(photo courtesy of Voigtländer.com)
This is my favourite lens for photographing life’s little moments.
The Voigtlander Nokton 40/1.4 was my first M-mount lens, purchased back in 2008 along with a Leica M8.
Through the years, I’ve been hot and cold on it, for all of the well-documented reasons people either like it or dislike it. And though I’ve experimented with some of Leica’s finest glass, I always seem to find a path back to it. If I had to give a reason why that is, I would say it’s because of its versatility: it’s small, it’s light, it’s fast (f/1.4), its focal length sits right between my most used focal lengths (35mm and 50mm), it has virtually zero distortion, and it’s sharp enough (for me). The bokeh can be harsh, but the optics that conspire to cause this can also impart a desirable character to images created with it.
I’ve used this lens with the aforementioned M8, but I’ve also used it on a Leica M9, M9Mono, M240, and M10. I’ve used it on film M bodies as well, and I’ve even used it on a Nikon Z7 via an adapter.
Here are some examples:
Sample images taken with the Voigtländer 40mm f/1.4 Nokton: