Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 or PL 25mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Matero, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    I don't want to start flaming wars but would really appreciate opinions from shooters who have real experience from both of these lenses:
    Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 and
    Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4

    I've read some reviews for both lenses, but really can't make up my mind. Can any of you point something important out, what I should consider before going either way?
    BTW, I'm planning to use with E-P5 with EVF-4

    What I've figured out already:
    - obvious one: AF vs. MF - I believe I can live with MF
    - frightening: PL 25mm's rattlesnake in Oly body - not sure should I take this seriously
    - CA and vignetting with Voigtlander when wide open - no opinions myself here
    - weight, I wonder the usability of double weight Voigtlander with E-P5
    - price is lower for PL 25mm and I also like pictures what I've seen in here and elsewhere

    So you're starting to understand... What choice have you made out there?

    (Thanks for listening, sigh)
  2. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    While I'm critical of NoktoRs, I've heard a lot of good things about the wide-open sharpness of CURRENT SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 lenses, enough so to consider investigating.
  3. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I have PL 25 and the CV 17 (which is slightly larger than the CV 25) and enjoy both lenses. In terms of the CV, you'd be suprised at how much heavier it is than the PL25. In fact I don't generally use the CV unless I add the full grip to my EM-5 and won't use it at all with my GX1 (not just b/c of balance but also b/c of the lack of IS).

    If your using the CV 25 with the E-P5, you may want to consider how the lens is going to effect the ergonomics of the overall system.
  4. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    Yes, you're probably right here. This can be the reason for going PL 25mm path. And extra bonus, will be saving some money and keeping wife happy :)
  5. Air-Cooled

    Air-Cooled Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 27, 2012
    The PL 25 is a stellar lens, great rendering and very fast to focus. Regarding rattle-snaking, it can easily be avoided by not pointing the lens into a very bright light source like the sun. While I cannot speak for the CV 25, the CV 17.5 is a great lens too. There is more effort involved with a MF lens but it can be rewarding too :)
  6. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    One thing that you didn't ask about, but I feel is important, is the minimum focusing distance of the CV is extremely short (at least for the CV 17). I really like the fact that the MFD is so short on the CV 17.
  7. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    You're also right, CV 25 has tempting 17cm and PL 25 has almost double 30cm.

    So, not so easy :rolleyes:
  8. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2011
    Rent both from lens rentals.com and pick the one you like more. It may be a bit of money out of pocket but then you will know.
  9. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    I wish I could. Not available around here :(
  10. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Depend on what you intend to shoot, if you need to shoot kids or some moving object obvious AF would be a must. For handling I found Voigtlander is too front heavy with E-P5, and without extra grip it is harder to hold for long.

    Here is a shot of me using E-P5 + Voigtlander 25mm
  11. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Lovely camera by all accounts. Hopefully this is not the sort of thing that would give rise to flame wars, as both lenses are good in their own ways and are better for different things.

    I have the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 and use it with the Olympus E-P3: until I bought the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro (I love macro photography), the 25mm was my favourite lens.

    To deal with the specific questions:

    That is largely a matter of personal preference - although even if you can live with manual focus, that doesn't mean that auto-focus is not still a substantial advantage in many situations, both for convenience and for speed. The VF-4 should, of course, make manual focussing easier compared to, say, focussing using the rear screen or even VF-2 (although I find my VF-2 satisfactory for manual focussing when necessary).

    Don't. I don't understand why people are so worried about this: it really is a non-issue. (Also, it potentially occurs on all lenses, but is more likely to occur on faster lenses, and is slightly noisier on this lens: I notice it, albeit more quietly, on the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and even sometimes on the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5). This is not a fault and will not damage your lens. This is the lens stopping down in bright light so as not to overexpose the live view. This is how it is supposed to work. If you want the shallow depth of field in the live view, just assign a button to depth of field preview and press it (although there might be some loss of detail in highlight areas in live view).

    I can't comment much on this as I don't have the lens - I suggest looking at sample images and taking your own view as to how big a problem that it is.

    You might want to try one in a shop attached to your camera to see whether this is a problem - or alternatively, fill a small bag with gravel until it is the weight of your camera plus that lens and try carrying it around all day to see whether your arm hurts (then repeat for the other lens and see whether it makes any difference).

    There is not much that one can say about the price: the figures speak for themselves. Is the Voigtlander worth the extra for you?

    The rendering of the lens is to a large extent a matter of personal preference - I am very happy with the rendering of my 25mm f/1.4, as here, for instance:

    Cherry blossom by James E. Petts, on Flickr

    Best wishes in making a choice that works for you!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. arson519

    arson519 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    if your a picture guy get the pl
    if your a video guy get the voigt
  13. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    Thanks for your time and good responses, I eventually made up my mind: I'll go for the PL 25mm, and save few euros to spend to E-M1, maybe :)
  14. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    Indeed, if you don't know which one to get, the PL is the correct choice. The CV is too much of a specialty lens in the sense that if you're not going to shoot it wide open all the time, what's the point?

    Happy shooting!
  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I had the good fortune of being able to play with both lenses the past weekend...here's what I found:

    - MF on the Nokton is surprisingly easy and intuitive...I'm generally a big AF fan, but I'd be happy with the Nokton.
    - Wide open...I'd say the PL25 is sharper (not scientific...just from playing with them back to back).
    - The Nokton is a brick. It's big and it's heavy. 99% of the reason I went M4/3 is to have a light/small kit..the Nokton flies in the face of the whole reason for owning M4/3.

    I could have gotten a screaming deal on one (less than $700 brand new), but I passed...
  16. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Heres my 2 cents.

    I currently own and have both. Problem is i dont have images right now, to show you i think.

    What I've figured out already:
    - obvious one: AF vs. MF - I believe I can live with MF - You have an EP5 with VF4 manual lenses work like a charm. Included the V25.

    - frightening: PL 25mm's rattlesnake in Oly body - not sure should I take this seriously

    Despite of what "internet" says, rattle or not rattle, a sound wont and will not affect your IQ. Then again, some copies of the P25 DO rattle A LOT on oly bodies.

    - CA and vignetting with Voigtlander when wide open - no opinions myself here

    Yup, but the PL also has CA the difference is that the PL is corrected in camera to show as less as possilbe while the V25 doesnt have any electric connection to the camera therefore, no correction is applied and if you only shoot JPEGs yes it has CA, if you shoot RAW is a 2 seconds fix in lightroom.

    - weight, I wonder the usability of double weight Voigtlander with E-P5

    The V25 is pure metal and glass. Unlike any other m43 native lens. Except for the O75. It is indeed heavier. The PL25 is pure XXI century plastic. but with a lot of glass. The V25 is longer than the PL25 but thinner. Therefore the PL25 is shorter but thicker than the V25

    - price is lower for PL 25mm and I also like pictures what I've seen in here and elsewhere


    now my personal opinion.

    The PL25 is a fine lens. no doubts about it. there little to no bad things to say about it. But the V25 for me is different. It renders images different than any other m43 native lens. Is nice and smooth, bokeh and tones transitions are silky smooth, it also brings some real FF dof-ness to the format which i appreciate. I love how this lens renders lights and highlights with a really nice classic "starburst" to them that I dont get with any other m43 lens.

    Manual focus is a real MF not a fake one. Meaning theres no such thing that you need to turn around forever to get things in focus. Its just a touch to the left and a touch to the right. period. another plus to the V25 it also acts almost as a macro lens.

    The downside to me. none really.

    But then why do i keep the PL25? because like every other insecure m43 shooter i need some AF backup just in case. Since i got my VG a month or so ago its been welded to the camera.

    Am i suggesting one on top of the other. NO. Not really. That is personal. I love both lenses equally. But maybe a bit more love goes to the VG25 in my case though. I love the "filmic" "3D" "leica" "pop" and all those adjectives the VG has.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I'm lucky enough to own both... to me I feel the Voigtlander is more fun and I'll try to be more creative with that lens. I like the unique cat shape bokeh, close focusing, and the feel of it. It is a bit heavy though. I have a soft case with the em5 so that makes holding it easier. I also like the PL25 for its af, weight, size, and ease of use.

    Below are some pics taken with the voigtlander.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtchan/5733051104/" title="118/365 Summer Afternoon by dtchan, on Flickr"> View attachment 309651 "1024" height="683" alt="118/365 Summer Afternoon"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtchan/5826939664/" title="143/365 Chinatown by dtchan, on Flickr"> View attachment 309653 "1024" height="683" alt="143/365 Chinatown"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtchan/5788534875/" title="132/365 Serenity by dtchan, on Flickr"> View attachment 309655 "1024" height="683" alt="132/365 Serenity"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtchan/7766792286/" title="The Bee by dtchan, on Flickr"> View attachment 309657 "1024" height="683" alt="The Bee"></a>
    • Like Like x 5
  18. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    Hey, I know I'm hopeless, wife knows this too. But anyway, used some time reading and watching around, and saving money.

    Guess what, I bought CV 25mm :smile:

    Main reason choosing CV over PL was just the pure joy that this product gives you when you have it in your palm. Weight, metal feel, character... Now I just have to learn how to use it...

    Thanks to all who shared valuable opinions and example frames :thumbup:

    Olympus PEN E-P5 with Voigtländer 25mm f:0.95 Nokton by Matero04, on Flickr
  19. Sahib7

    Sahib7 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2013
    I've got the PL25 for about a year now and it has always been one of my all time favorites.
    I've never planned to buy the CV but I've found a great deal for the CV25 at a time which happens to be just right for my birthday.... So I couldn't resist :biggrin:

    So what is my opinion after using this lens almost exclusively on my EM-5 for about one month:
    I love it!

    There are pros and cons compared to the PL25. I'll just tell you that I won't sell the PL25, nor the CV25.

    Biggest con of the CV is manual focus. I'm mostly taking photos of my baby girl now and sometimes it is just difficult to focus fast enough which has caused some really great photos which were out of focus unfortunately...
    But after all using the CV at apertures lower than f1.4 is just great and that lens has heaps of character. I'm sorry, but this lens is special. It has it's flaws, but I really love it and I will definitely keep it!

    So cons of the CV so far:
    Manual focus
    Extreme corners are pretty soft
    No electronic contact to the body - lack of exif (I use lenstagger as LR plugin, which is a nice workaround)

    Great character
    F0.95 - good for available light photography & narrow DOF
    Great build quality
    Almost full frame like
    Images look very classical (especially b&w)
    Near focus - very artistic photos possible
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