Voightlanders vs the PL lenses

gardengirl13

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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?
 

gardengirl13

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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.
 

demiro

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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.
 

spatulaboy

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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?


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


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


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


Corridor
by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr


Urban portrait
by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr


Brick and Glass
by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr
 

gardengirl13

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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?
 

T N Args

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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?
 

EarthQuake

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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.
 

0dBm

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"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.
 

walter_j

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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.
 

carterru

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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?
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]
 

bhima

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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.
 

Levster

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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.
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-
 

tjdean01

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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.
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.
 

jyc860923

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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?
 

biza48

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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.
 

gardengirl13

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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!!
 

MarcG19

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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
 

Sahib7

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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...
 

Neftun

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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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