The lens smiths at Cosina have just announced the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1 Aspherical, the company’s fastest ever lens for full frame / 35mm format. It joins the race towards faster and faster glass, which can only be good for photographers wanting supreme subject separation and light gathering power.
Initially, the Nokton 50mm f/1 Aspherical will be available in VM mount, which means it’ll fit bodies with a Leica M fitting, but all you need is an adapter to mount it on a host of other mirrorless full-frame or DSLR or SLR bodies. And with Voigtländer recently starting to produce Fujifilm X mount lenses, along with its Micro Four Thirds models and Sony E mount glass, hopefully it’ll be available directly for other mounts soon.
The lens has a construction of nine elements in seven groups, wherein its most notable feature is a ‘ground aspherical’ or GA element, rather than using a moulded version, resulting in such a large diameter lens still being light and compact. A second aspherical element is also used. At the maximum f/1.0 aperture it’s also said to produce very large and smooth bokeh, and Cosina says it’ll deliver excellent sharpness even wide open, too.
Talking of size, the lens measures only 73.6x55mm and weighs 484g, making it surprisingly portable for such a fast 50mm optic. Compared to the E mount Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2 Aspherical, it’s not much bigger or heavier at all. It uses a 12-bladed diaphragm and has a manual aperture ring running from f/1.0 to f/16.
As you’d expect it’s also manual focus, so will need to be controlled with care at the widest settings, but Cosina says the focusing system is designed to be smooth and high precision. Its minimum focusing distance is 90cm, so it won’t be winning many prizes there – but hey, you won’t be buying it for macro, right?
The front filter is 62mm and you’ll likely want to invest in an ND for that, unless your camera has a high-speed electronic shutter for working in bright light. The lens also comes with a reversible metal lens hood. The Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1 Aspherical is out in January priced around £1500.