Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical VM lens review


Jack Takahashi has a review of the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M-mount:

Good

  • Image quality
  • Build quality
  • Price

Bad

  • Size and weight
  • Viewfinder blockage

Summary and recommendations

The Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 is a pretty straightforward lens. It’s absolutely massive for a rangefinder lens, but excels in every other aspect. Its f/1.4 aperture is very useful and provides a unique style that I personally love. Its image quality is best-in-class. Construction quality and price are also excellent.

If you’re okay with the size and weight of this lens in your bag, I recommend trying one out. It’s a particularly good choice if you do lots of nighttime landscapes. Honestly, the size bothered me less than I expected when it was mounted on my camera, especially when I saw the images it made. It’s still too large for me to justify owning one, but I thoroughly enjoyed using it for the week that I had it.

There are several good alternatives for 21mm. The tiny Voigtlander 21/3.5 (review here) is almost perfect, although it has some field curvature that makes it a mediocre choice for landscapes. The Leica 21/3.4 is perfection and is the ultimate choice for landscapes if you don’t need a wider aperture than f/3.4. The most similar alternative to the Voigtlander 21/1.4 is Voigtlander’s own 21/1.8 (review here). That lens is noticeably less sharp at wider apertures, and is about a half stop slower. But it’s significantly more compact and a bit cheaper too. It’s probably the best choice if you care more about the wide-open bokeh look and less about corner-to-corner performance. It’s my personal favorite 21mm and the first one I would buy if I decide to own a 21mm again. (source: jacktaka.com)

Check pricing and availability of the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical VM lens:

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