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Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


FM Review: Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II VM
The Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II VM is now in stock:

Type II (Brass painted black): CameraQuest | B&H Photo | Adorama

Type II (Brass painted chrome): CameraQuest | B&H Photo | Adorama

Type I ((Black & Chrome Retro): CameraQuest | B&H Photo


_________


Review quick links:

  1. About the lens
  2. Infinity Performance on the Leica M10-R vs Sony A7R IV
  3. Infinity Performance on the Leica M10-R vs Leica SL2
  4. Infinity Performance compared to Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM
  5. Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron (Version II)
  6. Induced Field Curvature on Sony bodies
  7. Chromatic aberration control: Axial CA and Lateral CA
  8. Rendering compared to Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron (Version II)
  9. Sunstar rendering and Flare resistance
  10. Distortion
  11. Sagittal Coma Flare performance
  12. Samples 1
  13. Samples 2
  14. Samples 3
  15. Samples 4
  16. Samples 5
  17. Samples 6
  18. Samples 7



Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Sample Images from FM Members:

  1. @Arvaker: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4
  2. @mapgraphs: Sample 1
  3. @naturephoto1 : Sample 1


__________

FM Review: Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II VM - Intro:

The 28mm lens we have been waiting for?

The new Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II just started shipping and we got our hands on a review copy today. Thankfully, it passed our excruciating centering test which leads me to believe it's an optimal review copy.










Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II with LH-4N hood




It has an entirely new optical design compared to its predecessor but curiously, it has a lot in common with the older Voigtlander 28mm f/1.9 Ultron LTM model. Here’s a comparison showing the optical designs for the CV 28mm f/2 Ultron II, CV 28mm f/1.9 LTM and CV 28/2 Ultron lenses respectively:













It sports 10 aperture blades for well defined 10-point sunstars and a modern optical design with 10 Elements in 7 Groups. One of the elements is a double sided aspherical and 2 of them are made of anomalous partial dispersion glass.













It's a very small lens but you will feel the weight of its brass in your hand. The focus ring tab runs smoothly and the aperture ring has defined 1/2 stop clicks. It's built with tight tolerance and my loan copy was well centered which is always a good sign in regards to copy variation. The lens balances well on the M9 and M10-R bodies and it's only 36mm in length. The filter thread is 39mm and overall it's about the same size and weight as a tiny Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron.













Just by looking at its size, I didn't expect it to break any resolution records but the 10 elements and special glass gave me hope it would be a great performer.
I tested it on the Leica M10-R (40MP) and Sony A7R IV (60MP) camera bodies.













The Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II full specifications:
  1. Focal Length 28mm
  2. Maximum Aperture f/2
  3. Minimum Aperture f/22
  4. Lens Mount Leica M (only)
  5. Angle of View 74.51°
  6. Minimum Focus Distance 19.7" / 0.5 m
  7. Optical Design 10 Elements in 7 Groups
  8. Special glass: 1 double sided aspherical element and 2 anomalous partial dispersion elements
  9. Diaphragm Blades 10
  10. Focus Type Manual Focus
  11. Filter Size 39 mm (Front)
  12. Dimensions (ø x L) 2 x 1.4" / 51.4 x 36 mm
  13. Type II weight: 228 g without hood, 247g with hood (measured)










    Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II adapted to Sony A7R IV


Jun 10, 2021 at 06:10 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Infinity Performance on the Leica M10-R vs Sony A7R IV

The Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II is optically designed for the Leica M sensor stack, which is a very thin sensor. It should be no surprise that this lens performs optimally on a Leica M body.
Although it can be adapted to any mirrorless body, there is no free lunch and its performance could degrade depending on the thickness of the camera sensor. It will still perform similarly in regards to resolution and contrast at center but mid-field and corners are affected by induced field curvature and astigmatism.

This test was done at infinity distance on the Leica M10-R and Sony A7R IV side by side.

Here is the full image thumbnail showing the area demonstrated at 1:1 magnification.








  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Camera: Leica M10-R and Sony A7R IV (no resizing so it's also 40MP vs 60MP crops)
  3. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  4. WB: Daylight
  5. Lens centered using my decentering test
  6. Software: Lightroom with my default landscape sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected. All in-camera corrections turned 'off'.

___________


Will it perform well at small apertures on the Sony? Here are some 100% crops showing center, mid-field and extreme corner areas.


At 28mm
Center Resolution and Contrast: Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II (Leica M10-R vs Sony A7R IV)


(Ignore the lens name and aperture reported in the EXIF)





Center at f/2: Strong and similar performance. This was the hard stop for the lens when used on the Leica. When used on the A7R IV, the lens is capable of even high resolution (40MP vs 60MP sensor)







Center at f/2.5: The lens improves slightly







Center at f/2.8: Another incremental improvement







Center at f/4: Perhaps optimal resolution at center







Center at f/5.6: Similar performance to f/4







Center at f/8: Signs of diffraction




Jun 10, 2021 at 06:55 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


At 28mm
MID FIELD Resolution and Contrast: Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II (Leica M10-R vs Sony A7R IV






Mid-field at f/2: Strong performance on the Leica M10-R. The Sony crops shows signs of induced field curvature/astigmatism







Mid-field at f/2.5: Both improve slightly. The Sony is still far from optimal







Mid-field at f/2.8: Perhaps optimal aperture on the Leica.







Mid-field at f/4: The Sony finally catches up and it's similar to the Voigtlander at f/2







Mid-field at f/5.6: Both lenses improve slightly







Mid-field at f/8: Still strong performance for both




Jun 10, 2021 at 07:02 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


At 28mm
EXTREME CORNER Resolution and Contrast: Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II (Leica M10-R vs Sony A7R IV






Extreme corner at f/2: Very strong performance on the Leica. It struggles on the Sony







Extreme corner at f/2.8: It improves on both lenses. The Sony is far from optimal







Extreme corner at f/4: Optimal on the Leica. Still high astigmatism on the Sony







Extreme corner at f/5.6: The Sony improves further but still not close to the performance the Voigtlander on the M10-R wide open







Extreme corner at f/8: Both do well but the Sony is still not there. It improves a tiny bit at f/11 but results are similar to f/8




Jun 10, 2021 at 07:03 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Hi Fred,

Thank you so much for running the tests so far. The lens looks great on the M-10R. On the A7rIV not so much for the midfield and the extreme corners. I think that I prefer the Sony Colors to those from the Leica. I presume that given a choice, you will/would purchase the test lens for your Leica. The lens performance on the M-10R looks so good. I hope that I will get performance approaching but not equaling the M-10R with my Kolari Vision UT Sensor modded A7rII.

I intend to place my order for the lens with Cameraquest then on Monday and to place my order for a Haoge lens hood and a B + W 39mm UV XS-PRO, MRC Nano filter to use with the lens.

I will then report back as I can with results with the lens with my Kolari Vision UT Sensor modded A7rII. My tests will not be anywhere as in depth as yours because I do not have a place to test the lens the way that you do in my local area. I have hills and valleys, but no target houses to use.

I will say that though the lens performance on the Leica appears to be outstanding, cosmetically it is rather pedestrian/spartan compared to the Leica M lenses that you include in the comparison image and that I own.

Rich

Edited on Jun 10, 2021 at 09:17 PM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2021 at 08:17 PM
SoundHound
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Sure hope CV will make an adaptable “FE” version or even a dedicated E mount.


Jun 10, 2021 at 08:25 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Thanks very much for this valuable insight, Fred.


Jun 10, 2021 at 09:07 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


naturephoto1 wrote:
Hi Fred,

Thank you so much for running the tests so far. The lens looks great on the M-10R. On the A7rIV not so much for the midfield and the extreme corners. I think that I prefer the Sony Colors to those from the Leica. I presume that given a choice, you will/would purchase the test lens for your Leica. The lens performance on the M-10R looks so good. I hope that I will get performance approaching but not equaling the M-10R with my Kolari Vision UT Sensor modded A7rII.

I intend to place my order for the lens with Cameraquest
...Show more

Hi Rich,
The lens looks better in person than on the images. And yes, I think it will be a great performer on a Kolari UT mod.



Jun 10, 2021 at 10:58 PM
jeffersoncasey
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Very impressive performance at infinity (on M body) that's usable to shoot wide open in lowlight, and being so tiny. Thanks a lot for the test images!


Jun 11, 2021 at 03:32 AM
Ulysseita
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


So is it a stronger performer than the Biogon zm 28(or 25)?



Jun 11, 2021 at 09:13 AM
 


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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


jeffersoncasey wrote:
Very impressive performance at infinity (on M body) that's usable to shoot wide open in lowlight, and being so tiny. Thanks a lot for the test images!


On a M body or modified Sony, the Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron II is very impressive. It's pretty much optimal wide open from center to the very corner without any noticeable mid-field dip. Honestly I did not expect this resolution level on 40MP just by looking at its size and price. It's vintage only in name, not performance.
Stopping down to f/2.8 and f/4 marginally improves resolution and I'm talking across the image field. It's mind-blowing for a 28mm lens.

Although I don't think this optical design is Sony friendly, it can still be used for stopped down where DOF would mask the 'induced' FC discrepancy. I will test today if focusing on the corner would improve things dramatically but it didn't help much with previous version. There is also PCX options to tame FC.

Another plus for the lens on the Leica is the lack of field curvature. I will post this next.

---------------------------------------------

Ulysseita wrote:
So is it a stronger performer than the Biogon zm 28(or 25)?


I've never tested the 25mm ZM on a high megapixel sensor from Leica, so I'm not sure how well it would hold up. The 28 ZM was not a greatest performer even on 24MP, therefore I believe the new Voigtlander 28mm could be a better alternative to those lenses.




Jun 11, 2021 at 09:41 AM
jeffersoncasey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review



Fred Miranda wrote:
On a M body or modified Sony, the Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron II is very impressive. It's pretty much optimal wide open from center to the very corner without any noticeable mid-field dip. Honestly I did not expect this resolution level on 40MP just by looking at its size and price. It's vintage only in name, not performance.
Stopping down to f/2.8 and f/4 marginally improves resolution and I'm talking across the image field. It's mind-blowing for a 28mm lens.

Although I don't think this optical design is Sony friendly, it can still be used for stopped down where DOF would mask
...Show more
I have the 28 summicron V1 while it has a very appealing rendering and impressive sharpness, it doesn't do all that well on the corners @ f2 and 2.8. Logically I should upgrade to the V2 but it's a heck lot more money to spend on and there are people who hold on to the V1 because it renders differently. Hope to see real world samples very soon!



Jun 11, 2021 at 10:15 AM
d.s.
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Hi Fred,
I'm curious about your choice of lens coding. Did you find the 21/2.8 Elmarit better than the available 28mm offerings?



Jun 11, 2021 at 10:30 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


d.s. wrote:
Hi Fred,
I'm curious about your choice of lens coding. Did you find the 21/2.8 Elmarit better than the available 28mm offerings?


I've coded it today and from now on my samples will show as "Summicron-M 1:2/28 ASPH.". I find that it marginally improves vignetting but have not compare for distortion yet.



Jun 11, 2021 at 10:42 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Very helpful test Fred--thanks! Sadly it looks pretty bad on the stock Sony like many wide fast m lenses though usable, but with with dampened expectations. Quite lovely on the Leica as far as infinite resolution. I need to check out Juha's gallery for near and mid-distance rendering and performance. I am expecting a decent amount of mechanical vignetting given the size and many of CV's recent releases.




Jun 11, 2021 at 10:48 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Here is how it looks with the 6-bit code:

On this review, all my Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II images will read: "Summicron-M 1:2/28 ASPH."
That's because my lens is coded to the Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron.







Jun 11, 2021 at 10:55 AM
Matt Kerby
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Use a template and sharpie, or paint, for the coding?, looks good.
Awesome little lens.



Jun 11, 2021 at 11:04 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Matt Kerby wrote:
Use a template and sharpie, or paint, for the coding?, looks good.
Awesome little lens.


Sharpie does not work. it's too shiny (reflective) and the camera mount scanner rejects it (at least the newer models). You must get an opaque/matte black color. I prefer using paint and a very thin brush. If the mount is chrome, you don't need to paint white, only black. It's a 5 min. job.
I use the small "Testors" paint. I may start a thread explaining the process with more detail.
As you can see from the picture, the Voigtlander rear mount has a recessed area where you can add the paint and it won't rub off.



Jun 11, 2021 at 11:17 AM
Matt Kerby
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Awesome, good to know. much quicker and MUCH less expensive than sending it in and looks like fun when you're done and it ends up working


Jun 11, 2021 at 11:59 AM
fwdesign
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II Review


Would definitely appreciate that 6-bit coding post, since you did it so cleanly! FWIW, I have been able to make it work with sharpie but it’s messier and doesn’t work 100% of the time. Would definitely like to switch to your technique.

Also, this lens looks incredible. Definitely a better performer than the Leica 28 Summicron V1, Zeiss 28 2.8, and Leica 28 Elmarit. It would appear that basically every existing 28mm M-mount lens is now obsolete; I wonder if even the 28 Summicron V2 matches this level of performance.

Fred Miranda wrote:
Sharpie does not work. it's too shiny (reflective) and the camera mount scanner rejects it. You must get an opaque black color. I prefer using paint and a very thin brush. If the mount is chrome, you don't need to paint white, only black. It's a 5 min. job.
I use the small "Testors" paint. I may start a thread explaining the process with more detail.
As you can see from the picture, the Voigtlander rear mount has a recessed area where you can add the paint and it won't rub off.




Jun 11, 2021 at 12:04 PM
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