Lens review

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical

18 February 2024
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the tested lens and other fast 35 mm instruments designed to cooperate with mirrorless cameras with smaller sensors.

The Nokton is here the fastest but its direct rivals, the TTArtisan and the Laowa, lag not so far behind. The Laowa is a lens optically most complex but also the longest and the heaviest. Both Voigtlanders stick out with their apertures featuring as many as 12 diaphragm blades.

In the following photo the Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical is positioned between two Fujinon devices, the XF 35 mm f/1.4 R and the XF 56 mm f/1.2 R.

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Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality

The Nokton 0.9/35 starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a rear element, 22 mm in diameter. The element changes its position. For the focus set at infinity it is positioned at its shallowest (that being even slightly higher than the level of the contacts); when you pass to the minimum focusing distance, it hides inside the barrel about 3 mm deep, revealing the inner tube which is perfectly blackened, ribbed, and matted, without any slits. From this side everything seems to be in perfect order.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality

The mount itself is surrounded by a metal bottom with the name of the producer 'COSINA CO. LTD' and a serial number.

The proper lens starts with a metal ring that doesn't move and increases its diameter. On the ring you can find a depth of field scale with aperture markings from f/22 to f/4.0 (with omission of f/5.6), a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the mount type and information, that the lens was produced in Japan.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality

A manual focus ring, 26 mm wide, is the next part. Metal ribbing takes up more than a half of that surface and the rest is taken by a distance scale expressed in meters and feet. Behind the infinity mark you can also find the focal length of the lens.

The ring moves smoothly and is properly damped. When you move it the whole optical system changes its position as well – after passing to the minimum focusing distance the lens's dimension increases by almost 1 cm. The focus throw amounts to an angle of about 140 deg. It is a value allowing you very precise settings.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality

Further on you see a narrow aperture ring, with aperture value markings from f/0.9 to f/22 and some fine ribbing. The ring moves every 1/3 EV step and, thanks to the contacts, is able to pass information to the camera body. In case of our X-T2 camera the values, displayed on the screen, were always a tad higher than the ones set at the ring but, what's interesting, EXIF files already featured the right aperture values.

The lens ends with an immobile part of the barrel that passes into a thread that can be used both to fix 63 mm filters or a small hood, added to the lens in the box.

The front element is 39 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/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction, you deal here with 10 elements positioned in 8 groups. Inside tere are two aspherical elements and a round aperture with 12 diaphragm blades, that can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, and a metal hood.

Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm f/0.9 Aspherical - Build quality