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Voigtlander color ultron 50mm f1.8 M42

Sharpness 
 9.3
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 8.8
Handling 
 8.8
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
4 26,636 Sat July 29, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $100.00 9.25
Voigtlander color ultron 50mm f1.8 M42

Voigtlander color ultron 50mm f1.8 M42
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Voigtlander color ultron 50mm f1.8 M42
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Description:
Zeiss QBM planar 50/1,8 Rollei 50/1,8 Voigtlander 50/1,8 has same planar formula.
It is an 'auto' lens with a auto pin.
This the third generation lens, the second generation lens has the concave front lens element.
a delight of a lens to work with
Mount Type:
Price History:



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Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 4,675
Lens Review Date: July 29, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-1, Spotmatic, K-3, K-5   

I have to disagree with some of the reviews here. This is a fine lens. It's just not great. I think a lot of people get obsessed with the Planar name, but compared to, for example, the Contax Planar 1.7, this lens just does not stack up for whatever reason.

The lens is comparatively sharp and with nice rendering, but frankly, I find all of the Pentax 1.8s and 1.7s better, even wide open. Colors are pleasant, but nothing to write home about. Bokeh is exactly what you'd expect from any 6 bladed 50mm.

Handling is decent with a bit more resistance to the helical than I'm a fan of.

Exterior build quality is nice with all metal construction.

Note for those considering using this on digital: this lens has no A/M switch, so you will have to use a Kipon-style flanged adapter or mod the pin. Like all Rollei lenses of this vintage, the interior design is cuckoo bananas, so if you want to do it reversibly, this is way more difficult a task than it should be. It actually shares most of its innards with the QBM mount equivalent, so if you've ever worked on one of those, you will know what I am talking about.

If you have the cash, pony up for a REAL Ultron, which is IMO the greatest manual 50mm ever made and blows this one out of the water. Otherwise, unless you are interested in this lens for its comparative rarity, there are plenty of other better options, including Leitaxing the superior Contax version of this lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2014
Location: at a Bean & Leaf
Posts: 1,712
Lens Review Date: March 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, no astigmatism, colors, bokeh
Cons: MF only, no automatic aperture control
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-3   

Make no mistake this lens is a 10, yes for me in this lens seats in the same class as the Super Tak 8 elements of DA* 55. The color-ultron is a zeiss planar formula, the third generation ultron of famed designer Dr. Albrecht Tronnier. The Zeiss Ultron 50mm f1.8 a second generation design(concave front element) was the highest performing lens of its time. The Voigtlander Color Ultron 50mm f1.8, the third variant might be a very close second. having impressive IQ and micro-contrast. My copy is sharp wide open, In fact this is the sharpest non-macro lens I own. Very few lenses, legacy or modern can match its level of sharpness and contrast at max aperture.
Using the lens is similar to most m42 lenses except there's no auto aperture ring. If you are lucky to get a m42 variant, you need to find a way to fiddle with the aperture pin which needs to stay pressed all the time. Closing the aperture down makes focusing harder but this lens is so sharp that I hardly find myself going beyond f2.8, at such aperture I can still change focus effectively. I'll sell my dslr before I let this lens go.
Highly Recommended.

Pentax K-3 +Voigtlander Ultron 50mm f1.8 @ f1.8
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 16

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 26, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, focus "snap", build quality, looks
Cons: No M42 A/M switch, slight CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

Voigtländer Color Ultron 1.8/50 on K-30

The goods first: It's a really nice lens that delivers good pictures, is good-looking in itself, and I particularly enjoy it's ability to literally snap into focus through the viewfinder - hard to explain, but with this lens (even compared to 50mm and 55mm F/1.4s, of which I have tried plenty, including SMC Takumar, Pentax-M, Rikenon, Cosina, Chinon...), it just seems very easy and quick to spot where your focus is. The IQ doesn't offer much reason for criticism - it is sharp, not excessively so fully open, but on the level of my SMC-DA 50/1.8 which I consider quite a sharp 50mm. It delivers nice, natural colors, good yet not overdone contrast (SMC M 50/1.4 seems punchier in that regard), and shows only slight CA in even hard conditions. Here are some quick example images, however, please note that the example pictures might not even show the full potential, as I might have de-centered the lens noticeable as detailled below.


Nice bokeh@F/1.8
Quite sharp, non-distracting background@F/8
Slight High-contrast color fringing @F/1.8
Nice object-background separation ("3D-Effect") @F/2.8


The bads: It doesn't have an A/M switch, which IMO is pretty much the best thing that M42 have going for them. Instead, as I found out only AFTER painfully disassembling it several times, it has a small screw right next to the aperture actuator/plunger which you can turn down to essentially simulate the actuator being depressed all the time.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Posts: 460

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, color, contrast
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-7presently   

This has the legendary planar formula, a lens produced when voigtlander was a part of Zeiss family, its fabled elder sibling is the second generation color ultron with concave front lens. Its available with made in Germany and Singapore- when voigtlander camera's and lens were made in Rollei factory.. I have the singapore version. got it cheap removed the aotu pin reduced dust element, and i am ready to go.
Element. sharp from f1.8, the crowning glory its contrast, a delight to handle.

i have a helios 44m 2/58, pentax m 1.4/50, pentax-a 2/50.
this lens beats all these in IQ, handling, microcontrast, sharpness.
other than the at-x tokina pro 1 28-70/2.8 the fabled angenieux formula lens. which too for 50mm its far superior.
the ony reason i would give this up would be for FA43 limited for its auto function.


the second generation ultron 1.8/50 review here https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/carl-zeiss-50mm-f1-8-ultron.html


Presently I have two of these vogtlander one declicked for video. reason: could not let go an opportunity to buy the second one having mastered how to fix the autopin , though
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