I’ve got to say that my absolute favorite lens is my 40mm Prime Lens, lovingly and informally called the, “shorty forty.” It’s not the most versatile lens in the world, but it’s just very fun to use! It’s slightly wide, but not overly so, and the design of the lens itself is just fun! Just look at this little thing. It’s adorable!
One of the places this lens really shines is in public. If you’re doing street photography or shooting an event, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. A lot of photographers will use lenses that allow them to zoom in and out, which is useful! But the downside is that those zoom lenses are big and bulky – they draw attention and you’ll see people look at the camera.
With such a small lens, it can almost be difficult for people to distinguish it from a body cap. It’s very unobtrusive, and being only slightly wide, it can show a little more of the area without drawing attention to the photographer. Additionally, it has the capability to shoot with a rather shallow depth of field at f/2.8, which allows for some visually striking environmental portraits.
Prime lenses in general provide some of the top quality photographs in my opinion. Without a zoom function, they have less moving pieces. With less moving pieces, the resulting image will be sharper and higher quality. After all, any experienced photographer will tell you that the lens is far more important for image quality than the camera itself.
Another great feature of the shorty forty is the ability to shoot in low lighting conditions. That wide f/2.8 aperture allows for the trade of high depth-of-field for brighter images. If you add that to a camera with versatile ISO capabilities, and you have a very functional lens.
Of course you certainly don’t have to be an avid event photographer to enjoy it! It’s actually a very affordable lens at $200. It does beautiful portraiture, product photography, and even landscape work. Personally, I enjoy using it in combination with my macro tube for some nice, high-quality macro images.