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Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2 for Nikon - impressions sought and which version?
Old 06-12-2019   #1
CharlesDAMorgan
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Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2 for Nikon - impressions sought and which version?

I went out on Saturday for some street photography (mainly also to try out some Fujicolor 200). I took a Bessaflex with a 35mm Flektogon and a 50mm Zeiss Ultron, both of which are gorgeous lenses. I hardly used the Ultron - 50mm is just a bit too long, and all my 35mm shots are just a bit wide.

As I like the 40mm Canon F2.8 pancake for focal length and size, I was wondering about the Voigtlander 40mm f2 Ultron for Nikon - fast, small and seemingly well built, and well rated.

Looking around there appear to be three versions - the SL aspherical, the SL II and the SL II S.

Is there any fundamental difference in results between them, and how generally do users rate them?

Help, as always, much appreciated!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-12-2019   #2
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There are actually 4 versions. The original has the Nikon aperture prongs/ears thing that allows it to meter w the old Nikon cameras like Nikkormat ftn, Nikon F2s etc. After that they all became chipped so work in P and S modes w any film or digital Nikon that supports that. Lost the aperture prong though.
The optics are the same in all of them, just cosmetic changes. I have the 2nd version which has a rubber covered focus ring. 3rd v changed that to metal scalloped. v4 completely restyled it to make it look more classic but also lost the pancake size.
First 3 versions came w really cool small lens hoods, current version is larger and a separate purchase. The v2 and v3 also came with a really nice close focus lens attachment.

Optically the lens is superb and a delight to use. I find it much nicer than my Nikon 45 2.8 AI-P.
Ken Rockwell actually has a very good review of the Voigtlander. Seriously.
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Old 06-12-2019   #3
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Taken with the CV 40mm f2 on Fuji C200 w/ Nikon FE2




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Old 06-12-2019   #4
CharlesDAMorgan
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Thanks very much Huss, and super shots. While I've never had a problem with Ken Rockwell's reviews, it's always better to get a regular shooter's impression.

I'll need to decide if I ever intend to get an older Nikon, my oldest is a F2AS, so that might be a factor.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-12-2019   #5
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No experience with the lens, but it looks like the latest (?) version regained the rabbit ears?
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mm_f_2_sl.html

This version released in 2017 has the same optical design, but a new helicoid that reduced the minimum focus:
https://nikonrumors.com/2017/08/17/n...nnounced.aspx/
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Old 06-12-2019   #6
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The F2as does not need the meter prong. So i would
get a chipped one for flexibility.
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Old 06-12-2019   #7
CharlesDAMorgan
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Thanks Dourbalister too.

Looks like one of the chipped ones is the best for my plans.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-12-2019   #8
Alex1416
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I am no expert in Nikon SLR systems and their differences in mounting certain lenses. But i jumped on one of these lenses online so that i could use it on my F3. Thankfully it mounted perfect and shows the apertures through the viewfinder and everything. It is such a joy to use this lens. It is small and light. Almost makes the F3 feel like one of my Rangefinders. And the big surprise is that the images it produces are amazing. Super sharp wide open like Leica lenses. And the 40mm is such a versatile lens to use. You can get a little wide like a 35mm lens, but at the right distances, it gives nice subject separation like a 50mm.

This is the only image i have online at the moment. It does not show how much detail this lens produces. I will try to upload more eventually.
Nikon F3 + Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F2 + Kodak Gold 200 Scanned with Canon 6D and 100mm macro. by Alex Aguilera, on Flickr
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Old 06-12-2019   #9
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This lens was earlier made for several camera mounts including Canon, Olympus OM, Pentax K and M42, etc. as well as Nikon, all optically the same. I have the Pentax K mount version, and I like the look. Mine has the dome-shaped hood with rectangular opening, leaving the lens very compact.


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Old 06-12-2019   #10
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I had the version 3 which is the all metal barrel with CPU chips. Mounted on a F2AS was a perfect combo. In fact, I would nominate say this combo as the most indestructible there is as far as tank-like build quality. The shallowness of the lens body is great for smaller packages and as noted in this thread it almost makes an SLR handle like a rangefinder. The inverted lens hood is also excellent. But more importantly, the images it produced for me are of the highest order. Especially good (compared to Leica) is the MFD of 38cm (or 24cm with the adapter). I miss this combo so much but, alas, sold it as I could not justify two 35mm kits with the amount of time I have (or do not have) to actually shoot. This lens is worth every penny. Avoid the version with the rubber focus ring. The all metal versions as true lifetime lenses.
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Old 06-12-2019   #11
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I have version 3 with the scalloped metal focusing ring. Silky smooth focusing and handling, great image quality. Highly recommended.
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Old 06-12-2019   #12
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The first version with bayonet hood is superbly made, up there with the Contarex lenses of the 1960's. Personally I find the second version (rubber focus ring) the most easy to use. The latest, 4th version has a new barrel which made the lens longer and quite a bit heavier, which kinda defeats the purpose.

Optically it's excellent, and rather amazingly, it's a true Ultron design.
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Old 06-12-2019   #13
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I had the M42 version, used it on a Pentax MX. Great size, silky operation, lovely lens. Only complaints were some kooky distortion which was noticeable when photographing geometric stuff. Surprisingly hard to fix, so I ended up building a custom profile for it in LR. Other than that, totally amazing lens.
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Old 06-12-2019   #14
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Wonderful information and photos, thank you!

I've seen the first type advertised and that looks very much like my original Zeiss Ultron 50mm f1.8 M42, which is a stunning lens in every way but for the weight.

Time to do some hunting for the second. While I like close focus capability (the joy of my Flektogon is it actually focusses to 11cm rather than the 20cm specified) it isn't really my thing for street and finding a set with the close up lens is probably adequate. Thus keeping size to a minimum.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-13-2019   #15
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Precisely one lens available that I can find in the UK, the latest model, and attached to an F4 that needs a new finder.

I shall keep hunting, I'm keen to avoid buying in from Japan or the US (where 90% seem to be) as one effectively adds 30% to the price in duties, VAT and handling charges.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-13-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
if little photo critique is allowed, sun here looks quite unreal. I'd either crop or edit it out from picture. rest of photo looks nice.
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Old 06-13-2019   #17
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Quote:
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if little photo critique is allowed, sun here looks quite unreal. I'd either crop or edit it out from picture. rest of photo looks nice.
Thanks for the comment! I thought the sun related to the sunflowers in the field. Maybe that relationship didn't work. The sky is full of smoke from forest fires...
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Old 06-13-2019   #18
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Quote:
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Thanks for the comment! I thought the sun related to the sunflowers in the field. Maybe that relationship didn't work. The sky is full of smoke from forest fires...
relationship is fine, but sun itself looked unreal (to me). it looks like highlights have been significantly pulled back in post process (again, looks to me ).
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Old 06-14-2019   #19
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Excellent, found a version 3 (metal rim but still pancake) in Spain, so no additional duties to pay, so just had my offer accepted.

Keen to try out an equally compact camera for street work I found a working EM with new batteries for peanuts. I can live with aperture priority, the viewfinder is large and bright and so light and simple.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-14-2019   #20
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I think the fourth version focuses down to 0.25m compared to 0.38m, but you have the close up lens to make up for that in the V2 and V3 plus I like the mini hood.

I have the third version myself and it’s a perfect match for my FM3a and other F bodies. I have their 20mm pancake too. I think they make for a really great travel pair, those two lenses and my FM3a+FM2n fit into a tiny 5L bag and don’t weigh much at all.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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I was fortunate to come across the latest version with the silver nose that focuses to 0.25m. What a fantastic lens! Looks like a vintage Nikkor and the very close focus and focal length offer so much flexibility. Great for film and great adapted to Fuji...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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I previously owned the version 1 and used it on my F, F2 and FM3A bodies I previously owned at the time. Truly wonderful little lens and exceptionally well built. It's a delight to use!

Here's a couple shots from the FM3A and Fuji Superia 200

Sunset Drive. by Abram Goglanian, on Flickr

Strut. by Abram Goglanian, on Flickr
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
I went out on Saturday for some street photography (mainly also to try out some Fujicolor 200). I took a Bessaflex with a 35mm Flektogon and a 50mm Zeiss Ultron, both of which are gorgeous lenses. I hardly used the Ultron - 50mm is just a bit too long, and all my 35mm shots are just a bit wide.

As I like the 40mm Canon F2.8 pancake for focal length and size, I was wondering about the Voigtlander 40mm f2 Ultron for Nikon - fast, small and seemingly well built, and well rated.

Looking around there appear to be three versions - the SL aspherical, the SL II and the SL II S.

Is there any fundamental difference in results between them, and how generally do users rate them?

Help, as always, much appreciated!
While I can't compare it, I've had the SL on my F3 for a couple of years, it never leaves the body.




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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Lovely photos, thank you!

Mine has been posted from Spain, and I can't wait, although with current weather it won't be getting much use.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
CharlesDAMorgan
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Just got the 50mm Nikkor f1.8 pancake lens from Japan. What a beautifully made and finished lens - again another Ken Rockwell recommendation. 4 days delivery too as it fell below the duty threshold.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Just arrived and what a beautiful lens! Lovely construction and materials. Just that tiniest bit shorter than the 50mm Nikkor f1.8 pancake, both shown below. The weekend offers plentiful shooting opportunities if I can rest my foot enough.



Compared with the lenses they will replace in my kit bag

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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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After getting this 40, I want to try the 58/1.4...anyone have that one? Not meaning to thread hijack....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
I was fortunate to come across the latest version with the silver nose that focuses to 0.25m. What a fantastic lens! Looks like a vintage Nikkor and the very close focus and focal length offer so much flexibility. Great for film and great adapted to Fuji...
Sweet lens but I much prefer the black nose versions as they theoretically will have a lower tendency to flare. There is a reason that the inside of lens hoods are black, not silver!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Just arrived and what a beautiful lens! Lovely construction and materials. Just that tiniest bit shorter than the 50mm Nikkor f1.8 pancake, both shown below. The weekend offers plentiful shooting opportunities if I can rest my foot enough.



Compared with the lenses they will replace in my kit bag

Congrats, looks great! You'll love using them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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Sweet lens but I much prefer the black nose versions as they theoretically will have a lower tendency to flare. There is a reason that the inside of lens hoods are black, not silver!
The glass is pretty recessed so this is likely entirely theoretical. I like the vintage look!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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After getting this 40, I want to try the 58/1.4...anyone have that one? Not meaning to thread hijack....
Yes, I have that one too, also in Pentax KA mount. Cannot explain why but I find it more frequently useful than the 40...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
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Took it out for a spin on the Nikon FE to Notting Hill this morning. Rather lovely rendering with TriX, and a super little lens. Ideal for street shooting, no cropping needed on any photo so far. Colour to follow!





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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Yes, I have that one too, also in Pentax KA mount. Cannot explain why but I find it more frequently useful than the 40...
There's something about the AOV of 58mm FL that lends itself better to portraits; tighter by just the right amount. Found this to be the case with the NOCT Nikkor as well, over standard 50mm lenses.
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