Picking up a Voigtlander lens, appreciate your suggestions

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by noodlehaus, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Hi everyone, I'm picking up my first Voigtlander lens and I'm not sure which one to get. First, here are the current lenses that I have:

    Canon FD 50mm f/1.4
    Canon FD 28mm f/2.8
    Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 (kit)
    Panny 20mm f/1.7 (wife's)
    Panny 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 (wife's)

    I'm trying to get something that doesn't closely overlap in terms of capabilities with something that I already have (not a lot, really). I'm thinking of picking up something from the following:

    Voigtlander Color-Skopar 21mm f/4
    Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4
    Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4

    I plan to keep shooting city shots (people, buildings, indoor) and some scenic photography when travelling.

    Would appreciate your advice and suggestions. Thanks!
     
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  2. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    Congrats... You might get addicted... I got the 15mm F/4.5 and picking up the 50 1.1 tomorrow as well...

    Since u have the panny 20 i would skip the skopar 21 (although color rendition is better on the voigt).. That said I have read that the 35 is better than the 40 (slightly)... I have tried the 35 and I was extremely happy with it for it's size...

    I'm going to say 35 will minimize your overlap and you might never want to take it off.... I was going to get the 35 1.2 as well tomorrow, but I am going to pick up a BESSA R3M instead... I can always get the 35 later.
     
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  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    I've got the 15mm f4.5, 28mm f2 and 50 f1.1. They are all very good lenses and have their own unique characteristics compared to other M mount lenses. They are very sharp and have good contrast, but if anything, I could say that they are a cold lens. My Minolta 90mm and Leica 135mm tend to be warm lenses, but extremely sharp and with great contrast, if any of that makes sense.

    In the film days, lenses and film were often compared to the way they provided sharpness, contrast, colour and tonality. Nowadays it's not quite the same, with digital sensors, but you can often talk in a similar language. If you're looking at getting any of the Voigtlander lenses, I'd suggest that you consider the M mount ones, rather than the screw mount, as the first decision point.

    The M mount lenses are a later addition and have newer coatings and often will allow the use of filters, as with the 15mm. One of my dealers said to me last year that Voigtlander is moving to make all of their older lenses into M mount and the 12mm is the first of the transitions. Watch out also with the 35mm, as it comes in two different flavours, multi-coated and single-coated. The single-coated lens was designed for B&W film and so isn't the ideal option for digital.

    Overall, the Voigtlander lenses are outstanding value for what you get and, in many ways, aren't always that far behind Leica lenses. Mind you, given a bottomless pit of money, I'd go wild with Leica lens purchases. :biggrin:

    Cheers

    Ray
     
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  4. Alan Wolf

    Alan Wolf Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    66
    Jan 20, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    75 Heliar?

    What about the 75mm 2.5 Heliar? (I don't have this, but have heard very good things about it, and it would give you a nice, somewhat fast mid telephoto.) This is also a range that is a bit weak in the current set of zooms. Otherwise, the 35 would make the most sense in terms of your spread, but that's a very tight group of lenses already. My impression from research is that the 1.7 Ultron (sorry, I'm in 35 land now...) may be a bit nicer than the 1.4 Nokton, but it is discontinued, so not available new, if that's important.
     
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  5. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks guys, really appreciate your insights.

    @ahuyevshi Going beyond 1.4 is already too pricey for me, so 1.4 will do :D

    @OzRay thanks for the suggestion on the mount type suggestion and for sharing your experiences on the ones you have.

    @Alan I have a Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 on the way too, so I'll make do with that for now. Best part is it's free :D
     
  6. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the 3 voigtlander lenses i have for my gf1 and ep1 are the 15 4.5, the 28 1.9 and the 50 1.5

    for sharpness speed and bokeh the 50 is by far the best, also the silver version on the ep1 wins the micro 4\3 beauty contest, imho

    for coolness, small size, and fun factor its , hands down the 15 , it has a very different look and a quickly plunging perspective that make it a unique lens that does not really copy the kit zoom at 30 mm equiv feeling and "look",
    the 28 1.9 is just ok wide open , not bad but not sharp as the 50, but its the fastest 28 rf lens in history , on a micro 4\3 body its as close to a fast normal [longish] you are likely to find in the rangefinder stable of small bodied lenses usable on m4\3.

    all voigtlander lenses are sensibly priced for the quality they deliver,zeiss and leica are not , i feel

    enjoy whatever lens you eventually buy , the voigtlander line is a fine one, you will love the metallic heft and well damped focus action on the the qualiy m4\3s bodies..... something the light plastic af micro 4\3 lenses from panny and oly simply dont provide
     
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  7. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    Exactly.... The 15 gets put down on a lot of sites on an :43: body... However It is my favorite lens....... DoF is godly

    Also remember that for landscapes your going to be stopping down anyway, so imo a fast wide angle isn't necessarily a great thing... I shoot canon as well and the 16-35 I usually end up stopping down to f/4 anyway...
     
  8. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    170
    Jan 24, 2010
    Tokyo
    Ah. . . .

    The first M-mount replacement that I can think of was the 35/2.5 "pancake", which came after an optically identical screwmount 35/2.5 "pancake" and "classic" (yes, all three have identical arrangements of glass). That was a long time before the M-mount 12 mm lens.

    There's a multi-coated and a single-coated version of a single 35mm lens, the f/1.4 (M-mount only). The latter is, I believe, Cosina's only single-coated lens, and you're unlikely to come across it by chance. I hazily remember that one is called "Nokton Classic" and the other "Classic Nokton" (I've no idea which is which).

    Every Cosina "Voigtländer" lens I've ever heard of has a filter thread, with the exceptions of the screwmount 12mm (unless you have an adapter) and the screwmount 15mm. But they're so wide that I suspect that a filter would have a high risk of degrading the image from either, used for 36x24mm.

    Is there much to the kind of multicoating that's applied to a lens? My impression was that there was a huge leap from uncoated to single coated, and a much smaller one from single coated to multiple coated, and that most of the talk about this or that particular recipe of multicoating (the "SSC" of Canon, etc) had little or no real-world meaning. Certainly I see no point in worrying about the niceties of rival multicoatings (if that used in a newer M-mount lens really is different from that used in an older screwmount) if you're still using the original lens hood, designed for a much wider angle of view than interests the little micro 4/3 sensor.

    The dealer you spoke to may have intended to give you a disinterested picture of the truth. But if so, he got it wrong. Further, it would be rash simply to assume that he'd be a disinterested source: it would certainly be in his interest to reduce your interest in lenses available cheaply second hand and increase your interest in lenses available new.

    And Noodlehaus, you already have more than enough lenses. Really. But if you insist on getting yet another then consider a Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45/2.8, because it looks kewl (and it's not a bad little lens). Titillating pictures of it here.
     
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  9. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    supur rokkor is super cool looking,lol .....a striking lens , the little rokkor 45 f2 made for the minolta cle\ leica cl is pretty cool too, and a stop faster too
     
  10. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the screw mount lenses are much cheaper than the m mount voigtlanders, most designs are identical optically, sadly most are discontinued

    the real exception is the28 f2 m mount, a redesign that is smaller, a tiny bit slower
    but sharper wide open.........

    the screw mount lenses can be used perfectly on m mount, but its impossible to use m mount on a screw body.advantage ? screw mount lenses are usable on many screw mount bodies such as older leicas and many fine discontinued voigtlander rangefinder
    bodies in the second hand marketplace, the new voightlander m`s cannot
     
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Actually, the single coated lenses pop up everywhere, retailers are trying to get rid of old stock, which is why I noted the difference. If you're not aware, then you cuold very likely get one of these.

    Yep, the LTM 12mm and 15mm didn't take a filter, the new M mount 15mm and the recently announced M mount 12mm do take a filter. Looking at my 15mm, it's clear that Voigtlander has designed the front of the lens in such a way that an attached filter won't cause vignetting or likely other image degrading effects. I haven't done any tests, but I'm quite happy with the results.

    There is indeed a lot to do with coatings of any kind. It's a bit like automotive tyre technology, the tyre tread pattern may look the same on a particular tyre for decades, yet the internal construction and rubber compounds can change dramatically, yet unoticeably to the consumer, as technology advances. The same happens with lens coatings. The lens construction may not have changed, ie number of groups and elements, but other things can and will change, to provide incremental improvements.

    The dealer only commented on the move towards M mounts, nothing else. He was quite happy to sell me screw mount lenses to get rid of stock, so why talk me up needlessly to something that was happening in the future, when he could sell me something he had in stock right now?

    There's also the factor of convenience. The M mount is, for me, just more convenient to use than a screw mount. If I had a screw mount lens, then I'd be looking for an M mount adapter to make things convenient. New LTM Voigtlanders aren't a great deal cheaper than the M mount lens, when you factor in the adapter.

    Cheers

    Ray

    Cheers

    Ray
     
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  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Real Name:
    Muttley
    I am debating between getting a 35/1.4 or 40/1.4. I have no idea whether to get the single or multi-coated either.

    My complete list of lens can be seen on my signature. But the ones that I use with my EP2 are:

    Pany 20/1.7
    Oly m14-42
    Oly 40-150 (with MMF1 adapter)
    Oly 50/2 (with MMF1 adapter)

    I used to use the 25/2.8 (with MMF1) on the EP2, but stopped using it since I got the Pany 20/1.7.

    My primary goal is to get a more warm and classic look on my photos. The thought of having real fast primes makes me drool!

    Thanks for the help!
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Real Name:
    Muttley
    No advice from anyone ... :(

    Well, I ordered a 35/1.4 anyway!! Woohoo!! :)
     
  14. fortytwenty

    fortytwenty Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Mar 10, 2010
    Good choice.

    Congrats! You'll love it i'm sure.

    I posted my thoughts on it in another thread on the forum here: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=1320

    Apologies I didn't get to your request for advice sooner, but it looks like you made a good choice anyway!

    You can see examples of shots taken with mine here:

    GF1 + VOIGTLANDER NOKTON CLASSIC S.C 35mm F1.4
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortytwenty/sets/72157623462631432/
     
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  15. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Real Name:
    Muttley
    Thanks fortytwenty! No need for apologies. :)

    I ended up getting the multi-coated, because they didn't have the single-coated in stock. Hope it's equally good!
     
  16. Sexymaru

    Sexymaru Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Mar 26, 2010
    I have the 35/1.4 MC, 1st copy I got was terrible wide open, very hazy, too much white glow, and heavy blue fringe. 2nd copy was great, there's some glow (which is normal for this lens wide open) and no blue fringe.

    I would take the 35/1.4 over the 40/1.4 although I dont really like the 70mm (or 80mm) focal length.

    I wouldn't buy a CV wide angle (12/5.6 or 15/4.5) for M4/3 due to smearing being a common issue. I had a 15/4.5 where the left 1/3 and right 1/3 of photo always show heavy smearing, center 1/3 is perfect. Later found out it's not due to a bad copy but a angle of incidence issue with the M4/3 sensor.
     
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  17. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    The 40mm Nokton is better than the 35mm, IMO.

    Look at the 75mm Color Heliar too, great lens.
     
  18. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Not sure about the 21mm. However, the Bokeh from the 35/1.4 is slightly better than that of the 40/1.4, IMHO.
     
  19. richie15

    richie15 Guest

    I have owned a 35mm 1.7 Ultron and found it very soft wide open, I have heard that the 1.4 is much better. I currently have the 75mm 2.5 and have found the image quality stunning.

    Now saving for the 50mm 1.1. :smile:
     
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    You made the better choice with the multi-coated. The single coated was designed for B&W film.

    Cheers

    Ray