I thought to write up an opinion on the Voightländer 40mm f/2.0 (pancake) lens for the Canon EF mount. This is by not a scientific review, or anything technical – rather, just a good old show and tell.

So, I bought this little lens from a bloke two mountains over from me for around 2500kr – which is in my opinion a steal – and it came in fantastic condition with the little closeup lens and sunhood. I’d been scouring the internet for hours, if not days, trying to find out some reviews or opinions, or even examples of what this lens is capable of. Dustin Abbott was the only one who made an extensive review on the lens, however, even though it was great technically, it left me with the thought of: I need to buy and try. I guess that is what he had also done.

The Voigty on my Ursa Mini. This will be used on the next music video I direct!

It can be sometimes difficult to understand certain opinions on the web without nailing, what you want to know in a short passage, on the head to make that decision final. So, here is my opinion in super short: Buy it, if you can find a good clean copy, buy it. I am relatively new to the 40mm focal length – normally shooting with a 35mm and 50mm – and here I felt it was time to go for a pancake lens. I wasn’t really sold on spending roun’ 1500kr on the Canon 40mm 2.8 and the examples I saw… well, they were OK, but didn’t really sell it to me. When I saw the Voigtländer, it got me thinking. I have my great grandfathers old 50’s camera, which he used to take photos, then use those photos to paint from, which is a Voigtländer, and I have shot with this camera and gotten some great photos form.

My Grandfathers old Voigtländer with 50mm Color-skopar f/3.5 film camera.

My big reason for getting this lens was the performance and image quality. I can safely say that there is not lacking in image quality. The lens is a manual focus lens, which I am liking more and more as I delve into more prime lenses and my line of work is not always dependent on AF.

The images I get with my Canon 5D II are superb! I get a beautiful warm image and this is a wonderful lens for portraits, well just about anything. The 40mm on 35mm is great. Then on a Super 35, like my URSA, the image is more a 60mm focal length, which is nice, from the test footage I took today. Then on my MFT Cinema Camera, it becomes an 80mm. What is not to love there?

I am trying to find nice lenses with character that I can use on my projects. It is a long journey to find the ones that suit my style, but I feel that this 40mm was a great choice. I wanted a lens that is going to last and the VL40mm is built solid and I feel that it will handle my roughness. I will leave this now with some examples of details and colour rendition. I have only played around with the contrast and highlight preservation on most of these images and a little colour vibrance, but it is pretty much JPG’s right out of the camera for this write up. Then you get an idea of what the Voigtländer is really capable of. I feel it goes directly in my toolbox of image creation right away!

This one I have edited quite a fair bit and is from a JPG – so that ain’t bad!
Thanks for your hand, Zoé! 😉

Thanks for reading and if anyone has any questions or wants to know more, hit me up anytime via email!

– Patrick

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