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Oly 12/2 vs. Voigtlander 12/5.6

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mabelsound, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. mabelsound

    mabelsound Guest

    I sort of want the former but I already have the latter for use on my Leica. The extra stops would be nice, but given recent improvements in high ISO sensor tech, it's less important than it might have been a few years ago. I assume, also, that the Oly is better in the corners, being a native wide angle. Can anyone who has both please compare the two for use on m4/3?
  2. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    I don't own any of these lenses, but there is no way, that sensor technology has been improved that much since the release of the Olympus 12mm lens. Today an improvement of one stop means a big step forward in sensor technology. Three stops is nearly impossible, unless you choose a larger sensor or completely new revolutionary sensor technology is being introduced.
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    I have the Oly. It's sharper than any other m4/3 WA lens I have across the field.

    The 3 stop difference isn't much of an issue if you want a large DOF. If you want a WA and selective focus a f5.6 12mm lens won't do it.
  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think selective focus and a 12mm lens are mutually exclusive, except at very close distances.

    My suggestion: you already have the Voigtlander. Shoot with it for a while and see if you miss the wider apertures, and if you're satisfied with the results at the ISOs you'll have to shoot at. If yes, you've save a lot of money. If no, you can buy the Oly then.
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    There were a bunch of people shooting with the Voigtlander before the Panasonic 7-14/4 and the Olympus 12/2 came out, but I don't know of anybody who does so any more - the native lenses were just better, as well as more convenient. Still, you should be able to find a cheap adapter to test it out and see if it suffices for your purposes.

  6. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    I don't have the 12mm Voigtlander, but I have the slightly less extreme 15mm and it disappointed me on my Panasonic G3 with a Fotodiox M to m4/3 adapter. There was severe vignetting (up to 3 stops) and very fuzzy edges wide open. By f/8 the edges had improved but the centre had lost its 'pop'.

    The Panasonic kit lens (14-42mm non-X) was a better performer. The 14-45mm I replaced it with was even better still. So I stopped using the 15mm Voigtlander. The only Leica M mount lens I still use on m4/3 is the 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M (last version made until 2008) and I use it only rarely. The native lenses (see list in my sig) are just too good.

    However, I still shoot black and white film with my M mount lenses.
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
  8. mabelsound

    mabelsound Guest

    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I typically use the Voigtlander at f/8 outdoors on the M9 as a super-wide snapshot lens. If this would be my primary use for it on m4/3, the Oly doesn't offer a ton of advantages. Maybe someday I'll pick up a 7-14 but for now I think I'll just stick with the VC. It's pretty cool looking on the GX1 as well.
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Don't forget to take the sensor size and diffraction into consideration. If you're used to shooting at f/8 on your Leica, it's comparable to shooting at f/4 on our cameras, because of the differences in angle of view. Also, by f/5.6, diffraction is likely already occurring on micro 4/3, so if you do adapt the Voigtlander, don't expect to use it at any aperture except wide open. If you don't mind a slowish aperture, you may want to consider the Olympus 9-18mm, as it is pretty impressive optically, cheaper than the Olympus 12mm, and gives you those ultrawide focal lengths down to 9mm as a bonus. Also, from what I've seen optically the 12mm, while being a prime, besides the aperture bonus, doesn't really have the optical advantage of zoom lenses that cover the same range (9-18mm, 7-14mm), as seems to be a common trend with micro 4/3 lenses. Not significantly sharper, but you do have less vignetting by virtue of being stopped down.

    And I agree with pictor, there is not THAT much sensor advancement to make up for that many stops difference in aperture. I'd put up my old sensor at ISO 200 against any new sensor at ISO 1600, and that's true for any system, whether it's micro 4/3 or a DSLR.

    He didn't say it's useless; he said that selective focus only occurs at very close distances. Which your photo wholeheartedly proves.
  10. mabelsound

    mabelsound Guest

    I had the 9-18 for a while and liked it. Maybe I'll get it again...I only sold it because I was leaving m4/3, but the new generation of cameras has brought me back.
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