More with the Voigtlander 40 f/1.2 M mount and E mount!

More with the Voigtlander 40 f/1.2 M mount and E mount!

By Steve Huff

As a follow-up to the article from the other day I shot a little more with the Voigtlander 40 f/1.2 in both the M version and the E mount version. After the last quick test I wanted to see if there were truly differences between these lenses, optically. In a couple of the shots from that post, it appeared the Leica was giving a more shallow DOF than the Sony version. Some in the comments have suggested what may have caused this difference: “Since you are shooting both lenses at f1.2, I’m sure you were using high shutter speeds. It would be worth making sure that you have EFC (electric first curtain) or full electric shutter turned off on the aRIII. I’ve read forums and seen examples of how EFC affects the Bokeh with shutter speeds above 1/2000”

So I made sure those were off, and I tried again. This time, the differences were much more subtle which shows the Sony can affect bokeh of some lenses, in some situations. Interesting indeed.

Below are a few more snaps, and I will also have a review of the M mount as used on the M10 soon. I am heading to Vegas today for WPPI and a few other surprises, so will be updating from the road most of the week. Before you take a look at the images below, see this video with more on these two lenses. I LOVED the E Mount, and again, if you missed my review of that lens while I was in Whistler, Canada then it’s worth a look and is HERE.

I made a quick video on these lenses where I also share these snaps and discuss my thoughts…

Quick Comparison Images

NOTE: CLICK ON THE IMAGES to see Larger and Better versions. Not doing so means you will not see differences (if there are any) as these small versions are compressed highly. 

1st shot. The one thing I found with the E mount that has happened 2-3 times now is that it is easily switched to f/1.4 from f/1.2 so in this test it appeared the E mount was at f/1.4 though I thought it was f/1.2. Even so, the Leica version looks nice when wide open, and the Sony looks nice at 1.4. Both appear pretty similar with some slight differences in the output. Leica being a but more contrasty and the Sony less so. By these, the Sony looks a tad more dull but of course it could be made to look just like the Leica version with some tweaks in contrast and saturation. 

To me the Bokeh now looks the same between the two lenses. The Leica shot, again, has more pop and contrast as the is how it puts out a file. The Sony is more subdued but this is not a bad thing. In fact, it makes the file easily tweak-able during raw conversion. 

This is a shot of Debby with the Leica M10 with M mount, then Sony A7RIII with E mount, then Sony A7RIII with M mount! I will state that my preference here is with the M version of the lens on the Leica and Sony. My M mount version is not only half the size of the Sony mount but a bit sharper as well. 

So would I go with the E mount or M mount with Adapter if I was planning to use this lens on a Sony A series camera? Well, I would still go with the E mount and that is because it was made for the E mount and it has electrical contacts. This means your EXIF data will be recorded and the auto magnify will work when you go to focus. Of course, one could also go with the M mount and a Techart adapter that would allow Auto Focus and even Eye AF with the Sony ; ) See more on the Techart adapter HERE. I tested the very 1st version as well, and you can see that HERE. 

So far I am enjoying the Leica M experience again after not shooting with one for over a year. That was the longest stretch without a Leica I have had in over 11 years I think. While a Sony A7RIII will give me more tech features and pro features and versatility with all kinds of lenses and macro capabilities as well, the Leica offers something that no other camera besides the Hasselblad X1D (IME) can…and that is the romance, the love, more passion and fun with my photography. When you shoot a tool you really enjoy and love, it will show in your images and excitement to take them. While all I have done so far is do testing with the M (only had it for 2 days) I will be shooting with it this week, and also have a diopter on the way for my aging eyes.

I want to thank Stephen Gandy from CameraQuest for loaning me both of these lenses for a long-term tryout. If you are looking for Voigtlander lenses, he is the man. 

The M10 came to me from Ken Hansen ( but can also be bought at B&H Photo, or even Amazon.

Yes, the M10 is now in stock almost everywhere and you can even find a killer deal if you look for one ; )

More to come! Will have updates on the M10, the review for the 40 1.2 M mount, and some other new things soon!

RESOURCES AND LINKS: Sony A7RIII Info/Thoughts, Leica M10 Part 1 and part 2 review, Hasselblad X1D 4 Part Review starts HERE, Voigtlander 40 1.2 E Mount Review HERE.



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  1. Hi Steve,
    i like to know, from your perspective, was the experience with the E-Mount version better with the EVF on the Sony A7R3 or on the A7-3 ?

    I’ve currently my eyes set on this lens and my personal experience with my Voigtlander 17,5 for mft is nothing short of amazing.


    • I wold buy the E mount if using it with a Sony camera. It offers a better experience and is made for the Sony mount so we get auto magnify when focusing, and EXIF data.

      • Sorry,
        but i meant to know if u felt the EVF on the A7RIII was better then on the A7III, using the Voigtlander Lens when manual focusing.

        Sorry for the misunderstanding

        • Definitely better for manual focusing but at the expense of battery life and cash ofcourse. Having said that, the A7III is not much worse either; quite easy to focus when zoomed in

  2. My opinion remains the same as it did after the earlier comparison–the M version is clearly better than the E version. However, I would also say that the M version on the M10 is superior to the M version on the A7Riii, but by a lesser margin. The M10 portrait of Debbie has more of a 3D quality and seems more lifelike.

  3. I bought both these lenses when they came out and far prefered the m-mount. You just have so much more versitility with it. You should try it on your A7R3 with a techart adapter and you get eye AF! Also on a side note you get auto magnification on the M10 with this lens

  4. Hello Steve. Always interesting, those comparisons. BTW, I guess the shots of Debby were done handheld? I ask this because of the smaller field of view of the E-mount lens on the Sony, compared to the VM. I wonder it’s due to the slightly different distance from the subject or the slightly different view angle of the lens.

  5. Hi Steve, love your work.
    I am wondering if the E mount version focuses closer or only just as close as the M mount version? If their minimum focus are the same, other than the Techart Pro adapter providing M mount lens with AF, same as having a manual helicordal adapter, they would also provide close focusing capabilities to M mount lenses.

  6. Thanks for the shots Steve. Will you still do a direct comparison between the two lenses on the A7RIII though?

    • Both! Lol. Kidding. Which one would depend on what you like and shoot. The M is not as versatile or feature packed, is manual focus only and expensive as it gets for full frame 35mm. It uses a mechanical rangefinder that is old school but adds to the experience. The Sony will do whatever you need but it is a different experience. For me the Leica wins easily for the camera that is the most fun to shoot. It’s an experience that is different than any other digital camera. But it’s not good for things such as macro, telephoto, and of course, no video ; ) So all depends on what you like and want in a camera.

        • Oh sorry! Well, If you own both and M and A7rII go for the M mount for sure. This way you can use it on both, and possibly get a slightly sharper lens. It’s also smaller, and this copy is slightly sharper than the E mount version I have here.

  7. Hi Steve, congratulations with your all new Leica M10. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. The Leica M10 is the best camera I have ever owned or used, analog or digital.

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