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Voigtlander 17.5 popularity

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RoadTraveler, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    To avoid cluttering the image thread, I’m posting this in a new thread.

    After mulling over the purchase for several weeks, yesterday I decided to buy the Voigtlander f/0.95 17.5 lens. If I would have bought it when I first starting looking I would have ordered from Monk3y from Japan; his price is good [even better before the exchange rate worsened recently] and I would have had it already. Though after finally deciding to drop the coin I (it is $1k+) I wanted it ASAP for a trip and job starting next week out of town.

    Amazon has not been selling this lens directly and B&H and other popular vendors have been backordered. B&H showed the lens in-stock briefly yesterday, I even had it in my cart online, but before I ordered or called it changed to backordered. I called, and sure enough, no stock to sell.

    The Photo Village

    I'd already noted that The Photo Village—a smaller shop I've done much business with in years past—had the lens in-stock, same price as everyone else, $1,149. I finally ordered and had the lens shipped across the U.S. via 2-day air, I'll have it on Friday. Speaking with Will at The Photo Village, he shared that these lenses are really 'moving', he had 200 delivered a month ago and only had 3 left yesterday when I ordered. He has another 100 coming! Two hundred copies of a particular lens in a month seems like a lot, and illustrates the current popularity of the Voigtlander 17.5… I was surprised.

    Hope I can make some good art with this lens, looking forward to adding it to the toolbox.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I love this lens. 1/4th of all photos I've taken this year (and not deleted) have been with this lens and I've only had it since mid-July.

    Focusing wide open takes practice and isn't fast, but it can be faster than any AF lens if you put it at f/4 or f/5.6 and align the distance scale. Constant focus.

    _9090007.

    _9090010.

    _9090014.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    Same applies to CV 25mm also, and I realized after reading your post that this is why I like the lens so much. No hazzle and dazzle just constant focus, and click. But wide open it can surprise you, and definately needs some practicing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. fluberman

    fluberman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    502
    Sep 19, 2012
    Indonesia
    Alex
    Sorry I don't mean to be rude but just wondering what is the point of having an expensive fast f0.95 lens if you use it constantly at f5.6?




    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    One quarter of your keepers is a huge percentage. Yep, I've owned/still own manual focus lenses and precise manual focusing (close) with my m4/3 kit (GX1) is certainly more difficult than using Lieca rangefinders.

    I also agree regarding using the focusing scale...I love being able to pre-focus a manual lens prior to shooting and know it's ready. I’m looking forward to making images with this lens both close-up/wide open and more normal views.
     
  6. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I don't believe he was saying that he only uses it at f/5.6, he was giving one example of one way he uses it or it can be used. :smile:
     
  7. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    Right, when stopping f/2.8 and before, CV is almost clinical sharp. But wide open it has vignetting in corners and little bit soft rendering. So there is multiple, excellent use of this nice piece of 'old days like' photo gear.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    You're definitely not rude. It's a good question. I don't constantly use it at f/5.6. Granted, considering how incredibly sharp it is at f/5.6, I'd seriously think about it...

    I think the idea is this: choices and flexibility. I've always thought that the "You only buy a fast lens to shoot wide open" mentality was silly. I certainly didn't buy the lens for that. I bought it because it gave me the flexibility across a variety of shooting conditions. When I use it, I certainly look for shots that can take advantage of f/.95, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of shooting doesn't require narrow DOF.

    We have three option for this (general) angle of view:

    Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
    Olympus 17mm f/1.8
    CV 17.5mm f/.95

    The first is super sharp, but its slow to focus. The second is kind of sharp and super fast to focus. And neither have much in terms of bokeh. The CV has better bokeh than both and a narrow DOF when needed. It also has the sharpness of the 20mm and when used stopped down with zone focusing, is faster than both the 20mm and the 17mm.

    Those are all good reasons to use it beyond just f/.95.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 12, 2012
    I love this lens too, just that it's heavy. Still, it's a lens I will bring on vacation.

    Some shots I made from Barcelona:

    barcelona-day-five-28-Edit.

    barcelona-day-five-29-Edit.

    Slight observable purple fringing at wide open though.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I felt the same way which is why a recently traded my copy. I absolutely loved the output of this lens but it's so big and heavy that I never took it with me on travel, I could easily take two smaller lenses in it's place. I'm definately going to miss the low light capabilities of this lens, which is why I bought it in the first place.
     
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I thought about this purchase a while… Though I'd prefer it not be so heavy and large, I own and have owned large and heavy lenses before and I accept that as part of the design and excellence of the lens.

    The purple fringing is a bigger negative to me as I do very little post processing and have limited skills in that area.

    Used prices seem good/high so if it doesn't work for me I can sell it for a slight loss, though I hope to use and love the lens. I've seen so much good work from this piece of glass that if there is a weak link in output it will most certainly be me.

    One person’s work with this 17.5 mm Voigtlander that impressed was Matt Jones.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjones41/sets/72157632420406211/
     
  12. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 12, 2012
    Despite the weight, I'll still bring this for vacation.

    I brought the 12-35mm for the trip too. 305g vs 540g. I used the 17.5mm all the time and left the 12-35 in the hotel.
    The rendition of the lens is not something that easily replicable with other lens.

    I've brought the Oly 17mm f/1.8 for vacation also. But was left disappointed after it wasn't able to get the shots I want because it's just not as fast as a 0.95 at night.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 12, 2012
    To me, there are a few crucial reasons for people to choose this lens.

    1. No other lens can match it's depth of field at the focal length.
    2. No other lens can match the low light capability - when translated in real life means you technically can or cannot get a shot because of the noise.

    If you need a particular shot, you will need that particular lens regardless of its weight. Just look at all those sports photographers holding gigantic lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Agreed.

    And I would add, to obtain 'the look/signature/character' of a particular lens, a strong argument for a lens like this I think. Related, but not identical to your DOF point.
     
  15. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I have, like, need, and use my 12-35. However, I'm pleased to hear that you chose to use the 17.5 over the other lenses and were happier with the results.

    For several years I've been using mostly zooms, both with FF DSLRs and m4/3 for the past year. But I've also used rangefinders and prime lenses, and I liked/like 35mm as my 'normal' focal length.
     
  16. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    filter & hood combo?

    Do any of you guys use a protection filter and then the screw-in hood on the filter?

    I received my lens this afternoon and used it that way for a few test shots… I didn't notice an vignetting with the hood being a bit further out, has anyone had an issue using the lens hood atop filter?

    I hope to share a few images later this evening.

    James
     
  17. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    One of my first shots

    ©2013 PhotoWrite Intl.

    P1040191.JPG
     
  18. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    My opinion of the manual focusing is that it seems nearly perfect during my limited use.
    Not too firm, nor too soft, just right. Slightly more resistance than my late model Leica M lenses, though I've not done a side by side comparison.
     
  19. JoeV

    JoeV Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Aug 22, 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Joe Van Cleave
    Mike, thanks for posting these photos. As for using manual focus lenses (I'm old enough to have plenty of experience with MF film cameras over the years) I've had fun using a Vivitar Series 5, 24mm lens in Minolta MD mount on my G5, and indeed find manual focusing to be both fun and fast, with some experience on the part of the operator. Regarding optical quality of my sample of the Vivitar, it's a bit softer than the Lumix system lenses I own, but certainly good enough to keep. I'd assume your Voigtlander is most likely of better optical quality, especially given the price.

    Inspecting your attached photos on my large monitor (I usually view this website on my iPad), I see what looks like CA in all three images, but especially in the upper left hand corners. I'm not sure if you've noticed it before, and if you do any CA compensation on the files in post. I find myself doing so on most of my manual lenses, not only with the Vivitar 24 but also the el cheapo Oly BCL-15 which, along with geometry correction, noticeably improves the files.

    ~Joe
     

    Attached Files:

  20. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I'm not seeing the CA in Lightroom. But its possible that I corrected it in the RAW files after these were uploaded. It's an incredibly fun lens. I don't have the background of manual focus that you do--a little with an Nikon FE2 in the 90's, but it really wasn't until μ43 that I really started getting to enjoy the pleasure of it. I find the mechanical connection between me and the lens to be extremely satisfying in a way that AF never has been.