Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar Review

November 9, 2018 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The super-compact and very lightweight Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar is an excellent wide-angle prime lens that delivers great image quality. Shooting at the maximum f/3.5 aperture does reveal a very minor reduction in sharpness in the centre of the frame, but this is quickly resolved by stopping down to f/4. The edges aren't quite so sharp, though, with f/8-f/16 producing the best results.

In addition to the edge sharpness, there are a couple of other image quality drawbacks to the Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar. Vignetting is obvious wide-open at f/3.5, and still fairly evident at f/5.6, although in real-world use it's less of a problem than when photographing a white wall/test-chart. The lens also suffered from some rather obvious purple and green fringing in high-contrast shots. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar does deliver nice sun-stars though thanks to its ten-blade aperture.

The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar is a veritable pleasure to use, thanks to its superb build quality, smooth focus ring and tactile aperture ring. As this is a manual-focus only lens, you'd expect this aspect of the operation to be intuitive, and so it proved. Together with the A7R II's excellent Peaking and Manual Focus Assist features, the Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar delivered a very high percentage of keepers. The 20cm minimum focusing distance also makes the lens surprisingly versatile when shooting close subjects.

We did miss having a de-clickable aperture ring, though, which recent Voigtlander lenses designed from the ground-up for the Sony FE system have offered, making this lens less suitable for video use.

In summary, the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 is a very compact, extremely well-built and affordable wide-angle prime lens for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners. Highly Recommended!

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5