Saturday, August 3, 2013

Walking Around with the Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4

I think the NEX-6 is a perfect street camera. It's small and easy to carry, and most important of all, it has exceptionally good image quality. Pair it with a small fast lens, it's even better. The 40mm focal length of the Voitglander sits between mini-wide angle, and a standard 50mm lens. I think it's a good compromise. The usable f1.4 maximum aperture allows some low light captures, especially now that high ISO quality is very good, even at 6400, which opens up a lot of opportunities that were prohibitive just a few years ago. The only quibble I have with the Nokton is the focusing ring. Maybe I haven't used it enough, but I quite often have trouble finding the focusing ring without looking. But, that's easily overlooked with its other good qualities.

Hotdog vendor - NEX-6 & Voigtlander 40mm f1.4. Click for larger.

Field hockey - NEX-6 & Voigtlander 40mm f1.4. Click for larger.

Green - NEX-6 & Voigtlander 40mm f1.4. Click for larger.

University of Toronto Campus - NEX-6 & Voigtlander 40mm f1.4. Click for larger.

If not for her blue hair, this mannequin could easily fool many people as a real person, especially in dim lights  - NEX-6 & Voigtlander 40mm f1.4. Click for larger.


  1. Nice images of University of Toronto St. George Campus, my old school back in the '70s, it has not changed a whole lot.

    Am I seeing pinchushion/barrel distortion in the first image?

    The straight lines seem to have a slight curve.

    1. Most of the downtown campus buildings remain pretty much the same, but there is a lot of new development in the back campus, and possible other areas in the campus as well.

      I don't believe it's the lens. I think it has more to do with the angle I was shooting, and I did apply some correction in LR.

  2. I just googled for 40mm Voigtländer Nokton. This Ken Rockwell summary on this lens is too funny: get a girlfriend!
    ------- Ken Rockwell ---------
    So all in all, if you can't find a genuine 40mm SUMMICRON-C, this Voigtländer lens is great for the CL and CLE. Any other use constitutes foolishness on the part of people with too much time on their hands; get a girlfriend.
    Different topic, but, one thing I would have bet you will be writing about. The relaunch of the Petzval lens.
    What do you think about this approach? Will this brass lens succeed ? Which lens may come close to the image-look or image-mannerism this lens will produce? Old wine in new bottles? I am sure you have finished half the article. Regards!

    1. Well, you either love ken Rockwell, or you hate Ken Rockwell. I wouldn't take his reviews too seriously.

      The Petzval lens is already a success! If you check out their kickstarter project, they have already raised enough money to build the lens. Personally, I love the images from a Petzval lens, especially for portraits. Old wines are not always bad :)

  3. I also have the same pair, nex6 and this Nokton, and I have to say I love it. The character of the lens is unique and as you mentioned, image quality is brilliant.
    It is now my favorite MF lens to carry around, I even use it more often than Sony 1.8/50 Emount lens.