A fast 35mm lens which is very sharp, has nice bokeh and is also small? This sounds too good to be true but the Voigtländer Ultron 1.7/35 VM is all that. Of course there is are also a few issues but all in all it’s a pretty great lens.
Filter Thread: 55mm
Max. Magnification : 1:2
Close Focusing Distance (from the sensor/from the front of the lens): 45cm /27cm
Number of aperture blades: 6
Elements/ Groups: 5/4
Price: (February 2015): 90-150€ in good condition at ebay.de or $110-170 at ebay.com (affiliate links)
i want to thank Marc for borrowing me the lens to write this review!
In this comparison I want to compare two very different lenses.
TheMinolta MC Rokkor-PF 55mm 1:1.7 was introduced in 1968 and it was always an affordable lens. Today it usually sells for around $20 at ebay.com (affiliate link).
I like it because it has very nice bokeh, the nice focusing feel and the small size. I is not one of my sharpest manual lenses, the Canon FD 1.4/50 for example is noticeably sharper but it has very nice character, not far away from the much heavier and more expensive Minolta MC 1.2/58.
The Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA was introduced 45 years later in 2013 and it costs around $1000 or 50 times as much as the Minolta. It has received very positive reviews and is considered to be one of the best normal lenses available today.
The question I try to answer with this test is: How different are the results I can expect from the lenses? I will look at smaller images optimized for the web but also at 100% crops to judge print quality.
All images are developed from raw and I used a tripod unless I mention otherwise. Please click on them to see them in full size (1500px wide).
Scene 1: Bokeh and Sharpness in the center wide open
The same settings applied to the image taken with the Minolta 1.7/55