The Voigtlander 35 1.7 Ultron VM (Leica Mount) Lens Review
By Steve Huff
We are living in a GREAT time for our hobby or our profession or our obsession..no matter what you call it..it is Photography. Today we have some pretty technologically advanced marvel cameras, simple basic cameras, amazing mid level cameras and even fantastic lower end cameras. Today we have more camera tech available at our disposal than at anytime in history. Even though the worlds #1 camera today is the iPhone, if you are reading this article then that must mean you are here because you appreciate quality and the process of photography, something you lose with an iPhone as you main camera.
Today I will be taking a look at the new Voigtlander 35 f/1.7 VM lens (Leica M Mount) but I will be shooting it on the Sony A7RII as that is now my #1 camera around here, and for me, the best full frame 35mm mirrorless camera made today. With the new backlit sensor tech, Sony has eliminated mostly all of the old issues when using wider angle Leica glass, at least the color issues 😉 This lens works very well on the Sony A7RII, so every image in this review will have been shot with that camera and this lens (as well as the Zeiss ZM 35 1.4 Leica Mount for comparison).
One of my 1st shots with the lens which was indoors so not a ton of light. I opened up the lens, focused and shot. To me, the color is very good as is the OOF background rendering. Smooth rendering with a sharp subject. No issues.
When Stephen Gandy, head dude over at Cameraquest emailed me and said “The new 35 1.7’s are in, do you want to review one”? Of course I said YES YES YES! I have been curious about this lens but I wasn’t excited about it as I “assumed” it would be average. Not sure why I thought that when the Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton hit it out of the park with bang for the buck. That little 50 1.5 came so close to the Leica 50 Summilux at 1/4 the cost it was a no brainer for those who wanted that fast 50 rangefinder lens experience without spending $4000. You can see my review of that lens HERE, well worth a read and look if you missed it as that lens is a stunner for the money. Then again, Voigtlander has always been known to be big on “bang for the buck” but what I have noticed over the past 7 years is that each time Voigtlander releases a new lens, it seems to be notch up in quality from design, build, operation and image quality. Yep, in 2015 Voigtlander lenses are kicking some serious bootie, and the new 35 1.7 VM is no exception.
My dog Olive who is a total ham. She knows when I am taking her picture, and when I aim the camera she sits and looks, as if to pose. She also watches full TV shows, interacts with animals on TV and sleeps like a human, on her back. Odd ball dog, but here she is at f/1.7 with the new 35 VM. 2nd shot wide open again!
Over the years I have reviewed many Voigtlander lenses on these very pages. Usually on a Leica M, but these days the Sony A7 series has improved considerably since the beginning about 2 1/2 years ago. While the Leica M is a gorgeous body, camera and the ultimate in “pride of ownership”, it is expensive and many are buying the Sony’s as an alternate to the full frame M and many M owners have an A7 of some sort as a backup and extra camera to their M. Many ask me daily how these lenses do on the A7RII, so this is where I will be concentrating. Of all the Voigtlander lenses I have used, reviewed, and tested the 50 1.5 is my fave, followed by this one. While I loved many of the lenses these two recent additions are really showing what this company can do when they set their mind to it.
The Lens Arrives
When I received the lens and opened it up I saw I had been sent the CHROME version, and it looks quite a bit like the 50 1.5 I have been speaking about here. This is good as it is a retro but cool design and it is easy to focus and change your aperture. Smooth yet solid, and the lens is a joy to use. It is also thin and small which is nice. MUCH smaller than the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4, smaller than the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM and while not as small as the Sony 35 2.8, it is a much different type of lens.
When I attached it to the camera and took my 1st shots I was happy to see the color performance was gorgeous and the lens was pretty damn sharp wide open. It offered that “Voigtlander Look” but to me, it seemed sharper, crisper, better bokeh and color than normal. I liked it. Maybe it was the Sony but what was coming out of the camera with this lens wide open made me happy 🙂
Both shots below were shot wide open at f/1.7. 1st one I had some natural light coming in, the 2nd image was different. It was much dimmer here than the 1st image but the fast aperture let me get as much light in as I could.
CLICK them for larger
As I used the lens more and more over the 2 weeks I had it, I was liking it and decided that I wanted to see how it would stand up to the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM that comes in at $2300. The Voigtlander comes in at under $900, so it is more than 2X less than the Zeiss. I would expect the Zeiss to come out ahead but had to see for myself what an extra $1300 would buy me 😉
Zeiss vs Voigtlander
The Voigtlander 35 1.7 next to the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM
Below are some images comparing both the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM and the Voigtlander 35 1.7 VM, both Leica M mount and mounted to my A7RII with the Voigtlander close focus M adapter.
Click the images to see larger and full 100% crops. These are right from the camera with no tweaks at all. FROM RAW.
1st one is the Voigtlander, 2nd is the Zeiss.
For this set the Zeiss is showing a tad more color pop and sharpness in the crop (click them for full crop)
At the end of the day, the Zeiss is a tad better for sharpness at 1.7 but I prefer the bokeh of the Voigtlander which also seems to be giving a more shallow DOF than the Zeiss wen using the same aperture. Very odd but I have seen this before with different lens brands. I love the Zeiss, and it’s about as good as it gets in a 35mm for Leica M mount (it has been compared favorably to the Leica 35 Summilux that comes in at $5500). The Voigtlander is really only a teeny but behind in sharpness wide open. Both are fantastic but one is $1300 less expensive and smaller. Hmmmm.
The Voigtlander also focuses closer than the Zeiss.
Ultimately it is up to the user which one is preferred, if any. In the world of 35mm for Leica we have many choices from old to modern. For Sony FE we have a load of lenses as well that can be used, so they should be chosen like an artist would choose his brush or pencil. Choose the lens for the desired “look” or “character” of what you want to see in your final image. This lens will give you a creamy look with you subject popping from a 3D background when shot wide open. Just like a good fast 35 should do. It has a decent background blur (Bokeh) rendering and I find it quite pleasing, even better than the Zeiss. It is small, well made (feels leica-ish) and gorgeous in black or chrome. Can’t go wrong.
#1, mailbox at f/1.7. #2, Hula Hoopers at The Duce. #3, Mailbox up close (and the top is OOF due to the depth of field being so shallow, not a lens issue)
ONE MORE BIG COMPARISON – “Against all the others”
Left to right: Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon, Zeiss Loxia 35 f/2, Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM, Voigtlander 35 1.7 VM and the Sony/Zeiss 35 2.8
Many have asked me just this morning to add a quick comparison to the Sony 35 1.4, Loxia 35, and Sony 35 2.8 in addition to the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM. Well, see the image above for the size differences, and see below for the image samples with each lens! Your wish is my command! (sometimes, lol).
I am using the Sony A7s for this one and below are full size images from camera (RAW) without any modifications. What I am looking at here is sharpness of the subject (face of the bottle) and the Bokeh (background blur quality) as well as the color performance. What do YOU think? Leave a comment and let me know! For me, the ultimate IQ comes from the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 but it is huge. The 2nd fave of mine is now the Voigtlander, then the Loxia, then the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM and then the 2.8.
So there ya go 😉 Let me know in the comments which rendering you prefer.
No wide angle lens will be perfect on the Sony A7 series, even the RII. While the A7RII has improved considerably with M lenses, there is still one issue that seems to remain. SOFT edges with some lenses. Instead of magenta side we now will be left with soft sides on many occasions. THIS only comes into play if you are stopped down and wanting perfect corner to corner sharpness. ON the Leica M it will work well, on the Sony not so much.
If you shoot this lens wide open you will never see it. That is where the character lies in this lens anyway. Stopping it down to f/8 will give you no better quality than almost any other 35mm that will fit on the Sony. For me it is a non issue, but for many they want that stopped down corner to corner performance. If that is the case, and you shoot with a Sony A7 series camera, I highly recommend the Sony 35 1.4 which is STUNNING but HUGE. See that review HERE.
You will also see some slight vignetting with this lens when wide open on the Sony A7RII or A7s or A7II, but you will also get that with the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM on the Sony. You will also get the slight vignetting wide open when using it on the Leica M.
If you want perfection in 35mm, buy either a Leica M and a Leica 35 Summilux FLE or buy an A7RII and the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon. Both of those will offer you about the best 35mm performance you will see in full frame, no matter the type of camera. If you want a fun unique lens that also comes with a very cool and fun user experience of using an all manual lens all while getting massive character and IQ, take a look at the Voigtlander. I love it just as much as I do the 50 1.5 Nokton. I highly recommend it for Leica M or A7RII shooters!!!
WHERE TO BUY?
You can buy this lens at Cameraquest HERE. Best prices, and free filter and overnight shipping.
They are the official USA distributor for Voigtlander and top notch all the way!!
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Hi I have a sony mirrorless camera a6300 and want to purchase the voigtlander 35mm 1,7. Do I need to buy an adapter and if so which one?
I know, I’m a little late, but I wanted to know if the A7S has the same shortcomings as the A7Rii in terms of M-mount lenses (vignetting, corner softness etc.). I mean, I’m not super critical about this, I just wann know if the A7S is better or worse than A7Rii in your opinion.
The A7SII would be the best, but the original A7s is about the same as the A7rII which I found not to be an issue for 90% of lenses.
Steve have you tried this Ultron with the Techart Pro adapter? How fast does it focus?
I would love a Distagon 1.4/35 but this Ultron looks fantastic and costs half the money…
I use the Ultron 35/1.7 on an A7ii. Field curvature is present but less of a problem in actual usage than I expected. The real issues for me are heavy vignetting and color shifts, especially at wide apertures. Possibly, these flaws do not show as prominently on an A7Rii, but on an A7ii, they are hard to ignore. Fortunately, I discovered CornerFix, a free program that was originally created to deal with the aforementioned problems on wide angle M lenses. CF is easy to use on RAW/DNG files, and it produces very clean images with even color and brightness across the frame.
So how would I compare the Ultron + CornerFix to my Loxia 35? Well, the Loxia is dying of loneliness in my desk drawer, even though it is still a very fine lens. My experience with the Ultron led me to pick up a near mint quality Nokton 50/1.5 Aspherical VM, which I like even more. I thought that the Loxia 50 was 50mm nirvana, but the Nokton is very tough competition and provides nearly a full stop of additional speed. The two lenses render differently, so I’m going to keep both.
Great review! I was wondering how the Voigtlander 35, and 50 compare to the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 on the a7rii?
Hi Steve! Great review as usual. Currently, in 35mm focal length, I use an M240 paired to a Nokton Classic 1.4. I like the combination for most situations because the old-fashioned rendering, speed and reduced size and weight, although its sharpness is not the best – anyway, I’m not a pixel-counter. My main complaint about it is the high distortion for a prime. After noticing the this Ultron 1.7 and its mostly positive reviews, do you think it worths upgrading from the Nokton in terms of distortion, rendering, size/weight and sharpness? Thanks a lot in advance.
Hi steve, I bought this lens finally, but i sold the 35mm 1.2 sadly. I think these 2 lenses is very different in rendering and cannot be compare. It is very different purpose for using these lenses.
35mm 1.7 indeed very sharp and color pop. 35mm 1.2 is very unique lens, yes it has quite soft at 1.2, noticeable Chromatic aberration, But it’s just the way this lens render. It just took gorgeous photos in my experience. if you really concern about sharpness don’t buy f1.2. 1.7 is more to suit you.
conclusion, i fell a little bit regret that i sold my 1.2. maybe someday i will buy the 1.2 again. =)
what’s your opinion compare the 1.2 steve?
I’m going to buy this lens but still concern about which color fit on my A7Rii. I really like the chrome version it really match with the close focus adapter but it look weird with the black hood. I don’t think i will buy the chrome hood it’s very expensive for me. Or maybe it’s ok to not use the hood? it’s impossible yeah?
Do you think if this lens could pair well with a Nikon DF and if yes which will be a good adapter? The huge size of Nikkor lenses puts me off.
Cant use M lenses on any DSLR. One reason I will never own another DSLR 😉
Thank you. But sorry, forgot to mention the VM to Nikon adaptor available in the market. Are they not effective?
ZM 35mm 1.4 looks sharpest of them all. See the bottle cap, ZM is far sharper than Sony 35mm 1.4
STEVE thank you again for your wonderful review. I’m a bit surprised that you had no problems with the very thin hard focus ring. I just got the 50/1.5 and sent it back – have normal sized hands and fingers ( not hard workers ones ) – for me it was a bit painful to focus. Would be nice if you could tell that problem to Cosina. In my opinion the old design had been better to work with. I’m waiting for the new edition. Thanks again! Sergej I. K.
I think its all in the size of your hand and fingers. My hands and fingers are SMALL, thin. So I had no issues and did not even think about it because for me it was good.
Thanks for the above review.
I do have a problem reviewing identical images by different lenses when they are in a vertical position. Would it not be better to take a section from each image, the bottle and bokeh in the above comparison and stitch them side by side to compare them rather than opening and closing each image one at a time?
Just a thought, thanks again.
Hello Steve, Do you know how this lens performs on film, compare to a Summicron 2/35 asph?
I have not shot it on film but suspect it would be quite good. It’s a huge bang for the buck lens that punches above its price point.
For Sony-users this lens has the common problem M-mount lenses have on this system: the thick optical stack on top of the image sensor causes pretty significant field curvature. It’s easy to see it from bokeh – the edge (and especially corner) background blur is much less than that of the center frame. With 35mm it’s not necessarily a critical problem like it is on the 50/1,5.
(see for example: http://i2.wp.com/www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DSC09106.jpg) the shopping mall is quite a bit sharper at the edges than at the center.
Also other performance characteristics are suboptical due to this.
It would be interesting to see how the performance is on either a “thinned stack” A7x or a Leica-camera and how that is against the Zeiss on such system.
May I answer here? The 35mm f2 ZM Biogon is suffering of other issues than field curvature. The image is simply blurred in the corners, color cast and smearing. This problem is not existing on A7 with Voigtlaender 35mm lenses, even if there’s vignetting. ; )
I’ve read some speculation (nothing really concrete at all) that there might be an FE mount version of this lens coming out. CV just announced three lenses for the FE mount. Steve, or anyone else, have you heard anything about this lens coming out as FE mount?
I have heard of Voigtlander FE lenses coming, but not this lens in particular. Guess we will have to wait and see 🙂
Thanks Steve! I’ve got my fingers crossed. This looks like a great lens, which I would pick over the Loxia 2/35 that I have right now if it came as FE mount. I just don’t have any M mount lenses right now to justify getting a CV close-up adapter (which I would need). I have the Loxia right now because it is the best compromise of size, cost, IQ for my purposes right now, but I still haven’t fallen in love with it. Still looking for the the right 35mm glass for my a7RII as it’s my favorite focal length!
I agree jfourc, I bought and returned the Loxia. It was technically perfect and very sharp but I ended up liking the CV and got the 21 1.8, 35 1.7 and. 50 1.5. I think the m mount is also very flexible with both Sony and Leica for resale vs e mount specifically. I also really liked the zm lenses. Very sweet.
Decent review. Disappointed that you didn’t at least add some shots on a Leica M or run some film through your M6 to show how the lens looks on one of those.
Haven’t owned an M6 in 3 years, and I got rid of the M 240 after the A7RIi bested it in every area for me. I miss the M, as I love the experience but can not justify $7k just to own it when the A7RII beats it in all scenarios.
I am in dilemma whether to go for Voigtlander Nokton Aspherical 35mm f/1.2 Lens II or Voigtlander VM 35mm f/1.7 Ultron Aspherical Lens (Black/Silver). They both cost around $1000. I’m not concerned about the size or looks. Which one is sharper?
Hi Steve, does the Loxia line have internal focus? I know they breath a lot but am looking for portable primes that take great photos and can be used for filming on the a7rii with MF. I’m off to China next week and would love to get some nice shots. I thought about popping over to Duclos to see their lenses but the zf.2 seem to get heavy. Also, in a perfect a7rii world, it would be nice to have a lens that could use a focal reducer for low light shots on s35 so the 35mm remains 35mm. You have more hands on experience with this, any thoughts would be appreciated.
Steve, how does this lens compare to the old 35/1,7 Ultron in m39 mount ?
A better lens all the way around IMO.
Hi Steve, thank you for your posts. I have an a7rii and am having a tough time finding my happy place with lenses. I started with some Nikkor MF lenses, 35 1.4 and 55 1.2 which I carried over from my 5Dmii. I wasn’t thrilled with the optics on this awesome sensor but got used to MF again. Currently I’m trying the 35 2.8 sonnar which is super sharp but doesn’t excite me as much. What lenses would you chose if you could only pick one wide 14 or 21mm, a 35mm, and a 50mm?
I wouldn’t pick a Nikon or Canon lens, that is for sure. You will get best quality with Native glass, period. Zeiss Batis, Zeiss Loxia are amazing. The Loxia range beats any Leica glass on these cameras. The Loxia 50 gets 95% of the 50 APO cron. I’d look to native glass. There are loads of amazing primes for this system now.
Ok cool, not what I expected 🙂 I got so excited after reading your Ultron 35mm 1.7 review I figured that might be your pick. Just wish the loxia was a faster lens. Thanks for your reply!
thanks for the review, question: A7R on the sides of the frame will be the phenomenon of bands of color?
Thanks for the review, Steve. Where did you get that cool desk lamp?
On ebay. Forgot how I stumbled on it but there were loads of really cool models. Maybe I searched for “vintage light” or “steampunk light” – then a bunch of different styles come up. Affordable as well.
Thanks Steve. Much appreciated.
Why is the lens hood on the Loxia in the size comparison. Not very useful….
The Voigtlanders are “dreamy” in a really good way. I have become a fan
My Do Everything kit at the moment, is ..
RX1R for 35mm
A7II with the Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 ASPH (silver) for the dreamy character-loaded rendition
then switch to the the Sony/Zeiss 55 f1.8 when I need a scalpel. Or AF.
2 bodies, with one lens in reserve.
I’m getting OUTSTANDING results, from this VERY small 3 piece kit.
Thank you again for another excellent real-world review.
Voigtlander lenses have always had a special “through the looking glass” rendering for me. The 50 Nokton and this 35 Ultron again raise the bar for CV. I currently have a 40 Nokton SC, a 50 Summilux ASPH, a 58 Rokkor and an OM 100/2 that I use with the A7rII. So, at this point, I have been satisfied when I want that “manual digital alchemy” look.
However, I am still at a digital-crossroad with FE system lenses. I imagine that if Zeiss would make a decent 24-70 f2.8 that works with all of the features (esp. continuous eye focus) of the A7rII body, my life would be dimensionally complete and I could call it a day- Wishful thinking. So, for the time being, the real problem is which wide-angle system lens to choose.
Do I go for the FE Distagon 35 or the Batis 25? Lens size is not an issue for me. The bokeh on both lenses is smoother than the pearlescent louche of your Val-de-Travers Bleue.
I do feel the 25mm FL is more versatile and the Batis color rendering stunning. But the Distagon has to be the most perfect 35 I have ever seen. Both lenses utilize the full range of features available with the A7rII.
It is indeed a great time to be a photographer! What to do? What to do?
So much excellent choice for Sony users at this focal length.
Got to say the Voigt 1.7 and Sony 1.4 are a tie as far as I’m concerned.
The 2.8 is next best. I own the 2.8 and love it for its lightness.
Last would be the Loxia for me.
But all are just
Thanks for the review, Steve. As a Bessa user, along with their 40mm, I’m partial towards the Voigtlander brand…and this was useful.
My only gripe is their 46mm filter threads…rather than a 39 or 43mm. 🙁 As a b/w film shooter, I use the often. Trivial, I know. But it’s the reason why I passed on their Nokton 1.5 and got the Zeiss 50/2 instead. But 1.7, with character, and under $1k…it’s strongly being considered.
Steve, which camera and lens you used to take the shot of the 35 1.7 and 35 1.4 ZM on your palm and the 35mm collections?
Sony A7RII with the Sony 28 f/2 at f/2 😉
Steve, thanks for this brief review. What baffles me is that you don’t mention the very obvious curvature of field. What’s the use of a nicely blurred background if the blur is limited to the center of the image?
I addressed my thoughts on this in a previous comment. Thank you!
Well, this blog is for geeks. Most people don’t see various chromatic aberrations or distortion either. Although, if a non geek might look at the image of your dog shot from above they might wonder why the carpet is so fuzzy in the middle and so defined along the edges. Joke aside, I think that just because field curvature is a common problem of lenses, especially Leica lenses, one shouldn’t accept this optical flaw as one that doesn’t matter. Else you might as well say heavy distortion is just a feature, not a flaw, etc. But what’s the point of reviewing lenses then? Making people buy them through your links?
Nah, this blog is for photographers, gear lovers and photo lovers. Techie sites like Loyd’s are for geeks…which includes silly things that do not matter for real photography. I have ever written technical reviews, for a reason. This site was started nearly 8 years ago with real world use reviews, and how it will always be. I hate those technical reviews for so many reasons, which is what motivated me too start this site many years ago. Now with 80-100k visitors a day I would say people like it 🙂 The field curvature of this lens will NEVER EVER be an issue for a real photo hanging on a wall. If you want sharp corner to corner I would not use this lens but instead would use something mire clinical and perfect. This lens is about character, and it has a nice amount of it. The Leica 35 Summilux that comes in at 5X the cost has field curvature but it is always RAVED about. Why is that? Hmmmm. Anyway, it is what it is, and this site will not be changing to a technical site…ever.
I really don’t see how these concerns are mutually exclusive. Many shooters would like an all-round 35. Most great work by 35s over the years as not been wide open. Do you have to be a techie to want a landscape lens which can be edge to edge sharp? Any one who loves lenses wants to compare them, not just in luxy dreamy mode, but through the aperture range and especially in the case of Sony, at infinity, as well as close. You don’t have to go full lloyd LOL.
I tell you what ALOT of sony users want to know, can I ditch the 35/2.8 native for the ultron as an everyday all-round shooter ? Is that a techie question? No, it’s the question of a responsible photographer.
You once compared the CV 28/2 to the Leica 28/2 very clearly. Now we have ferocious anti-lloyd.
Oh well, love you anyway 🙂
Thanks Steve for this interesting review! Would you consider the Voigtlander also for m43? As an alternative to a 45 1.8?
No, Id take the 45 1.8 for M 4/3. I am not a fan of M glass on M 4/3 due to the focal length doubling – you are not getting a 35 nor a 70…in FL yes, a 70 equiv but its never the same on M 4/3 using a lens like this. You lose most of the character of it.
Thanks for your reply, Steve! Very interesting, I never thought about lens character in this respect.
Steve, can you compare it somehow to the MFT + Voigtlander 17.5mm F0.95, which has roughly the same DoF? Sharpness is not my main concern, rather colors, pop etc.
This is not a M 4/3 lens, nor the same focal length. The 17.5 is a true 17.5 and behaves like a 17.5 except the focal length is doubled on M 4/3 so it would be a 35mm equiv for focal length. Sort of. This lens is a 35mm, on a Micro 4/3 would be a 70mm. 100% different lens, so not meant to compare as these would be opposite focal lengths on M 4/3.
Thanks for the reply, Steve. I am aware of the impact the sensor size has 😉 Hence, I wanted to get your impression how the 35 F1.8 equivalent for MFT – being the Voigtlander 17.5mm – compares to the V 35mm on fullframe.
I think thats what Marcel was asking, to compare this on the A7Rii to the Voigtlander 17.5 on an M4/3 body. One of those “just for fun” comparisons, but it rather depends on you still having a Voigt 17.5
Hi Steve and thank you for the review. I saw you have some “Blue” at home : )
I’m the happy owner of the Ultron 35 in chrome version, curiously, the hood is still not available here in Switzerland. How dos is stand?
About the performance of the lens On Leica M and M9 it’s outstanding. Compared to the Zeiss Biogon f2, the Nokton 35 f1.2 and to the Summicron 35 f2 Asph, this lens shines. The sharpness is here, and not only. IMHO, a great choice.
Steve, you don’t mention field curvature as an issue. It is pretty significant and shows very clearly in your shot of your buddy in the South Central Gym. Look at the writing on the wall (!). It is much sharper on the left side where the word “Home” is a little blurry but readable. The words to the middle become much less sharp.
That’s because I do not see it as an issue with a lens like this. Many Leica’s do this as well including the legendary 35 Summilux 1.4 ASPH that many paid several thousands for and raved on as the best 35mm lens ever. It is part of the look of the lens, and doesn’t bother me in the slightest, as it is part of the character of the lens. Many lenses do this. Ones that do not have an almost analytical look to me, and that is good for some cases but for every day, portraits or what have you, will not be an issue. I could print that image in 20X30 and hang it on my wall and have 100 everyday people look at it. Id bet you $1,000 not one of them would say “there is field curvature in that image”. 🙂 Only photo geeks see it. Really.
However, If you put your subject toward the side of the composition and do a focus/reframe with an M, the field curvature will render them out of focus, correct?
I dunno Steve, to see it quite clearly on my monitor at about 5 by 7 inches makes it really noticeable. At 20 by 30 that would be an awful lot of blurriness hanging on your wall.. I can see this being a problem in real life use for lots of subject matter.
At a gallery setting, 100 everyday people may not say “there is field curvature”. Because they are not familiar with that expression. But they may think “that pic is kinda blurry” and move on to buy something else.
As an aside, isn’t this website for photo geeks?
No this website is for gear geeks..if you want techie geeky stuff go see loyd. 🙂
Dear Steve: Not relative to this lens-(but I don’t know how to reach you otherwise). I am a user of the Canon “Dream Lens” (50mm 0.95). I hear Mitakon is coming out with a Speedmaster 25mm 0,95 by October for my Lumix m4/3 collection. Please see if you can review it if possible. I won’t order it without your review in hand and am ready to order it. Many thanks- V. Roger Rubin (email@example.com)
You can always use the handy dandy contact form at the top of any page 😉 if they send one to me I will review it! They have for there last two premium lenses, so hopefully I will get one to check out. Thank you!
Steve, Last year you praised the then new Voigtlander 35mm Nokton 1.2 You didn’t compare this one to that. Is it your opinion that this lens is better in certain ways?
I did not have that lens here, but reviewed it 2-3 years ago, maybe 4! Id have to look back at that review. This one is MUCH smaller, does not go to f/1.2 but performs beautifully from 1.7 on. The 1.2 is a but soft at 1.2 then sharpens up at 1.4. The 35 1.2 is nice. The 35 1.7 is also nice. It’s a matter if you want that extra bit of speed, though I do feel this lens is technically a little better.
Steve, thanks again for another exciting review. just one quick question: would you prefer this lens (35 1.7) or the 1.2 II if they are at the same price?
Eek! I love both. Would have to have them side by side and use the 35 1.2 again to be sure. BUT as of now I would lean to the 35 1.7.
Personally, I’d lean the other way. The f/1.2 v.II can give you a vintage Noctilux look when wide open, but stop it down to f/2 and it’s as sharp as any modern lens. Being that the price is the same with the Nokton you have a lens with more versatility in the way you can render your images (without having to change a lens). That’s just my 2¢.
Thanks for one more good review Steve. I had ZM 35/1.4 briefly with my A7ii. Absolutely loved that. The colours, the sharpness. It shines when it’s bright and it shines when its dark too. It was so good, that I was tempted to sell my RX1R for that. However, I decided to keep RX1R as that is really a small set-up for 35mm full frame. Compared to that A7ii and any 35mm is much larger and heavier.
The RX1R is a legend, nothing quite like it out there really besides the Leica Q, and even that does not replicate what the RX1 does. Good choice!
Thanks for the review. So Steve, do Cosina and Zeiss lenses sometimes come from the same factory? For Voigtlander to step up in quality like this, perhaps they share the same glass?
I heard they are made in the same factory but have no validation of that.
Cosina make all manual focus Japanese made Zeiss. It is unsure who makes the AF versions, because Cosina do not have access to the individual manufacturers AF designs. Some say Fuji, but definitely not Cosina I have had that confirmed.
Thanks Steve! Apparently this new lens is right up there with the very best – that is a very impressive performance. I am actually considering to get to 35mm (film) photography again because of this lens.
I understand that perhaps more people are buying A7R2’s then Leica M’s….but still I would like to see some of these comparisions done on a Leica M which is what they are designed for. For example, is the new Voigtlander that good, or does it just perform better on a Sony sensor?? WouId we see the same results shot on an M?? I assume you sold your M, but if not maybe a brief follow up article to this one?? None-the-less interesting comparision.
I will do a follow up soon. Thank you.
I’m pretty surprised that a leica mount lens has not been reviewed on a leica body!
Ive done it before 😉 I will also update this when using it on the M..so its coming.
I have this lens on the M in use and i am really happy. Steve mentioned the colors that he thinks are better than what he would have expected from a Voigtländer lens… On the M colors are superb. Sharpness is incredible. But the reason this is the first Voigtländer lens i ever bought is the jump in color rendition. To me colors look even better than with the Nokton 1.5 asph. A whole new level for Voigtländer. I hope you will give the lens some time on the M Steve and share your experience.
I find the same for the A7RII – I have the Nokton 50mm f1.5 and now the new 35mm f1.7 Ultron. The Ultron seems even better in colors and bokeh than the 50mm Nokton. However, I have not yet done a direct tri-pod mounted comparison between the two lenses, but I’m seriously impressed with the Ultron.
than you for this review. The Voigtländer is really an interesting Lens, really good, but for me thebSony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon is the best 35 Lens ever although it is huge, but compared to a DSLR it is still smaller and lighter.
Best regards from Germany,
Great review, Steve! The Ultron looks like a terrific lens, but mostly your review has validated my purchase of the Sony/Zeiss 35 f1.4 Distagon. It’s just a crazy good piece of glass.
It 100% is! That Sony 35 1.4 is stunning.