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F0.95 really worth it?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Rawfa, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Rawfa

    Rawfa Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I´ve seen some really amazing footage from the 17,5mm f0.95 but I keep wondering if it´s really worth it over the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 or the 20mm 1.7. What do you guys think? The 17,5mm costs around us$1300, which is double the 25mm and more than double the 20mm.
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I suspect that this is the kind of lens where if you need to ask, the answer is no.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. toshiro

    toshiro Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 3, 2012
    I just bought it and don't regret it at all. I also had the Voigtlanders 25 f0.95 but sold it when I got the Panaleica 25, which is in my opinion way better. But this 17 is another story, sharp at all apertures with very good corners. The difference in the price is justified IMHO, just take a look at the charts from DSLRMagazine:


    • Like Like x 1
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I just rented the 17.5mm and 25mm lenses for a week... returned them today in fact. Bearing in mind I'm just an enthusiastic amateur here, my opinion is the price differential isn't worth it *just* for the difference in aperture from f/1.4 to f/0.95, unless you're talking about specialized applications. Note: I was doing all stills and did not try the Voigtlander lenses for video. My experience was that f/0.95 has an incredibly small area in focus. I think in another thread someone referred to it as "one eyelash in focus" :biggrin: That's a plus if your main goal is razor thin DOF, but I ended up finding I spent much of the time with the aperture stepped down a couple notches to f/1.4 instead. The PL 25mm f/1.4 is sharp wide open IMO so I don't think you gain that much advantage with the Voigtlander's extra stop or so of aperture. The Voigtlander 25mm also had a noticeable amount of vignetting > f/1.4 (I don't recall if it was present also on the 17.5mm but honestly I didn't use that lens as much as the 25mm).

    FWIW, the 17mm is a really nice lens - as you'd expect - but it weighs a ton. It's 20oz, which is a few ounces more than even my biggest telephoto lens. That may not matter to you but I'm mentioning it just in case it helps you make a decision. My experience was that it was so heavy it actually was uncomfortable to shoot with after a while, which is something I don't feel with even my heaviest telephoto lenses or the Voigtlander 25mm which is ~15oz. The extra quarter pound made the difference in comfort for me, and I like the 25mm focal length anyway.

    With all that said, by the end of the week I was sold on the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 not because of the f/0.95 aperture, but more because I loved the feel of the lens, the MF operation, and the particular look the Voigtlander lenses seem to impart on photos. Renting the lenses was an twofold experiment for me to determine 1) which focal length I preferred between 17.5 & 25mm and 2) whether I was able to adapt to using manual focus and aperture after using nothing but native lenses w/AF. It turns out that I absolutely loved manual focus with such a nicely damped focus ring on a quality lens. Surprisingly (to me) I found it very easy to get things in focus even without the focus magnifier. Add to that I really love the look you get with either Voigtlander stepped down to f/1.4 and the whole package was just really enjoyable to use.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Rawfa

    Rawfa Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2009
    Many thanks for the very thorough review. I had no idea it was such a massively heavy lens. I tend to shoot for long periods hand held...so it could end up being a problem. I do love the 35mm fov and it would be very nice to have such a fast lens, but I guess I will have to put my mind to work on this one a little bit longer.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Entrance pupil:


    Since angle of view does not seem to be important for you, then the 17mm and 25mm both have the same size entrance pupil. So at a given object distance, they will have the same DoF. At the same relative image size for the object, the 17mm will have more DoF. The 20mm is not even close.
  7. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    I'm assuming you're comparing the 17mm f/0.95 with the 25mm f/1.4, correct? Are you sure they'll have the same DOF given the same object distance? Are you keeping the entire captured image or cropping down the 17mm shot to match the 25mm composition?

    I must be misunderstanding this 2nd point, because otherwise it doesn't sound right. Are you saying if the subject size is the same with the 17mm and the 25mm that the 17mm will have deeper DOF? AFAIK that's incorrect since you'd be closer with the 17mm to achieve the same subject size, enough of a difference to make the DOF shallower I believe, although I haven't worked out the exact numbers.
  8. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    You are right, typing error. I meant to say the 17mm will have the shallower DoF.
  9. dgorman47

    dgorman47 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    I purchased the 25mm f.095 about amonth ago. I will echo much of what jloden said. It is not so much about the 0.95 as much as the whole package. Its a beautiful lens and very enjoyable to use IMHO. It does produce very 'punchy' images which I really enjoy. Its pretty amazing when using with a OM-D as well:) 
  10. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    I had the Voigtlander 25mm, but sold it. I used it alongside the Panasonic 25mm, and just preferred the sharpness I got from the Panasonic. I was not so into the razor thin DOF of the Voigtlander at F0.95, so I kept the Paanasonic. I like the corner sharpness of the Panasonic. The feel of the focus on the Voightlander was superb though.
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