The New Normal? These 40mm Primes Make A Strong Case

Some say 40mm lenses are perfect for everyday photography.

40mm might seem like a weird focal length to some, but this focal length is loved by many. Falling between the more popular 35mm and 50mm focal lengths, 40mm primes have been making a name for themselves of late. Being a tad longer than 35mm lends to more pleasing bokeh when used to shoot close-ups. Being shorter than 50mm lenses, 40mm primes perform well for street photography in tight spaces. There are quite a few 40mm primes on the market today, and for good reasons. Street photographers, documentarians, photojournalists, photo walkers, and event photographers swear by them. After the break, we’ll share four solid 40mm primes worth taking a look at.

So, what makes these 40mm primes so good? Well, a few things, actually. All these lenses are pretty fast when it comes to their maximum aperture. This makes them great for low-light photography. It also makes them great performers when it comes to subject isolation or creating bokeh. They’re all built well and have great optics too. Some are small enough for travel and even have weather sealing. No matter what, there are 40mm primes that are right for you. Check out four of our favorites below.

Sony 40mm f2.5 G

40mm primes

In our review, we said:

“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.”

Hillary Grigonis – Reviews Editor
40mm primes

Buy now: $599.99

Zeiss 40mm f2 Batis

40mm primes

In our review, we said:

“It has beautiful bokeh that the photographer can use to separate subject and background with ease. It focuses quickly in photojournalistic situational needs. And most of all, it boasts a heck of a lot of weather sealing.”

Chris Gampat – Editor in Chief
40mm primes

Buy now: $1,169

Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art

40mm primes

In our review, we said:

“If you’re using the Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art know that, no matter what, you’re going to get great image quality and a lens that just overall performs admirably. It’s fantastic with its build quality, its image output, the focusing speed (which is practically more than good enough), etc.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
40mm primes

Buy now: $1,399.99

Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM

40mm primes

In our review, we said:

“To sum things up, I was extremely surprised with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens, the image quality delivered was beyond what I expected from a lens at this price point. I do wish the manual focus feel was a bit more responsive, and the AF speed just a touch faster, but I can certainly live with it as-is and have no issues.”

40mm primes

Buy now: $199

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.