A tiny, long gone (from production) marvel.

Started Jan 8, 2020 | User reviews thread
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Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 15,352
A tiny, long gone (from production) marvel.

Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II is a lens you will remember if you have ever used it. It is amazingly tiny, not a pancake, as it has a thinner lens barrel, say 1" long (2.5 cm), and used to come in various mounts, including F Mount, like mine.

For Nikon 1 users (it works great on one of those cameras!) it can be compared to the 6.7-13, slightly wider and shorter (even with the N1 lens retracted and locked up).

Totally manual, totally made of metal (and glass), it has the smoothest focusing ring I've come across. It is chipped, so you get a focus confirmation the normal way, but the rest is manual. It has a manual aperture ring, but when used on my N1 and DX cameras, it needs to be set to f/22, and let be. So if the mechanics are amazing, what about the optics?!

It is an FX lens, but reviewers have complained about the vignetting (which doesn't disappear totally as close the aperture), and it is not really as sharp as the latest on the market, including the Sigma 20 Art, but it weighs and costs just a fraction if you can find one.

I prefer using it with my D7500, I must say, but interesting to use with CX and FX camera.

Here are some snaps from today of my grandson Kevin (no PP, just a little straightening and crop):

But it is just as good for landscape, if not even better.

A tiny lens, not much bigger than a TC, with just one flaw, in my book: really crappy front and rear caps (I use Nikon's own!). Aberrations are not totally absent, but a non-issue with this lens, as other reviewers have pointed out.
The cute little lens hood is not included, and costs $45, almost as expensive as those plastic ones you need to buy to your Olympus lenses! I love Nikon for including hoods, and so does Sigma, hurrah!

The Voigtlander 20/3.5 is so tiny it is very easy to bring it along, just in case you need it, fits in your pocket with ease.

How about using it as a macro:

The minimum focusing distance is around 0.2 meters. No PP.

With a Raynox M-250 lens (also known as DCR-250) you get very close, but with some pincushion!

No PP of any kind, nor crop. The focusing distance was very short! The toy is about 2" tall (5cm).

The Bokeh is quite pleasant and the lens grows on you, even if it isn't the sharpest of all!

Went out into the garden and found toy truck (still with the Raynox on):

No PP.

Tried some flowers, but that didn't really work as there was quite a bit of wind, but as I tried my best a huge butterfly landed in front of the camera, but when I tried going close enough for the Raynox (at minimum focusing distance, stupid me), I decided it wouldn't work and quickly took the Raynox off and managed to shoot one shot, and then it was gone! What a butterfly! About 8" (0.2 meters) from wingtip to wingtip!

Slight crop, no PP.

Dustin Abbot pitched the tiny wonder against the Sigma 20 Art (a huge monster) and found it wasn't as simple as the Sigma was better in everything, but the Voigtlander need to be stepped down to f/8 for best sharpness from edge to edge on an FX camera (he used a Canon to test the lens). At f/3.5 the Voigtlander is a bit soft, which the Sigma definitely is not!

So he writes that if he possibly will need a 20 it is not the Sigma he brings along, but the Voigtlander 20/3.5!

If you see one for sale, don't hesitate to buy it!

Link till Abbott's text here!

Kevin, a little over 1.5 years old, just as his twin brother!

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tordseriksson (at) gmail.....
Owner of a handful of Nikon cameras. And a few lenses.

 Tord S Eriksson's gear list:Tord S Eriksson's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D600 Nikon D3300 +23 more
Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II
Wideangle prime lens • Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Pentax KAF
Tord S Eriksson's score
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Nikon D7500 Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 Color Skopar SL II
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