Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 MFT - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Sebastian Milczanowski and Klaus Schroiff, published March 2011

The lens was kindly provided by Uli Heckmann!

Introduction

"The lack of speed" is one of the most frequently used arguments against micro-four-thirds (MFT). Till recently the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 was basically the only lens which qualified to a certain degree here. Olympus ignored this niche altogether for whatever reason. Consequently there was an immediate hype when Cosina announced the Voigtlander (actually Voigtländer) Nokton 25mm f/0.95 MFT and it's not only FAST - it's currently also the fastest mass-production system lens on the market. In the Voigtlander world such high-speed lenses are referred to as a "Nokton". Variations of this name are also used by Leica (e.g. Noctilux 50mm f/1.1) and Nikon (e.g. Noct 58mm f/1.2). In 35mm ("full format") terms this is equivalent to a "50mm f/1.9" (the sheer light gathering characteristic remains associated with the f/0.95 aperture of course) so we're talking about a "standard" lens here.

The Nokton has a full-metal construction built to the highest standards. The focus ring operates very smooth (dampened). The aperture ring has distinctive clicks in half-stop steps. The lens extends slightly when focusing towards shorter distances. A screw-in metal lens hood is supplied (not shown below).

The Nokton 25mm f/0.95 has a native MFT mount. However, other than that there's no coupling with the camera whatsoever - it is an all-manual focus and manual aperture lens. Consequently you have to live without some of the EXIF information in your images. While this may all sound like major limitations it's not really a big deal on EVIL cameras where you can easily magnify the image for proper manual focusing and the metering is not affected by the lack of a coupling anyway. Typical for non-coupled lenses, a change of the aperture setting is applied immediately so you can check the effect on the depth-of-field on your screen (without the darkening like when stopping down a DSLR with a conventional optical viewfinder).

Specifications
Equiv. focal length50 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/1.9 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction11 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades10
min. focus distance0.17 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.9)
Dimensions70 x 58 mm
Weight410 g
Filter size52 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel shaped, included
Other features-




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