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Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review

The Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical is a very fast, manual-focus, short standard prime lens for Sony Alpha 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras. It features an aperture range of f/1.2-f/22 and a ten-bladed circular diaphragm for smoother bokeh blur in out-of-focus areas. The lens is comprised of 8 elements in 6 groups, has a precision-engineered full-metal casing, and weighs in at 420 grams. The Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical is priced at £749 / $1059 / 999 Euros.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 70mm and a length of 59mm, the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical is a slightly shorter than standard fixed focal length optic that feels perfectly balanced on Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera bodies, such as the A7R II that we tested it with, weighing in at 420g. It is also compatible with Sony APS-C cameras like the A6500, where it will produce a 60mm equivalent focal length.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens alongside a Sony A7R II

The Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical boasts superb build quality, with all markings being both engraved and painted. The lens has an all-metal casing and features a metal E-mount bayonet. With no need for a zoom ring, the manual focusing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale. It also has a generous rotation angle which helps to enable precise focusing and it moves smoothly without any play at all. The precise engravings in meters and feet, together with the depth of focus scale, help make manual focusing a veritable pleasure, especially in conjunction with the excellent peaking and focus magnification features offered by the Sony A-series cameras.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe side of the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe front of the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe rear of the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens

The Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical has 8 lens elements in 6 groups, including two aspherical elements to achieve greater sharpness. A ten-bladed rounded diaphragm, combined with the very fast maximum aperture, helps provide lovely smooth bokeh blur.

A manual aperture ring is located at the end of the lens barrel, with clickable 1/3EV stops ranging from f/1.2 to f/22. A second small ring directly in front of the aperture ring lets you select whether the aperture ring clicks into place at each aperture stop or rotates smoothly for silent operation during movie recording. Simply rotate it by 180 degrees until the yellow marker is on top to make it clickless, perfect for video use.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe side of the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe side of the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens

Very usefully, the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical has electronic contacts so that it can communicate fully with the camera body, which means that EXIF data is saved and features like focus magnification, in-camera image stabilization and lens corrections can be used. There’s no optical image stabilisation actually built into the lens, but the short focal length and very fast maximum aperture alleviate the need for it. A high quality removable metal circular-shaped lens hood is supplied in the box, which can be fitted by screwing it into the 58mm threads on the front of the lens.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens in-hand

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalThe Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

The 40mm focal length gives an angle of view of 55 degrees on a 35mm full frame sensor.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton AsphericalField of view at 40mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is the biggest optical issue with the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical, with lot of instances of prominent purple fringing in our test shots, as shown in the examples below.

Light Fall-off and Distortion

Light fall-off is very noticeable wide open at f/1.2, though this is to be expected for such a fast lens and can easily be corrected in Photoshop. Stop down to f/5.6 and the vignetting is already less prominent, but it is still visible when shooting pale scenes that fill the frame.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical

Macro

The 35cm / 1.15′ minimum focus distance and maximum magnification of 0.16 makes the lens reasonably useful for shooting close subjects.

Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical

Bokeh

A major appeal of fast, wide-aperture prime lenses is their ability to produce an eye-catching separation between a sharp subject and a very soft out-of-focus background. The Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical generates smooth out of focus areas through its use of a ten-bladed diaphragm, which provides smoother bokeh than nine, seven or five-blade designs. Bokeh is however a fairly subjective part of a lens’ image quality, so check out these 100% crops to see the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical’s bokeh quality for yourself.

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Thank you for your interest to visit this page Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review. I hope this review can be an additional reference for you.

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