Lens review

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95

18 July 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

In Micro 4/3, like in every other mirrorless system with sensors of the APS-C/DX format, there is no lens with an angle of view wider than 90 degrees and an aperture faster than f/2.0. Out of necessity our comparison must focus on full frame devices as presented in the following chart. Of course the lenses we listed there still aren’t as fast as the Nokton but if you look at the depth of field equivalents you find out they fare similarly, in the case of the Leica even better. What’s interesting, all lenses in this group, apart from the Leica, consist of 13 elements. The Voigtlander Nokton, apart from the best aperture, offers also the shortest minimum focusing distance and as many as 10 diaphragm blades. As the Nokton is made entirely of glass and metal it is also physically the heaviest of all.

In the photo below we compared the tested Voigtlander with the Samyang 3.5/8, a fisheye lens designed for reflex cameras with APS-C/DX sensors.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

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The Voigtlander starts with a metal mount which surrounds a rear element, 24 mm in diameter. That element moves but in a very limited range. When you pass to the minimum focusing distance it hides literally several millimeters inside the casing. The gap created by such a movement is really slight; you most certainly can’t notice through it the interior of the construction.

The lens is devoid of any contacts so the body of your camera won’t get any information concerning the focal length or aperture values. You won’t be able to control the aperture from the camera level either.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

The proper tube is made of metal and it starts with an immobile ring which increases its diameter quickly; on that ring you see a red dot making the alignment with a camera easier, information that the lens was produced in Japan, the logotype of the Micro 4/3 system and a very clear depth of field scale with aperture marks ranging from f/11 to f/1.4.

The next part is a manual focus ring, as wide as 23 mm. As it befits a manual lens of good quality it moves smoothly and is well-damped; running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through an angle of 270 degrees. In is an excellent range, especially when you take into account the parameters of the lens. It guarantees that you can set the focus with a really great precision. On the ring you can find metal ribbing with indentations for fingers and a distance scale expressed in meters, feet and inches.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

Behind another immobile ring with an increasing diameter you see an aperture ring. It is about one centimeter wide, properly damped, allowing you to control the aperture every 0.5 EV stop.

The lens ends with a rim to which you can attach a hood, added in the box. The front element of the lens doesn’t move and is slightly convex, with a diameter of 44 mm. It is surrounded by an inscription with the name and the parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

The Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 consists of 13 elements positioned in 10 groups. The producer boasts of using two aspherical elements. The aperture features as many as ten blades and it can be closed down to a value of f/16.

Buyers get both caps and a hood along with the lens in the box.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5 mm f/0.95 - Build quality