Throwback Thursday Lens Review: Voigtlander 40mm Nokton 1.4 Classic

What I loved about this lens is the straight lines, the ease and accuracy of the 35mm frame lines in real world framing with this lens on the Leica M9, much better and more accurate at 40mm than the actual Leica 35mm lenses. Of course the flange had to be filed down to bring up those frame lines.

Sharpness is just off the charts at f2.0. Way more than anyone needs there. Color is not Leica, by any means. Micro contrast either. But for the money this is a fantastic, fast, sharp, lens for Leica rangefinder cameras. Hope you enjoy the many pictures. Larger res versions are available when I think they’re relevant so hover over many of them for a bigger version.

Thank you,

Donald Barnat


    1. Thank you, John. It means a lot to hear that especially from someone who is so talented with a camera out in nature. We don’t have much nature here in LA except a few stretches of beach. So we have to make do with fire hydrants and old cars. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you


  1. What beautiful pictures. I have just bought the 40mm 1.4 for use with my Leica M8. Please could you point me to a site where I can see how to file it in order to get the 35mm lines to appear? Thanks, Dion (Cape Town)

    1. Thank you! Great lens. I’ll have to research where it was that I saw the instructions. I believe it was on a message board. Might be a day or two before I get back to you. It’s a must do however. You’ll love it even more.

  2. Thank you for the information, Ken. That is sad. It took me a while to get who you were referring to so I Googled his name and the I remembered. He’s the guy who gave the instructions on how to file the flange. He was a pretty well known photographer and musician, I see.

    1. Thank you. But I have to point out that fire hydrant is in the entrance driveway to the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. So, that might have impacted how that fire hydrant looks. Thank you again.

  3. Total photographic eye candy, in the best sense. The clarity, captured lighting and mood (so mellow), plus crisp detail – not sure where the lens begins and the photographer ends. But the work by both and the selection of images is stunning. Thanks for the treat!

  4. Interesting photos. You have an eye for detail and have made the photos come alive! I particularly like the photo of the chefs next the bain marie. Nice post. Kind regards, Iris. πŸ™‚

  5. ” Of course the flange had to be filed down to bring up those frame lines.”
    Hi I’m looking b to buy this lens as well. But don’t quite understand your review above. Which frame line it would bring up .?

    1. It will bring up a 50mm frame line on an M9. But it’s a wider angle so if you file down the flange around the edge of the inside of the lens it will bring up the 35mm frame lines on a full frame M. And they work really nice with this lens at 40mm.

      Thanks for commenting.

      1. yes. i found instructions on a website … A forum or message board. Good luck with that. I’d do a search with the lens “file flange’ ‘frame lines’ and look for something on a message board. Good luck

  6. I am still using my 40mm Nokton as my ‘everyday’ shooting lens on my Leica M8 (and even on my Sony NEX5 with an M mount). I chose not to file the flange and so don’t have accurate frame lines. But since I have been shooting with this lens for about two years now I have a pretty good idea of the frame size and just frame from memory. It is such a lovely little lens! My favourite. I also have a 21mm Voigtlander and the 50mm 0.95, neither suits me as well as the little 40mm.

    1. I loved it. But my color was weird a little on the M9. I have to say… big secret… I bought the 35mm 1.2 Nokton a while ago. About six months. Different lens altogether. Comparatively huge and heavy. But much more of a Summilux style lens of course. You pay for in money and size and weight for the extra .1 stops of light I guess. lol. It is a really amazing lens though. I like it better than the 35 Summilux FLE that costs $5000. Anyway. I loved the 40 Nokton and loved using it and how sharp it was… all the stuff that’s in the review. It’s all good. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for commenting.

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