Voigtländer 35 mm/1:2.5 Color Skopar P-Type II review

The Voigtländer 35 mm/1:2.5 Color Skopar P-Type II is an old-school rangefinder lens, but can modern sensors handle it?

Voigtländer 35 mm/1:2.5 Color Skopar P-Type II
(Image: © Rod Lawton)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Voigtländer 35 mm/1:2.5 Color Skopar P-Type II is a simpler, older design that may not deliver consistent edge to edge performance but does offer excellent center sharpness, terrific contrast and a very appealing analog ‘look’. The controls are beautiful, if a tiny bit cramped, but the distance scale’s ‘infinity’ setting was out, perhaps because we were using it via an adapter. We also found that while our Sony A7 II’s sensor handled this lens perfectly, the sensors in our EOS RP and EOS R8 could not cope with what we presume to be fairly high angles of incidence from this particular lens design. Overall, a terrific little lens when used on the right camera and with the right mindset.


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    Smooth focusing

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    Distance scale with DOF markings

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    Excellent center sharpness

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    Great contrast and ‘look’


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    Soft-ish edges, especially on the right

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    Some vignetting

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    Not good with our Canon cameras

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    Inaccurate focus scale

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The Voigtländer 35 mm/1:2.5 Color Skopar P-Type II is a Leica M-mount rangefinder lens that can also be used on a host of mirrorless cameras via inexpensive ‘dumb’ mount adaptors. It was tested on a Sony A7 II and a Canon EOS R8, and the results were very different – more on that later!

The Voigtländer name is well known in photography, and Voigtländer lenses are now made by Cosina in Japan. They are not budget lenses. They are high-quality optics made for modern cameras. This one comes in a Leica M mount and would make a great lower-cost alternative to Leica lenses for fans of the red dot.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Focal Length35mm
Aperturef/2.5 - f/22
Lens Construction7 elements in 5 groups
Aperture Blades10
Closest Focusing Distance0.7m
Focus SystemManual
Filter Size39mm
Diameter x Length55 x23mm
Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G

The closest alternative for Sony users is the Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G. It’s barely any larger than the Voigtländer, it too has an aperture ring (also de-clickable, by the way), and offers both autofocus and more consistent optical performance. It is about 50% more expensive, though. 

Sony FE 35mm f2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*

Another alternative is the Sony FE 35mm f2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*, but this is a little slower, a lot more expensive and doesn’t have an aperture ring. It’s an older lens whose appeal is definitely waning.

Sony FE 35mm f/1.8

Or there’s the regular ‘vanilla’ Sony FE 35mm f/1.8, which is an f-stop faster than the Voigtländer, but also larger and a lot more expensive – and lacks an aperture ring. Frankly, though, the only thing this lens has in common with the Voigtländer is its focal length; otherwise they are like chalk and cheese.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com