40mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Impression
This lens has a commanding presence, as opposed to common compact 40mm lenses around F2.8. In addition to being F1.4, there must be other reasons for the weight and size. Judging from the focal length and the sensor size, it must be targeted for cinematography as well. Cine lenses must meet rigorous standards because people often watch videos in closeup. So, I can already imagine how excellent this lens is. The camera I chose has a 50-megapixel sensor, and I know this lens will rise above. To best demonstrate the performance of the large diameter and the standard focal length, I decided to take portraits and snapshots.
The model is Moe Ajima. She is a stage actress and often photographed while acting as well. I tried to capture her naturalness as much as I could. The 40mm focal length is convenient for this kind of casual approach, as opposed to the purposeful one I would take with a 85mm. To capture the shape of the subject as natural as possible with the 40mm, I stepped back a little. The angle of view provides the perfect distance to photograph new people as well. The lighting for this shot and the previous one is almost top light and it is hard, too. I knew it was a mean condition for lens testing, but the rendition is amazing. The focal peak is very sharp, but not too hard to the point it looks jaggy. The bokeh is massive and natural. The clarity is incredibly high as well.
Despite the backlight, it isolates the “true focal point” on the high-resolution sensor filled with more than 50 megapixels. Because my lame old eye can only work with a low-megapixel camera and a low-resolution lens, I switched to the liveview on the rear LCD to check focusing. While watching the process of focusing, I felt like I was watching a beautiful living animal. Despite the high temperature and humidity, the image looks refreshing as I desired, thanks to the rich color reproduction and the high sharpness even with this backlight.
She becomes someone else in front of others on a daily basis. So, she performs in a certain style once I aim my lens to her. But, I did not give her any directions. She seemed to have understood my intension and started to relax. I shot handheld not even using a reflector board. Yes, shooting itself was literally “natural.” I knew the shirt would have highlight clipping if I weakened the shadow on her face. This daring approach is impossible without the superb optical performance. Distortion is almost negligible as well.
If the developer of this lens sees this shot, he would be mad at me. Shooting at a large aperture through the aged iridescent windshield is not the right way of testing a lens, but the 40mm focal length tempted me to go for it. The bokeh taste is deep and sweet in the foreground and the background. It is also important to note that the aberration is extremely low even on the edge of the highlight.
Getting really close, almost to the minimum focus distance. The focal depth is very shallow despite the 40mm focal length. Shooting at F1.4 with a 40mm is absolutely exciting.
I shot her standing on the beach expecting the clear separation from the out-of-focus area. It looks just like a composite image. Exceptional optical performance leads to the clear separation of the focal peak. And, this mood cannot be reproduced by a lens of a longer focal length with a narrower angle of view and a higher compressing power.
The subject is slightly out of focus. In cinematography, not everything is fully focused. The focal plane keeps following moving subjects until they come into focus. This image is a photographic simulation thereof. This is something I would never think of doing unless I put complete credit in the lens performance.
Model: Moe Ajima
Stage actress. Studied singing at a college of music. Though she raises her voices on the stage, she has a natural talent to soften the atmosphere.
Extraordinary performance for ordinary scenes
- Snapshots -
Though it is big and heavy, the exceptional performance makes me want to try something different, too. As for the shot above, I focused on the foreground of the pier. I mean, I defocused the walking man on purpose. The result makes me, who is a movie-illiterate, wonder if it would be interesting to shoot a video at 4K UHD resolution. Imagine yourself watching a short video clip of the walking man.
The exceptional image quality forces me to think deeply about what to focus. Should I focus on the back, middle, or front of the ukulele? I used to think about the same issue more seriously back in the analog time because I could not check the results while shooting. It has been a while since digital photography has displaced film, and I think we have reached a milestone. More imagination, more trials, and more errors are required now than in the film age because digital cameras and lenses have reached to the level.
The clear air looks exactly clear. The view through glass looks just as it is.
Complete capture of the texture, diffused light, and even moisture, is guaranteed.
The soft light diffused by the trees encompasses the atmosphere expressing the hardness and texture of the concrete. The rendition is as real as it can be.
It was very cloudy. Even the outside air, mixed with the conditioned air, looks realistic.
Get obsessed to get it.
This spectacular lens made me rethink what I can shoot. More precisely, what I shoot. Without clear intension, I would be sitting on a goldmine with this masterpiece. Focus on what you really want to do, and it will assist you with all its might. I happily take the size and weight to get the breathtaking rendition. This lens suggests you to reconfirm the motive for photographing.