The first Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1 Aspherical VM lens reviews are out

Fred Miranda publish a long and detailed review of the new Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M-mount –  here are the final thoughts:

“After shooting with the Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton for about a week, I came to the conclusion that it’s one of the sharpest 50mm F/1 lenses ever produced. I put this lens through some demanding technical tests, and it’s clear to me that Cosina prioritized resolution, contrast and size for this optical design.

Let’s start with resolution: Many have been asking for an affordable and fast 50mm lens with a floating mechanism, capable of achieving high close up performance and the Voigtlander 50/1 Nokton delivered. As demonstrated in the side by side comparisons, it clearly outperforms the mighty Leica 50/0.95 Noctilux at close and long distance by a good margin, especially when positioning the subject away from the center area.

In regards to compactness: It’s small and light for a 50mm F/1 lens measuring only 55mm in length and weighing 482 grams. Most importantly, it’s not front heavy and balances well on the Leica M body, although it still blocks about 20% of the rangefinder’s frameline.

But, every optical design has compromises and the Voigtlander 50/1 Nokton is no exception. It has pronounced outwards field curvature and high optical vignetting which is a combination that could cause unevenness in the background rendering depending on subject distance . Although all F/1 lenses tested here have similar character, it’s something to keep in mind when composing your scenes with this lens.

The Voigtlander 50/1 Nokton is well corrected for distortion showing only minor pincushion. It also demonstrated great flare resistance when compared to other f/1 lenses, although, there is still noticeable ring flare whenever not blocking side lighting with the hood or your hand.

Ironically, although not a f/1 lens, the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton compared favorably against the Voigtlander 50mm f/1, sharing many of the same qualities while being smaller/lighter and producing a more pleasant and even rendering. This is due to less pronounced field curvature and lower optical vignetting. However, it is ~1/2 stop slower and not equipped with a floating mechanism which means lower performance at minimal focus distance. I consider it a great alternative for those who prioritize rendering and don’t mind spherical aberration when shooting wide open at close distance.”


  • High resolution and contrast from wide open. It performed better than I expected for a F/1 lens.
  • Clean specular highlights inner structure thanks to the grinding aspherical process.
  • Better than average close up performance: The floating design delivers great resolution from MFD to infinity.
  • Compact (short) and light for a 50mm f/1 lens (482g, measured).
  • Great build quality with tight tolerance construction.
  • Well corrected for distortion (negligible pincushion).
  • Aperture mechanism with 12 straight blades provide defined 12-pointed sunstars.
  • Great lateral CA correction.


  • High optical vignetting renders ‘cats eye’ bokeh balls towards the corners.
  • Pronounced outwards field curvature may cause unevenness in the rendering when shooting wide open.
  • Noticeable purple fringing and axial CA in areas of high contrast when shooting wide open.
  • One of the most expensive Cosina lenses at $1,800 (Although way less than the 13K Leica).

Make sure you check the full review for more details.

Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1 Aspherical VM lens pre-order links:

Here are the YouTube reviews of the Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1 Aspherical VM lens:

The new Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1.0 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M-mount is now shipping

Announced: Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1.0 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M-mount

The new Voigtlander NOKTON 50mm f/1.0 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M-mount will be released on January 26th, shortages expected

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