We previously reported that Voigtländer was about to start making lenses for Fujifilm X-mount cameras, and this has now been confirmed by the brand’s owner, Cosina. This ultra-fast prime lens should arrive some time in August.
Voigtländer is a legendary German brand now owned by Japanese company Cosina, but which still boasts classic lens designs and manufacturing techniques. In fact Voigtländer lenses seem to be gaining in popularity rather than declining and are now widely available from major camera retailers.
This is the first time, however, that Voigtländer has made a lens for the Fujifilm X-mount system. In truth, Fujifilm already makes a wide selection of rather good fast prime lenses of its own, but this new Voigtländer does push back the boundaries for maximum aperture (Fujifilm’s fastest equivalent is a much bigger 35mm f/1.4) as well as offering a vintage look and feel that might go especially well with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, for example.
Voigtländer Nokton 35mm F1.2 X mount key features
The standout feature of this lens is obviously its F1.2 maximum aperture – and the fact that it’s been achieved with such a physically small lens. Much of this can be attributed to having manual focus only and no autofocus. Autofocus lenses are larger in order to accommodate AF drives and motors, and optical designs with movable ‘focus groups’.
Manual focusing is simpler than it sounds, thanks to mirrorless camera design, which makes it easy to magnify the view for ultra-precise focusing and is 100% accurate as it uses the sensor itself for the viewing image.
The Nokton 35mm F1.2 X has an old-school helicoid mechanical focus ring, but it also has electronic contacts for communication with the camera body, which Voigtländer says conveys “Exif information, focus check, and shooting distance interlocking display, certain models also support in-body image stabilization and parallax correction”.
There’s also a physical aperture ring, which should tie in nicely with Fujifilm’s own XF lens designed, and it has a long and detailed focus distance scale with depth of field index markings – an extremely useful feature missing on almost all modern lenses.
The company is also keen to create high-quality bokeh, using a circular diaphragm composed of no fewer than 12 aperture blades – we’ve never heard of that many being used before.
The focal length of 35mm corresponds to approximately 53mm on a Fujifilm APS-C camera, so this is really more of a standard prime than a semi-wide ‘street’ lens.
Voigtländer Nokton 35mm F1.2 X mount specifications
Focal length: 35mm (53mm equivalent)
Maximum aperture: F1.2
Minimum aperture: F16
Lens configuration: 8 elements in 6 groups
Angle of view: 44 °
Diaphragm blades: 12
Minimum focus distance: 0.3m
Maximum magnification: 1:6.7
Filter size: 46mm
Diameter x length: 59.6 × 39.8mm
Electronic contacts: Yes
Voigtländer Nokton 35mm F1.2 X price and availability
Voigtländer says the Nokton 35mm F1.2 X will be available in August 2021, and is so far quoting an expected retail price of ¥ 78,000, which corresponds to around $708/£512 at current exchange rates.