Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SL II

Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SL II

Lens Summary

Brand: Voigtlander

Also Known As: Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Manual Focus

Lens Mount: Nikon F, Pentax K

Release Date: 2007-11-02

MSRP Price: $489

Made in: Germany

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: The Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL-II Manual Focus Lens is a sturdy, bright manual focus lens that features high-quality traditional construction with classic styling, while using modern optical lens technology. This lens is part of the SL II series, which feature a CPU (Central Processing Unit) built into the lens. Having the CPU integrated into the lens allows it to support 3D Matrix metering and matrix balanced fill flash on all SLR cameras, even DSLRs (in manual focus). In addition, this also means that the aperture is now controlled by the camera\'s command dial.

Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SL II Specifications

Lens Specifications
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length58mm
Mount TypeNikon F, Pentax K
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor DSLR (APS-C Sensor)
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Maximum Reproduction Ratio1:5.8
Image StabilizationNo
Aperture Information
Aperture RingYes
Maximim Aperturef/1.4
Minimum Aperturef/16
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)40°
Optical Information
Lens Elements7
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
Focus Information
FocusManual Focus
Built-in Focus MotorNo
Minimum Focus Distance0.45m
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size58mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingNo
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions64 x 48mm
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Drescher

I purchased this lens around 3 or 4 years ago while living in New Zealand. At first unsure if it would live up to expectations, and also unsure about manual focusing, this lens has ended up becoming my default travel / street / doco / portrait lens. I also use it for landscapes and some nature too. If you had to own one lens only, this lens would be an excellent option.

How I use it:

*On D850 with the Nikon DK-17M (which is permanently mounted). The DK-17M increases viewfinder magnification by a factor of 1.2.

Some thoughts:

* Very sharp stopped down, can be quite soft when wide open at f1.4.
* In a way, this lens has two personalities, when wide open and focused on closer subjects, very painterly and a soft. When stopped down, becomes brutally sharp with nice dimensionality.
* The manual focus ring is very smooth with great grip and excellent slow throw. I don’t misfocus much except by my own poor misjudgement from time to time.
* Due to excellent manual focus abilities, you can shoot what you see without recomposing or niggling around with focus points / modes etc, resulting in immediacy to capture little moments in time as they happen.
* Very well constructed. Feels solid and has been very reliable.
* This lens is small and although solid, light.
* On the D850 it makes for a great street setup, not heavy at all, and quite discrete.

Some negatives:
* The lens cap falls off a lot.
* It is manual focus only (negative to some, but AF would defeat the purpose of this lens).
* Does not come with a lens hood – although to this point I’ve not really missed it.
* Not weather-sealed (but you can’t have everything)

Summary: if you are looking for a lens outside the Nikkon / Canon stable to mix things up – this might be it. Especially useful in street / doco / travel / portrait settings, also works well for shooting nature and landscapes. Very sharp stopped down, at f1.4 and nearby, when focusing on closer subject matter, the lens has a softer and more painterly effect. Would probably skip on a crop sensor camera because manual focus would be too challenging, and would add a viewfinder magnifier whatever the camera to enable best use of manual focusing.

Verdict: This lens gets me excited to shoot: sharp, beautiful and immediate.

Jose Banta

If photography life ever does a full review of this lens I will certainly be interested in that.

John Taylor

A great lens with that “magic something”, I use it on my D800 and with an adapter on my Sony A7R2.
Works and looks great on both cameras.


This lens renders “magical” pictures. Different enough to be immediately noticed, even the most boring subjects become interesting. It’s low element, high quality construction is responsible for dimensional “3d” rendering equal to that of Zeiss, with a little more discrete pop than the Planar 85 and more attractive, realistic rendering than the Zeiss 50. This lens looks like a “Zeiss Makro Planar 100” stepped down to 58mm with all other things equal but more attractive, “sexy” rendering and 1/3 of the price. Everything looks perfect, but with some things to consider:
– Allergic to any filter, including UV. With a UV it becomes just a “great lens”. Without it, it’s magic.
– Hood is important, and it’s of amazing quality and feel, yet it’s sold separately.
– No average commercial photolabs will be able to replicate its magic on any paper, unless they use extremely high color depth printers and exotic papers printed directly from raw or tiff. But if you print at home with one of those exotic $1,000 printers and top quality paper, the rendering is like from a lab of the future.
– Its “magic” is immediately visible on models up to the D750 (it makes the D700 look like unapproachable in quality by any other camera!). This lens wants large photosites. It starts struggling just a little with my D810 though, and who knows what it will do with more modern sensors coming up soon. If I want to keep this lens, I’ll have to keep the D810 or the D750 along with it.


I recently acquired the ‘N’ version and it’s a lovely lens coupled with a D700. Takes a while to get used to the manual focus but for the price it’s a bargain

John Gamble

Bought this lens three months ago and love the whole package. Mine is made in Japan. Sharp with little distortion. I use it as portrait lens with my D7000 and a normal lens with my D600. I like using in portrait orientation and shooting panoramas with the D600. Sure wish some of the testers (like yourselves and DxOMark) would fully test this. I think many people would be interested in its quality optics and build, and reasonable cost. I really prefer to use manual focus for landscape and portrait work, so no autofocus is not a problem.