Appreciation of the Voigtländer 17.5mm F0.95 lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by sgoldswo, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Having ebjoyed the experience of shooting manually with the body cap lens I decided to take my other native manual lens out for a spin on Friday, the Voigtlander 17.5mm F0.95 lens.

    This is a bit of an odd lens. Fully manual, but for M43s. Max Aperture of F0.95, like a Noctilux, but not really in depth of field given the difference in sensor size. The problem with it is that it is unduly soft wide open. Apparently. Actually, the results this lens produces are nothing short of magical wide open. It has an almost dreamy quality.

    Full Post here: Appreciation of the Voigtländer 17.5mm F0.95 lens « sgoldswoblog

    Some Samples:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoldswo/8148936753/" title="PB020530-Edit by sgoldswo, on Flickr"> 8148936753_f7ce5f0c9d_b. "1024" height="768" alt="PB020530-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoldswo/8148961660/" title="PB020613-Edit by sgoldswo, on Flickr"> 8148961660_61355b3a21_b. "1024" height="768" alt="PB020613-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoldswo/8152094879/" title="P6170042 (2) by sgoldswo, on Flickr"> 8152094879_3a4274581c_b. "1024" height="768" alt="P6170042 (2)"></a>
     
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  2. sohcsleeper

    sohcsleeper Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 4, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Your blog is very inspiring and I love the look of your photos. Excellent composition!
     
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  3. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Thank you - I think my family is relieved I have found a creative outlet that doesn't involving me filling the house with stuff (I used to make wooden furniture from time to time)!
     
  4. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Thanks for the peek - I'm afraid this one is out of my price range. Nice to view the pictures, tho.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
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  5. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Cheers. I was lucky with mine to save about 23% off list price brand new by buying from elsewhere in the EU. Although that might not help you (being from the UK, buying elsewhere in Europe helped me avoid duties) it is worth looking around (eBay etc) as a lot of people buy lenses like this and dump them because MF is "too much hassle".

    I'm not sure I would want to MF all the time but it seems crazy to me to ditch a lens with this kind of image quality on that basis.
     
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  6. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Being 'old school' I like manual focusing, but miss the split screen prism that were used on 35mm SLR's.

    The focus peaking work around on the OM-D has helped - I'm getting some decent test shots out of my Nikon 50mm 1.8.

    Thanks for the ideas on procuring the lens - I'll poke around E-Bay a bit and see what I can come up with (although the Princess of the Exchequer has decreed that after the 14mm Panasonic and 15mm Olympus are delivered there will be a hiatus on gear purchases :eek:).

    Regards,

    Jim
     
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  7. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    I haven't tried the peaking workaround yet. Is it any good? As you may be able to tell from my post I began to hate peaking on my NEX-7 (too many "almost in focus, not quite" shots). :frown:

    I've assigned magnification to the function button on the top of the E-M5 (as in all honesty the only place I'll tweak curves in is in post) and that seems to work well though I wish I could fine a way to leave it magnified when I half press the shutter for exposure.

    Good luck with persuading the management that the purse strings need to be opened. I wheel and deal stuff on eBay to "create liquidity"...
     
  8. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    Re. keeping the zoom view while pressing shutter halfway, I think you need to select mode 2 in the LiveView Close Up Mode menu (p88 in guide book). I've got this and a some other manual lens settings saved as a MySet ready to deploy when grabbing my legacy OM glass on the OM-D.

    Don't forget to check out the buy & sell on this sight, there are some good deals to be found...saw a Voigt .95 25mm recently with a rapidly dropping price.
     
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  9. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    I've found it to be very usable with the Nikon 50mm 1.8 during testing. It may turn out to be quite handy for portraits, if I can con any of my long suffering relatives to sit for me yet again.

    The UWA Rokinon 7.5 not so much, but the depth of field on that lens is so deep that there is little need for focus peaking.

    Where I find the image magnification focus to be difficult (the camera shake is magnified along with the image, YMMV), the focus peaking allows racking the lens w/o having the subject jog around in the viewfinder.

    I like having the aperture control on the lens, and I like the feel of manual focus lenses so the focus peaking adds another dimension to the EM-5 for me.

    I'd recommend giving the focus peaking a try; only takes a few minutes to set up and the MySet can easily be reconfigured if you don't like it.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
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  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I love the concept of a 0.95 lens and give it autofocus and I am pretty much in at any focal length.

    Without autofocus it would simply become a lesson to me in how badly I can manually focus a lens. When I first had an M43, I had a Canon FD 50 1.2 and I dont have a sharp photo to show for it.

    I will be all over the Panny 43 1.2 when it is out assuming it is up to usual standards though.

    It is interesting to think that there will probably be autofocus 0.95 M43 lenses within a few years (on the basis that manual to auto is unlikely to be a big leap in technology.)
     
  11. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Those are fine images. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  12. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    I must admit I thought I would be terrible at manually focusing lenses and had a similar experience to you initially, especially when I was shooting manual focus lenses on my old NEX-5.

    I kind of gave up and then came back to it nearly 18 months later with some cheaper rangefinder lenses. While I didn't get on with Sony's implementation of peaking, I developed a technique based around using a magnified view that has stood me in good stead since I acquired my E-M5.

    The trick was to realise it was a waste of time taking the exactly the same kind of subjects I usually shot with AF lenses (generally keep to static subjects or stop down the lens) and to assign a function button to magnification to quickly check critical focus. I do realise MF isn't for everyone, but it is actually more accurate than autofocus in the sense you will focus on what you want to focus on, not what the camera decides to lock onto.

    I do think a F0.95 AF lens could be made but I suspect at a minimum it would be about the size of the panny 35-100 and about twice as heavy as that lens - I guarantee people would buy it though!:smile:
     
  13. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    +1.
    Yes, the thing I like about MF is that it makes you slow down, concentrate more on things before firing the shutter. Autofocus kinda lets you get into a hurried mode when shooting...which I think has it's downside in photographing. Definately fast moving subjects are challenging without AF...but in the olden days we somehow managed! The trick was to pre-set the focus to an area the subject it moving into...then wait until it reaches that point to fire the shutter. Another technique was to setup a zone of focus on the lens using the apeture numerals...so you know that, for example, everything from 1-3m is in reasonable focus. There's also the "Hyperfocal" setting...at a given apeture you se the futherest limit of focus to the infinity point...then you get everything back to the near point of focus.

    One thing I think we should see on these non-OEM lenses....focus confirmation. Not sure why the EM-5 can't do this as it focuses off the sensor anyway. Should not matter what glass the light is passing through. Apeture value communication to the camera should also be a no-brainer...There are already aftermarket lens adaptors for legacy glass that have "chips" for this type of linking.
     
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  14. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Sep 9, 2012
    Now that's an interesting idea.... You mean the camera would provide the auto focus lock beep or green box when the manually focused lens enters the area where that box is in focus? Not sure how that would work when you have a small aperture and big DOF, but for shallow, wide open shots, it would definitely help. Not sure if it is doable, but it is a great idea.
     
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  15. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    Yes...that's my point. When I use (or more accurately...used to use :smile:) my Canon DSLR in manual focus mode....the focus lock indicator would flicker/sound would beep as I turned the focus ring into/out of focus with the focus area box over the subject. Granted that was with a fully auto lens. The m43 cameras focus directly off the imaging sensor, with no special phase detection sensors in the light path. The software just uses contrast detection on the light hitting the imaging sensor to know when it's in focus. Should not require any electronic comm with the lens at all. That's only needed when you need to control the focus mechanism via the camera body and to feedback what distance the lens focus point is set to.
     
  16. edmaruyama

    edmaruyama New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 26, 2013
    Iqaluit, NU, Canada
    Ed Maruyama
    A few snapshots with Voigtlander 17.5mm

    Hey folks! how's it going?

    Quick note to say I am a happy puppy in regards with the performance of this lens or should I say, combo (EP5+Voigtlander 17.5mm)?

    Coffee and music - Voigtlander snapshots

    I cannot compare it with a full frame that I'm used to (Nikon D3s & high ISO), but I'd say I am pretty happy with it's results! especially that I am not carrying a gigantic and heavy backpack... :)

    I'd say that in order to get the "focusing" right, I must use the peaking ALONG with the "magnifying view"... as it's kinda impossible to see if it's in focus with a 1X image, even with the peaking mode on... Also, all of these works WELL in a " non time critical" composition... :) not quite sure how well it would be if the subjects are moving around... :(

    I know I need to practice more the "manual" focusing, but must confess peeps tend to be impatient when 'point and shoot' cameras are all over, and you take these extra "seconds" to compose/focus/etc... :)

    Anyhow... another reason for me to LOVE landscape photography... hehe

    Cheers from the arctic!
    Ed
     
  17. sgoldswo

    sgoldswo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Hi Ed, you've reminded me to pick up my voigtlander and try it with my new E-P5. F0.95 is even more useable with a 1/8000 shutter! :smile:

    Nice pictures by the way! I particularly like the cat...

    Cheers,

    Simon
     
  18. edmaruyama

    edmaruyama New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 26, 2013
    Iqaluit, NU, Canada
    Ed Maruyama
    Good morning Simon, folks! how's it going?

    Thanks! Nothing fancy, but I really love the bokeh and the way we can bring attention to small Meow without using any major software mod, which I do enjoy at times, like the OnOne Perfect Photo suite... :)

    It's been rainy/snowy these days, and busy with work, but im looking forward to playing outside with the 1/8000! still waiting on a ND filter, but should be fun...

    cheers,
    Ed
    BTW. posted a "mini real world 2 cents on this combo on my blog", not only the "album" itself... hehe
     
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  19. edmaruyama

    edmaruyama New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 26, 2013
    Iqaluit, NU, Canada
    Ed Maruyama
    HDR and low light shots

    hi everybody! how's it going?

    Here's a few more samples taken with the Voigtlander/EP5 combo... Low light shots & flare and also:
    Winter's around the corner

    The concert (awesome duo + bass/drummer from Quebec: Andrea Lindsay & Luc Delarochellière!) was held in a VERY dark stage/environment...

    The noise wasn't as bad as I was anticipating, so I am still very pleased with the results... yes, far from a full frame photo + high ISO, but for me, quite useable shots. Yeah, i know it's "web" use... again, full blown ups might be not ok, but it's been helluva fun to play with this combo!

    Then later on yesterday decided to shoot against the sun, and the "flare" ended up quite nice as well! not bad for a stacking of 5 photos through the automated HDR bracketing mode! wish i could create a shortcut for bracketing on the menu tho... :)

    cheers,
    Ed