Olympus Pen E-P1 and Voigtländer Nokton 58mm F 1,4 SLII

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I have bought a Voigtländer Norton Classic 35mm f1.4 to use with my Olympus Pen. It is a fine lens no doubt, but the problem with this lens and practically all ther Leica M mount lens is that, they all have pretty long minmum focusing distnace, from 0.7 to 1 metre. It does not matter whether you buy Voigtländer, Leica or Zeiss M mount lenses, they all have this limitation.

A 35mm lens on the Pen will have a 35mm full frame field of view(FOV) equivalent of 70mm. The Voigtländer Norton Classic 35mm f1.4 makes a fine portrait lens on the Pen and pretty useless for shooting anything close-up with a minimun focusing distnace of 0.7m.

It seems that the only way to find a large aperture lens that will allow shorter focusing distance to go with the Pen would be a SLR lens. After doing much research, I have decided to buy a Nikon AIS mount Voigtländer Nokton 58mm F 1,4 SLII. I have happy to report that it works perfectly with the Pen. The following are a couple of test shots.

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11 thoughts on “Olympus Pen E-P1 and Voigtländer Nokton 58mm F 1,4 SLII

  1. Hi Roland,

    More great shots. Thanks so much.

    Can you tell me if the depth of field (or lack thereof) in these photos is all in-camera, or did you do some blurring in Photoshop?

    I was also an early adopter on the EP-1, and am very happy with it (despite some mediocre reviews on-line). I’ll be curious to read your review.

    Thanks again,

    Randy

    • Hi Randy,

      The shallow DOF was due to the lens with large aperture of f1.4. I did not do anything in Photoshop to enhance the blurring.

      Unfortunately, for the moment, there are no native micro 4/3 lenses with large aperture. The Olympus kit lenses, even the 17mm f2.8 does not have a large enough aperture to produce the extreme shallow DOF effect.

  2. Hi Roland,

    I just ordered myself a Olympus pen with 14-42 mm lens kit. I am buying this for my upcoming mountaineering trip and wondering what other lens I should couple it with. I will be taking lots of photos of mountains and some people photos. I was thinking may be something wide. Would love to hear your suggestions.

    Thank you

    • Hi Sumit,

      There are not many native micro 4/3 lenses available at the moment. For true wide angle, it seems that the only choice available at present is the Panasonic 7-14mm f4. It is a fine lens with good image quality according to reviews so far, but it is a rather expensive lens, good if you can afford it and perfect for landscape photography.

  3. Dear Roland,
    great website – I love the pictures you’re making with the new Pen. May I query which mount you purchased – I see it says ‘nikon-m4/3’ but am curious whether its direct to m4/3 or do I need the 4/3 adaptor mount.

    And I would be grateful if you could suggest a few shops (HK) where I can go searching for the m ount adaptor and lens. Is Tin Chxxg a good spot for those voigtlanders?

    Any views between your 58mm 1.4 and the 40mm 2.0 of the same brand? Did you also ever consider olympus’s own 50mm 2.0?

    Too many questions, looking forward to your response.

    Thanks alot

    • HI Mark,

      The lens mount adapter I am using is a direct Nikon to micro 4/3 adapter. No need to use an intermediate 4/3 to micro 4/3 adapter before putting a Nikon mount lens on.

      Yes, Tin Cheung carries practically the full range of Voigtlander lenses and should be a good place to start for Voigtlander lenses.

      I have not tried the Voigtlander 40mm f2, but it should be an attractive lens because it’s quite compact and small. But I wanted a very large aperture lens, so I went for the 58mm f1.4 instead.

      For the same reason, I did not consider the Olympus 50mm f2. I wanted a f1.4 or at least f1.8 lens.

  4. Roland,

    thanks for the response – I am guessing you purchased the mount adapter online?

    I am strongly considering the 40mm F2, but as you said, a very large aperture is very attractive – especially when I already have the 17mm F2.8. We’ll see what happens there.

  5. Actually Roland,

    would you recommend the 25mm F1.4 by panasonic over the 40mm F2 or even your 58mm 1.4? I am looking to use the lens for portraiture and ‘macro-ish’ work…

    Thanks alot.

    • Hi Mark,

      The Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4 should be a really good lens, but rather expensive and quite big and heavy, vene bigger and heavier than the Vogtlander 58mm f1.4. If you don’t mind the price, weight and size, it should be a good match for the Pen and the advanatge is of course you will have autofocus, shutter priority and program mode as well. It should be fine for macro-ish work as the minimum focusing distance is pretty short, but at only 50mm FOV equivalent on a full frame camera, it can only be considered as a standard lens and not really classic portraiture lens, and may not be ideal for portrait work.

  6. Roland,

    thanks for your opinion; I have decided to test the waters of manual with the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II Aspherical Manual Focus Lens for Nikon Ai-S mount. I found that the 40mm has a macro filter that allows it to focus to a distance from 0.38m.

    The copy of the Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 I was given to test had rather strong CA which was not seen on the 40mm lens.

    I chose (expensively) to purchase the voigtlander mount also…(all from Tin Chxxng)

    Hopefully the F2.0 will be enough for my purposes – will send you a link once pics start emerging from the Pen with this lens.

    Thanks

    Mark

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