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10-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #1
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which 40mm? pentax da 40 or Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2.0 SL-II

hi,

I have been lurking on this forum for a while and finally created an account. I have a pentax k-2000 and I have been looking for a 30-40mm prime for some time. Lot of the reading was based on this site. I am constrained on budget and I will like to keep it under 400$.
These are the final two choices that I have in mind -
pentax da 40mm (I have the DA 70mm and I absolutely love that lens)

Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2.0 SL-II - This looks like a good alternative and gives me some extra stops.

Both these lenses are priced about the same. So my question is - how is the IQ on the voigtlander between 2.0 and 2.8?
How does the image quality compare after 2.8?

I will really appreciate your insights.

cheers

10-25-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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I assume you know this, but since you didn't mention it, I thought I'd be sure - do realize the Voigtlander is MF. Whereas the incredibly fast AF of the DA40 is actually one of its big selling points.

As for IQ differences, I have no idea.
10-25-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Well, if you look around hard enough you can find some examples from the voigtlander - I would almost describe its' output as dreamy. Like Mark said, it is MF, so if you want AF the DA is your only option here. The voigtlander still has that pancake quality, but looks to be slightly larger. I have the old pentax 40mm f2.8 M version, which is also only MF - I believe it is optically identical to the DA 40mm. the M version can be had used (obviously!) for around $100 or alittle more, and is also a 3rd option!
10-25-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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I accidentally had the little Ultron for a couple of days. It's a really nice little lens. It's very sharp, very contrasty, fairly small and fairly fast.
It has good manual focus feel as well, and I believe will cover the full 35mm frame.
The DA is very sharp, very contrasty, is very small, but not very fast.
It has poor manual focus feel, but excellent AF speed due to fast gearing and light optical mass.
In theory it will cover the full 35mm frame.

Optically, there isn't much to say between them. Their rendition is different from each other, but both are good. The Ultron has better bokeh by a little bit. If I hadn't already had the DA40 and found it to be a lens I don't get much use out of, I would probably have kept the Ultron.

10-25-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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M40 isn't as good as the DA 40.... just not to mislead the OP. Stopped down to f/4 and smaller it's a pretty respectable lens though. I treat it as a tiny 50mm that cannot do low light
10-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Original Poster
thanks all for your quick responses, this is a great forum. Yes, I am aware that Ultron is manual focus. That is not a big plus or minus for me because most of the times (for what I shoot) I can afford the time to manually focus.

So my main swaying factor is whether the Ultron gives a great to very good IQ open wider than 2.8. From what I have read here, DA 40mm is an absolute beauty even wide open. And I have the DA 70mm that is just gorgeous. If Ultron can give the similar IQ larger than 2.8 as 70mm does at 2.8, I will go for Ultron.

Wheatfield/pxpaulx - did you happen to use the Ultron at apertures larger than 2.8? If so, how was the performance?


Thanks
10-25-2009, 07:01 PM   #7
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Convenience - DA 40mm f/2.8
Performance - Ultron 40mm f/2
10-26-2009, 12:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It has good manual focus feel as well, and I believe will cover the full 35mm frame.
.
As a side note, I've had the chance to try the DA 40 on a film camera, and it covers the 35mm frame without vignetting. You need a film body that can control the aperture from the body though due to the lack of an aperture ring.

I am a big fan of Voigtlanders, though the 40mm is the one Vt lens i did not get. Voigtlanders are great for their bokeh and colour rendition, and quite a lot of their lenses are close focus - definitely worth getting!

I'd throw in a spanner at this point by introducing another option for the OP to consider - why not the FA 43 Ltd? Great performance with AF, though pricier.

10-30-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for sharing your views. I decided to go with the Ultron 40mm - mainly because it was faster than the DA 40. I ordered it on Tuesday Night (regular shipping) and it is already here !!
It is a very overcast, dark and gloomy evening here with some rain. But this lens made it very cheerful for me. Here are the first few shots - please excuse my laziness, I did not step out of my apartment. All shots are with the lens wide open at 2.0. The color is really natural - this is exactly how it is looking outside.





10-30-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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VL40mm f2 bokeh is not too consistent with occasional harsh edges.

However, 40mm f2 is very usable at night time, rendering better colour than Da 40 IMHO

Yes, Da 40mm f2.8 has fast autofocus which could be a bonus.
10-30-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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Better color than the DA40? Wow, must be good. Unless you mean "more realistic" color - my DA40 shots seem to pop with so much color it often almost exceeds what I saw with my eye.
10-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dexmus Quote
Thanks everyone for sharing your views. I decided to go with the Ultron 40mm - mainly because it was faster than the DA 40. I ordered it on Tuesday Night (regular shipping) and it is already here !!
It is a very overcast, dark and gloomy evening here with some rain. But this lens made it very cheerful for me. Here are the first few shots - please excuse my laziness, I did not step out of my apartment. All shots are with the lens wide open at 2.0. The color is really natural - this is exactly how it is looking outside.
[/IMG]
Thanks for sharing. Your images look technically good. This lens has been on my radar for a while. I have the Nokton 58mm and APO-Lanthar 90mm which are both amazing. The 58mm is particularly outstanding, noticeably better than the highly touted and excllent DA35mm Ltd at the same FL's. However, the Nokton is a bit long and my DA35 is recently departed, so've been eyeing the Ultron, good to see more data points on it.

This is a good comparison of the Ultron 40 to the DA40Ltd: Pentax DA Limited 40mm vs Voigtlander Utron SL II
10-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #13
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I wonder how the 40mm Ultron compares against the FA 43mm Limited. May be James can lend me his Ultron for a day or two to do a comparison with my FA 43mm
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