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Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by McBob, May 6, 2012.

  1. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    Bought one as soon as it came out. Haven't been disappointed.

    I also have the PL 25/1.4, was not really interested in the CV 25/0.95. I don't have a fast 12, but do have the Lumix 7-14.

    My professional work is video, so that was my first attraction; this lens will definitely work with a follow focus; it also has a forward-mounted aperture ring that is declickable (by simply rotating a collar on the lens). Perfect for video use.

    It's obvious drawback: price. I justified it by having my desire for a 5D3 or D800 completely satiated, but $1300 is still a tough pill to swallow. I sold a couple of rarely used toys to finance it, otherwise it never would have fit in this year's budget. It also augments the wide end of a set of Leica R primes I've been slowly accumulating for a heck of a lot less than a Leica R 15 or 19 (and compares well optically).

    As to the focal length... well, I just like 35mm on full-frame. This scratches that itch completely. There are a few fast 25's available, and now a couple of decent 12's, but this was the first fast 17 and I jumped at it for that reason. I've had a Kern-Switar C-mount 16/1.8 for a while, which I've really liked despite its heavy vignetting... this is two stops faster and actually covers the sensor, so yay for that.

    As to 12, I'm testing this lens with a couple of the screw-on wide angle adapters in my kit. So far the Canon WD58 0.7x has a lot of barrel distortion, but actually seems optically comparable to a cheaper all-manual 12 like the SLR Magic T1.6. It probably wouldn't match the Olympus 12. I still need to get a step ring to fit the 16x9 EXII 0.6x, which may fare better.

    Elsewhere I've been shooting with it on a few paid projects from which I can't release footage... overall impressions are that there's significant vignetting above f2, but the lens is tack sharp across the frame at f2 and lower. Above f2, the "artsy" characteristics gradually increase... dark vignetting and some corner softening, a touch of CA by f.95.

    It's noticeable, but not altogether displeasing or really unexpected... much like the Voigt 25/0.95 but in a focal length I just vastly prefer.

    Here's a link to a short video shot with GH2 during a hike with my two youngest.

    [ame=http://vimeo.com/41630034]Creek Time on Vimeo[/ame]
    • Like Like x 20
  2. fiz the good

    fiz the good New to Mu-43

    May 7, 2012
    I just recieved mine yesterday and had the chance to try it out last night. A great lens!
  3. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Thank you for the information and video. I was unaware of the lens.
  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks for the post :smile:

    Is there any chance you could take the time to post a few stills samples? I'm particularly interested in corner performance (Nokton 25mm is smeared at all apertures), sharpness across the frame stopped-down and centre sharpness wide-open. I'm pretty keen to see if this is as good of an all-round performer as the 25mm, and the only samples I can find are either video or bokeh-fest...

    Pretty pretty please!

    **edit** Don't spose one of you lucky buggers would like to start the relevant samples thread? https://www.mu-43.com/f80/
  5. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    +1. All I've seen is extreme close focusing wide-open to show off the bokeh, but I haven't seen any nice shots from this lens yet. Though it's a moot point as it's not like I can afford one of these .95 beauties.
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I got my sharpnesses mixed up... Across the frame stopped down (say f4-8) and in the centre wide open (f0.95-1.4) :smile:
  7. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Wow, for that price I should expect no vignetting until it gets to the smallest aperture setting or possibly the second to last, but not "dark vignetting" above f/2 That is ludicrous to me .I know it would be primarily for low light shots, but this means I cant use it in bright situations. So a lens with only 3 usable stops out off all its aperture range does not appeal to me at all. No thank you. I would rather buy the little slower and drastically less expensive pana 20mm.

    But thank you McBob tremendously for the review, i will no longer lust after this lens. Even if i had the money now I would not purchase it.
  8. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011

    First, if the lens is tack-sharp from f2 onwards, that's 6-stops of very very usable performance (assuming it behaves like the Nokton 25mm and gets a bit soft above f11 from diffraction). I don't understand where you get the '3-stops' thing from?

    Second, as with all things, price is relative. $1300 for a beautifully made f0.95 full-frame (as in, designed to fully cover it's native format) lens giving this field of view is damn cheap. Check the price of the Canon, Nikon or Sony 35/f1.4's or, just for giggles, the Leica 50/f0.95.

    Third, how many lenses do you know of that don't produce some vignetting above f2? Especially down around f1.4 and f0.95... Different standards apply when you get into ultra-fast territory (sub-f1.4)
  9. SPQR

    SPQR Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2010
    It's the improper use of terms like "above f2" or "up/down" to describe relative aperture that confuse all of us as to what you are talking about. Somehow f/0.95 is a smaller number than f/2, but its been described as "above" in this thread - huh?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I am Sorry if I got too wordy in my response and made it confusing. It's not uncommon for me at times.
    Let me walk you though my reasoning.
    First i read this "
    then i looked at this:

    I counted them roughly, so yea I know 3 full stops down from and including f/2 , is f 2, 1.4 then1,0, not 0.95, Sorry for the imprecision there.
    you see now? :wink:

    Now you got me confused there.
    That does sound like a fantastic lens when you say "(as in, designed to fully cover it's native format)", but when I see " there's significant vignetting above f2" that does not sound like, to me, a lens that fully covers the sensor well above f/2.
    All my lenses do not have significant vignetting above f2. Some have slight vignetting way above f/2 .

    So that got me to thinking. You did mention " Different standards apply " although you were referring to fast lens territory, I think it should be applied to other areas like vignetting. Maybe that's where our confusion lies, in that definition of significant.

    I have seen many photo examples taken with legacy and native lenses where vignetting shown is described as slight or barely but as i look at those examples, i feel if there were any more i would never use that lens without cropping the photo. So when this lens is described as having "significant vignetting" which common seance dictates is more than slight, that's what put me off.
    So I was glad to know that fact from you. Nothing is more bothersome To me than wishing i had something for years, then finally having the money or resources to getting it and being soo disappointed, plus lighter in the wallet..

    Indecently I am having that experience with a couple legacy lenses right now. :smile:
  11. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    As SPQR mentioned, do you realise that 'above' f2 refers to apertures wider than f2 - so f0.95 and f1.4 in this case - and 'below' f2 refers to apertures smaller than f2 - so f2.8 onwards?
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Totally lusting after this lens!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Laurentiu Cristofor

    Laurentiu Cristofor Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Just received this lens today. It is as good as the 25mm one. It lived to my expectations. Samples will follow in a few days.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Looking forward to your photos with the 17! Post some with the 25 too!
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Thanks for the video and comments on the 17. This lens is definitely on my "Wish List"...
  16. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer


    Vignetting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Interesting to see some comments ... does that mean there is more vignetting than expected or just seeing it was unexpected?

    Using an adapted lens (designed for a much larger image circle) is one way to mitigate vignetting but in a native situation that just results in larger more expensive lenses. One could install an apodizing filter at the expense of a stop or two or more in light throughput but that kind of defeats the purpose of 'fast' glass.

    FYI, stopping down a lens does not really reduce the vignetting - one must look very carefully at the results to notice the edge throughput stays the same but the center throughput drops considerably so it appears that the vignetting has been reduced. Sure, the relative throughput of center to edge changes but the edge throughput is not 'improved' in the slightest by stopping down. In such discussions care must be taken to clarify if the relative or absolute throughput is being called 'vignetting'.

    There are software 'tricks' that can be done to reduce the vignetting at the expense of added noise. These types of 'adjustments' could also be done in camera with lens calibration much like some CA, SA and distortion 'correction' is done now for some cameras/lens combos.

    Physics is a cruel mistress but knowing what is going on permits one to work around limitations more effectively.
  17. Laurentiu Cristofor

    Laurentiu Cristofor Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    A few samples from the 17.5

    Here are a few samples from the 17.5. I am not sure if these tell you much, but the lens performs really well. It is sharp enough wide open and very sharp when stopped down. I don't see significant distortion nor much vignetting - in the first sample, the vignetting is due to my post-processing - the shot out of the camera did not have the corners so dark.






    • Like Like x 5
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