Voigtlander NOKTON Vintage Line 28mm f/1.5 Aspherical VM lens review by Fred Miranda



Fred Miranda published a review of the new Voigtlander NOKTON Vintage Line 28mm f/1.5 Aspherical VM lens (pre-orders are finally open). Here is the summary:

“In summary, the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton by Cosina stands out as an impressive lens. Despite being a fast 28mm lens, it manages to be compact and lightweight, making it an excellent choice for versatile wide-angle low light photography. The lens features a modern optical design that delivers high resolution and contrast throughout the entire frame. Notably, the center area reaches optimal performance at f/2.8, while the corners excel in the f/2.8 to f/4 range, although I wouldn’t hesitate to use this lens at its widest aperture.

When focusing on subjects at the minimal focus distance (MFD), the lens performs surprisingly well, surpassing expectations for a fast lens design without a floating system. It delivers good results wide open and achieves excellence starting at f/2.8 at its closest setting (0.5m). In terms of rendering, it exhibits a distinctive and classic style reminiscent of the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux, as seen in various side-by-side comparisons. The Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton competes well with the Leica 28/1.4 Summilux, matching its performance, color aberration control, and even outperforming it in the corners, despite its more compact design.

Having dedicated a substantial amount of time to the lens, I now consider it one of the top choices for fast 28mm options in the M-mount. Regarding build quality and handling, the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton impresses with its tight tolerance, smooth focus movement, and precise aperture clicks. Testing various copies, in both Type I and Type II styles, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all were well-centered, suggesting low copy variability.

The lens produces well-defined 12-pointed sunstars from f/2.8 onwards and exhibits great resistance to ghosting flare, although veiling flare remains slightly less controlled—still above average. Its performance rivals that of higher-priced Leica lenses such as the 28mm f/1.4 Summilux and 28mm f/2 Summicron, and it comes very close to the Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron II’s performance. While the Ultron maintains a slight advantage in lateral chromatic aberration control and corner resolution when shooting wide open, the Nokton offers an extra stop of light and significantly lower optical vignetting, resulting in rounder specular highlights and reduced swirling. Both remain great choices depending on your preference.

For those prioritizing compactness with reasonable compromises and are okay with lenses that have a slower aperture, the Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 Color-Skopar and Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II are still top choices. However, if you are looking for an all-around performer that excels in low light while remaining relatively compact, my recommendation is the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.5 Nokton.”

Pros:

  • Modern, compact, and lightweight design.
  • High resolution and contrast across the image field from wide open.
  • Very low distortion.
  • Solid build with tight tolerance construction.
  • Aperture mechanism creates defined 12-pointed sunstars from f/2.8 onwards.
  • Lower optical vignetting compared to other Cosina lenses.
  • Beautiful classic rendering with distinct structure and character.
  • Great ghosting flare resistance.

Cons:

  • Average lateral color aberration correction.
  • Average axial color aberration correction.
  • Slight veiling flare when the sun is in or around the frame.
  • Not as sharp wide open, at the corners, compared to the Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron II.

Read the full review here. Sample photos are available here.

The new Voigtlander NOKTON Vintage Line 28mm f/1.5 Aspherical VM lens (Leica M-mount) is now available for pre-order

New Voigtlander NOKTON Vintage Line 28mm f/1.5 Aspherical VM lenses announced (Leica M-mount)

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