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Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review

  
 
Juha Kannisto
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Back to sample shots contributed by FM members


Sharing my albums shot with this lens so far (on my X-S10) here so Fred can add them as FM member samples to the review later:

First outing at Shinagawa:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/i9SjscxBPqKtPycW9

2nd outing at Ueno + some shots from Ebisu & Hiroo:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/EK53cnhSNv75w1bx6

3rd outing (today) at Hamarikyu Gardens:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/vGqBCT1gsWg1Z9PC9

Some later Albums:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/oKXPQMbK3R1eifTm6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/hpAfSr5AppxHqNw17

View previous versions



Feb 18, 2024 at 09:35 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Sharing my albums shot with this lens so far (on my X-S10) here so Fred can add them as FM member samples to the review later:

First outing at Shinagawa:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/i9SjscxBPqKtPycW9

2nd outing at Ueno + some shots from Ebisu & Hiroo:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/EK53cnhSNv75w1bx6

3rd outing (today) at Hamarikyu Gardens:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/vGqBCT1gsWg1Z9PC9


Thanks, Juha. Appreciate the new close-distance samples. Added them to the review links. I suppose we're among the few who have this lens on hand since it's not available in the US yet.



Feb 18, 2024 at 01:50 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review




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Samples 3 (Close-distance)
Some close-up shots were taken wide open, except for the first one, which was focused using the hard stop at infinity.




  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/5.0    1/60s    3200 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    2500 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    1600 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    2500 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Feb 18, 2024 at 07:41 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


While my current Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color Skopar is well-centered, I plan to acquire a second copy soon to double-check its resolution and contrast capabilities. I typically test multiple copies to ensure that my review accurately reflects the lens's performance.

Meanwhile, here are a few additional samples taken in low light conditions:
P.S.: You might observe that in the last sample, sunstars can be captured even when shooting with the aperture wide open!




  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    250 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    1000 ISO    -0.7 EV  






Notice the defined sunstar when shooting wide open!

  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    1250 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Feb 21, 2024 at 06:05 PM
ShawnD
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


New here (have been a lurker on and off for years). Any word when these are supposed to be available at Camera Quest? I have the 27mm and can't wait to add this 18mm, 18 being my most used focal length. The images here look great!


Feb 22, 2024 at 11:38 AM
darwinphoto
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


CameraQuest is showing them says "out of stock" with a price of $0. Soon, perhaps?


Feb 23, 2024 at 01:17 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Image showing the Fujifilm X-E4 with the Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color Skopar "Silver" version.







Feb 23, 2024 at 05:34 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review



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Sagittal Coma Flare performance:

Coma is visible when shooting with the Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Ultron lens wide open at f/2.8, but it's significantly reduced at f/3.2 and f/4. Although it's a wide-angle lens and can be used for nightscapes, the somewhat slow f/2.8 aperture is not the best choice for this application. However, it can still be used with the help of noise reduction in post-processing. In normal usage, coma is not very noticeable in the out-of-focus rendering.

Below, you'll find 100% crops showcasing a bright star positioned near the edge of the frame. The images were captured incrementally at 1-stop intervals, starting from the widest aperture of f/2.8.




Thumbnail showing a bright star near the frame's edge







Coma at f/2.8







Coma at f/4 (looks identical to f/3.2)







Coma at f/5.6




Feb 23, 2024 at 10:34 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


ShawnD wrote:
New here (have been a lurker on and off for years). Any word when these are supposed to be available at Camera Quest? I have the 27mm and can't wait to add this 18mm, 18 being my most used focal length. The images here look great!


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

darwinphoto wrote:
CameraQuest is showing them says "out of stock" with a price of $0. Soon, perhaps?


I got the word that it will be available for sale tomorrow at Cameraquest.



Feb 28, 2024 at 02:02 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review




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Field Curvature

The Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar has a field curvature shape that varies depending on the focused distance. When focused up close, the curvature seems to extend outward, while at medium distances, it becomes flatter. At longer distances beyond 5m, the curvature shifts inward, similar to the 27mm f/2 Ultron. This typically results in better out-of-focus rendering towards the corners of the frame, and also makes it a preferred field curvature shape for shooting landscapes where the distance center and foreground sides appear sharper.

To demonstrate this effect, I've processed a sequence using the "find edges" technique. The sequence shows how the lens behaves as it's focused from 1m to a point far into the distance, approaching infinity, in a GIF animation.












Feb 28, 2024 at 04:49 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review




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Samples 4 (Golden light)




  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/160s    160 ISO    -0.7 EV  






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/5.0    1/60s    250 ISO    -0.7 EV  
















  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    400 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Feb 28, 2024 at 04:52 PM
fotografur
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
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Samples 4 (Golden light)


Nice samples Fred. Looking at all your samples I may be wrong but the ~28mm FOV suits your style nicely.

Too bad the new Fujifilm X100VI doesn't have a 28mm equivalent with a slight crop to 35mm. I know I would
like that more myself.



Feb 29, 2024 at 06:55 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


fotografur wrote:
Nice samples Fred. Looking at all your samples I may be wrong but the ~28mm FOV suits your style nicely.

Too bad the new Fujifilm X100VI doesn't have a 28mm equivalent with a slight crop to 35mm. I know I would
like that more myself.


Thank you! I do enjoy shooting 28mm. The Voigtlander 18/2.8 Color-Skopar is a great alternative to the GR series, especially when pair with the super compact X-E4.



Feb 29, 2024 at 10:14 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


CameraQuest has recently added the order page for the new Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar Silver and Black versions.

The price is $595

Order the Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 at CameraQuest

It's currently not available at other stores.



Feb 29, 2024 at 11:49 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review



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Color Aberration:

Lateral

Lateral chromatic aberration is effectively corrected, but there are still hints of color error towards the edges of the frame regardless of the aperture setting. This correction is slightly inferior compared to the Voigtlander 27mm f/2 Ultron, which shows no lateral chromatic aberration. It's curious that even after applying the Lightroom correction, I still see some color error.




LEFT: Uncorrected for LaCA | Corrected for LaCA in LR




Feb 29, 2024 at 12:58 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Longitudinal

The lack of purple fringing and axial (longitudinal) chromatic aberration is a remarkable feature of this pancake lens. While I expected very good color error correction because of its f/2.8 aperture, I was pleasantly surprised by the almost APO lens-like correction of axial chromatic aberration.

Even when shooting in bright, high-contrast conditions, I don't see any purple fringing or axial chromatic aberration. This is undoubtedly a strength of this lens, particularly considering that wide-angle lenses typically struggle in this regard, regardless of their size.

The out-of-focus areas behind the focal plane do not exhibit any green outlining. Overall, this lens delivers an impressive performance.

Below are a few samples demonstrating its performance under intense, high-contrast lighting.
All wide open:




Highly reflective metallic surfaces. There is no purple fringing in the focused area, and there is no green color error behind the focused area.






Highly reflective metallic surfaces. There is no purple fringing in the focused area, and there is no magenta color error in front of the focused area.






Highly reflective metallic surfaces. There is no purple fringing in the focused area, and there is no green color error behind the focused area.






Highly reflective metallic surfaces. There is no purple fringing in the focused area, and there is no green color error behind the focused area.




Feb 29, 2024 at 01:12 PM
Gabe13
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Nice work! The landscape shots you've posted so far look phenomenal! Hard to ask for more from such a tiny lens...there's so much it can do so well already.


Mar 02, 2024 at 12:28 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review




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Rendering

Rendering in photography is the subjective aspect that defines how various characteristics like optical vignetting, spherical aberration, highlight outlining, and transition zones contribute to the final appearance of an image.

The Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar lens offers a full frame equivalent focal length of 28mm and a depth of field of f/4, resulting in minimal blur unless you're shooting very close, less than 1m away. At close distances, it delivers a distinct rendering compared to modern lenses prioritizing smooth background blur. Shooting wide open and up close may reveal a slight outlining effect in specular highlights, enhancing the overall image structure.

Focusing at its closest distance of 0.17m produces an extremely smooth transition zone and well-controlled outlining due to strong blur, resulting in a pleasingly smooth look. From around 0.7m to 2m, you'll notice the outlining effect, adding character to the image. This characteristic persists when focusing at medium and long distances, although the blur is less pronounced, similar to an f/4 lens on a full frame.

It's worth mentioning that the Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar lens effectively minimizes optical vignetting, reducing distortion of specular highlights and avoiding the "cat's-eye" shape. Additionally, it corrects spherical aberration, leading to improved resolution and contrast, even at close distances, with minimal halo or glow effects.

I appreciate the unique rendering capabilities of this lens, offering a refreshing style of its own.

Example of images shot at close distance around 0.5m

Notice a smoother rendering due to high blur at close distance.




  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    6400 ISO    -0.3 EV  







50% magnified area from image above






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    2500 ISO    -0.7 EV  







50% magnified area from image above






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/60s    2500 ISO    -0.3 EV  







50% magnified area from image above




Mar 05, 2024 at 06:06 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Example of images shot at close distance around 0.7-1m





  X-Pro3    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/4.0    1/1400s    160 ISO    +0.3 EV  







50% magnified area from image above






  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/480s    160 ISO    -2.3 EV  







50% magnified area from image above




Mar 05, 2024 at 06:09 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Voigtlander 18mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar X-mount Review


Blur at minimal focus distance (0.17m)
Smooth for a wide angle lens.




  X-E4    VOIGTLANDER COLOR-SKOPAR 18mm F2.8 lens    18mm    f/2.8    1/320s    160 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Mar 05, 2024 at 06:10 PM
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