Compact Voigtlander Primes Trio

Compact Voigtlander Primes Trio – 40/1.4, 35/2.5 & 15/4.5
Leica Photographer – Matthew Osborne Photography

Compact Voigtlander Primes Trio

As a Leica Photographer I have learnt to appreciate the compact size of both the Leica cameras and some of the Leica mount lenses. Over the last six months I have gained quite a nice collection of Leica M mount primes from the likes of Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander. I have some of the well known great lenses such as the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 but also some less well known ones such as those made by Voigtlander. I recently travelled to London where I would be shooting street model / fashion photography in daylight and at night and candid Leica street photography, again during the day and at night. I wanted to take two Leica camera bodies with me to be safe (in case one failed) so I packed my Leica M9 and Leica M8. i then wanted compact lenses to cover my needs. Of all my lenses I chose three to take in my Leica camera bag. They were all made by the same company, Voigtlander.

My lens choice
Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii – Super compact pancake lens for street photography
Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 – Compact and perfect for portraits and low light photography
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 – Wide angle for environmental street photography showing the people in their surroundings

My Ona camera bag still had space and I wanted to take a film camera. I packed a Nikon FM SLR with a Rollei Planar 50mm f1.8 lens attached. The Nikon FM did well but I lusted after Leica film. When I got home I ordered a 1958 Leica M2 35mm film camera. My camera bag is now complete. Three camera bodies covering film photography and digital photography (Leica M2, M8, M9) and three compact lenses covering all I need (15f4.5, 35f2.5, 40f1.4).

Here are some sample images from my day in London using the aforementioned equipment –

Leica M9 + CV Nokton 40mm f1.4
St. Paul's Cathedral
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4

Leica M9 + CV Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii
London Photography Workshop
St. Paul's
London strobist workshop
Leica M9 Street Photography

Leica M8 + CV Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii
Model Photography

Leica M9 + CV 15mm f4.5 Heliar
London Street Photography (2)

I am really looking forward to shooting 35mm film photography with the beautifully crafted Leica M2 on my next outing. A full review of my 1958 Leica M2 film camera to follow once I have example images. – Leica Photographer

Author: matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.

6 thoughts on “Compact Voigtlander Primes Trio”

  1. Never really looked at Voigtlander M-mount lenses but after following your blog and noting the # of credits given them, I just might give them a try. As always, wonderful set of images…..

    1. Thanks Occam, yes would highly recommend the Voigtlander 35s. The f1.2 ASPH ii is one of my most used and favourite lenses despite having the likes of Lux ASPH 50 and Cron 50 v5. I think my new Skopar will be well used mostly because of the size but I love the rendering too… and cheap.. and then there is also the classic.. Nokton 40mm f1.4. Brilliant lens for the money.

  2. Hey there, really like your photos with the Voigtlander 35s. I believe those photos will make “Leica-only-photographers” look and think twice. I am really interested in both of them 35s that you have. If you don’t mind I have a few questions and would appreciate any input from you.

    1. If both Voigtlander 1.2 and Skopar 2.5 are used at 2.8 will there be a difference in image quality and character?

    2. If I normally shoot street and really likes dreamy shots with shallow DOF, should I get a 1.2 and a skopar? Or should I go for the other Voigtlander, the 35 1.4 classic SC/MC?

    3. At the moment there is also one side of me that is asking me to splash all my savings on the 35 Lux FLE as it is supposed to be the-best in its category. Would you be happy to give me some advice on that seeing that you have extensive experience with many of the lenses.

    Thank you in advance for your time and any of your input. I find your photographs very inspirational especially the wedding you shot with the 35 1.2.

    P.s. Im a student shooting with a used M9 under some sort of budget

    Best regards


    1. Hi Wayne, thanks. This is only my view but the answers are:

      1) Faster lens stopped down are almost always better at the same aperture, in all cases but I have not noticed the Skopar to be soft either.

      2) Dreamy and street rarely come together. Street is often stopped down = sharp. If you take photos of static subjects or get good at guessing distances then you can shoot with a shalllow DOF. I have the 40/1.4 it that is also fantastic so I think the 35/1.4 is similar. I think mine in SC version but it is not marked. The 35/1.4 is the best of both, fast, small, light and cheap. I would maybe think about it.

      3) If you don;t mind paying out for a 1.2 I don;t thin kyou would ever feel you needed the Lux. I haven’t …yet! 🙂 The 1.2 is the most advanced CV lens I have used and gives Leica-glass like results in terms of nice rendering. I have 2 Leica weddings this weekend and will be using the 1.2 + a LUX ASPH 50 alot.


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