Purchase Voigtländer Ultron 40/2 SLII

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bjorncarlen|1, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone!
    I'm considering buying a new Voigtländer 40/2. The reason being I want something very portable to carry with me daily on my D600.
    An alternative would be to get a new compact camera, like the Fujifilm x-20, which would cost about the same.
    What say you? Am I wrong to refrain from autofocus and zooming possibilities, in favor of the first class sensor of the D600? Or is there any other option out there, I mean some other pancake like glass with about the same focal length, that you would prefer to the Ultron? I know about the Nikkor 45/2.8 P, but it's very hard to find here.
    Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. I have one and have used it some on my D800E. It compact and is rather good optically considering its small size and low cost. It’s definitely not as good as my Zeiss 35mm/2 Distagon ZF.2, but is much more compact. The Voigtländer 40mm/2 is soft in the corners wide open due to coma, but gets much better just one stop down at f/2.8. At night the coma makes small light sources that are away from the center of the image look like 3 pointed caltrops at f/2. It’s more useable at f/2.8-f/11 if you want a higher definition image.
     
  3. Look it up on Photozone.de they tested it.
     
  4. Look it up on Photozone.de they tested it. Did OK, but resolution wasn't that exceptional.
    I would rather have a wider and faster lens like the Full Frame Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM.
    Autofocus, fast and quiet HSM motor, low distortion, good Bokeh, higher by a lot resolution.
    If size mattered to you why a FF dslr. You went for a camera with lots of resolution, why
    not get glass that brings out the sensors ability.
     
  5. What's the particular attraction of a "pancake" lens anyway? It's not like the 1cm or so less extension over, say, Nikon's perfectly good 50mm f/1.8 is a make-or-break thing. It's not going to make a camera the size of a D600 any less obtrusive for candid work, or make a noticeable difference to the weight of the combination. If you're worried about saving that amount of weight, just take the loose change out of your pocket!
    Then there's Nikon's Series E 50mm f/1.8 or late model Ai-S 50mm f/1.8 as non-AF and compact options.
     
  6. Then there's Nikon's Series E 50mm f/1.8 or late model Ai-S 50mm f/1.8 as non-AF and compact options.​
    Seconded. I can't say I have one yet, but I've been tempted to get one for a long time for my D700. They're not much bigger than the 45 f/2.8 P and a fraction of the price, yet (I believe, and coatings aside) identical optically to the AF-D 50mm f/1.8. Which is admittedly no AF-S, but still a good lens when stopped down a bit. I don't really understand why Nikon made the two autofocus f/1.8 50mm lenses have such a recessed front element (the same goes to Tamron with the non-VC 90mm macro). I'm all for using a hood, but designing the lens so that the "hood" is part of it (and not in a "retractable like the 135 f/2 or 300 f/4" way) is annoying.
     
  7. If MFing is not a big deal for you this CV 40/2 is a fine performer on D600. It has a great build quality, very smooth focus ring and delivers great IQ. There are a few shortcomings like the busy bokeh and the corner softness wide open but for the most application it is a very solid performer advantaged by its small size and affordable cost. Sometimes when I go out I simply take it on my D600, altogether with CV 20/3.5 Color Skopar and the legendary Nikon 105/2.5 AI-S and I am served.
     
  8. The 45 P is sharper way farther into the corners than the 40/2 (at least the samples I've tried).
    I've gotten the 45/2.8P for a really compact lens for my D800 - central 2/3rds of the frame don't disappoint wide open and stopped down it's sharp all the way out until the very farthest corners. Crop it to a 50mm FOV and it's excellent all the way to the corners.
    Really makes the D800 much more packable than with the 50/1.8G.
    I owned a 40/2 SL-II in my DX days and it was fantastic - not so much on FX . . .
    John
     
  9. If the size difference between a 50mm f1.8 and a 40mm f2 is that big a deal, I'd look hard at the X20 (or an X10 while they're available at a discount). That's a legit jacket pocket camera.
     
  10. There are several comments about the size difference between the CV 40/2 and various Nikon 50s, but 40mm is notably wider than 50mm. If you want a small lens and a wider view, then it's more meaningful to compare it with 35mm options.
    In that case, the Sigma 35/1.4 may be quite nice, but it's also quite large. The Nikkor 35/2 manual focus lens is nice, but also a fair bit larger. The 35/2 AF Nikkor is smaller than the manual focus Nikkor, but not as nice a lens, and it's still bigger than the CV 40. The 35/2 Zeiss is a brilliant lens, but it's huge and quite heavy.
    All of which leaves a nice niche for the CV 40/2: the same size as the short version of the 50/1.8, with a wider view. Mihai mentioned busy bokeh, but to me it seems usually better behaved than the various Nikon 50/1.8 lenses. And like he said, this lens goes nicely with one of the small longer lenses, like 105/2.5 or 85/2.
     
  11. The 40mm is closer to the 35mm than a 50. 35mm was always a walk around lens for the famous street photogs.
    The Zeiss and the Sigma I have seen several exacting tests. The verdict is the Sigma is better
    in the corners, is totally modern AF lens, helpful for catching the moment. The other thing I saw in the tests is that the Sigma has better resolution wide open and up to say f4 than the Zeiss
    which is better past f4. If I am buying a f1.4 lens for low light, I want the lens that is best
    wide open. Both are big because they are fast FF lenses. Like someone said a D600
    is not going to disappear just because you put a small lens on it. Since we have a frugal
    side the fact that the Sigma is so much less money than the Zeiss yet gives up nothing
    in image, build, handling to the Zeiss makes it the clear winner IMHO.
     
  12. Look at the old Ai/AiS Nikon 35/2.8 lenses available used; Less than US$100 often, and the good ones have decent image quality, however a little shy of the latest 35/1.4G, 28/1.8G, etc.
     
  13. Thanks for your response, all of you!
    I read the photozone.de review, but I'm not all that convinced. The test is based on use on an aps-c sensor, not full frame.
    The issues about bokeh makes me think once or twice. Maybe I should follow the advice to get a 50/1.8 AiS, the later
    model. I have the earlier type as well as the stellar 35/1.4 AiS, but i find them both too protruding for the purpose I have in
    mind. What about the series E, is it as unobtrusive as the later AiS one?
    Perhaps I'll wait until I find a good used, hopefully affordable, 45/2.8P somewhere. Think I'll have a look at the X20 first,
    though.
     
  14. OK, Everyone responding about the lens, now for the Fuji X20 ( new version of the X10..)
    A very nice little camera, but with 1 drawback.. : No good RAW ( RAF ) support....
    Tthe real drawback with the X-sensors from Fuji is that they are all different (x10 is different from X20 is different from X100 etc...), and require different de-mosaiking routines. The RAW development routine versions from Adobe are dissapointing and buggy, and DxO gave up on it all together. Best job is still done by RAW Therapy i think..
    To compensate for that the RAW processor which is build into these little cam's has not been beaten by any independend software producer, but this is probably due to the fact that Fuj will not share with the software produces how the demosaiking a;gorithm fotr these sensors realy should be done..
    Apart from this i like My X- camera'sa lot , the X20 better than the X10 for its better AF-ing at lo light..
     
  15. Well, there is no such things as a perfect lens... :) While photozone share a "so-so" perspective about CV 40 others are raving about it. Without to test it personally its difficult to decide. Lloyd Chambers says that CV40 outresolves the Nikkor 24-70 @ f/5.6. He is one that speaks very appreciative about this lens. Also Thom Hogan use this lens.

    Also, one extra thing that I like about this lens: the small front element resists flare very. Also it comes with a screw-in close-focus lens that's very helpful at times.

    I have and love a lot 45/2.8 AI-P - but for me is very important the speed of CV. One extra f-stop is very important for my shooting style and I really do not care about corner softness when shooting street scenes in the night. I also own 35/2 AI-S and the pancake version of 50/1.8 AI-S. They are bigger than CV40, does not include a CPU (which is very nice for me) and, at least for my copies, wide open does not compete with CV.

    At the end is a matter of compromise... but if you do the "mistake" to test this lens 99% you'll end by loving it.
     
  16. The Series E lens is alright and has an optical "formula" very similar to (or maybe the same as) small AIS, but the small AIS is better. It has noticeably better build quality, and better coatings on the glass.
     
  17. I find my 50mm. E series Nikon to be very compact and great IQ as well and dirt cheap which is a huge bonus!
     
  18. What's the particular attraction of a "pancake" lens anyway?​
    An advantage is that with a pancake the width of the camera + lens is pretty well the same as the width of the camera body alone. This is a great advantage if you want to put the camera in a briefcase as there is a lack of the large awkward protuberance. The weight issue is not significant. A 40mm focal length is a great compromise between the 50 and 35 too.
     
  19. An advantage is that with a pancake the width of the camera + lens is pretty well the same as the width of the camera body alone. This is a great advantage if you want to put the camera in a briefcase as there is a lack of the large awkward protuberance. The weight issue is not significant. A 40mm focal length is a great compromise between the 50 and 35 too.​
    +1 to that.
     
  20. Steven Keirstad wrote:
    At night the coma makes small light sources that are away from the center of the image look like 3 pointed caltrops at f/2. It’s more useable at f/2.8-f/11 if you want a higher definition image.​
    I have two images here which may show similar light effects like the ones you mean. First is a shot by my 24/2.8 Ai on D600 @f5.6 1/60 ISO1600.
    [​IMG]
    Then there's the 50/1.8 AiS, earlier version @f8 1/40 ISO3200, also on a D600.
    [​IMG]
    Is that approximately what you're talking about in the case of the Ultron 40/2?
     
  21. i wouldnt hesitate to get the CV 40 since its an intriguing and quirky option if you dont mind MF. seems like it has character as well as build quality and optical performance. i've thought about it for my FX camera but i need AF too much, so it's behind the sigma 35 for me right now in the future lens rankings.
     
  22. Björn Carlen wrote:
    Is that approximately what you're talking about in the case of the Ultron 40/2?​
    No, both of those pictures show lots of ghosting and starburst from the points of the iris. Steven is talking about smearing caused by spherical aberration (or overcompensation for spherical aberration).
     
  23. Ok. I get it. Thank you, John!
     
  24. I'd love to see some samples of those 3 pointed caltrops, though.
     
  25. Steven Keirstead wrote: At night the coma makes small light sources that are away from the center of the image look like 3 pointed caltrops at f/2.​
    I finally got my sample of the CV 40/2 SL-II. It's really well built, like others have pointed out before. I like the fact that the green manual focus dot on my D600 suddenly got reliable. With my AiS lenses it's not. Can it be because of the cpu chip?
    Steven, I think I found out what you mean by the caltrops. My example is shot in daylight, though. Is this what you mean - the somewhat triangular shaped pair of magenta colored artifacts near the lower border of the image.
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page