Lens review

Voigtlander Ultron 27 mm f/2

8 January 2024
Maciej Latałło

10. Focusing and focus breathing

When it comes to the tested Ultron 2/27 you set the focus with the help of a narrow ring, less than 5 mm wide. On that ring you can find a distance scale expressed just in meters. Behind the infinity mark you also see the focal length value of the lens and then a small handle to make your grip firmer and the whole operation easier.

Voigtlander Ultron 27 mm f/2 - Focusing and focus breathing

A depth of field scale, with markings for apertures from f/22 to f/4.0 might also be helpful.

As we've already mentioned in the chapter describing build quality of the tested lens, such small parts might be challenging, especially if you have big fingers. The focus ring is narrow and not especially well damped, it's easy to change its position inadvertently. It would be far better if the resistance of the ring was more pronounced; we think that, at the same time, the producers should guarantee aperture control from the camera's menu level, not only via the dedicated ring. That way you could have left the aperture ring untouched, avoiding unintentional changes of that easy-moving manual focus ring.

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Focus breathing

Focus breathing tests show refraiming images as you oversharp them. We conduct the test by manually passing from the minimum focusing ditance to infinity with the aperture stopped down; then we check how the field of view of the lens changed as a result.

After conducting a number of tests now we think we are able to determine some reference points. A frame change ranging from 0 to 5% we consider to be low. Between 5 and 10% you can speak about medium levels. Usually such values constitute also the maximum efficiency level of any breathing compensation algorithms, present in some bodies. Between 10 and 15% focus breathing is high, above 15% its level can be called very high.

The test video of the Ultron lens we present below:

On the basis of the recording above, comparing freeze-frames before and after oversharpening, we can estimate that the breathing of the tested lens amounts to about 14% so is on the borderline between high and very high level. It means this aberration might be bothersome and disturbing in many situations and it's not corrected perfectly well.