Voigtlander close focus M Adapter, 50 Nokton 1.5 and Sony A7r

Voigtlander close focus M Adapter, 50 Nokton 1.5 and Sony A7r

By Steve Huff

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Hello to all! The new year is almost upon us and last week I received a very cool item to check out. Not thinking it would be anything special I set it to the side for a day or two while I finished my Nikon Df review. When I did get around to mounting it to a Sony A7r I was so happy with this product that I decided to sell my Novoflex Leica M to Sony E adapter immediately! (SOLD)

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The product I am talking about is the Voigtlander Leica M mount to Sony E mount adapter WITH close focus adjustment/ability. This adapter is not only well made, but using the close focus dial allows you to focus MUCH closer than normal with Leica M mount RF glass. How cool is it that we now have a way to focus closer with these gorgeous lenses using a very high quality and well made adapter. Below is a chart showing how much closer you can get with Voigtlander brand M mount lenses:

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So there ya go. You can now focus closer and I am here to tell you that it is a breeze to use this adapter on the Sony cameras. There is a sort of focus dial you rotate to adjust the close focus. Turn it clockwise all the way over if you want full close focus or turn it counter-clockwise all the way to use the lens with normal focus range. You can also set it anywhere in between to dial in the close focus you need. As I stated before, the dial is smooth and well made. This is a VERY high quality adapter.

But what about in use? Does it work well with M mount lenses? Well, yes it does and my new 50mm favorite on the Sony A7/A7r is the Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton   – the newest version. Easy to focus, amazing sharpness and detail and beautiful Bokeh (imo). For some reason I prefer this lens on the A7/A7r over the Leica 50 Summilux, and this one is less than 1/4 the price (with free next day ship an B+W filter). I also used this lens extensively on the Leica M 240 and the results can be seen HERE but on the A7 the color is so beautiful and rich and the details are sharp and the 3D pop is there if you want it.

The Adapter is now for sale at cameraquest.com and can be seen HERE.  It is a jewel of a setup and the cool thing is that you can focus normally, or you can get up close if you desire. This adapter is built VERY well and feels like a precision tool. In no way does it feel cheaper than the Novoflex. In fact, it feels nicer than my Novoflex. Well worth the cost and this is now my #1 choice for an adapter to use M mount glass on a Sony body. If you do not desire to focus closer with rangefinder M mount glass then you probably do not need this adapter as its main claim to fame is the close focus ability.

Voigtlander 50 1.5, Sony A7r. This one was shot wide open on Christmas morning. No issues with focus or softness.

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Yet another one wide open, and even with a strong backlight. The A7r and 50 Nokton ROCKS.

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Getting up close with the Nokton and Adapter. Wide open Bokeh Blur!

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Insanely sharp results if you want it to be. This was shot at 1.5, wide open on the A7R

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Again, f/1.5! Brandon received many gifts this year but his fave may have been the $2 silly straw. Lol. 

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Using the close focus. This will not turn a 50mm into a macro but will allow you to get closer than the standard .7 meters of most RF glass. This one will go to about .4 meters.

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So all in all I highly recommend not only the Voigtlander Leica M to E mount close focus adapter, but the Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton for use on the new Sony A7 series of camera. You will get the full performance out of this lens on these cameras and it is ahoy to use. I have not had one issue with manually focusing as the viewfinder allows me to nail focus without any focus aids whatsoever. This and the 35 1.2 II along with a few other lenses would be a treat when using this adapter.

You can find all of these items HERE. Thanks to Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest for sending me the Adapter to test out! I think this one stays with me 🙂 $309 is pricey (about $50 more than the trusty Novoflex) but this is the best and most versatile adapter you can buy for your Sony A7 or A7r to use those M mount lenses with. Period.

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64 thoughts on “Voigtlander close focus M Adapter, 50 Nokton 1.5 and Sony A7r

  1. Hello Steve
    Thanks for this review. Very useful as usual.

    A question this adapter:
    Is there any possibility that the grease of the adapter falls dawn to the sensor. This of course is a risk of all adapter adn due to fact that this seems to be the best quality adapter with an helicoid I was wandering if also this have this risk.

  2. Hi Steve

    Just managed to get myself one of the close up Voigtlander adapters. However I may have got a dud copy or the seller was not forthcoming with his description of it. I am seeing quite a bit of grease on the E mount end and even some in the helicoid parts when extended. Just wondering if this is a normal occurrence with this adapter? Thank you.

    1. Steve,

      I have found some difficulties with infinity focus using both Metabones (non-close), and Voigtlander close focus, adapters on my A7. I also use the same lenses on a Leica M9 with no problems, so think the issue is caused either by manufacturing tolerances in the adapter, or limitations in the A7’s lens mount (which has plastic components). Eventually I bought a Hawk’s Factory helicoid adapter, precisely because you can adjust its infinity point. It’s not quite as solidly made as the Voigt, but that doesn’t mean it is flimsy either. It is a little fiddly sometimes to operate.

      Julian

  3. Steve:

    Have you ever tested this adapter with the 50mm LUX asph? Any infinity focus issues? I have the novoflex and it seems to go way past infinity when my leica lenses are already hard stopped, its so annoying so I’m just try to find an adapter that will sync with my lens distance metering

    Thanks!

    1. This is the best adapter on the market IMO, nothing beats it for build or performance. With that said, depends on the model of A7 as to what issues you may get. I used the 50 Lux ASPH on the A7s, A7II and A7RII and had no issues, but I only shoot the 50 Lux at 1.4 and do not ever shoot it for landscape or something that needs corner to corner sharpness. With that said, shooting at 1.4 your subject will be in sharp focus and the rest will be a blur anyway 😉 No issues for me, but for pixel peepers maybe.

  4. arrgghh you are not making things easy to pick up a lens man.
    I just bought the sony A7s and I will be doing as much as videos as photos.
    I can’t decide between the Voigtlander and the sonnar 55mm 1.8, both lenses look amazing, I think I prefer the look of the photos taken with the Voigtlander, but having to buy an expensive close up adapter to be able to get closer to object is quite annoying, going full manula doesn’t bother me I think, even though I’m sure this will make me miss a couple of shots but I can deal with it.

    What would be your choice between those lenses ?

    thanks,
    Kevin

      1. hum interesting, thanks for your answer…I think I like it better as well, the images from the 55mm sony looks too perfect to me, it’s clinical sharp, while the Voigt. seems to be more organic..
        will probably go for the 50mm 1.5, along with a 21mm ultron 🙂

  5. I agree with Steve about both this adapter and the Nokton 50. The only issue I’ve had with the adapter is that the lock switch, which keeps the adapter from turning when you don’t want to close focus, is sometimes a little difficult. When that happens, wiggling the lens rotationally will get it loose so not a big deal.

  6. Hi Steve.
    Thanks for your usefull review.
    Can someone tell me the full length of this adaptor?
    Is there any test of this adaptor with leica lenses on sony 7R?

  7. Hi Steve,
    Thanks (as always) for your helpful review of this adapter (I’m sold)…. but why do you always do this to us? After days of research, I was just about to finally settle on the Zeiss Planar 50 f/2 to accompany my a7, until you threw this Voigt 50 f/1.5 into the mix :-). lol ….seriously, would you recommend one of these fine lenses over the other? I’m looking for sharp, sharp, sharp, rather than, say, that “classic” creamy, dreamy look…also, not really considering the new Sony/Zeiss lenses that were made for this camera because I want to improve my photography skills with an excellent MF lens (plus I like the build of these old school lenses better). Thanks in advance for any advice.

  8. I got this combo, the close focus adapter and a nokton 1.5 through cameraquest as soon as this review rose few weeks back. The question is, will this adapter retain the dust proof and weathershield on thr A7r at all combined with voigtlander lenses?

  9. Ill have my close focus adapter in tommorow and can’t wait to try it with the 50 Summilux ASPH, will post some comparison shots with a normal adapter and the close focus adapter.

  10. Hi Steve!

    I asked you about a month back for advice on lenses for the A7 then later read this post. I was planning on getting the camera in a couple of months but then an amazing thing happened. I won it in a competition! The Sony A7 with the kit lens.

    Sadly using it with the kit lens was at best ok and mostly a bit of a let down. However, yesterday I got the CV 50 1.5 and close focus adapter and man you sure where right, it’s a great combo. It feels like a completely different camera now and I’m taking it with me everywhere.

    I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful blog and great reviews.

    Thanks!

  11. As someone who already owns an M9, M7 and MP, along with a selection of Leica M, Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, I was convinced that my next purchase was going to be the M240. In fact, I had one on order, for which I was preparing to part with the M9 and a further £3,000. However, something bothered me. Mainly the fact that – no matter how hard I searched – I couldn’t seem to find more than a handful of shots online that blew me away. In particular, none that seemed to beat those from the M9. In fact, looking at the images of those bloggers who raved about the M240, I still found that I preferred their M9 images to those they’d taken with the new camera.
    Leica Mayfair were good enough to let me try the M240 and take the photographs I shot home on a memory card to explore in Lightroom 5.
    Still, I didn’t see anything that really justified the extra three grand and the loss of my M9, which had given me years of great images since I bought it.
    Then came the call from my usual Leica dealer that my M240 had arrived. Hesitantly, I took along my M9, now back in it’s original box and, with a teary eye, prepared to bid it farewell. I have to admit, I was still in two minds, hoping that this wasn’t going to be my first regretted Leica purchase.
    Interestingly, at the same time, I’d been picking up some buzz about the Sony A7/A7R, but didn’t really pay it much heed. Maybe it was the Leica snob in me, but I just couldn’t imagine buying a Sony. However, intrigued, I mentioned the A7R to my dealer as he unboxed the new M240.
    Leaning close conspiratorially, he whispered that several of his most loyal Leica customers had just swapped their M240’s for the Sony. And like a dealer of illicit substances, he confessed that he had, in fact, held one back for me ‘…just in case’.
    I must be a pretty good customer, because he offered to let me take his last (rare) A7R ‘on approval’ over Xmas, with the promise that he’d keep the M240 on hold for me if I decided to stick with the leica. Happily, though not decisively, the price was far less than I’d have to pay for the M240, PLUS I’d get to keep my beloved M9.
    Somehow, I managed to track down the new Sony Zeiss FE 55 lens, so I could at least try out the camera until my dealer got me an adaptor for my M lenses.
    Which, in due course, turned out to be the close-focus voigtlander.
    So, I’ve now had a week or so to play around.
    And, I have to say, I love it. In fact, I’d go as far to say that if I looked at my test shots taken with the M240 and compared them to those from the A7R, I’d swear that the latter was the Leica. Yes, it’s more ‘digital’ than the M9, but somehow retains a similar look. And that’s with the Sony Zeiss lens as well as the M’s.
    Meanwhile, the adaptor has opened up a new world of images with my Leica glass, particularly my Summilux 50mm 1.4. It is stunning.
    The Focus magnification has made my 90mm Cron far more usable than on any of my Leica bodies, and the colours are beautiful.
    The files themselves are easy to work with in LR and the sharpness is – as many have said – bordering on MF. I haven’t even tested the camera on a tripod yet!
    I won’t give up my M9 as I adore the simplicity of rangefinder photography and the minimalism of the lack of menu options. Similarly, I still enjoy using both the M7 and MP, for the purity of film and the fact that they force me to look at my photo’s rather than my pixels.
    However, in terms of embracing new technology – specifically 36mp digital technology – the A7R makes my heart beat a touch faster with excitement.
    And no, I won’t be swapping it for the M240.

  12. Quick question: using this combo does focus magnification / focus peaking work? I am considering the A7 and would be great to use my manual lenses

  13. Steve. have been following you for quite a while now and thanks for all the great postings and advice.
    Does viogtlander make a M to M close focus adapter similar in size to this M to Sony E close focus adapter? This would be useful for Leica M users who wants to focus closer(something lacking for the current range of M lens). Txs.

  14. Hello Steve have you noticed shutter vibration issue with the A7r+CV 1.2 II? What are your thoughts on this issue? Thanks.

  15. Wow. The pics Look great. It seems that this Lens is truly a cool Lens on the sony.
    But on the first first picture something is wrong with the eyebrows from your model. Is it real or photoshopped?

  16. IMO this is a wonderful product. One (and probably the most important) of the concessions we need to make with small M lenses is a longer minimal focal length. Now this “handicap” is more than compensated. Thumbs up for Voigtländer!

  17. Nice images Steve. I am using the exact same combination(chrome version of course), sans a different adapter. I love the images this combination produces. It was your reviews first of the lens then the camera that pushed me to get both. Thanks and keep up these awesome reviews.

    1. Very similar for me too. I am using the chrome version on the A7 with the normal (non-close focus) voigtlander VM-E silver adapter. Great combination and the adapter silver matches the chrome lens nicely. Lovely pictures and the chrome lens looks fantastic on the camera (IMO). Again, Steve’s reviews for both the A7 and the nokton 50 1.5 helped me greatly to make my choices. Thanks a lot!

  18. I had originally been thinking I would get this Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus adapter. But then the Hawk’s v3 helicoid adapter was announced, and it has one feature the VM-E doesn’t — you can adjust the adapter to ensure infinity focus is at your lens hard infinity stop (so you can have infinity focus at the stop, and the DOF scale should be more accurate) — that seems like a nice plus for manual lenses. I’d love to see the VM-E and Hawk’s compared.

    1. Great suggestion Scott… especially doing a compare in infinity mode/focusing. Seems all the helicoids in close-ups can do a fine job. The key differentiator would be how they actually do at infinity.

  19. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the look at the VM 50 f1.5 and adapter. I’m tossing up between this lens and the Sony 55 for my a7r

    What would your list of pros and cons be when comparing these two? I’ve got the VM 35 f1.2 and I’m really happy with it. I think I prefer manual focus; is is easier, or does it feel much better with the Voigtlander? I know the Sony Zeiss is focus by wire.

    The other option is to just skip 50mm and maybe get an 85 for people down the line… I think I prefer 35mm for most stuff.

    Cheers and keep up the good work,
    Robert

    1. Well, if you like the 35 1.2 and enjoy manually focusing you would also enjoy the 50, probably more so due to the much smaller size. BUT 50 is sort of close to 35 and one of them would end up not getting much use from time to time. All depends on what focal length you want. The 35 1.2 II is a great lens on the A7 and A7r, as is the 50. But owning both…which one would you take with you most of the time? If you enjoy 35mmm more, the 50 may not be worth getting. But both are superb with the 50 being much smaller and lighter.

      1. Cheers Steve! I think you’re right, one of them would probably sit in my bag most of the time.
        I’ll think I’ll keep with one camera one lens (apart from my adapted macro lens when I need it), at least for a while.

        Thanks 🙂

      2. Hi, Steven:
        read your review again and again about the Voigtlander 35 1.2 on the Sony a7’s, and decide to go for it ,purchase the lens and Novoflex with auto metering, never use the adapter whole my live, really less Knowledge on that, since this lens is fully manual, how the auto metering works with the adapter on Sony a7’s ? no camera store at my town can tell me something, if you get chance please advise.

        thanks for your time.
        Steven

  20. Anyone compare this adapter to the less expensive Hawks Helicoid M to E helicoid version 3? The Hawks has the advantage on an adjustable infinity stop, which is a nice feature. I recently got the Hawks and it has worked well for me so far, but cannot compare build quality or feel to the CV.

  21. I’ve been using the Voigtlander 50 1.5 on my A7r and it’s been a real treat. Plus I think the chrome versions looks awesome on the body.

    I’ve been using it with a cheapo $15 adapter though. Focusing closer would be great but the price tag is a little hefty.

  22. An interesting adapter for those already having m or l mount lenses. Otherwise I`d recommend to buy the excellent Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8. AF, weather sealed, 0.5m close focusing distance, outstanding optical performance, nice oof rendering, a great lens without a fuss on the A7(r). Actually a bargain when compared to fast m or l mount lenses plus adapters.

  23. Will give it a try. Got the A7 with a basic adapter and put on my 25yr old Leica 50mm. It brought back memories and a slight tear in my eye seeing the output.

  24. Just a note: the Voightlander 1.5 50 is $900 at Cameraquest. The Zeiss 1.5 50 can be had for about that price. A comparison between them would be informative. I have the Zeiss and use it on an M2 and an M6. It’s supposed to be something of a retro design. I’m very happy with it and I’ve never had the reported focus shift issues – although focusing manually at 1.5 in low light is a challenge – at least for me.

    1. Both are gorgeous lenses but the Zeiss will be softer wide open with a totally different character – much more classic. The Nokton is more like the Summilux, the Zeiss more like a Sonnar design from the past. Focus shift only will occur on M8, M9, M240 when wide open.

  25. Thank you Steve. Its good to know that at least the Nokton 1.5 on the Sony A7/A7R is doing great without corner vignette, softness, color cast or any other weird behaviour. Still, I BELIVE IT WOULD BE VERY INTRESTING TO RETEST LEICA LENSES ON A7/A7R WITH THIS ADAPTOR, USING THE CLOSE FOCUS. Sorry for Caps, but this adaptor is really the last chance that lenses like the Voigtlander 12mm 5.6, 15mm f4.5 and Zeiss ZM, Biogon under 50mm have on these cameras. If even this official Voigtlander adapter doesn’t work, I think it would be safe to assume that the lens issues on the A7/A7R are unsolvable.

    Please, PLEASE RETEST LEICA M LENSES AND ZEISS ZM/BIOGON AND VOIGTLANDER WITH THIS ADAPTOR SO THAT WE KNOW IF THE LENS ISSUES ON A7/A7R ARE SOLVABLE OR UNSOLVABLE.

    1. Hi Paul, I was able to resolve nearly every issue except for some slight corner softness with the Voigtlander 12mm on my A7r using Sony’s Lens Compensation app at https://www.playmemoriescameraapps.com – it really fixes 98% of the color issues, it doesn’t completely fix the vignetting but it can be completely fixed in post via Photoshop or whatever program you use. ALSO: using the Voigtlander close focus adapter, you can focus so close with the 12mm that the lens can literally hit whatever you are focusing on. Now THAT’S close 🙂

      1. Wow that’s great news. I was really scared that I would have to use a center ND filter of 2 or 3 stops on an A7 just to cancel out the vignette. Thanks Patrick.
        Its awesome Sony jumped fast on this issue.

        A further question: With the vignette gone, is corner softness an issue? I read that lenses not only have the vignette and color cast (now corrected via your solution) but also corner softness…

        Thanks Patrick for pointing me to the playmemoriesapp, I was so mad after visiting 3-4 comparisons which showed the M9 had better corners than the Sony that I thought Sony wouldn’t fix it that fast. Thanks again!

        1. The vignetting is pretty severe, having the app set to maximum vignette correction still leaves fairly heavy vignetting but as I mentioned earlier it can be corrected in post. However, something unfortunate I have noticed is increased noise in the corners because of it, it’s not terrible but it’s there. I’m also noticing the color cast may not be perfectly corrected by the app depending on the scene, but I have been able to remedy any remaining color issues in ACR. Here’s the rubdown so far in my experience to get the 12mm working well on the a7R keeping in mind I need to do more testing:

          1. Get the sony app set up as accurately as you can, realizing there will still be vignetting and some color issues.

          2. Fix vignetting in post – no problem.

          3. Remaining color cast issues may be fixed in ACR, for example right now I have some remaining purple color cast on the far right and left sides of a few images that I can adjust the hue for in ACR. However, I think this step may be better handled by CornerFix, though I have no experience with that program (it’s on my to do list). The reason why I say this is because I seem to get a little color casting on the top of the frame on some images and the sony app really only fixes the corners and some of the sides, it’s circular. The casting at the top of the frame is still fixable manually but it would be nice to have it automated.

          4. Sharpen up the corners as best as you can or crop in a little. The sony app doesn’t address sharpness, only peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion.

          I will say I have definitely been able to create vignette and color cast free photos so far but it does take some fiddling with to get everything set up. I’m going to keep playing with this 12mm, I think it may actually be workable after configuring the app and then making an ACR profile. The corner softness may end up being a deal breaker for some. I’m still undecided personally. I’m sure the corners are better on an M body due to its specialized designed, but the only thing that really matters is if the corners on the A7r + 12mm look good enough for *you*.

          1. Thank you Patrick for sharing your experience with the A7r and Voigtlander 12mm. I apologize for the long long thread. I won’t bother you with further further questions. Thanks again.

            It’s set in stone that I’ll buy the A7 and it’s a joy to know that with some work in post the vignette and color cast is correctable to an ok level. I will probably buy the Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 since it has less vignette and color issues than the 12mm (abeit the 12mm is the world’s widest rectilinear (non-fish-eye) lens) and easily accepts filters. Pity the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 adapted to A7 is 1kg heavy while the Zeiss Distagon 15mm f2.8 is still a hefty 700g at a higher price than the Nikon. There really is no ultrawide that is light and also sharp. I guess there are chices in life…

  26. Great review. It seems to be THE adapter.
    Did you had a chance to try the C-Sonnar 50 with it? I wonder how the Sonnar is on the A7.
    Does the adapter work well with 35mm lenses, like the Nokton Classic?

  27. Thank you Steve, it seems a great quality product. Thanks for sharing this info and your expirience with it. I think it is a great product worth buying.

  28. Hey Steve,

    I been using a similar one for almost two years and ever since using it (a helicoid adapter) with my NEX5 and 6 I don’t manual focus w/o it. Many times I actually use the adapter to focus rather than using the focus ring on lens. I do have a slight focus problem on a 50mm f1.4 pentax super takumar ’71 vintage when infinity focusing. I think the problem’s in the lens because on my Voigtlander 12mm ultra wide Heliar, 75mm 2.5 Heliar, 35mm Ultron infinity focusing is sharp. The Voigtlander helicoid does look very well constructed and I may move from the Hawks version should I decide to go to the A7r. Thank you again for the information.

    Wes

  29. Steve – great pics and great review! Just got the A7 and you just helped me pick the new 50mm for it. How many grams does it weigh? Says it’s 125g on the site but I can’t imagine it to be that heavy…

  30. From the cameraquest site:

    “There is a possibility that low resolution of the edge of the picture and colour cast will emerge due to the combination of camera body and lens….
    Please note that the warranty is void when the lens except listed above is attached and cause damage or malfunction of camera/adapter/lens”

    Since no Leica lenses are on that list, using them voids the warranty on the adapter.

    1. Well, Leica lenses can be used just as Voigtlander or Zeiss lenses can. Same exact mount. Voigtlander wants you to buy their lenses so this is why it says this. Besides, the adapter will not break when a Leica lens is mounted.

      1. Fact of life is things can break. Of course it shouldn’t, and most probably wouldn’t.
        I think that it is only fair that the end user knows this.
        The Novoflex does not have this warranty limitation.

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