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Voigtlander 35/1.4, 40/1.4, 50/1.5

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by yoshi, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    Ever since I got hold of E-PL2, my appetite for new lenses are growing. There's not much fixed lenses available in MFT format, so have been looking around for SMALL and LIGHT lenses (200-300g) without making the whole setup bulky.

    So far I narrow down to these 3 lenses from Voigtlander (can't afford the Leica) that are almost in the same range and price ie. 35/1.4, 40/1.4 and 50/1.5.

    Appearance wise, 50/1.5 is attractive with the silver that will match my silver E-pl2, but then it is a screw-mount - making it a bit complicated to have double adapters.

    Would appreciate if anyone can give me suggestions / comments on these lenses. Or if there are other lenses that I may miss, let me know. Thanks.
     
  2. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 31, 2011
    The 35 f1.4 has a good reputation — in fact there's a sample thread here with a great example of how it renders out-of-focus highlights. The 40mm also has a thread, but reviews indicate that the 35mm is sharper.

    Ultimately, I think you pay for the difference (the 35mm is a tad more expensive) and keep in mind the 40mm is a bit narrower in FoV thanks to the m4/3 format. I've been waiting for B&H to get the 35mm back in stock myself, after debating between it and the 40mm, it made sense to go for the former. Hoping to use it as a great portrait lens (where MF won't matter).
     
  3. theflyer

    theflyer Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jan 14, 2011
    fyi- there are adapters available that take you directly from the L39 screw mount to m4/3. no need for an "adapter into an adapter". here's an example of one on ebay:

    Leica L39 M39 Lens To Micro M 4/3 M43 Adapter GH1 E-P2 | eBay
     
  4. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 31, 2011
    A bonus to going M-mount though is that you can get the official Panasonic adapter, which is high-quality & doesn't have the glossy internal finish that a lot of the cheaper ones have.
     
  5. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    @theflyer: Thanks for the info. Checked the item on ebay. The seller is doubtful with 26 negative feedbacks in a month. Plus one of the negative feedbacks is on the quality of a lens adapter sold.

    @sherlock: Thanks for the links. The plan is to go through intermediary M-mount. Was looking at the voigtlander M to MFT and the price is quite steep. Will check on the panasonic adapter. Does the light reflection from the glossy internal surface matters much?

    UPDATE: Checked the panasonic DMW-MA2M adapter. It's $70 more expensive than Voigtlander's !!
     
  6. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    300
    Jun 6, 2010
    A few other things : the 40 and 35 exist in both MC and SC versions. I think the SC is supposed to be more contrasty but with a little more flare (no personal experience there). Ditto with Sherlock : lots of examples for those lenses in all dedicated threads. I own only the 40 (SC), and totally love it - sharp from wide open (even if not the sharpest), very small and pleasant to handle... one thing though, remember there is a tab to focus it (don't know if the 50 and 35 also have it), which you may find weird at least at first ; and I find that with the adapter, the tab's position is OK when shooting "in portrait" but not really "in landscape". A question of taste...
     
  7. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 31, 2011
    Really? B&H has them for $179 [1, Voigtlander] & $195 [2, Panasonic]. The Novoflex is $269.

    The 'glossy internal' argument is a hard one to quantify, but I figure if you're buying good glass, then good adapters & filters make sense. If it was a cheap legacy prime, then I wouldn't worry much.

    [1] Voigtlander Micro Four Thirds to M Lens Mount Adapter BD216M B&H
    [2] Panasonic DMW-MA2M Leica M Mount Adapter for Leica DMW-MA2M B&H
     
  8. vsvs

    vsvs New to Mu-43

    3
    Mar 22, 2011
    which adapter would the 40 1.4 take? im not too clear on the difference between m39/L39 and M mount.
    this is the one i have here
     
  9. sherlock

    sherlock Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 31, 2011
    That will work. The Nokton 40 f1.4 is an M mount.
     
  10. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    You are right! I was doing a quick check on ebay that lists from $250-$289. B&H price is more reasonable than ebays:confused: Still Panasonic costs more than Voigtlander.
     
  11. travisennis

    travisennis Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Dec 27, 2010
    Indiana
    Both the Panasonic and Voigtlander adapter are well built and worth the money. I own the Panasonic one and it is a solid, heavy piece of equipment that I'm happy owning. The only reason I chose the Panasonic adapter over Voigtlander's is that I own a GF-1 and I thought aesthetically it looked nicer on the camera since it is the same color and shares the same fonts as the camera itself.
     
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    I have the 35/1.4 SC and the 50/1.5. I've used them both on my EP2 with a Voigtlander adapter, but not too extensively. They both produce good IQ, but at the end, it was just so much easier to use the 20/1.7. I recently got the GH2, which is easier to do manual focus on than the EP2, so will try them out again on a m4/3 camera.

    The 35/1.4 is quite compact and looks great on the Pen bodies. The 50/1.5 is a bit bigger, but I also think it's easier to use (ergonomics wise), because there's a little bit more for the left hand to hold on to.

    Between the two lenses, the 50/1.5's image quality is definitely better. It's sharp wide open. IMO, it's about 90% of what one would get from a 50 Lux in terms of IQ, but for about 10% of the price. The 35/1.4 requires stopping down for more sharpness. But wide open, it does render some very nice dreamy images. Stopping it down provides good 3D like quality. On my M9, I typically have the 35/1.4 mounted on it.

    If you are looking for a tiny, cheap, and decent manual prime, Voigtlander also has a 50/2.5. It's even smaller than the 35/1.4, and you can find it used for less than $300 (I think). It's sharp wide open.
     
  13. gscara

    gscara Mu-43 Regular

    Olympus Pen F Lenses

    Another small, light family of lenses are the Olympus Pen F lenses made in the 60's. These are available on the various auction sites and while the prices are steadily escalating, there are two 'portrait' lenses that fit your specs. The 38mm f1.8 and the 40mm f1.4. Both give excellent results, with the 38mm lens widely recognized as sharper wide open.

    In the same family of lenses, there are the tiny 100mm f3.5 and the equally small 150mm f4.0 which can be purchased for under $75 each. The 100mm lens is tiny and can easily be carried in a shirt pocket.

    The adapters to mount these lenses to m4/3 bodies are widely available and usually cost less than $30 delivered.

    Another option is the 35mm f2 Canon fd lens. While this lens is larger in size when compared to the Pen lenses, it is amazingly sharp wide open. I no longer use this lens for portraits as it is too sharp and I usually have to blur the skin in post processing.
     
  14. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    I have looked at the Oly Pen F lens 40mn/1.4 which is a good alternative, but considering the age and the escalating price ($300+) plus I have to get the special adapter (f/ft not OM mount), I can't seem to justify the jump to F lens.

    Voigtlanders ie. M-mount offer much more choices of smaller lens that I think will be a better fit for this camera where in the future, I might expand my lens collection.

    So, I narrowed down my choices to Voigtlanders. Who knows if I am fortunate enough to own a Leica, these lenses will be great.

    Thanks for everyone that has responded. I am down to the choice between Voigtlander 40/f1.4 and 50/f1.5. Both are equally compelling.

    Tempting to get the 50/f1.5 for its chrome color and ashpherical glass at the expense of additional LTM-M adapter and slightly heavier lens (65g).

    40/1.4 is lighter, cheaper and can get it brand new vs. the 50/1.5.

    As for the adapter, I am inclined towards voigtlander's (vs. Pana) since I'll end up with voigtlander lens anyway.
     
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    I think Camera Quest (a big Voigtlander dealer) has an used 35/1.4 MC for $499. I just noticed that the 50/1.5 are now $599 at Camera Quest! I bought mine from Adorama about a year ago for $400, if I remember correctly.

    If you don't mind a little slower though, do check out the 35/2.5 and 50/2.5. Super compact sized lenses. Great match for the digital pens in terms of style, particularly the 35/2.5. Let us know what you end up with and post some pics!
     
  16. travisennis

    travisennis Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Dec 27, 2010
    Indiana
    The 35/2.5 is a lens I think is interesting. Small in size but supposedly well-built, it seems like an excellent lens for m4/3 cameras, but I hardly ever see anyone talking about it. The 35/1.4, 40/1.4 and even the large and expensive 35/1.2 are mentioned more on various forums. I guess people desire fast glass, but it seems the size, the sharpness and the relatively good bokeh of the 35/2.5 would convince more people to try it. Can any explain why it seems to be the ugly duckling of the voigtlander 35 and 40 lenses?
     
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Fast is the name of the game! Never used the 35/2.5 though. So I'm not even sure if it's good.
     
  18. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    Well, the reason I am looking for fast lenses greater than f2 is I don't plan to use flash and that my VF2 is permanently attached to the hotshoe. So, with that reasons plus the desire to get comparable small & light lenses, it comes to those choices of VC lenses.

    The 40/1.4 and 50/1.5 fall within that range. Anything faster like the f/1.2 will jump in size, weight and price. And I am not sure it's going to be significant from f1.4 or 1.5 to f1.2.
     
  19. Apra

    Apra New to Mu-43

    6
    Feb 9, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    If you go the 50 1.5 route, here's another recommendation to get a cheap screw mount adapter for about $20, and keep it mounted on the lens. If you're not sure how many different lenses you might eventually get (or what type), you'll appreciate the convenience of unmounting the whole lens/adapter combo from the body vs just the legacy lens from the adapter. The camera's native mount release is always going to be smoother and more robust (just plain more enjoyable to use).
     
  20. yoshi

    yoshi Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks Apra for the suggestion. I assume you are referring to the screw-mount to M43 adapter?

    The other route is using screw-mount to M adapter to permanently mount the lens, and use a better M-to-M43 adapter like Voigtlander's that should be more durable for frequent lens change from the body. Wonder which one is a better one?