrower aperture than most primes. The bokeh also isn’t quite as idealistic as some of Sony’s higher-end optics. Chromatic aberration is also occasionally a problem.”
You can get the Sony 40mm f4.5 G lens for just under $600.