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04-23-2014, 02:50 PM   #1
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Voigtlander Ultron 40/2 vs FA 43/1.9

Last year I purchased a Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2.0 SLii second hand, but in "as new" condition, for a good price. I initially bought the lens to have a compact travel-camera kit, to bring along for a vacation in Southern Europe. I also use the lens for general landscape shooting and low light situations. Relying on the focussing confirmation of the K20D, I have had quite mixed results with regards to focus ( I probably should have changed to a focussing screen better suited for manual focus...). Anyway, I am mostly very happy with the tiny Voigtlander and the images it produces. It is very sharp across the frame already at f2.0, and is very suitable for landscape.

I have never tried a FA 43/1.9, I only know its reputation. Would there be much to gain with getting a FA 43 instead of the Voigtlander, apart from autofocus?

I appreciate any advice on this matter!

Regards
Bjørn


Last edited by bjolester; 04-23-2014 at 04:05 PM.
04-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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I am also interested how the Voigtlander compares to the Pentax DA 40mm ltd and FA 43mm ltd.
Just btw, did you try catch-in-fcus with the Voigtlander? That ought to help with the focus
04-23-2014, 04:00 PM   #3
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There was a comparison done before here on PF.
I think the Ultron was a bit sharper for distant focus in that comparison.
They seemed close enough to not bother much over the slight difference imo.

The FA43ltd is convenient for the AF (very) but if you already have the ultron and don't mind the MF at all, I'd suggest you get something else.
04-23-2014, 05:39 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
, I'd suggest you get something else.
As the nominated responsible adult for today………I recommend Pinholescams' "I'd suggest you get something else" should be amended to "save your money"

04-23-2014, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
As the nominated responsible adult for today………I recommend Pinholescams' "I'd suggest you get something else" should be amended to "save your money"
What! That's heresy. Get both lenses and others besides
04-23-2014, 09:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jva59 Quote
What! That's heresy. Get both lenses and others besides
I agree, you can never have to many lenses, only to few hours in the day to use them.
Bring on the LBA.
04-23-2014, 11:19 PM   #7
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Here's a comparison among the FA35/2, DA40/2.8, FA43/1.9, and the CV 40/2 Ultron. Test conditions were not ideal, as this lensman plainly states. Just go to the photos and study them carefully: there are inconsistencies in these examples, so you'll need to put on your thinking cap in order to sensibly analyze what's here. Nevertheless, I think you can draw some fair conclusions.

This is the link: information.uni-bremen.re/foto-ag/old page/Ultron/test.htrr

The obvious plusses for the Ultron include the really fine performance at f.2.0 and near optimum real world performance for this design at f.2.8. Tests elsewhere are consistent with this result. A not so typically Pentax-like performance, then, and plainly useful. Also, the performance at the borders (right to the corners) is particularly notable. The color rendition is somewhat cooler than Pentax's; contrast appears snappier in the details.

Personally, I cannot at present relate to the effective equivalent focal length/FOV offered up by the FA43mm on APS-C (not having tried this); I feel 40mm on a crop sensor body is pushing it too close to no man's land for my requirements as it is. That's why I'm not yet trading off my Nikon version of this lens for the Pentax Ultron, if and where it might be available. I think 40mm is a wonderfully versatile FL for full frame, more to my liking than a 50mm in most situations. So I guess I'll just wait to see how things shake out. BTW, note the performance of the DA40 here vs. the FA43, when it's stopped down a bit. Again, given the shakey control of variables, FWIW. But, that's another reason I'm happy for now having both the Ultron in NAI-P and a DA40 XS. Both have their place, given our present options. Also see the strong close-up performance of the Ultron on the f-stoppers website.

Last edited by Kayaker-J; 04-24-2014 at 09:38 AM.
04-24-2014, 06:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
I have never tried a FA 43/1.9, I only know its reputation. Would there be much to gain with getting a FA 43 instead of the Voigtlander, apart from autofocus?

I appreciate any advice on this matter!

Regards
Bjørn
I have both lenses (I am lucky to have first version of VL 40 with chrome rings). They are both great and very close in performance. In fact, FA 43 uses the same ultron optical scheme. So, apart of AF, this is a matter of personal preference. There could be slight differences in rendering and color, but again, this is a matter of taste.

04-24-2014, 07:16 AM   #9
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The Ultron's dedicated close-up lens, carefully spaced on the dome hood, also works very well.
Focus peaking in live view on the newer Pentax bodies really helps to get the best from the Ultron.
04-25-2014, 01:53 AM   #10
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Thank you all for very useful advice!

As a "resposible adult" I think I will just spend my time learning to use the Voigtlander (and not buy any more lenses...).
04-25-2014, 03:17 AM   #11
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I have the VL and the DA 40. I like both but have never been all that tempted by a third 40 ish. The VL is especially nice for film.
04-25-2014, 05:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I have the VL and the DA 40. I like both but have never been all that tempted by a third 40 ish. The VL is especially nice for film.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will definately try the Voigtlander on my black MX
04-25-2014, 06:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
Thanks for the suggestion. I will definately try the Voigtlander on my black MX
My MX was exactly the reason I bought it. It is a great street-shooting combo, as compact as the Kx-DA40 or DA21. Also terrific indoors.
05-14-2014, 05:40 PM   #14
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I have the VL 40mm f2 and have used it a lot on my film bodies, it's a great little gem, though I've now changed my full gear setup to Nikon, as I really wanted a workhorse FF digital, so now it's just resting here in a drawer together with some left over Pentax film bodies and lenses that are for sale, and then I think I'll get the same 40mm in Nikon mount instead. I already bought the VL 28mm 2.8 in Nikon mount for street photography (using an old nice Nikon FE2), and the 40mm would be a great complement!


Cheers
JF

Last edited by JFN; 05-15-2014 at 01:49 AM.
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