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First Impression: Voigtlander 40mm f2 Ultron SL

Had the chance to test out this lens as my primary lens during an outing yesterday to Hangzhou. It fits nicely on a D2H, and like the look where the camera body is much bigger than the lens that's mounted on it. The 40mm is about a cm shorter than the popular Nikkor 50mm f1.8 AFD. But feels a lot heavier since its made fully of metal, reminding me of the AIS lenses of yesteryears. The clicks on the aperture ring is tight and assuring. You get half-stops in lower aperture stops (didn't notice others since I was using >f8 the whole day). Focus ring is nicely dampened, feels just like a good condition AIS lens. If you look into the lens there's a 9 blade aperture, which I've not seen for some time. The result coming off the lens is quite good, once I sort out the misfocused photos (manual lenses!! Arrghh!), which forms quite a few of my total shots. Usually I will use the focus indicator on the D2H, but sometimes when I need to take it quick, I use the eye, and this is where most of the problem is. The shots are reasonably sharp, doesn't look as sharp as my 70-180mm micro lens which I brought with me as well. There were some shots that was very nice looking, and others were purely misfocused.

So as a conclusion, I think handling wise, I dont think there is another lens that's better than it. At least nothing I've used yet so far. Image quality wise, it is definitely capable of a good picture. The aspherical glass in the lens keeps distortion to a minimum. What I need to do soon is to perform some test on the performance on all aperture stops to find the optimum stop. Will need to check the bokeh blur effects as well. Heard from some websites that the bokeh is harsh, whatever that means, because of the aspherical lens. I agree its not as smooth as other lenses I've seen, but I think its still not too bad. The 9 aperture blade should allow for nice rounded blurs.