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Question about Voigtlander's lens naming system

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by vincechu, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Hi everyone,

    I'm really interested in Voigtlander lenses after seeing some amazing photos taken using them.

    So was wondering if anyone could tell me about the naming system Voigtlander uses for its lenses?

    After visiting Voigtlanders website I'm guessing that Nokton is the name given to their fast low light lenses and heliar for their wide angle lense. But how about Ultron and Color Skopar?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    The expert on these lenses is cosinaphile.
    Send him a pm or wait for him to post...
    When he sees this thread, he'll show up.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. back alley

    back alley Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    they new lenses are named after old lens lines but do not necessarily follow the same optical formulas.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    Noktons are newer M mount lenses I believe... All of mine with the exception of the 15 are named nokton.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. sebastel

    sebastel Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 18, 2010
    not your business
    the original voigtlaender skopar was derived from the (zeiss) tessar by making the front group a two lens element (5 lenses in 3 groups).
    it showed few chromatic aberration when color film became fashionable, and was further developed in this regard, hence color skopar.

    when cosina started using the name rights from voigtlaender, skopar became the name for the "main" lens line (wide angle to normal lens).

    the ultron in the old days was a fast lens. with today's availability of ultra ultra fast lenses, those lenses seem to be "standard" speed, but in times when aperture 2.8 was fast, a 2.0 was ultra fast - hence ultron.

    in cosina's nomenclature, ultron refers to medium fast lenses.

    the very fast ones today are named nokton, and the ultra wides are the heliars.

    it would be so simple if people used a searching tool - they say, google is your friend! but then, there would be less chance for talkatives like me to repeat the old stuff again and again, and less chance to distribute new false information.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    When Cosina paid for the rights to use the name "Voigtländer", it also paid for the rights to use the names that Voigtländer had put on its lenses. Cosina's choice of the name XYZ for a given name doesn't tell us anything about Voigtländer's use of the name XYZ. Cosina seems to use its Voigtländer names as follows:

    Skopar: wide
    Ultron: fast
    Nokton: very fast
    Heliar: normal
    Apo-Lanthar: long

    See the article at Camerapedia.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks everyone question answered :) 
  8. Vidar

    Vidar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2009
    Bergen, Norway
  9. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Lol, I think he got Skopar and Heliar mixed up :wink:
  10. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 11, 2009
    The Nokton was the 50mm F1.5 lens for the Prominent, never made it to the Vitessa and SLR mount. It is 7 elements in 5 groups. The Ultron was the 50mm F2 lens for the Prominent, also on the Vitessa. The Skopar was the F3.5 lens, similar to the Elmar and Tessar. Pushed to F2.8 on the Vitessa T, not sure about the F2.8 on the Barn-Door Vitessa. The Heliar was the 5 element lens. Cosina has done a good job of maintaining the lineage of the names.

    Voigtlander Prominent Nokton on the Nikon S2, using adapter.

    View attachment 141995

    View attachment 141996

    Not bad for a lens that is almost 60 years old. I can use this on the Leica, using the Prominent to S-Mount and then S-Mount to Leica adapters.

    Now, where is the Dynaret and Dynarex??? The Skoparon and Dynaron are on my Prominents...
  11. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    No I didn't -- but I did forget how narrow a (Cosina) Skopar could be. My bad. Incidentally, I'd agree with most of the comments above about the original uses of the names, but (i) I read the question as one about Cosina's nomenclature, and (ii) Cosina's use of "Apo-Lanthar" is ahistorical -- unless of course you take "Apo-Lanthar" to mean "something around 100mm".

    All of this branding is pretty silly, really. Cosina's lenses are very good at the jobs for which they were/are intended. If the vital stats, size, weight, performance and price of one of them looks good to you, buy it. But so far as you're a shopper or photographer, ignore the naming. (If on the other hand you're an armchair etymologist, enjoy yourself with the names.)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    haha thanks :) 

    I intended to ask the question to see if voigtlander meant the names to reflect the properties of the lenses, which they do too an extent e.g. nokton for their fast lenses, as I'm a relative newbie to photography and am very interested in their lenses.

    I agree with what you said about the branding - as long as it performs or is right for my purposes i'll buy it :) 

    Fingers crossed I'll be getting my hands on either the 35mm 1.4 nokton or the 40mm 1.4 nokton. after a week of considering and trying out I can't decided :horse: lol they pretty much the same to me, but I'll probably go for the 35mm as its slightly wider and will fit nicely between the pana 20mm and the 45mm pana-leica which is also on my shopping list.

    decisions, decisions... :wink:
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