Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 & 40mm 1.4 mini review


voigtlander 3mm 1.4 lens

[T]his is a mini review of the Voigtlander 35mm & 40mm 1.4 lenses. The two are used interchangeably because they are in essence the same lenses with the only difference being a bigger lens and 10mm more of focal lenght.

The Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nokton Classic is a sexy little glass. It is built like a tank, it is heavy (many mirrorless cameras cannot stand still when it’s attached) and a joy to use. Since it is 35mm, it acts as a 50mm on all APSC cameras (APSC has 1.5 crop factor) and acts as a 70mm on mu43 cameras (4/3 has a 2x crop factor). It is a speedy nifty fifty (or tiny telly for the OMD), my favorite focal lenght for the streets.The 40mm acts as a 60mm for APSC and 80mm for mu43.

The images are of course sharp, especially wide open, but as you will see further down, nailing your focus on 1.4 is hard on the cameras that have no real rangefinder and focus peaking. It is relatively small (like most rangefinder lenses) and is a joy to use, the aperture ring has a nice feel to it when you cange the opening, so you know exactly when you changed your f stops (by the way it only goes down to f/16). Overall this is a high quality piece of glass, you would simply know by handling it, you know it means business. Makes me miss the metal glass days. Also be aware that the lens hood ring is made of sharp metal edges, somehow the lens cap got removed in my bag and that thing deeply scratched a NEX7’s screen.


voigtlander 3mm 1.4 lens right side


For street photography

Acting as a 50, this glass is superb for street but if you have another favorite focal length you will have to look elsewhere. The lens is relatively small and stealthy, and if you pair it with a small body,  it is a great street photography rig. Focusing is easy and fast (the cameras are the ones who make nailing hard) thanks to the finger focusing ring. The lens is best at home on a real rangefinder like the Epson RD1 where you have 1:1 focusing, you can keep the viewfinder to your eyes at all times with one finger on the shutter release and the other on the finger focusing ring. The finger focusing ring not being far from the camera, you can support the camera with both hands, sparing one finger for focusing. A true joy to use in the streets especially for viewfinders that are rangefinder placed (to the complete left of the camera).


voigtlander 3mm 1.4 lens 3/4th view


2 thoughts on “Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 & 40mm 1.4 mini review”

  1. I’m quite new to the camera world, I have a X-Pro 1. I see why you would use 35mm 1.4 for street Photography, if you can please expand as to how would you use both and at which point? and why is it that 40mm 1.4 is cheaper then your 35mm 1.4?

    Much appreciation for your review many thanks!!!

    1. Hey Zaman,
      The 40mm focal length is not as popular as the 35mm so it’s cheaper. Street Photographers usually want to use their cameras on manual focus in order to zone focus.

      The lenses have some markings on them, they tell you at each aperture that you choose (say f/11) how much is in focus. So if you look at your marking and put the f11 marking to where it says infinity, you look at the other end of the marking and see 2 metres, that means that everything from 2 meters to infinity will be in focus.
      It’s only an example tough. Ask me any questions but I am prepping a free video course workshop that will explain all of that….a bit of patience is needed 🙂

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