Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Review

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Review (VM for Leica) ASPH

Following my recent YouTube video here is a write up with example photos of that same Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Review. This lens is so good I had to buy a copy! (This lens is the later Leica M mount ASPH lens and not the early LTM / screw mount non-ASPH version).

So Sharp! My Sharpest 35mm Lens

After testing a copy of this lens I was really impressed at how sharp it was wide open at f1.7. This is very useful for low light and I appreciate very sharp lenses to use on analogue film cameras. The lens was on occasion almost too sharp for some of my portraits on digital but film softens the look so I think this is the perfect combination.

Close Focus Ability – 0.5m

As a digital Leica CL (YouTube) user I can benefit from lenses that focus closer than the usual 0.7m meters of many rangefinder coupled lenses. To recap, on a Leica M camera you can only use the coupled rangefinder to a close focus distance of 0.7m. If I use this lens on my Leica M240 then I must be careful not to be in the 0.5-0.7m distance if focusing via the rangefinder. That would mean the camera shows that I am in focus but I am not. If however I use the hotshoe EVF (YouTube) I can benefit from getting in as close as 0.5m and really fill my frame. With film cameras I need to use the lens from 0.7m to infinity to ensure images are in focus.


Best Voigtlander 35mm Lens for Leica M?

Voigtlander make several 35mm lenses for Leica M mount. If you want the smallest 35mm lens they offer get yourself the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 –

Perhaps you want small but fast? In this instance you may appreciate the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens –

For the best bokeh and the fastest lens available look at the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH (version 2 of 3). I use the v2 which is bigger than the new v3 –

If you then want fast but crazy sharp then get the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 ASPH lens as featured in this post. It is the sharpest of the above mentioned lenses from my testing (see below) and offers the close focus benefit of the Nokton 1.2 lens but in a smaller package.

I thought I had my ultimate 35mm lens with the Ultron f1.7 35mm lens but then I tested the Voigtlander 35mm APO Lanthar! Wow. Impressive!

Yet again, Voigtlander surprise me. I tested the new (and improved!) Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2 and this lens is just fantastic. I will try to make a written post to share but in the meantime see the video review above.

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 ASPH VM on film
Testing the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 ASPH lens at f1.7 on my Leica M4-P film camera

Lastly there is the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2 Vintage Line lens. I have not yet tested this lens but if I do I will share the results here! It offers the benefit of being very small and cheaper than the 1.7 lens. (*Update, I now own this lens).

35mm Lens Size Comparison

Blog Photo - Voigtlander Ultron vs Skopar vs Nokton(s)

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Lens Flare

For me the 35mm Ultron 1.7 lens controls flare well for my black and white portraits. Here is an example photo from shooting directly into the sun.

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm Lens Flare

The Voigtlander Ultron 1.7 Bokeh

After shooting with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.7 lens in Poland I would say the bokeh from the Ultron is controlled and usually round bokeh balls. Here I was testing the lens with a passing tram.

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7

YouTube Lens Bokeh Test

Here is a quick and crude bokeh test I did for the Ultron 35mm f1.7 YouTube lens review –

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Bokeh Test

Sharpest Voigtlander 35mm Lens?

As above here is another image shared on YouTube but now you can click the image to see the results full resolution. For me the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 lens was the sharpest 35mm lens followed by the Voigtlander Skopar 35mm f2.5. If you need a fast sharp lens get the Ultron. If you want small and sharp enough get the Color Skopar 35mm 2.5 (is how I would select the lens to use).

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Sharpness Test
*The test is not perfect as I didn’t show each lens shot wide open but I thought this was more comparable

Voigtlander Ultron Screw Mount vs M mount

You may be away that there are two Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 lenses available. There is the older screw mount version of the lens, often called the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 LTM and then the modern M mount version as reviewed here. I looked to buy the earlier 35mm Ultron LTM lens as I wanted to use it on my screw mount film cameras such as the Voigtlander Bessa R.

The reviews of the Ultron LTM lens however put me off. The screw mount Ultron 35mm 1.7 lens will only focus down to 0.9m not 0.5m. It is said to be prone to haze and the optical block becoming loose over time. (The few copies I found of this lens on eBay all had haze sadly). The one benefit it does offer is it is smaller than the M mount version. The modern lens is an aspherical design which is why is it so sharp but that does add to the size. The LTM lens is non-aspherical.

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm Portraits

The following portraits are all shot with the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 lens at f1.7. I used the lens with both the APS-C crop sensor Leica CL camera and the full frame Leica M240.

Leica CL + Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Portraits

(Photos shot in RAW, imported into Lightroom, MrLeica Leica CL preset applied then finished in Photoshop).

Voigtlander 35mm f1.7 Portrait
Leica iif Photographer
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm 1.7 Portrait
Leica CL + Ultron 35 / 1.7
Voigtlander 35mm Ultron Portrait
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Portrait
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7
Girls with cameras
Belated Merry Christmas!
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 M Portrait
Digital Leica CL + 35mm f1.7 Ultron
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Review
Voigtlander 35mm Ultron Portrait
Ultron 35mm f1.7 Portrait
Leica CL + Ultron 35mm 1.7
Leica M240 + Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Portrait Photos
Leica M240 + Voigtlander Ultron 35mm
Leica M240 + Voigtlander 35mm 1.7

**I shot the Ultron mostly on the Leica CL but I will add in more Leica M240 images here as I shoot/ edit them.

Best Voigtlander Lens for Sunstars?

The Voigtlander Ultron lens design means it can create amazing sunstars even with the lens close to wide open.. and then at all apertures from then on. Here is an example photo shot on a morning run when visiting Poland.

*It is worth mentioning that the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 lens can also create a similar look. (I still need to do a write up for that lens!)

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Sunstars

35mm f1.7 Voigtlander Ultron Price?

It depends where you live. If you are outside of the UK check out Amazon and if in the UK check out the Robert White website as the lens is not listed on the Amazon UK site. If you want to buy a used copy of the lens check eBay.

Robert White Discount Code – Use “MRLEICA” to get 5% off Voigtlander lenses – https://www.robertwhite.co.uk/


Update* Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 vs f2

If you like the 35mm Ultron rendering but want something smaller you will probably love the new Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2 (YouTube). The new 35mm f2 Ultron will replace the f1.7 which will become discontinued.

35mm f1.7 is my new favourite fast 35mm lens!

After receiving a copy of this lens to test I was so impressed I had to buy one for myself. I found a good deal on eBay and so this is now my new preferred fast 35mm setup on the Leica CL and for film photography (especially).

Goodbye Canon 35mm f1.8 LTM 🙁

If you follow my work on platforms such as Flickr you will know that for most of last year my go to 35mm lens was the tiny Canon 35mm f1.8 LTM (screw mount). I loved the size of this lens but in terms of sharpness the Ultron is unmatched. I decided to sell the Canon rangefinder lens (which I will probably regret!) to fund the Ultron purchase. If I want a small more forgiving fast 35mm I will start using the Voigtlander Ultron Classic 35mm instead. This is the plan!

Need something sharper? Zeiss Distagon 35mm f1.4 ZM

Do you love Voigtlander lens too!?

You may also like these amazing Voigtlander lenses!

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.2 ASPH VM
Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f1.5 ASPH VM
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.2 ASPH VM

Want to use Voigtlander lenses on your DSLR camera?

No fear! You can benefit from using the Voigtlander SL / SLII lenses for Nikon or Canon mount (for example). Voigtlander lenses account for some of my best Nikon mount lenses that I use on the SLR film cameras.

Voigtlander SL lenses for Nikon and Canon – 20/28/40/58mm..

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12 thoughts on “Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 Review (VM)”

  1. Hi Matt,
    first of all let me thank you for your posts and videos, always interesting and to-the-point. Secondly, let me congratulate for your pictures, beautiful and inspiring.

    Coming to the subject of this comment, I have an old Ultron 35mm f1.7 LTM, which I purchased new-in-box with a Bessa R from a shop in Italy. On the front of the lens, is engraved in red “aspherical”, so I guess that the old LTM version of the lens had an aspherical design, as the new one. Or I have a special version?

    Anyway, my copy do not suffer from haze or any other optical problem and performs very well (just a bit soft at full aperture, but I use it only on film and I’m not a pixel-peeper, so it doesn’t really matter). Color rendition is a little on the cool and desaturate side (that’s a kind of “vintage mood”) and it has that “3D pop” which I really love in a lens.


    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Alessio, thanks for your kind words and for commenting. As I know there are only 2 versions of this lens so perhaps the early copy was also an ASPH design. Your lens should be shorter and focus at 0.9m. Mine is longer and 0.5m. It sounds like you have a very nice copy and thanks for reporting that thos lens can be good. Maybe one day I will get an LTM version for my Bessa R and Leica iii cameras if I find a good copy. Many thanks! Matt

  2. Hi Matt,
    Nice article! I own m39 older version of the Ultron 35mm and can confirm it is my sharpest 35mm Leica lens, however I noticed that LTM version works better in the m39 threaded cameras. I use this lens on my old Canon P. BTW Canon P has one of the best view finders, maybe it explains why I get the sharpest pictures with Ultron on Canon P. BTW check Canon P it has a metal shutter !
    Best regards!

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Thanks Al! Interesting to hear about your LTM version, thanks for info. I’ve shot the Canon 7 but not the P. I keep promising to others I will check the P so thanks for the suggestion! Matt

  3. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but every LTM version I’ve found is indeed ASPH, but also, as Matt points out, with a longer minimum focus distance. Many do suffer from haze, but all lenses do eventually. Haze is very easily remedied and should be looked at pretty much the same way as cleaning the inside of your car windshield. Basic maintenance. Fungus, on the other hand, can be a deal breaker. I shoot Canon 7’s and have thought about grabbing an LTM copy of this lens, but would like to know more about the optical difference–if any–from later M mount versions before deciding. You do a great job, Matt, and thank you.

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Thanks Bob, if I ever get the LTM Ultron I’ll be sure to share it. Like you, it would be nice to have it in LTM mount.

  4. I own the ltm aspherical 35mm f1.7 Ultron. The newer Leica m version is the same optical design but I believe the newer lens has superior coatings. I also have the ltm 50mm f1.5 nokton. The older lens is the same formula as the Leica m lens but with less efficient coatings. Both 35mm and 50mm ltm lenses benefit from using hoods. I use mostly work ltm to Leica m adapters on Leica cameras.

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Paul thanks, which LTM 50 1.5 do you have? The old one is the same formula as the current 50 mm f1.5 (v1) but the LTM ASPH is a different optical formula with 2 ASPH elements. I have the ASPH LTM and the same in Nikkor S mount. Very modern looking, more like a Summilux ASPH. Thanks re. 35mm too.

  5. Hi Matt,

    I’ve got a copy of the aspherical 35mm Ultron f1.7 but it’s in Leica M mount, do you know if this was ever released or if it’s been permanently adapted from LTM?

    I’m curious as I’ve seen no other information on an M-mount version of this lens, but the 0.9m minimum focus distance matches that of my Bessa r2, could it be some special release?

    Love your work, cheers.

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Declan, Make sure it’s not on a adapter ring. I was fooled for years thinking a lens I had was M mount and it was just on the adapter ring haha. That’s the most likely answer. Cheers Matt

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