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Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review
The Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton is in stock:

CameraQuest | B&H Photo


Review quick links:
  1. About the lens
  2. Infinity Resolution and Contrast on Leica M10-R (41MP)
  3. Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux
  4. Infinity Performance compared to Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar
  5. Infinity Performance compared to Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II
  6. Infinity Performance when adapted to Sony A7R II (42MP)
  7. Rendering when adapted to Sony A7R II (42MP)
  8. Rendering compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux
  9. Rendering compared to Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron and Voigtlander 28/2.8
  10. Rendering compared to Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II
  11. Field Curvature
  12. Sunstar rendering and Flare resistance
  13. Distortion
  14. Chromatic aberration control: Lateral CA
  15. Lens performance at MFD
  16. Chromatic aberration control: Axial CA and Purple Fringing
  17. Final Thoughts

  18. Samples (High Contrast Light)
  19. Samples 2 (Portraits)
  20. Samples 3 (Portraits)
  21. Samples 4(Golden Hour)
  22. Samples 5 (Various scenarios and lighting)
  23. Samples 6 (Seascapes)
  24. Samples 7 (B&W Converted)
  25. Samples 8 (Various scenarios and lighting)


Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton sample shots contributed by FM members:

  1. @ashwinrao1: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  2. @lifeandmylens: Sample 1
  3. @joakim: Sample 1
  4. @RustyRus: Sample 1, 2, 3
  5. @nehemiahphoto: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4
  6. @rji2goleez: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  7. @mdg137: Sample 1
  8. @Juha Kannisto: Galleries 1
  9. @LarsHP: Sample 1, 2








   Leica M10-R Black Paint with Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Type I Black Matte



Voigtlander 28/1.5 Nokton - Intro:

Is the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton setting a new standard?

Voigtlander has revealed the impressive Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton lens. This unexpected launch has taken many by surprise, and I had the privilege of testing both a prototype and a production copy. A fast 28mm lens was at the forefront of my requests to Cosina, and I'm pleased to see it finally materialize. Similar to the Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II, it places a strong emphasis on portability. Initial tests indicate that it maintains comparable performance to the Ultron and 28/2.8 Color-Skopar. This makes it an attractive choice for photographers in search of a compact and low-light wide-angle option.

In this review, I'll explore the technical aspects of the Voigtlander 28/1.5 Nokton, testing things like resolution, contrast, and aberrations. I will also compare its aesthetic rendering qualities with some of the leading 28mm lenses available, such as the Leica 28/1.4 Summilux.








   Leica M2 with Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Type II Black Paint



There are two styles available: Type I and Type II. The Type I comes with an aluminum barrel, making it impressively lightweight for a fast 28mm lens, weighing only 250 grams. For comparison, the aluminum Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux weighs 440 grams. This choice of material enhances its portability, making it an excellent choice for travel and low-light photography. On the other hand, the Type II has a sturdier brass construction with an attractive black paint finish. However, it adds an additional 80 grams to the overall weight.

Beyond cosmetic variances, both lens styles include 10 elements in 8 groups. Their optical design incorporates two double-sided aspherical elements and 2 anomalous partial dispersion elements, crucial for maintaining image quality across the entire image field.













Like the Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron and 28mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar lenses, the new Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton is constructed with an all-metal design and a robust helicoid unit. The focus ring operates smoothly, allowing for precise adjustments. The aperture ring rotates firmly and has clear half stop indentations.Its small size, ideal balance, and lightweight design make it an excellent companion for Leica M bodies, especially for those looking for a fast wide-angle lens with rangefinder focusing.

In this review, we'll also explore how well the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton performs when adapted to mirrorless bodies like the Sony A7R II (42MP). The thicker sensor stack affects the lens's optimal performance, but based on my tests, it outperforms previous Voigtlander Nokton lenses.









   Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton adapted to Sony A7R II



Voigtlander produces four variations of the Voigtlander 28mm ƒ1.5 ASPH, all sharing the same optical design. These include matte black and silver finishes, a Type I with an aluminum body, and a Type II with a brass body available in black paint and chrome.







 



Let's take a closer look at the full specifications of the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton:

Voigtlander Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Specifications:
  1. Focal Length: 28mm
  2. Maximum Aperture: f/1.5
  3. Minimum Aperture: f/16
  4. Angle of View: 74.5°
  5. Minimum Focus Distance: 0.5 m
  6. Optical Design: 10 Elements in 8 Groups
  7. Special Glass: 2 double-sided aspherical element and 2 anomalous partial dispersion elements
  8. Diaphragm Blades: 12
  9. Filter Size: 43mm (Front)
  10. Focus throw: ~120 degrees
  11. Dimensions (ø x L): φ54.0×45.5mm
  12. Weight: 250g(Type I) 330g(Type II) without hood
  13. Color (Type I): Silver, Matte black paint
  14. Color (Type I): Silver, Black paint
  15. Hood: LH-6 (Optional)










   Leica M10-R BP with Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton + optional Voigtlander LH-6 hood



Optically, when comparing it to the Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron, the new 28/1.5 Nokton features a similar complex design but adds an extra double-sided aspherical element. This addition suggests a high level of performance in terms of resolution. From my initial infinity resolution tests, I can already see that the 28mm f1.5 Nokton excels in this aspect. Achieving such high resolution is impressive for a fast f/1.5 lens. As seen in the 28mm f/2 Ultron review, it performs similarly, if not slightly better, than the outstanding Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron. We will explore how the new Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton compares to the mighty Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux.









   Leica 28mm f/1.4 Lux | Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton



Whether you prefer the nostalgic and substantial feel of Type II brass finish or the lighter and more modern design of the Type I, both styles of the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton promise to deliver exceptional optical performance and offer valuable options for photographers using Leica M cameras.








   Leica MP with Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Type I Black Matte




Sample images at different distances, scenarios, and lighting:
The images have been resized to a width of 1000 pixels. For larger sizes, please check the links in the Sample sections above.



































































































































Jan 22, 2024 at 06:24 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review



Back to Quick Links

Infinity Resolution and Contrast on Leica M10-R (41MP)

When Cosina announced the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton and shared its specifications and optical design, it was evident that the lens was designed to deliver high performance. Optically, it follows a similar design pattern as the outstanding Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II but adds an extra double-sided aspherical element. Because of this, I anticipated high resolution and contrast from this lens, and I was not disappointed.

The lens is sharp across the field from wide open and achieves optimal results at f/2.8 and f/4. Due to its fast and compact nature, I expected to see some lateral chromatic aberration, and it's indeed present, which is common for fast 28mm lenses. The best part is that unlike the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton, the 28/1.5 does not exhibit any weakness at mid-field, providing a consistent performance across the field, just like with the Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron II.

For this test, there were no corrections for vignetting or chromatic aberration, allowing us to analyze its performance without post-processing.


















  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight for both lenses
  4. Both Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom with FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting, CA and distortion were NOT corrected for both lenses.



Center Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Resolution and Contrast on Leica M10-R (41MP)





Left: f/1.5 | Right: f/2: There's a very slight improvement in resolution, contrast at f/2.







Left: f/2 | Right: f/2.8: Slight improvement at f/2.8, which appears to be the optimal aperture for the center area.







Left: f/2.8 | Right: f/4: Similar performance, perhaps a tad more contrast







Left: f/4 | Right: f/5.6: Similar performance.







Left: f/5.6 | Right: f/8: At f/8, diffraction becomes noticeable.




Jan 24, 2024 at 11:25 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Mid-Field Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Resolution and Contrast on Leica M10-R (41MP)





Left: f/1.5 | Right: f/2: There's a very slight improvement in resolution, contrast at f/2.







Left: f/2 | Right: f/2.8: Similar results at f/2.8







Left: f/2.8 | Right: f/4: Slight improvement at f/4.







Left: f/4 | Right: f/5.6: There's a significant increase in resolution and contrast at f/5.6, making it the optimal aperture for the mid-field.







Left: f/5.6 | Right: f/8: Similar performance.




Jan 24, 2024 at 11:26 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Extreme Corner Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Resolution and Contrast on Leica M10-R (41MP)





Left: f/1.5 | Right: f/2: There's a slight improvement in resolution, contrast, and vignetting from wide open to f/2.







Left: f/2 | Right: f/2.8: At f/2.8, there is a significant improvement in resolution, contrast, and vignetting improves greatly.







Left: f/2.8 | Right: f/4: Another substantial improvement, and the corners are now excellent.







Left: f/4 | Right: f/5.6: Slight improvement at f/5.6, making this aperture optimal for the very corners.







Left: f/5.6 | Right: f/8: Similar performance.




Jan 24, 2024 at 11:27 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Next, I'll compare the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton to the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux. Drumroll, please! 🥁

For those who already have the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton, feel free to share sample images in this review thread. I'll add links to them on the first page. 👍



Jan 24, 2024 at 12:04 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Looks great! Thanks as always


Jan 24, 2024 at 12:39 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


I know that you sort of, kinda answered this before. But now seeing the lens on your film MP (I have a .58 MP) - do you feel the brass version will ruin the handling/shooting experience compared to the aluminum? Ruin may be too harsh a word, but if the package feels perfect with the lighter version..
When I use lenses, I pretty much attach one for the day and head out with that.



Jan 24, 2024 at 12:47 PM
BruceRH
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Desmolicious wrote:
I know that you sort of, kinda answered this before. But now seeing the lens on your film MP (I have a .58 MP) - do you feel the brass version will ruin the handling/shooting experience compared to the aluminum? Ruin may be too harsh a word, but if the package feels perfect with the lighter version..
When I use lenses, I pretty much attach one for the day and head out with that.


I hate trying to decide between the black paint and the matte. I am sitting here looking at my BP VM 35/1.5 mounted on my black M11-P and it looks great! But I can easily mount the matte 75/1.9 and it looks great too, ugh. Weight wise, we are only looking at 2.8 oz difference. I think I prefer the focus ring design on the BP version so I am kind of leaning that way. I have a trip to Japan next month so I may make an effort to get over to MAP Camera and see them in person, plus they are cheaper in Japan so there is that!



Jan 24, 2024 at 01:04 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Next, I'll compare the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton to the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux. Drumroll, please! 🥁


I'm drummin'! I'm hopeful it's a rendering comparison, and hopefully at close and mid distance



Jan 24, 2024 at 01:19 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


lifeandmylens wrote:
I'm drummin'! I'm hopeful it's a rendering comparison, and hopefully at close and mid distance


Yes, it's on the way. I I compared their resolution at infinity and rendering at all distances, ranging from 0.7 to 3 meters, under various lighting conditions and scenarios. It seems that I'll share rendering comparisons tomorrow, though.



Jan 24, 2024 at 02:51 PM
 


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thrice
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Damn that's more impressive than I expected.
If the swirl caused by optical vignette isn't too pronounced this will be the deal of the century for me.



Jan 24, 2024 at 03:25 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review



Back to Quick Links

Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux

The Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux stands out as my favorite among 28mm lenses. I'm consistently amazed by its impressive contrast, even when shooting wide open. I haven't come across another fast 28mm f/1.4 lens that can quite match its unique look. The high contrast and resolution, combined with its appealing rendering, firmly place it as my top choice.

Initially, I didn't set my expectations too high for the new Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton. However, after examining the infinity tests, I was pleasantly surprised. The performance was remarkably similar to the Leica, and in some aspects, the Voigtlander even outperformed, especially at the very corners. Their lateral chromatic aberration levels were also quite similar, although there is a slight difference in the color error palette.

The Leica lens I tested today is optimal, and interestingly, it's my third copy due to variations I've encountered with this lens. This particular copy exhibited the best corners and was well-centered. Similarly, my Voigtlander 28/1.5 Nokton is also centered. Kudos to Cosina for achieving something remarkable—matching and, in some areas, even surpassing the performance of my favorite 28mm lens. As we'll explore in the following rendering comparison, the similarities don't end here.


















  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight for both lenses
  4. Both Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom with FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting, CA and distortion were NOT corrected for both lenses.



Center Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux





Center at f/1.5: Both lenses show similar resolution and contrast, with a slight difference in the Leica's field of view being a bit wider.







Center at f/2: Both show a slight improvement from being fully open, and it seems like the optimal aperture setting at the center.







Center at f/2.8: Similar performance for both lenses.







Center at f/4: Similar performance for both lenses.







Center at f/5.6: Similar performance for both lenses.







Center at f/8: Diffraction becomes noticeable.




Jan 24, 2024 at 03:53 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Mid-field Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux





Mid-Field at f/1.5: Similar to the center area, there is not a significant difference in resolution and contrast between both lenses when fully open.







Mid-Field at f/2: Both exhibit a slight improvement but still provide similar performance.







Mid-Field at f/2.8: At f/2.8, the Leica holds a slight advantage.







Mid-Field at f/4: The Leica maintains a slight advantage at f/4.







Mid-Field at f/5.6: The Voigtlander has improved, and now they are quite similar.







Mid-Field at f/8: Diffraction takes hold.




Jan 24, 2024 at 03:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Extreme Corner Resolution and Contrast
Infinity Performance compared to Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux





Extreme Corner at f/1.5: Extreme Corner at f/1.5: Vignetting is slightly higher for the Leica crop, and the Leica has a wider field of view. Notice lateral CA for both lenses







Extreme Corner at f/2: Similar performance for both lenses







Extreme Corner at f/2.8: Extreme Corner at f/2.8: Similar to the mid-field area, the Voigtlander begins to show a slight advantage.







Extreme Corner at f/4: The advantage of the Voigtlander in this area is now very noticeable.







Extreme Corner at f/5.6: This is the optimal aperture for the Voigtlander at the corners. It can be effectively used as an excellent landscape lens. The Leica is noticeably lagging behind in terms of resolution and contrast.







Extreme Corner at f/8: Similar as previous aperture




Jan 24, 2024 at 03:55 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


The Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Type II Brass Black Paint lens looks really appealing.












Jan 24, 2024 at 05:52 PM
newyork
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Dang it Fred, I want one!


Jan 24, 2024 at 06:04 PM
ashwinrao1
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Hot dang, that looks wonderful. I am expecting the same model (BP type II) and ordered the hood, which I hope will completely obscure the silver front ring will providing flare resistance at the cost of some additional occupying volume.

Everything about this lens (the fact that it's much sharp in the midframe/midzone than its 35mm counterpart) looks great. Hopefully it does not have any focus shift. Does anyone know if the Leica 28 lux is FLE? I recall the 50 lux asph being of this design without it ever being advertised, but I am not sure of the 28.

All in all, it's a wonderful time to be a photographer, with such great tools on hand. I have been communicating with Nehemiah, and he put It a great way. Voigtlander lenses have democratized the M system with how affordable, well built and high performing they are.



Jan 24, 2024 at 06:15 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


ashwinrao1 wrote:
Does anyone know if the Leica 28 lux is FLE?


It does have floating elements.



Jan 24, 2024 at 06:23 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


lifeandmylens wrote:
It does have floating elements.


Yeap, the Leica has one floating element. I have some comparisons at 0.7m and we will see how the Voigtlander performs.



Jan 24, 2024 at 06:36 PM
pinewood
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Wow, this is possibly the first Voigtlander lens I'm going to buy. Too bad about the chrome ring but I'll live with it for this lens.


Jan 24, 2024 at 07:21 PM
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