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50mmCFE or 40 mmCF


New Member
I know there was big chat couple days ago on this topic but I really wanna know what is the best choice for landscapers ,does the 40mm push the background so far ,,is there any distorsion on the both side of the frame ,,kindly if you have an answer let me know ..many thanks
I own both a 50mm C and a 40mm CF. For landscapes I guess the 50 is probably the focal length you will use more often than the 40.

That said, I bought my 40 when I already owned the 50. And I dearly love it ;)

Go, rent or borrow one and try for yourself what fits you.

I have both and they are very different. Everyone has his/her own take on landscapes, but my feeling is that if you like prominent features in the foreground go for the 40mm, otherwise the 50mm. But then again, I happen to think that the 50mm could almost be used as one's standard lens (in my 35mm film days, my standard was a 28mm). If you can afford it, get both - if not, get the 40mm first - it's just such fun. If you are worried by distortion in landscape photography the 40mm should be just your sort of lens.

Here some facts:
The 50mm lens has approx. 800g of weight and an AOV of 75*.
The 40mm lens has approx. 1130g and an AOV of 89*.
The SWC with the outstanding BIOGON has 940g and an AOV of 91*

Why not taking the SWC in consideration as a very good alternative for the 40mm or 50mm lens ? ? ?

I have a 905SWC and i love that camera . The lens is superb and the best you can get .
Hi Bojan,

100% agree with the 50mm as standard lens for landscapes. I used mine predominantly for the red rock landscapes in Utah. I did not have the 40mm yet in those days :-( but I sure hope to return with the 40mm.

As for distortion in landscape work: lets keep in mind that the 40CF is a true Zeiss lens, not a Lensbaby ;) I feel the obsession about distortion of the 40, at least for landscapes, is well over the top.

Wilko, I agree - I have genuinely wondered what sort of requirements make people sneer at the 40 CF's "distortion", but have always refrained from asking in case it reveals my pathetic lack of discernment, marking me as a Box Brownie candidate! There is a degree of one-up-manship around (I expect we are all guilty) - one of the best put-downs is to tell someone who has just acquired a 905SWC that they should have looked around for the optically much superior 903SWC - only dicontinued when the rare earth glass was considered too toxic for the glassmakers. (Of course the 905SWC is as much of an inferior product as is the 40 CF).
the swc/m is great for foreground/background landscapes and very "portabel" compared to a 500 body and a 40 m lens - I would not worry to much about distortion unless you are doing architectural work - the ekstra 2 mm on the 38 mm sometimes take your shooting a bit further :)
Hi Ruben

SWC beats the 500 + 40mm by a long stretch for portability. Only problem is that I would want to carry my 50mm anyway, which means a 500 body to go with that 50mm :-D If you ga backpacking taking a tent and food etc I would take the SWC anytime.