Cosina recently announced (in Japanese) two new lenses which might be of interest to those looking for image rendition different from the standard Canon or Nikon offerings. (See also the dpreview.com English language summary). Readers of this blog know that I like the image rendition qualities of the Zeiss ZF lenses—I’m always on the lookout for lenses that might offer superior performance and/or image rendition characteristics that are unusual or different from standard Nikon or Canon fare.
The Ultron 40mm f/2 is priced at $379 with hood. The “pancake”-style Ultron lens might be of particular interest for those looking for an extremely compact lens for a small digital SLR. (Nikon no longer makes its similarly-sized 45mm f/2.8P). With an aspheric and high-refraction lens element, the 40mm sounds promising. As an added incentive, it also comes with a matched close-up lens.
The Nokton 58mm f/1.4 offers a focal length the same as the famed NOCT-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2. It is priced at $379 + $39 for the hood. Like the 40mm Ultron, it has a 9-blade diaphragm which should help in producing nice bokeh.
I haven’t yet used any Voigtlander lenses, but I’ve asked Stephen Gandy at CameraQuest whether he’ll provide samples of these lenses for evaluation so that I can report on them here. (Stephen’s CameraQuest is the US source for these and other Voigtlander lenses). Both lenses can be used on Canon bodies with a Nikon-to-EOS lens adapter, though manual stop down is required.
My general comment is that the market is apparently growing for third-party lenses to fit Nikon and (with an adapter) Canon. Until a year ago, the third-party market was mainly Tamron and Sigma lenses of low build quality for Nikon and Canon. Now with Zeiss and Cosina offering specialty lenses with high build quality, the possibilities are expanded for those seeking alternatives.