Ultra fast standard lens
The Nokton 17.5mm lens is part of a series of Voigtländer lenses for the Micro Four-Thirds system, and all lenses in the series has an amazingly large aperture (f0.95). This means the lens has superb light gathering abilities which makes it ideal for low-light shooting. In terms of depth of field, the lens at f0.95 is roughly equivalent to a full frame 35mm lens with f2 aperture, so the lens can be used as a standard lens for typical street photography applications.
This is first look at the specs, the exterior and the initial impression of the lens. Stay tuned for a more detailed review and sample pictures taken with this lens!
According to Voigtländer, the Nokton 17.5 mm lens is suitable for “objective and sophisticated photography at the highest level with maximum light intensity.” The lens also has a minimum focusing distance of only 15 cm so it is suitable for close focus and quasi macro situations (1:4 magnification). The aperture ring can be unlocked for stepless or continuous adjustment which makes the lens suitable for video applications.
The lens design features 13 elements in 9 groups produce an image angle of 64.6°. That’s lot of glass and explains why it is so heavy.
The lens is rather large (length 80 mm) and heavy (540 g) for a typical Micro Four Third body so will work best on the larger bodies. On my Panasonic GX9, the weight of the lens means I have to generally hold the camera using both hands to shoot and it feels a bit awkward using using one hand.
The filter size is a rather standard 58 mm so hopefully it should be relatively easy to find a filter to suit the lens. In addition, if you attached the supplied lens hood, you can also mount a filter on the outside of the hood with a diameter of 67 mm.
The supplied lens hood is quite shallow and I am not sure it offers much protection of spurious light sources so I imagine the main use is as a protector for the front glass element.
Two lens caps are provided – one if you are using the lens “naked” without the lens hood, and another if you use the lens hood.
|Focal Length||17.5 mm (full frame equivalent to 35mm)|
|Minimum Aperture||F 16|
|Lens Construction||13 elements in 9 groups|
|Angle of View||64.6°|
|Minimum Focus||0.15 m|
|Maximum Diameter||63.4 mm|
|Mount||MFT (Micro FourThirds)|
|Weight||540 g (without hood)|
|Filter Size||58 mm (without hood)|
67 mm (with hood)
|Others||Selective Aperture Control System, incl. standard lens hood with cap|
Unboxing and Closeup Photos
The lens comes in a standard Voigtländer packaging, with a small manual.
Lens mounted on a Panasonic GX9
This is a hefty lens and probably a bit too heavy for day to day use. But the exceptional maximum aperture of 17.5 means the lens will be great for low light photography or videography. In addition the lens can produce a a shallow depth of field roughly equivalent to a full frame 35mm f2 lens, which means it is suitable for isolating subjects in street photography and can be used as a general purpose standard lens.
I recommend pairing this lens with a larger Micro Four Thirds body, such as the Panasonic GH series as it can feel unbalanced with a small body.