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Am I crazy to consider PL 25mm over Voigt 25mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by kartonos, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. kartonos

    kartonos Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 4, 2012
    Hey guys,

    Having owned Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F/0.95 for couple months, I keep wondering and having a bit of regret for choosing this lens over Panasonic Leica 25mm F/1.4.

    I'm not saying the nokton didn't produce any good shots, it was superb and this is my first premium lens I got - the real problem is Manual focusing...

    Surely there is a lot of veteran photographer in here who prefer manual over auto focus function, but imho... there is a lot of situation that I need instant precision in the right moment with limited time.

    If one day I decided to grab PL 25mm or Panasonic 20mm F/1.7, I'll probably will keep this lens for the sake of video making & very wide aperture.

    But seriously, has anyone have both of them? how does it compare? IQ wise?
  2. lapiz

    lapiz Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 21, 2010
    No not crazy. They are very different glass.

    Same focal length but very different behaviour.

    The Nokton has a min focal distance of about 6" so it likes to get in really close but it has a very long barrel travel between that and 2' and that is confusing in MF (even in magnified view) because it still looks in focus over quite a lot of adjustment.

    It renders fantastic in detail rich situations and does something wonderful to edges of colour rich subjects like certain flowers (roses) or deep old nature. And of course video.

    The PL25 is a different beast. It's super fast and cries out to be used @ 1.4 all the time. Just like the Nikon 50 1.2. But the Pana is better on this system.

    For the Bokeh ... you can shoot stuff swirling in the wind and it might not be quite in focus (sharp) but it will be beautifully isolated.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Rinaldo

    Rinaldo Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I'm doing exactly that. I have the Nokton for more than a year now and I think I'm done with it. Just got a brand new PL 25 (will receive it in a couple of days) and save some money (and weight) for the new lenses that are coming. And I'm gonna have a best performer at f1.4 with autofocus. Take a look at these tests, maybe they help you decide...

    MTF50 and Bokeh for 25mm Micro Four Thirds Lenses

    BTW take a look at how good performer the 14-45 is! This made me sell the kit PZ and get one!! :cool: 

    Review: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I can''t speak to the Nokton, but I have the PL25, and it is a superb lens. I doubt you'd regret having it.
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    lapiz pretty much nailed it for me too. I currently own both wonderful, but they're simply different lenses... about the only thing in common is the focal length. If you need/want AF then absolutely, the PL 25mm is a reasonable choice over the Voigtlander.
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    And a lot more veteran photographers who prefer autofocus over manual focus. There's no shame in liking autofocus :wink:.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. campbellcj

    campbellcj Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2012
    I'm pretty strongly in the AF camp. I have some adapted M and F-mount glass that gives nice results if I'm patient and my subject isn't moving, but neither is the case oftentimes. Just got the PL25 as an upgrade from the 20 f/1.7 and I am in love thus far!
  8. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    Lately, I am also considering the PL25 despite owning the CV25 for almost 2 years now. Like you, there are situations I wish I have the option to use autofocus. I have the 20mm but I really dislike the slow autofocus after being spoiled by the focusing speeds of 45 and 12mm. Having said that, the CV25 is still my favorite lens. Is just so fun to use when you don't need the autofocus. My future plan........ save up to get the PL25 for the times I need autofocus and for vacation use. It is a pain to ask your significant other to manual focus with the CV25 to take a photo of you, especially during vacation when you might not get a 2nd shot.
  9. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I debated about this a couple of weeks ago and ended up with the PL. Why?

    • it's sharper wide open than the Nokton is at 1.4 - which although it goes to f0.95 falls away in sharpness to a point I'd probably only ever use it at 1.4 as I don't like the look of photos taken with it at f0.95 (and I don't mean the web sized ones posted, but when they are zoomed closer to 100%).
    • it has autofocus which makes it quicker to use when coupled with a body that has very quick AF and can place the focus point anywhere on screen easily
    • It is lighter and smaller
    • It is cheaper

    The only reason my head could come up with me wanting the Nokton was because my heart wanted it.

    You do see a higher number of people who have the Nokton graduating to the PL after a while (as evidenced by this thread) but not so many saying they are going to sell the PL and move to the Nokton (of course, if you have the money.....)

    My thoughts (as someone who has only owned the PL) for what they are worth anyway
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Leica 25mm a great lens

    I swapped my Pany 20mm + the 14-42Xlens (mine was a really bad performer) for a 25mm PanaLeica f1.4 and have no regrets, I use it on my GX1 and apart from the occasional "rattlesnake" noise that I can live with it is a superb performer that is lightning fast to focus and produces razor sharp images.

    It is a great investment if you can live with the extra weight and cost.


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  11. kartonos

    kartonos Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 4, 2012
    Sweet photo Iansky!
    Steven Huff loved to quote "Leica-Color" when he reference PL 25mm lens, while personally after I have been through Voigt 25mm pics & vids... it's still "holy ****" me on the detail & color.

    As Lapiz mentioned above, PL25 totally a different beast - so set aside from the same focal length, I think I will give it a go to adopt PL 25mm in the future and see how it goes with my kit.

    PS. I done a video testing on Voigt 25mm and Oly 12-50 at 25mm with the same aperture/ISO ... now I see the difference in optical quality.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    One of the reasons why I prefer the Voigtlander is the manual focus. I like the aperture ring and manual focus.
    With manual focus, I don't have to select AF box. Somehow I find that to be faster for me when shooting. Of maybe I'm doing something wrong with my process of selecting the AF box.

    PL 25mm wins on the size and weight. It's a significant advantage.
  13. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    I owned both and ended up keeping the PL 25 f/ 1.4. I found it to be sharper corner to corner than my copy of the Nokton at f/1.4, and I simply preferred the rendering. The only pang of regret was the loss of the wonderful feel of the manual focus. That simply is not replicated on focus by wire lenses. However, for my overall use, the autofocus and my preference in the rendering convinced me to sell the Voightlander.
  14. NVar

    NVar Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 4, 2011
    A good question. I'm kind of facing the same dilemma as some posters here. I've had a CV25 for a few months and love the look it produces, but manual focusing can be tricky and time-consuming with my GF1. I have been eyeing the PL25 because I rarely go lower than f1.4 anyway, it's smaller and it has AF.

    But I don't view AF as a perfect solution either, and don't know if it would make me that much happier. I've deleted many pics taken with AF (especially with the Panny 20 mm f1.7) after discovering that focus was misplaced, DOF was too thin etc. Even AF can be hit and miss sometimes, if you're not careful.

    I feel that using a manual lens with aperture stops makes me think more about the relevant aperture or depth of focus than using an AF lens. I've even come to appreciate deeper DOF more after using MF with the CV25. With AF, it's easy to fire away and always end up with something in focus - but not always what one should have in focus. It's easy to trust AF a bit too much.

    I haven't really made up my mind yet but am considering first trying a newer camera body with a viewfinder, like Lumix G3/G5, and then deciding whether to keep the CV25 or go for the PL25. I'd probably miss the aperture ring most if i sold the CV25, since MF on the PL25 would probably not be the same thing.
  15. incabloc

    incabloc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Glad I didn't buy the voight when it came out abt 1.5 yrs ago. PL will do it for me.
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