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Keep Nokton 25mm or sell and get new 25mm F1.4?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Shield, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    I really like the Nokton in low light, but find myself using this @ F1.4 more and more, if not @ F2-2.8. There are many occasions where auto-focus would come in handy.

    Do you think I'd really be let down by selling the Nokton and getting the new Summilux 25mm F1.4 when it's finally released? I shoot a lot of video with the Panny GH2.

    Thanks!
    Shawn
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I am not sure the Nokton's are selling very well. There seems to be some that haven't sold on this board as well as on Fredmiranda. There are also a lot for sale on eBay.

    You might end up not getting your money back. I could be wrong, but I see a lot more Noktons for sale right now, with limited buyers.
     
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Note that some lenses sharpen up as you stop them down - so you might find the Nokton sharp at f1.4 whereas the new lens starts at f1.4 and may not sharpen up sufficiently until f2 or 2.8

    Pure speculation on my part but its worth waiting to see if the f1.4 wide-open is better/worse than the Nokton stopped down to f1.4.

    The auto-focus capability may be more important to you and that in itself may be a compelling reason to change.
     
  4. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    May 3, 2011
    Scotland
    As I found out the hard way, if it's for video you really want to be manual focussing anyway.....
     
  5. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    For video I'd stick with the Nokton - the silky smooth manual focussing will be much more suitable than the AF-orientated PanaLeica, as will the extra stop of light/DoF.

    Other than that, I'd say it's a matter of priorities and interests...

    The Nokton is obviously an f0.95, but what do you use this aperture for? For instance, while it renders beautifully wide-open, it's quite soft and 'glows' - I love this for some things, but it has to be used carefully. I suspect that the PanaLeica will probably be sharper at f1.4 than the Nokton at f1.4...

    The Nokton renders beautifully crisp star-bursts from f5.6 onwards - going by samples I've seen the PL is average in this respect. I love starbursts, you may not care...

    The Nokton is stunningly sharp across most of the frame at f4-8, but the corners are always a little smeared, no matter how much you stop down. So if you're doing critical landscape work, then it's not ideal. But if you're doing something subject-focussed, then it's pretty good. Once again, I'd expect the PL to have more uniform sharpness.

    The PL has curved aperture blades, the Nokton does not. From my experience with the Voigt stopped down below f0.95, this gives out-of-focus light-points noticeable hard edges and 'corners'. Samples I've seen from the PL show beautiful circular highlights throughout the aperture range. Once again, this may not matter to you.

    The Nokton focussed very close (about 6" from the film plane) - this almost-macro capability plus the f0.95 aperture makes it a surprisingly versatile lens capable of some incredible close-up/skinny DoF rendering.

    The PL can auto-focus.

    As other's have mentioned, it's not an ideal time to sell the Voigtlander at the moment. With all the buzz from the PL 25/f1.4 there doesn't seem to be much demand for the Nokton. I'd expect this to rebound a bit in a few months when people remember how good the Voigtlander really is :smile:
     
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  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The 25mm 1.4 is supposed to be nano coated. Nano coated lenses are supposed to maintain sharpness and contrast wide open, while minimizing flare.
     
  7. Psynema

    Psynema Mu-43 Regular

    81
    May 14, 2011
    Philadelphia
    Gary Hanna
    IMO

    I'd only recommend the PL 1.4 if you're into photo over video, but no way the other way around.
     
  8. dtakias

    dtakias Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jan 10, 2011
    I am in a similar position and own the nokton for just over a month now. It is a heavy lens and is somewhat soft at wide open but i guess that is normal for 0.95 lenses.
    I decided to order the leica dg anyway and will meant to have it by the weekend so i will do a proper testing. The leica dg may be a bit sharper but the nokton has it's own character and never stops to impress me.

    Here are a few photos I took last night: https://www.mu-43.com/f60/littering-more-nokton-25-0-95-a-15379/
     
  9. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    I really appreciate everyone's response on here. Yesterday made me decide to sell the Nokton. My wife and I went to the park to take some snapshots of the kids - She had the GF2 w/14mm lens ($379 deal that I posted about earlier that is no longer available) and I had the GH2 ($899) + Nokton ($1040) + Singh-Ray VariND thin ($380) = $2230.
    Her $379 pictures turned out way better than my "$2230" pictures. Sure she was in IAuto or whatever and I was full manual, but the colors and detail seemed great and mine were less sharp and seemed flat to our eyes.
    Couldn't put the GH2 in auto-mode to see if it was me or the camera as one cannot set "Shoot without lens" in auto mode.
    I'm sure it was 50% me, 25% the camera, and 25% the subject (2 and 5 year olds running around a park on a bright sunny day).

    Sure, I could have taken much better video than her, but at the end of the day it was pretty frustrating. I think I'm going to get the 25mm Summilux as it's been proven to take great stills even at f 1.4 and I can always switch to manual mode to take videos.

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for photography. :(
     
  10. Yotsuba

    Yotsuba Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Feb 28, 2010
    Singapore
    May be it's just the manual focusing. It's difficult to MF on moving subjects.
     
  11. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    Maybe. But even when I stepped down to 2.8 and got some focused shots the pictures weren't all that impressive. How can something that takes such amazing video footage esp. in low light seem so ho-hum for pictures?
     
  12. Yotsuba

    Yotsuba Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Feb 28, 2010
    Singapore
    Ok.

    With regards to colours saturation and sharpness, it might be due to your settings as you were using manual. You might have set them on low.

    In fully auto mode, the camera will "up" its colours and sharpness by default.
     
  13. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    I have 6 and 8-year olds, and have taken thousands of photos of them over the past few years. Here are my stream-of-consciousness thoughts...

    My experience is that for still photos of these constantly-moving projectiles, manual focus CAN work, but AF lets me concentrate on composition, lighting, and camera settings. Fast MF lenses are great for stills of them in slower, evening moods, curled up on a couch, etc...but these situations are the exception. MF is not easy for parks and playtime.

    For video, a smaller aperture and OIS are useful; keeps them in focus and minimizes camera shake; I'd suggest the Panny 14-45, 40-200, or 14-140. These also work well to video dimly-lit school performances. I know that manual focus rules for serious cinematography, but you'll likely be doing more gun'n'run grab clips than scripted efforts for the next few years, such is the pace of life.

    My favorite kit for photographing our kids these days is a Panny zoom for video and the 14/2.5 or 20/1.7 for stills. For evening indoor shots and nightime existing-light movies, I'll often use a NEX-5 with a 30mm/1.9 (22mm in M4/3 equivalent) because it is easier to focus than the M4/3 camera. I find that 20mm is often too long and the 14mm is a sleeper lens (fast to focus and good image quality); I'd be concerned that 25mm was a bit long for most situations I encounter - kids can exit the frame very rapidly - resulting in missed opportunities.

    Best of luck on your deliberations...
     
  14. dtakias

    dtakias Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jan 10, 2011
    @Shield
    Hmm interesting findings...

    Last week I finally received my Leica Summilux and been really impressed with it so far. Close up shots seem very similar to the Nokton, especially the bokeh, where on anything else the Leica seems to have an advantage. I am not an expert in photography though!

    To be honest though I still prefer manual focusing as it makes every photograph a challenge...only if the Nokton was a bit lighter!

    Here is my unboxing video of the Leica
    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMEwIX5bwZI]Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH Lens Unboxing - YouTube[/ame]


    Soon I am planning on getting many shots and comparing the photos from both lenses.

    For now here are 2 shots I took the other night. In Aperture priority mode and both lenses set @f1.4 straight out of the camera. I forgot to take my tripod with me so the the Nokton shot didn't come very well but you can still see the camera not calculating the correct settings with the Nokton.
    The Nokton is the first one and the Leica the second.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    How would you rate the video comparisons between the two? What's up with the music in the unboxing video? :)
     
  16. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    Also, to everyone - other than the obvious build quality of the Nokton, why wouldn't the movies I take @ F1.4 look as good or better even in manual mode with the P25? I realize the "look" will be different, but I think I'm done with the look of the Nokton.
     
  17. dtakias

    dtakias Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jan 10, 2011
    Haven't tried video yet but very pleased with the photos I've taken so far. Seems weird that I don't need to manual focus anymore!
    Hope you like the music, needed something to make it a bit dramatic :cool:
     
  18. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    You might want to at least have the box cut open first before you start rolling :)
     
  19. dtakias

    dtakias Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jan 10, 2011
    Good idea, next time I'll make sure it's open :)
     
  20. dtakias

    dtakias Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jan 10, 2011
    The last couple of days I've taking shots with the Leica DG and the Nokton. I have taken all sorts of photos with my GH1 and GF2 at different apertures and I am now trying to put them in order and compare them.

    Here are a few crops at f1.4 and f4. Do we have a winner already? :smile:

    6108319827_3962c774a9_o.
    6108869312_b9046005a3_b.
     
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