Lens review

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z

7 November 2022
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

Very small dimensions are the first thing that you notice when you handle the Voigtlander 1.2/35 X for the first time. It is really a very handy, shapely lens which, additionally, fits vintage look of Fujifilm bodies very well.

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the tested lens and other manual instruments designed for APS-C sensors. As you see, the Voigtlander is one of smaller and more lightweight devices in this group. Its compact dimensions become really conspicuous when you put it side by side with autofocus lenses – our next chart shows it rather well. All lenses, presented there, are slower than the Voigtlander; they are also much bigger and almost all of them are heavier.

We would like to add that small dimensions and low weight don't mean economizing in this case – quite the contrary. This lens is a solid piece of optics made in Japan, and its main materials are metal and glass.

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In the photo below the Nokton is positioned between two Fujinons, the 1.4/35 and the 18-55 mm. A comparison between the Voigtlander and the first Fuji instrument gives you a lot to think about – the slower Fujinon is also distinctly bigger.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality

The Nokton 1.2/35X starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a rear element, 21 mm in diameter. The element moves and is situated in the shallowest positon (about 4 mm deep inside the barrel) when you set the lens at infinity. After progressing to the minimum focusing distance it hides almost 1 cm deep, revealing a part of the inner tube which is perfectly blackened and matted, without any slits. From this side everything looks well.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality

The proper lens starts with a narrow, immobile ring with a distance scale and aperture markings ranging from f/16 to f/2.0. You also see a red dot, making alignment with a camera easier, the mount type, and information that the lens was made in Japan.

The next part is a manual focus ring, as wide as 15 mm. Half of it occupies metal ribbing, the other half is taken by a distance scale expressed in both meters and feet. Behind the infinity symbol you also see the focal length of the lens.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality

The ring moves smoothly, with an even but not especially strong resistance, but quite enough to offer you good performance. The movement of the ring shifts the whole optical system so after passing to the minimum focusing distance the dimension of the lens increases by almost 0.5 of a cm.

Further on you see a narrow aperture ring with a ribbed tab to make your grip firmer. The ring moves every 1/3 EV step and is able to communicate with the camera via the contacts. In case of our X-T2 camera, values displayed on the screen or viewfinder were always a tad higher than these set on the ring but, interestingly enough, in EXIF files we always saw the proper aperture.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality

The lens ends with an immobile part of the barrel that turns into a thread that can be used to attach the filters, 46 mm in diameter, or/and a small hood.

The front element is 30 mm in diameter, slightly convex, surrounded by a part of the barrel with the name and parameters of the lens.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 8 elements positioned in 6 groups. One of the optical elements is made of abnormal dispersion glass. Inside you can also find a round aperture with as many as twelve diaphragm blades.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, and a small metal, screw-in hood that fits the filter thread.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 X / Z - Build quality