Saturday, September 17, 2011

Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4

Pink Roses -- NEX-5 & Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 @ f1.4. Click for larger

At last, my NEX-5 is back.  I picked it up from Sony's repair center this morning.  Sure enough, it now has a brand new LCD screen.  I will buy a screen cover for it tomorrow to prevent the coating from coming off again. I was, however, very disappointed to find the sensor covered with lots of dust.  Every time I had my camera serviced at Canon, they always cleaned the sensor, even without asking.  It would have been nice of Sony to do the same.  I am sure it won't take more than a minute of their time.

Also got a chance to try the Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 on the NEX-5.  I like how small but well built the Nokon is.  It's very sharp lens even wide open.  Very happy to find that with the 1.5x sensor, I don't see any vignetting at all even at f1.4.  It take a bit of getting used to to have aperture on the front and focusing ring at the back (like many c-mount cine lenses).  I did fumble a few times trying to focus and changed the aperture instead.  Natively at 40mm, it's equivalent to 60mm on theNEX-5, and I guess it's still considered a normal lens.  Due to its very short flange distance, the adapter is relatively thin which makes the lens look small, as opposed to SLR lenses where the adapter is very thick; even a pancake lens would look ridiculously large.

The only thing I don't like about the Nokton, is its 0.7m minimum focusing distance.

I can already see myself in trouble.  M-mount lenses are perfect for the NEX.  Just thinking about putting this lens on the NEX-7 with a gorgeous viewfinder increases my heart beat.  I just hope that I will go slow adding M-mount lenses.  My next target is likely a 12mm, or 15mm or a 21mm Voigtlander, since it's quite a bit cheaper than other makes.  The 35mm is too close to the 40mm I already have.

Heaven have mercy on me, and give me strength to resist emptying my account on M-mount lenses.


  1. There's an M adapter for the NEX which solves the MFD issue by including a short helical in the adapter. IIRC the manufacturer is HAWKS.

  2. Thankd Adam. Did a search and couldn't find one on eBay. I suspect it won't be cheap.

  3. Agreed with the comment on the 0.7m Minimum Focus Distance. Its actually a bit of a pain on the NEX. However the CV 21mm focuses down to 0.5m, and the 15mm down to 0.3m. Even at f4 that's enough to blur out the background on a NEX, even for such wide angle lenses. The CV 25mm only focuses down to 0.7m - one of the reasons I didn't really like it.