MOD - closer 0.65m focusing distance - Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 Nokton Classic

Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 Nokton Classic lens has minimal focusing distance of 0.7m. It’d be nice to focus closer in some cases, when shooting with this lens adapted on Fuji X and Sony A7s cameras.

There are helicoid close-up focus adapters on market, though I’m not big fan of them due to large adapter size. This article shows how to get at least extra 5cm of close up focus distance (which is not significant difference, but useful enough for me to do it second time for Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 lens). Also I’m showing here extra mod step for focus ring grip.

Pictures below show default 0.7m minimal focusing distance of Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 lens, and extended distance to about 0.65m after modification.

First step is to extract lens core from focusing helicoid which is described in Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 disassembly article.

Complex helicoid sliders mechanics has about 3mm capacity of close up rotation, so I’m going to use it.

Four silver bolts need to be unscrewed from the mount ring.

Then you can accurately separate mount ring, and focusing ring modules. Note, it is important to memorize helicoid sliders position, to properly fit them back during assembly. I’d recommend to use rubber gloves, that brass parts have a lot of grease on all surfaces.

External focusing ring has stopping pin as part of its body, which is preventing ring to rotate further than infinity (shown below) and closer than 0.7m. That pin should remain there, so I’m going to provide extra space for it in close-up area. Unscrew four black bolts and remove focus ring from helicoid frame.

Now the scary part of the mod begins. Helicoid frame requires metal cut work, which is producing lots of tiny aluminum particles. I’m using Dremel rotary tool with metal cutting disc to perform that. But first thing – is to protect all surfaces from metal debris by wrapping them tight into aluminum foil, and only expose area for cutting. Here’s the look after accurate cutting operation.

Then I’m using precision knife made of hardened stainless steel to cut rough edges of that area, and then attaching focus ring to check that limiting pin is moving freely into new space.

At this point I’m painting cut area with black paint, and measuring it – about 3.6mm wide

Now helicoid sliders are very close at minimal focusing distance of 0.65m, though there is safe space between them.

Assembling the lens back, and now it can be tested on Fuji X-T30 camera.

Now it’s possible to take pictures from a bit closer distance, and that extra 5cm making it more comfortable. Below are two shots with field of view form 0.7m and 0.65m correspondingly.

Finally, I’m also adding textured rubber grip to the focus ring, because the focusing tab is removed and I don’t use focusing distance scale anyway. I’m using double sided adhesive tape to secure diamond-shaped rubber strip cut from some old Vivitar lens ring. With wider ring and smooth rotation of Voigtlander mechanics I can use two fingers or single finger to precisely focus with ease.