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Voightlanders vs the PL lenses

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by gardengirl13, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Are they really THAT much better?

    I'm going through a bit of a nostalgic thing here missing my old canon gear, so I'm trying to see if staying with the OMD and getting better lenses will make me just as happy, and make my hands and back/shoulders MUCH happier!

    I'm looking into getting two primes. Something in the 17ish range and something in the 25ish range. Now I'm going between the PL15 and the voightlander 17 and the PL25 and the voightlander 25. Now either way I can't really afford a second lens if I get a voightlander. I'm not 100% sure I'll need a second though.

    If you go through some of my photos you'll see what I shoot. Mostly gardens, flowers, landscapes, food shots, some people. Now currently I've been using the 12-50 and 40-150, I'm also thinking of upgrading to the 100-300 for birds and animals that are slightly more friendly. I did shoot that a lot and it's been harder where I am right now, which I'm hoping may change in the next year or so. We'll see.

    Admittedly the 25 seems closer to the 22.5 I'd need measuring with the zoom then the 17. The 15 seems too far out from that. So I guess it would have to be between the 17 0.95 and the two 25s.

    Basically are they really a grand better? Are they really better in general? For someone who is really missing DSLRs is it the best choice to get that look?
  2. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    I do worry about low light with slightly faster moving stuff with the MF. That might be an issues since moving fast isn't part of what I can do any more. I might get too frustrated with that since they will be used inside on people, not just outside in better light.
  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    If I were considering dropping cash for the high end of m4/3s lenses I'd be looking very hard at Fuji as well. You have some body choices (some pretty small), and lenses that are cheaper and lighter than many of their high end m4/3s counterparts. Plus you are back to an APS-C sensor.
  4. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The PL25 is just a fantastic and versatile lens. I don't see how you can go wrong with it. I use it for indoors, outdoors, portraits, still-lifes, anything and everything! Also: what is it you are missing about your Canon gear?

    You will find many great examples in the PL 25 image thread, but here are a few of mine. Have I mentioned that I love this lens?

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Cutest baby ever
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    Girl in restaurant
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    Summer at the lake
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    Urban portrait
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    Brick and Glass
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 9
  5. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    I have a thread going in the open forum. It explains it a bit. But I'm missing the creamy wonderful bokeh and the feeling the images give me. It's missing with the MFT system. I really would love to go back to canon but my health I think is really preventing that from happening. As much as I REALLY want to, realistically I probably shouldn't.

    ETA: would getting the PL25 and maybe some funky software like alien skin with their bokeh filter work just as good? I've been wanting to get the Nik silver efex and color efex maybe adding alien skin to the mix and I'd be set? Or just getting the alien skin and skipping the Nik since it does black and white stuff too! Anyone have experience with these for increasing the look of bokeh?
  6. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    ETA: try the bokeh filter on your existing photos.

    Would also like to see some more examples from your crop Canon portfolio. Mention the FL and f/ to save us looking up EXIF. There shouldn't be that much difference in 'creamy bokeh' for similar FL and f/. A 50mm on a Canon crop equates to a 40mm on a µ4/3 for angle of view -- shooting at the same f/ should be only subtly different in out-of-focus look.

    You are shooting JPEG aren't you? What Picture Style did you use on Canon? And now?
  7. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Just had a look at some of your pictures in the other thread. The shot with the cat, the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 will look like your 35mm on a crop Canon at 1.8, and that shot was at 35/2, so you can get a very, very similar look in terms of DOF. The 25 is an awesome lens too.

    The Voigtlanders are pretty big and heavy for M43rds, so probably not a good choice if you're using M43 to reduce size/weight of your system. They will provide even narrower DOF than most lenses on your Canon crop, only exception would be the 50L, which would give similar dof to the Voigt 42.5/0.95. The 85L too, but thats more like a 135mm-equiv or 62mm in M43rds terms which there isn't currently a lens (Sigma is close at 60mm but much slower at 2.8). However, the price, size, weight, and lack of AF for the Voigtlanders are serious drawbacks, personally I would go with AF lenses.

    The Oly 45 1.8 is roughly equivalent to a 50mm on Canon crop at 2.2 or an 85 on Canon FF at 3.6.
    The Panasonic 42.5 1.2 is roughly equivalent to a 50mm on Canon crop at 1.4, or an 85 on FF at 2.4. Though this is again a rather heavy lens in M43rds terms.

    In short, getting creamy bokeh is easily atainable with M43rds, when you use fast primes. You won't get *quite* as narrow as with APS-C or FF, but the difference especially with 1.6x Canon crop is really small in use.

    I switched from Sony Alpha, with a FF A900 and a APS-C A580, I miss the A900 and my 85/1.4 and 35/1.4 at times, because you really can get a look with those lenses that you can't with M43, though to be fair, I usually had to stop those lenses down to F2-4 to avoid focus errors, so it was more of a theoretical advantage than a real one. The difference between M43 and APS-C? Barely noticeable, its only 2/3rd stop after all, vs 2 full stops with FF.

    In simple terms, sensor size determines DOF, and here you can see that Canon 1.6x crop is actually a lot closer in size to M43rds than it is to FF/35mm.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The 12-50mm is really not a good lens if you want creamy bokeh/narrow DOF. Its simply too slow. If you want a zoom, the 12-35/2.8 (or 12-40 but that is bigger and heavier) would be much better.
  8. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "Best" is always so subjective. I have the CV 17.5 and 25. I will have the 42.5 shortly. I have decided to go with the Voigtlanders for other reasons besides being substitutes for the full frame format. I do have the PL25 as an all-around and travel lens. I'm venturing into video which is where those Voigtlanders will excel.
  9. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    I have the cv 25 and cv 17.5. The cv 25 is my favorite lens by far. It's always on by default. Only if I need something in particular from another lens, I'd change it. no brainer for me. I'd replace it with the same thing in a heartbeat if I was to lose or damage it. The weight isn't that big a deal for me. The 17.5, however, is heavy. I'm seriously considering the 12-40 now. I prefer manual focus, but when things are happening quick, AF is handy - and the focal length seems within my usual needs.
  10. carterru

    carterru Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 16, 2014
    Hi Vin,

    I absolutely love your immages. Really inspiring. You definitely "Hang with the big boys"

    They have just convinced me to buy the Pana 25mm.

    Keep posting [emoji1]
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bhima

    bhima Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2014
    You want some uber bokeh for less than the Voigt? Get the Oly 75mm 1.8. Hell, even the Oly 45mm or the PL 25 or the Oly 25 1.8 lenses give you creamy bokeh. If you want to obliterate a background on m43's, you may want to look at longer tele ranges (75, 45, and... if you can rob a bank, the Noct 42.5 f1.2).

    Having said that, the Voigt will get you where you want to go. f0.95 is like f1.4 on an APS-C sensor camera. Of course, you also have to be comfortable dropping $1,000 on a MF lens only. There are other options as well if you are keen on MF. Get a speedbooster for either Canon or Nikon mounted lenses and you can get VERY wide aperatures (wider than f0.95). Plus, the booster and either the Nikon 50mm 1.4 or the Canon 50mm 1.4 (This will convert I believe to a 70mm field of view equiv on FF with an aperture of f1.0) will be cheaper than the Voigt, and now since you own the speedbooster, you can build a library of lenses to go with it. Those Canon or Nikon lenses are usually cheaper than an m43's equivalent lens.
  12. The Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 isn't a bad shout either, although the lens is quite heavy and I found that my version had a really stiff focus ring.

    View attachment 377735 _5310040.jpg by -the-levster-
    • Like Like x 1
  13. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    On the same note why not continue and check out the Sony A7? If you're okay with MF there are several good 50s available for $50 and I'm sure you could find a nice 35mm. Price will probably be lower than buying a Fuji and native glass.

    I wanted the Voitlander 42mm for nice creamy bokeh but for the size and weight and price I'd only have one FL, plus I'd have to deal with an ND filter to use it in daylight. You could buy an 85/1.8 for FF for $200 with equivalent bokeh.

    What I say is don't get ride of m4/3s: do both! m4/3s small camera with a wide zoom, 20, maybe even the 75, but keep them small. Tele is easy and cheap too. Everything else shoot on FF.
  14. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    I think the smoothness you're missing is more than about just lens. I've looked at the photos from Canon in your other post and I do think that the images from Olympus look harsh when compared to the Canon shots. It may have something to do with the metering, colour style, white balance and gradation settings. I think Canon is known for that "soft" and natural look, in order to get the smooth look, you might have to check the camera settings, or try more with PP. Could anyone here share some presets?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. biza48

    biza48 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2014
    In short: the Voigtlanders will give you a shorter DOF compared to the PL lenses. However, only you can judge if that difference is substantial enough for your photography, plus only you can judge if you will be able to use MF efficiently.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Ok let me explain this better. I'm not looking for narrow DOF. That's not it at all. It's the quality of the bokeh. meaning on MFT it's choppy in almost everything unless you have a narrow DOF or your subject is in good proportions to the background. With the crop canon (and I'm still thinking more so of going FF over crop) your backgrounds are going to have a smoother feel to them. Even with smaller f/stops. I've seen some really awesome stuff with the MFT here and other places, I've taken some photos I'm very proud of, one even almost won an international photo contest (ok not WON but almost placed- they cut it in the final round). But there is just some different feel to the canon photos. There would be even more if I go with the 6D instead of getting the 60D again. Problem is price, with the 60D I can afford to keep my OMD, but it's not really a big step up like the 6D would be. If I'm starting from scratch it might better suit me to go FF, but the crop lenses are lighter, so it's making me think crop might be better health wise. But I'm also getting frustrated and, quite frankly pissed off, that my health is getting worse and I'm becoming a slave to it! I don't want it to control everything in my life. I wanted to keep shooting no matter what, which is why I went to the OMD. But now I'm missing it too much. If I'm honest I've been missing it for about a year now. The first year was fun, I had a great time. But I slowly noticed that I'm not as happy with shooting. I feel like there is a hole in it somewhere. It's not really an inspiration kind of thing. It's not really creative. It's the feeling the great shots I got gave me. Sure the regualr every day stuff is VERY close to the OMD. VERY. But the stuff I just nailed, it's not. It can't compare. Not saying it's not good! Please don't think that. Technically they might be great. Looks wise they might be great. But the feeling, it's not. It's only good. And even though it's a hobby that I'm not afraid to say I kind of suck at, I miss that great. Man I feel like I'm at therapy here with this post! ha ha!!
  17. MarcG19

    MarcG19 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 11, 2013
    Maryland, USA
    IMO, the bokeh and character (and for that matter sharpness) of the Voightlander is top notch, even at f/4. It doesn't have as much contrast as the Olympus 25 1.8, though, and its virtues over that lens IMO is subjective. For some (like me) it will be the cat's meow, enough that it's my only 25mm lens. Others may not like it so much (eg Ming Thein).

    I recommend to be sure that an MF lens like this is what you want. Leica and medium format shooters will generally like it. If you're unsure, rent one or buy a used one and resell it if it doesn't float your boat.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43
  18. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    • Like Like x 1
  19. Sahib7

    Sahib7 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2013
    To make it short:
    I have both the Voigtländer 25 and 17.5mm and both are really excellent. But I do still have my PL 25 as sometimes Autofocus comes in handy.
    From their character I prefer images of the CV 25 over their PL counterparts. But before having the CVs I loved the PL (which I still do, but I prefer the rendering of the CVs). So you will surely be happy with all of them.

    But if you are really looking for a soft and natural style (less contrast out of cam), I suggest going with the CVs as long as you can live with the MF...

    But I'm still thinking about buying a full frame kit (A7s or the RX1r successor with curved sensor and 35mm f1.8 lens), must be GAS. In that case I would sell off the CVs, but as long as m43 is my only system these are my go to lenses.

    And also the CV 42.5mm f0.95 images do have more character than the PL 42.5 f1.2 IMHO...
  20. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    Smooth bokeh in m43 without breaking banks and backs? Easy. Olympus 45mm f1.8. Stellar in every way, and cheap imo.

    But yeah, also another vote in the PL25's favour. It is tremendous. Both lenses are smooth as silk, and cemented my faith in the system.

    Came from semipro nikon-gear, used mostly primes, 50f1.8 afd 60f2.8 and afs 85f1.8, Do not miss any of them.

    Patrick K
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