Focal Lenght: 50mm
Max Apeture: 1.
Lens Mount: M42
Min. Focus: 0.45 mm
Filter Size: 49mm
A/M switch: No
Since I’ve taken up photography and vintage lenses, I’ve dabbled with light repair now and then. Either on my own lenses, or ones that the person who has it wouldn’t look into getting serviced.
The Color-Ultron came to me in a box, in 3 parts, with a bolts, pins and all sorts of bits in it. It fell apart during shooting and looked like a repair was attempted. (From what I’ve read, this is every technician’s nightmare.(I am in no way even close to a technician or a professional in repair. If you want a lens fixed – send it to a pro!))
I reassembled and relubed the lens, but while doing so noticed that a pin, which controls the aperture was badly bent. Since I had no spare parts, nor knew how to replace them if I did, I was presented with two options – Keep a working aperture, with a reduced range, or hack the lens so it’s always wide-open.
That’s how a Voigtlander Color-Ultron 50mm 2.8 (or f2) lens came to be. It can still be set to 1.8 if it’s dismounted from the camera. Keep this in mind when reading, as it’s not a mint lens and your copy is or will be (hopefully) completely operational.
Good metal construction, nice movement on focus and aperture ring. 49mm filter size. All good so far.
Flare wasn’t an issue and I did forget my hood, so the lens performed well in my book.
It’s a very light and tiny lens, perfect is you want to pack light, but still have a reliable lens on your camera!
Due to the issues with the aperture, I did not try it on a film camera.
Do note that the lens doesn’t have an A/M switch, so it’s best to get a lens adapter with a board that depresses the aperture pin.
It lacks an A / M switch, so keep that in mind when getting an adapter – one with a board is recommended. (To depress the aperture pin)
I loved shooting with this lens, although I didn’t really benefit from the 1.8mm aperture.
Sharpness and detail was great, vignetting was controlled and I didn’t notice any CA when shooting.
What made this lens stand out were the colors and the subtle gradation you get from foreground to background. It reminds me of my experience with the 20mm & 35mm Flektogon.
Color wise, the gentle transition between (usually) contrasting colors was what had me hooked, it made a red tree in a green forest look natural and serene. In a city / urban setting, a rustic look was really easy to accomplish.
I love this lens, it was a pleasure to use it, even with limited funcitonality.
It’s one of the better 50mm 1.8 lenses I’ve used so far and the m42 means it’s easy to adapt to a variety of systems.
Honestly, I would take it over the 50mm Olympus OM or Canon offering of the same type. It might not size up to the Takumars, but it’s worth a shot. (Do be careful that it doesn’t fall apart in your hands though!)