40mm - Rokkor f2 or Nokton Classic 1.4 on Sony?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,169
Re: 40mm - Rokkor f2 or Nokton Classic 1.4 on Sony?

demonboy wrote:

GCL wrote:

demonboy wrote:


After some years of buying cheap legacy lenses, I thought I'd treat myself to a decent 40mm. It would be used mainly for street and low-light. I figured an M-mount, because of the adapter, would help keep a low profile, especially mounted on the A7C.

I've been eyeing up the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4, but also love Minolta Rokkor and understand this is an excellent lens. In fact the Rokkor was top of my list until I thought that the Classic might help keep the size down.

Aside from the usual sharpness, flare, ghosting concerns, my main issue is usability. Of course on the A7C I use focus peaking and zooming so I'm looking for something that is intuitive and easy to handle, especially in low light.

Does anyone have experience of either or, even better, both? Any other 40mm I should consider in this price bracket (£350ish)? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Do you mean the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 that was developed for the Leica CLE camera in the mid-1970s? If so, I believe it is both lighter (4.4 ounces vs 6.2 ounces) and shorter (0.9 inches vs 1.2 inches) than the Voigtlander Nokton Classic f1.4. So if size is a factor the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm would be even smaller than the VM 40mm Classic.

I haven't shot with that particular Voigtlander, but I love my copy of the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2. Photos shot wide open at f2 photos have a glow around the highlights from spherical aberration, but it clears up quickly when stopped down. At f4 and f5.6 it is one of the sharpest lenses I own (and I have a number of Voigtlander and Leica lenses in and around that focal length for comparison). It's pretty amazing for such a tiny lens.

Thank you for your feedback. Yes, that's the one. I knew there was a reason why this lens wasn't your average legacy and your feedback is in line with what I'd read about it. I hadn't got as far as comparing the two sizes. IDK, I just assumed the Nokton was smaller, but this is a definite plus. I just need to make sure I get a good copy. Thanks once again for your reply, very useful.

I have the Voigtlander Classic 40/1.4 which was most attractive as probably the cheapest Voigtlander LM mount lens at the time. I was not disappointed.  Presumably being the “affordable” impressed but I have not been subsequently disappointed by it in any way.

The M-Rokkor on the other hand comes with a fearsome (good) reputation and the ones that I ogled were always to expensive for me to loosen my purse strings.

So we have a Voigtlander on the cheaper side that has probably had a lower expectation than what it delivers and a M-Rokkor possibly at pumped up price on a (deserved) reputation.

I do have what I think is a sibling Minolta M-Rokkor 90/4.0 which was also made as a parallel Leica lens.  Looking at both the later M-Rokkor which continued to be made after the Leica deal ceased it seems to have a sleeker build.  I can recommend that lens as well - it is compact extremely well built lens and the f4.0 does not faze it one bit.

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Tom Caldwell

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