by Simon P M Johnson & Alex Bowler
Lets face it when it comes to photography, Voigtlander make some shit hot products. They really are a shinning jewel for so many of us who just cant justify or afford some of the big $$$$ required by Leica and the like when it comes to lens choice. I have had my share of Voigtlander lenses over the years and a couple hold pride of place within my 'M arsenal'. The Voigtlander Ultron 28 was a lens I had been waiting to try for some time so when the opportunity arose I & Alex jumped on it, I was eager to see if this lens was up to the chalenge, at such a great price point would it make the grade and perhaps complete my Holy Voigtlader Trinity lens collection ??
It must be said I have used both the Zeiss & Leica equivalent in the past and the bar had been set at a very high level so was keen to see how a 'budget' lens would stacked up. Alex threw the lens on his Zeiss Icon for a couple of days and ran a roll of color film through it. He just wanted to see how the lens suited his style of shooting and was a great alternative viewpoint to my digital Leica M.
Alex's images above give a great example of how versatile the lens actually is. 28mm is a often overlooked focal length, I suggest those of you who often stick to the slightly longer 35 should definitely give the 28 a try. I made the switch some years ago for my street work and have never really looked back.
The Voigtlander has a lovely hefty feel not cheap at all. It's focusing is smooth and accurate with nice fluid swing. In general I always hyper-focus when shooting with it on the street, however manual focus is a dream to use and very enjoyable on the digital Leica M & both Voigtlander & Icon film bodies. There was no trouble with any of these camera bodies when it came to coupling with their separate rangefinders.
Alex & I both came away very happy indeed, there really isn't anything not to like. Ken Rockwell has a more in depth tech review on his sight which I would recommend having a read. He goes much further into the lens and provides some points you may wish to consider before purchasing. He also provides some great images exampling his findings.
So for me it's a winner at a budget price, if money isn't a issue then the Leica , 2.8 Elmerit-M or even the Carl Zeiss Biogon T f2.8 are the quality choice. For the rest of us the Voigtlander is definitely worth not only your time & money, but your respect ... Cheers Cosina