Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II Aspherical Compact Manual Focus Lens for Nikon
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|Compatible Mountings||Nikon DX|
|Lens Description||40 millimetres|
|Max Focal Length||40 Millimeters|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Fast Sharp Compact 40mm f/2 Lens with close up filter
- For digital or film Nikon SLRs
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Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II Aspherical Compact Pancake Manual Focus Normal Lens for Nikon Film & Digital Cameras
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Images made af f8 are sharp and detailed with good color saturation. Vignetting is very apparent at f2.5 and the images appear soft.
Build quality seems strong. There's no autofocus.
Considering that there is no autofocus and the lack of sharpness below f8 and cost, I rate it at "average" and give it three stars.
For the money, it's okay if one does not mind shooting everything at f8 - it can produce great images at that aperture. But one still has to manually focus it.
Recently I needed sharp high-res photo of a small object on FX camera. To increase depth of field the lens had to be closed to it's maximum F-number. Results from Nikon prime lenses closed-down were too soft. Ultron saved the Day - pics came out razor sharp even with lens at F22. This lens is magic!
I wanted a small lens to minimize the profile of my full-frame camera to allow me to always have a camera with me. I had always used a 35mm lens on my Nikons and Leicas as my normal lenses, and the 50mm was also used, but I would not carry both as they are too close to justify changing lenses on the fly. The 40mm is like a perfect compromise, not too long, not too short. It was very quick for me to find myself in the right place to frame with this lens. The focusing action is more abrupt than it is on the 58mm, But this is good for a moderate wide angle with a slower aperture. I find that the manual focusing with the 40mm is very fast and accurate in most situations. Additionally, the depth of field scale allows for good zones of focus at moderate apertures for super fast grab shots in the street shooter’s style.
Optically, this lens can be used at full aperture without fear. Stopping down to f/4 and out to f/11 gives stunning results. I shot the classic “brick wall” test in oblique light and the textures revealed were unbelievable. I use “vivid” on my Nikon D700 for Jpegs, but with the 40mm Ultron, I think the “standard” picture control is more realistic because the sharpness and contrast from the lens is already high, and “vivid” almost kicks it up into a fake look. The out of focus rendering is fine, but at this focal length and at moderate apertures, bokeh isn’t its primary strength. There are nine aperture blades, so out of focus high lights do stay nice and round.
There is one weakness, and I think that it is due to the desire to maintain a tiny profile, and that is the almost useless lens hood, which also requires an ineffective lens cap. The hood does nothing to prevent stray light from anything shallower than 90 degrees to the lens. The small opening requires a protruding cap that if bumped on the edge in one of the two spring loaded squeeze points will result in the cap falling off. I replaced the hood cap with the HN-3 Nikon hood (which I already had) that was used on the 35mm lenses with the 52mm filter rings. This offers much more protection plus allows for a Nikon cap to be installed inside the hood with no fear of it being bumped and lost.
Posted photo shot at f/2.0.