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Cosina announces Voigtländer Color Skopar SL II 28mm F2.8 lens

By dpreview staff on Jul 16, 2012 at 12:03 GMT

Cosina has announced the Voigtländer Color Skopar SL II 28mm F2.8 manual focus prime lens for Nikon and Canon DSLRs. The latest in Voigtländer's SL II range, it offers a wideangle 74.8° field-of-view on full-frame DSLRs or short-normal angle of around 53° on APS-C cameras. The lens will sell with a recommended retail price of €529 for Nikon, which includes an AIS chip to allow use of all metering modes, or €549 for the Canon version. No US price is yet available but we'd expect prices around $500.

Comments

Total comments: 72
mohawk51
By mohawk51 (11 months ago)

Got no complaints about this lens or the 40/F2. Either does my photo editor. Don't miss the weight of the Nikkors at all. Mr. Kobiyashi (Pres. of Cosina), I thank you for coming out with these lenses. Now when is the 75mm lens coming out?

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Catallaxy
By Catallaxy (Sep 12, 2012)

Just got mine from Stephen at Cameraquest.com (I put down a deposit a while ago).

The lens is small and lightweight. Perhaps a tiny bit smaller than my Voigtlander 40 f/2 (new model) and the focus ring is very smooth and damped. I am putting it through testing now, but so far it is a joy to work with. Inside shots look good with nice bokeh. It is easy to focus on my D700. The light is just getting good so I should be able to tell more about the lens after shooting it outside this evening.

0 upvotes
grtozerphoto
By grtozerphoto (Jan 19, 2013)

What is your opinion on the 28 today?

0 upvotes
schaki
By schaki (Jul 22, 2012)

To offer such a small and seemingly nice lens only to Canon and Nikon-mounts are a mistake. Being so short, almost like a real pancake it would definitely make sense to make it available for Fujifilm X-moun, Sony NEX and Samsung NX also. 42mm which the focal length would still be very usable

They've got it right with the close-focus distance 22cm/0.2m, which makes better sense than the so often common 30cm which I often found less useful.

0 upvotes
sillette
By sillette (Jul 17, 2012)

A 28mm lens on any APC sensor camera makes for a perfect standard lens. The only problem I have found with my Voigtlander 20mm SII lens on my Canon DSLRs is the fact I have to crank the focus back from infinity a smidgen to sharpen the photograph.

0 upvotes
grtozerphoto
By grtozerphoto (Jan 19, 2013)

I have found all my Voigtlander lenses must be focused from near to infinity and when the focus indicator first hits, focus is bang on. I have tested on a D700 and D7000 with the same results. I just find my old eyes have a difficult time focusing without a proper split screen. Try using the focus indicator, focusing from near to infinity.
I am curious to know if Canon is similiar.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jul 17, 2012)

Three cheers for Mr Kobayashi.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Jul 17, 2012)

It all comes down to how this puppy performs. If it's pretty sharp across most of the frame wide open and totally sharp over the whole frame at f/5.6 or so then it will be a winner for me. Especially if it has good flare and ghosting characteristics along with reasonable distortion (I suspect it will have a fair amount of distortion).

I had the 40/2 Ultron and really liked it, but it was too close in focal length to my 50mm f/1.8 Nikkors to keep around.

I would have really liked a 28/2, but then it would not nearly be as small. F/2.8 is fine for 99% of what I shoot anyways.

Looking forward to the reviews.

0 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (Jul 17, 2012)

The only reason to make such lenses would be as a cheaper alternative to Zeiss manuals. On top of that should Cosina fit it with stepless aperture ring and long throw distance ring for wideo use then they would have a seller.

0 upvotes
Wilfred Wong
By Wilfred Wong (Jul 17, 2012)

IMO the worst thing about Voigtlander lens is their overpriced hood.

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jul 17, 2012)

if they can make it auto focus (and retain the size..somehow) I am buying.. :-)

3 upvotes
Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (Jul 17, 2012)

The question is, why do you need autofocus with a lens for which at F-16 everything from 3 feet to infinity will be fairly well focused?

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Jul 17, 2012)

Dennis: We don't buy f2.8 lenses to shoot them exclusively at f16....

6 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jul 17, 2012)

True, Clint, but in a dire emergency, you might be able to manually focus this manual-focus lens, even at f/2.8. Imagine!

There are umpteen autofocus lenses on the market. Surely there's room for a manual-focus one too?

0 upvotes
Phil Flash
By Phil Flash (Jul 16, 2012)

Their 40mm F2 is my main lens on my Nikon D700. Fantastic and sharp. Not sure I need this one as I already have the Nikon 28,, 28 AIS and it's only slightly bigger than this one.

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 16, 2012)

Can this compare with Canon L glass?

Or more specifically, does this compare with the Canon 28mm f/1.8?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
digitalDork
By digitalDork (Jul 16, 2012)

If you use the Canon lens in manual focus and restrict the aperture to f2.8 then I suspect the VC will be nicer to use in comparison. But then why have the L lens if you're going to do that?

0 upvotes
helmus
By helmus (Jul 17, 2012)

There is no Canon 28mm L lens...
I hope that this new Voigtländer lens makes this forgotten!

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Jul 17, 2012)

I was referring to the EF lens with comparable price point, which is the non-L f/1.8.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Jul 16, 2012)

Looks good indeed. I guess it has the sane housing as the 20/3.5 (which is a great lens).

1 upvote
JWest
By JWest (Jul 17, 2012)

As opposed to the insane housing on some other Voigtlanders?

0 upvotes
KevinD65
By KevinD65 (Jul 16, 2012)

Crazy thought ... Get this lens and a Nikon FM10 and you'd have a very light weight full frame camera for under $1K. Of course, it wouldn't be digital, but it would be a small, light kit for backpacking. Carry a digital P&S for test compositions and exposures, and for times when the shot isn't film worthy.

2 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Jul 16, 2012)

Or get an Olympus E-PL1 ($ 149.95), a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 pancake ($ 169.99) (28mm equivalent) and you're done. It would not be FF, but who cares...

5 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jul 16, 2012)

Or get a used Canon 5D for less than $1K. You can get them from $500-800. No need to deal with film (loading, developing, scanning, etc.). No need to "carry a digital P&S for test compositions and exposures." And it would have AF.

BTW, why do you need full frame for backpacking? What would be the point?

0 upvotes
KevinD65
By KevinD65 (Jul 16, 2012)

Well, landscape photographers are always looking for the best IQ they can get, thus the allure of FF. Presumably any serious attempt at landscape photography will involve backpacking, thus the allure of FF for backpacking. And unless you're taking camping gear, llamas, and sherpas, there's a quest for the smallest, lightest gear you can find that will still deliver the goods.

I agree an E-PL1 is not a bad option, though I would buy and E-PL2 instead (don't like the E-PL3 grip). I really would prefer a viewfinder though, so that has me waiting for the OM-D. But Oly can't seem to ship it, so I investigate other options. For now I just use my Nikon D7000 and wait for the OM-D.

A Canon 5D puts you into a different weight category. I mentioned the FM10 specifically because is is plastic and weighs only 14oz. Also, I don't have Canon lenses, so Canon is out for me.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (Jul 16, 2012)

Kevin, I think you'll like the OMD and it is worth the wait. I have one. That said, I am taking a road trip this week with my OMD and my 1985 Nikon FE2. I have a 28 and 85 (well I have more, but those are what I take in the pack) and a very lightweight SLIK tripod.

Since the FM10 is "The body of the FM10 is made of aluminum with a metal F mount.", you might want to consider something like a used FE FE2 or FM 3 or less. These are all great film holders!!! Carrying both of these is preferable to one FF DSLR for me, and when out of touch, the Nikon FILM camera does not need to be recharged anywhere.

My Nikkor E and D lenses (manual focus of course) fit just fine on the OMD with the MMF3 and a F to 4/3 adapter ring., so bonus, more lenses to choose from...

0 upvotes
KevinD65
By KevinD65 (Jul 16, 2012)

Hey Dennis, thanks for the advice. Actually I already have 2 Nikon FE's but the shutter is stuck on one and the camera store wants more than the camera is worth to fix it. The second one still works though. The FM10 is attractive due to the weight, but I realize the build quality is not as good.

But back to this lens ... actually, I am intrigued by it, and the fact that I have an existing FE to use it with makes it all the more interesting. I've always wanted a pancake prime and wondered why nobody made one. It could be fun. There are a lot of time where I really don't want AF.

0 upvotes
Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (Jul 17, 2012)

Kevin, I like the small (pancake) prime lenses by Lumix, having this or the 40mm version for the film camera's might be a lot of fun. Focusing is not too much of an issue with the 28, DOF is massive. Certainly lots of landscapes have been shot by me with the Nikkor 28, this is just that much smaller.

Now, you can use these lenses on your Nikon AND your OMD, OR, you can consider getting M mount lenses, a used M mount camera body, and the M mounts will also work just fine on the OMD. I have an old Leica Summicron 35, which takes gorgeous pictures on the EP3 and EM5. So, the world is yours to choose from.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Shelly Glaser
By Shelly Glaser (Jul 17, 2012)

A better idea yet - I can take my 1971 Nikon F, which, after all those years survived so many falls, and its 55 mm Micro Nikkor (which I tested against the newest 60 mm auto-focus, vibration isolated 60 mm Micro Nikkor and it won). No digital camera is more rugged than this. Unfortunately, while the camera is as good as it was 40 years ago, my eyes are not, and now I absolutely need autofocus. Oh, getting Kodachrome 25 film is somewhat difficult too...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mateo Miller
By Mateo Miller (Jul 16, 2012)

I like manual lenses. I feel more connected while I'm shooting and they increase my shot discipline. They are lightweight and small.
The fact that they don't autofocus is of little consequence for me.

4 upvotes
Katsunami
By Katsunami (Jul 16, 2012)

I can perfectly understand why Voigtländer makes M-mount lenses: they are noticably cheaper than Leica and Zeiss with (most of) their offerings, and they've got stuff that both of the other two don't have, such as a 50mm f/1.1 for €975, a, 12mm f/5.6 and a 15mm f/4.5.... if you want that stuff, Voigtländer is the only choice.

But why would someone want a manual focus 28mm f/2.8 for DSLR's from Voigtländer? It's just nothing special. It's 28mm. It's f/2.8. It has no AF. While people talk about a Zeiss or Leica "look", I've never heard them talk about Voigtländer; not much anyway. That's the brand you buy if you want one of their special lenses such as the 15mm, or don't have enough money (or don't want to spend it) to buy Zeiss or Leica.

Where Voigtländer is a "special" brand with cool and/or cheap(er) stuff for M-camera's, they don't add anything extra, better, or special to DSLR's, IMHO.

Could be that I'm missing something of course.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jul 16, 2012)

There is no Voigtlander. The company went out of business many years ago. If there is a Voigtlander look, it is a Cosina look because this stuff is made by Cosina. If you are willing to pay, Cosina can make you a "Zeiss" lens and these have been spectacular, but still all produced by Cosina. I'm not sure why they go out of their way to hide their name since the quality of the "Zeiss" lenses proves Cosina is very capable.

0 upvotes
Katsunami
By Katsunami (Jul 16, 2012)

There is a difference between a Zeiss and Voigtländer lens.

It is true that Cosina produces both of them, but the Zeiss lenses are designed by Zeiss, while the Voigtländer lenses are designed by Cosina.

0 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Jul 16, 2012)

Cosina design and manufacture very cool lenses. They use the Voigtlander brand for their own in house designs, and there are real gems in there. The range is great for users who like traditional build and manual focus in small sizes, coupled with current electronic interface. This gives complete EXIF information to Nikon users for example, something not provided by Nikkor AIS lenses. Each of the Voigtlander lenses provides a wonderful combination of optical quality, small size, great build and affordable price. I own the 20mm, the 40mm and the 58mm in Nikon mount, and will probably purchase this 28mm, and the 75mm when it comes out. They are as much at ease on the D800 as they are on a FM2 or a FM10 or a FA. I am immensely grateful to Cosina for catering to this niche, and, yes, I would be just as happy having a proud Cosina logo on those lenses rather than the Germanic ghost of Voigtlander.

5 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jul 16, 2012)

Im glad they will make this lens. :) My favorite lens maker along with Leica. Sure its slower, but its as fast as "fast" zooms and very small/light. Plus I guess it will have decent Voigtlaender/Cosina quality and bit of "look". And we can always hope it will be good as 40/2. :)

3 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jul 16, 2012)

If I'm going to give up AF and IS, I want f/2 for my $500.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Jul 16, 2012)

$300 couldn't do it?

3 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jul 16, 2012)

Pancake lenses are pretty pointless for DSLRs. The handgrip and hump on most of them are going to obscure a lot of the markings on this lens as well.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Jul 16, 2012)

Comparing the Nikkor 28mm f2.8 to the Ultron 40mm f2 - the aperture scale is at the same distance from the body for both lenses and the distance scale is about 4mm further out on the Nikkor but the Ultron distance scale is easier to read. That's assuming that you need to read the marking, given that everything can usually be done through the viewfinder.

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (Jul 16, 2012)

Never had a problem on my Canons. The size & (lack of) weight & the image quality of the 20mm f3.5 make a massive difference if those things are important to you.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jul 16, 2012)

Here's Voigtländer's site with specifications:

http://www.voigtlaender.de/cms/voigtlaender/voigtlaender_cms.nsf/id/pa_fdih8vxb7z.html

And here's the manufacturer's page, showing the optical layout:

http://www.cosina.co.jp/seihin/voigt/v-lens/sl2/28sl2n/index.html

This lens has a classic focal length and speed, with modern technology (aspherical surfaces) enabling an unusually compact design.

I think it's wonderful that someone makes lenses like these. My only complaint is that the focus throw is too short, making zone focusing more difficult than it should be. It has a longer throw than comparable autofocus lenses, of course, but longer still would be very welcome (in combination with more witness marks and depth-of-field ticks for all f-stops).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mirkoc
By mirkoc (Jul 16, 2012)

I wouldn't mind longer focus throw too.

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Jul 16, 2012)

I guess I'm in the boat that doesn't understand this lens.. Ok, so it's about 5/8" shorter than eg. the canon EF 28 f/2.8, but lack AF and has a much shorter focus throw (which seems to imply would be harder to manually focus). The canon lenses also (are people forgetting) have a switch to make lens MF only if one really want this... and about 1/2 the price.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
GKN
By GKN (Jul 16, 2012)

Half the price? Umm.. $800 US for the 28mm f2.8 IS........ 550 Euro is about $675 US ...... the Voightlander is cheaper.

I admit the 28mm f1.8 is cheaper but with street price of $470, its well above half the price, especially as the Voightlander is a recommended price, not street price.

Would have been good for this to be f2.0, like the 40mm.....

0 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Jul 17, 2012)

Sorry, I was referring to the non-IS version.. though appears backordered on eg. B&H and Adorama. Unclear whether you can still buy these lenses (listed at $259).. perhaps this is why Voigtlander/Cosina chose this time to release ?

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 16, 2012)

One of these would be nice on my FM3a...

Now if Cosina would only come out with a basic F-mount full frame manual focus digital SLR about the size of a Nikon FM series camera that would be something.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Jul 16, 2012)

Nikon, are you listening? There is a large market for a manual, gimmick-free digital FM.

2 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (Jul 16, 2012)

As a ex FG user.......wow, what a wonderful thought

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 16, 2012)

I've given up hope of Nikon ever producing a digital camera like this. Cosina could probably do it if they wanted to - they made the Epson digital rangefinder. I think a basic DSLR with an F-mount and a modern full frame sensor would do much better than that camera ever did.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Jul 16, 2012)

Yes. They have built everything else under the sun with that basic Nikon FM10 chassis. Needn't be 36 megapixel sensor. Just a real camera. Manual focus. Manual settings are fine. Just have a great viewfinder and excellent metering and a QUIET shutter.

0 upvotes
dougorama
By dougorama (Jul 16, 2012)

Please bring back the 180mm!

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jul 16, 2012)

That would be lovely, just price for that thing since its true APO is kinda really high. Might be possible that glass used in old 180mm isnt available anymore..

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 16, 2012)

Nice looking lens, but I'll stick with my Olympus OM 28 f/2, which is not much larger yet a full stop faster and tack sharp wide open. f/2.8 on a WA is just too slow.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 16, 2012)

The OM 28 f2 is quite a bit bigger than the Color Skopar lenses, which are essentially pancake lenses.

And f2.8 on a wide angle is only too slow if the kind of photography you do calls for low-light, handheld shots. Landscape photographers who primarily shoot off a tripod have been using wide f2.8, even slower lenses for years. Besides, in general f2 or faster lenses in general are much larger, and heavier. With todays cameras performing so well at high ISOs, f2.8 is fine for many types of photography. Good DOF control on APS-C and FF.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 16, 2012)

You obviously have not used a OM 28 f/2 as it is a tiny lens. It is longer than a pancake, but that doesn't means it's in anyway large. It's less than half the size of say a Zeiss 28 f/2.

If you are doing landscape then it doesn't really matter what the les max aperture is does it; it could have well been f/5.6. But even at f/2.8 on a 28mm lens you will get very little DoF control; even f/2 is can be too much DoF unless you get in close.

You can always stop down a fast lens when you want greater DoF but you can do the opposite. A faster lens gives you more options. Maybe you can explain why they bothered making a 40 f/2 pancake and not an f/2.8?

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Jul 16, 2012)

Landscape Nirvana is 40mm Voigtlander Ultron + Nikon D800 + NX2 + PTGUI (for wide angle). This 28mm looks very good though.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 16, 2012)

Pretty cool, considering that it's 30g lighter and 1mm shorter than the f3.5 that it's replacing.

But this was already announced back in February, with an expected shipping date in June.

http://www.cameraquest.com/Voigt_SL2.htm

So, is this another announcement of the lens, or an admission that they blew June?

Then again, the 75mm f1.8 SL II was announced way back in February of 2011 (seriously) and is still not shipping...

Don't get me wrong: I love my Voigtlanders, the 40mm on FF, the 58mm on APS are two of my favorites, but they don't have the best track record for shipping what they announce.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 16, 2012)

I expect they just make their Voigtländer lenses whenever they are not too busy making Zeiss lenses.

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jul 16, 2012)

Its not same designers, Zeiss is designed by Zeiss. This is probably Cosina own project. Truth is that they should produce bit more real lens and less "vaporlens". :)

Maybe manufacturing current line of Zeiss/Voigtlaender doesnt allow much space for aditional ones..

1 upvote
brudy
By brudy (Jul 16, 2012)

I think CV makes the lenses for Zeiss, in addition to their own designs. They also manufacture the Ikon, IIRC.

1 upvote
ahmami
By ahmami (Jul 16, 2012)

I suspect CV has missed a trick here. Sure the lens has a much lower profile than the equivalent Nikon but it is slower. I would have preferred a faster lens as I quite like the CV range. It is wide enough but an f/2 aperture would have made for more creative images.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 16, 2012)

The lens would have been a lot bigger too. Generally pancake designs are not too good for fast apertures.

1 upvote
Petrogel
By Petrogel (Jul 16, 2012)

Expensive .... But back to real photography

4 upvotes
Esmee Farquhar
By Esmee Farquhar (Jul 16, 2012)

This could be a nice walk-around lens for my 60D.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jul 16, 2012)

If you get it do yourself a favor and get the Nikon version and a Nikon to Canon AF-confirm adapter. Without going through this indirect adaptation you'll have no focus confirmation. If you get a programmable adapter you could even have the correct lens info in the EXIF-data...

0 upvotes
Tinisoli
By Tinisoli (Jul 16, 2012)

I use the 40mm f/2 on my Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 20D, and focus confirmation works just fine.

2 upvotes
Esmee Farquhar
By Esmee Farquhar (Jul 16, 2012)

I know there's one by Novoflex for $300-ish. I don't know whether it would give correct EXIF data or do AF confirmation.

0 upvotes
Jose Rocha
By Jose Rocha (Jul 16, 2012)

I'll get one for walking around the streets, but only IF vignetting is controlled. I had one Voiglander 20mm that vignettes like mad!

3 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Jul 16, 2012)

Yeah. CV lenses are great, but they always have a big drawback somewhere. Some will make you happy, some will make me happy. Hope this fits for all of us!

3 upvotes
Voe
By Voe (Jul 17, 2012)

no lens for Pentax or Sony DSLRs?

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Jul 17, 2012)

Many 3rd parties had already given up pentax sadly

0 upvotes
mohawk51
By mohawk51 (7 months ago)

I've been shooting with this lens for about 6 months. No complaints on sharpness, color rendition, contrast or weight. Same goes for my 40mm/2 Ultron. Sold my Nikkor 50/1.4 AIS and my Nikkor 28/2.8 AIS when I got the Voigt's. Never looked back!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 72