Supplying quality optics since 1756, Voigtlander is just about the oldest camera manufacturer still active in 2015. Their latest release, the 10.5mm F0.95 Nokton (21mm full-frame equivalent) for Micro Four Thirds arrived earlier this week and I took it for a quick test drive.
Like with most Voigtlander lenses, the 10.5mm Nokton is incredibly well-built. Although it’s quite small, being a Micro Four Thirds lens, it’s quite heavy for its size. No plastics here, it’s one solid piece of metal and glass. Even the lens hood is a solid piece of metal, held on with a screw-down clamp rather than a bayonet or screw mount like most.
There are 13 elements in 10 groups with at least one aspherical element since it says “ASPHERICAL” right on the front of the lens but there’s no mention of how many of the elements are aspherical in Voigtlander’s specs.
The 10.5mm Nokton is manual focus only with a minimum focusing distance of 0.17m. Combined with a wide-open aperture of F0.95, depth of field is razor thin.
Focus is on the face so notice that the front of our model’s tiny camera is out of focus and it’s probably no more than a couple centimeters in front of his face. Wide open at F0.95, the Nokton doesn’t seem very sharp or perhaps it’s because the focal plane is so tiny that it’s hard to judge. With 10 aperture blades, out of focus elements are rendered smooth.
Stopping down slightly to F2.0 is a huge improvement in sharpness already and it’s excellent at F2.8, at which point you get diminishing returns on sharpness stopping down further.
Shooting at F0.95 is quite special looking, close to what a F1.2 or F1.4 looks like on a full-frame setup. Photographers that think they can’t get shallow DOF with a wide angle on Micro Four Thirds don’t need to look any further than this lens.
The Voigtlander 10.5mm F0.95 Nokton is available now at Broadway Camera.