Voigtländer 40mm f/2


The modern Voigtländer series of lenses are outstanding works of art that deliver the best images I can imagine. They are, by far, my favorite brand of lenses today.

This 40mm f/2 option is at the top of the class and should be in everyone's camera bag or at the top of their dream list.


The lens is setup with 6 elements in 5 groups.

Maximum Aperture: f/2

Minimum Aperture: f/22

The diaphragm is 9-bladed, producing outstanding bokeh.

The lens is strictly manual focus, but it includes an onboard chip that interacts with the camera body to tell it not just what kind of lens is attached but allows the photographer to set the aperture on the camera body. This permits the photog the ability to set f-stops that are between the hard stops normally seen on an aperture ring.


Made out of metal this lens has a solid, though clearly vintage look to it. It feels great to operate.

It has the metal focus ring with the scalloped edges how I dream all lenses were made. A rubber grip will get loose after years of hard use, it can get gummy from heat and humidity, too. But a solid metal focusing ring is never impacted by any of these things and always feels great.

There is an optional lens hood that is very reasonably priced and adds an amazing lens cap option that protects the lens that much more. The hood and cap are all metal and sturdy.


From wide open to stopped down this lens delivers not just sharp images but ones with outstanding color. This is due to Voigtländer committing to old school methods and using real leaded glass. Due to health concerns with making such coatings this is rarely done today, but the results are worth their work to make it happen today.

The sharpness is backed up with outstanding micro-contrast so black and white photography is just as excellent as color photography, too.

The focusing is not hard at f/2, making this a forgiving lens for the novice manual-focus user.

My only complain is that the aperture ring has no mechanism to lock it fully closed (f/22). If the aperture ring is not set correctly then the camera gets confused. For me, switching among different vintage lenses I will often turn the aperture ring on purpose and I can bump it sometimes, too. This results in a camera/lens that isn't ready to shoot until I flip the aperture back to where it needs to be. This is not a major issue, but it keeps the lens from being the best it can be.

Yes, f/2 is not an ultra fast lens, but it is a perfect ratio for portraits and general photography. For the high-end prices these lenses fetch yes the build quality and the image results are worth the price, but I sure wish at times this was at least f/1.8 for lower light and a little more artistic portraiture.


There are few offerings in the 40mm range and things in the nearby 35mm are nothing compared to the optical words that the Voigtländer 40mm f/2 can do.


Following are some sample photos to demonstrate the power of this type of lens and some general uses which will likely yield good results. If you shoot things like these, then this lens may be a good one to think about adding to your camera bag.

Check out more photos I have shot with this lens in my Flickr Album.