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Showcase Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95

Discussion in 'Native Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by napilopez, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I figured someone should start this thread!

    I don't have the lens, but for those of you wondering what sort of images you can expect wide open, check out these links:

    Steve Huff's Review

    Marcus Tysk's Blog

    This image in particular shows the sort of look I haven't been able to get with M4/3: http://www.mtyskfoto.se/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/granny-nokton-42.5-web-1.jpg

    It's not just blurring out the background, but actual super-thin DoF to direct the eyes to the eyes.

    If you want the full frame look with M4/3, well, you got it. This is a 85mm f/1.9 equivalent on FF(regarding DoF).

    I'm renting the lens for 5 days this coming week for a fashion shoot (and just my own fun =P), so I'll be sure to post some samples of my own once I get it.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Faceinthecrowd

    Faceinthecrowd Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 29, 2011
    Thanks. Nice.
  3. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    As an update, I got my rental copy, and I'm very impressed so far. It's my first time handling one of the Voigtlander's and the build and feel are wonderful. It was also substantially heavier than I expected; the 75mm f1.8 (which I rented along with the Nokton and is nearly exactly the same size) feels like a feather by comparison. Not that the 75mm feels cheap, it's just the Nokton is exceedingly robust.

    Image quality is impressive right from f0.95. For portraits in particular, there's absolutely no need to stop down except to widen the DoF. It also focuses incredibly close for a non-macro. At very close focusing distances wide open there can be pretty severe "ghosting" halos, but at most shooting distances there are pretty much absent. In any cases, the ghosting is pretty irrelevant. DoF is way too narrow at f0.95 to be usable in most macro scenarios, and by f2.0 the ghosting is pretty much gone. It'll show up from time to time in close-but-not-too-close shots, but it hasn't been an issue so far. There is some purple fringing wide open, but again, less than I'd expect.

    As expected, it vignettes noticeably wide open, but it suits the look. Note that I was using the hood for every shot. There's always Lightroom if it bothers you =P

    Stopped down I really needn't say much. It's clinically sharp, and rendering and contrast are spectacular. And as expected for a Nokton, the bokeh circles are octagonal rather than pseudo-circular when stopped down. It's an unusual look I appreciate.

    I never share SooC images, but here are a couple of completely unaltered full res ones just to give you a quick feel before I do my shoot tomorrow and get time to properly edit my photos. Additionally, I rarely pay attention to a lens' color rendition--I typically do so much editing it's usually inconsequential--but I was consistently impressed by the colors I got here. If curious, my settings are NR Off, Sharpness 0, Contrast +2, RGB -1, and Gradation Auto. All

    You want the full-frame look? You got it. I also underexposed alot of these because I forgot to change some settings, woops.

    f0.95 - Front focused a bit, but it still has that subtle shallow DoF that gives images a very appealing look.
    P9111056 by napilopez, on Flickr

    f0.95 - Closer up. Click through on flickr and check the 100% crop. Some fringing, but the in-focus zone is very useably sharp. Note the vignetting; present but pleasant.
    P9111061 by napilopez, on Flickr

    f0.95 - underexposed, but pleasant colors and contrast.
    P9111085 by napilopez, on Flickr

    f0.95 - Again, wide open and perfectly sharp. There is a small amount of ghosting around the lights, but unnoticeable unless you're pixel peeing.
    P9111052 by napilopez, on Flickr

    f0.95 - Not a particularly interesting shot at all, and I front focused a bit, but again, it's that subtle "full frame" look. The colors I'm getting from this lens SooC are also wonderful.
    P9111046 by napilopez, on Flickr

    I think this one was at f2.8, perhaps f4. Not sure though. Focus was on the arch.
    P9111064 by napilopez, on Flickr

    This was around f4.
    P9111130 by napilopez, on Flickr

    P9111137 by napilopez, on Flickr

    f4 or f5.6 - Check out that impeccable sharpness. And again, lovely colors sooc.
    P9111000 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Now, I know this is a portraits lens, and one of my biggest complaints about previews for this lens is that there have only been a couple of headshots (well, aside from Steve's cows =P). I'll be sure to get those in for my shoot.
    • Like Like x 6
  4. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    From my other thread. Sorry for the cross posting:

    A bunch of other shots, these are unfinished drafts from my shoot this past Thursday. All of these, except for one, was shot wide open at f0.95. Not one of them is cropped, so they should give you a good idea of the DoF you can expect. However, don't use them to assess other aspects of the lens' performance too much, as there are varying amounts of sharpening, CA/fringing have been removed by my default settings, and the nature of the shoot means these colors are processed to death. As is my general process, they are also resized to 10 megapixels for better pixel level sharpness, but again, not cropped.

    trio by napilopez, on Flickr

    magnum by napilopez, on Flickr

    3 - This one is the only one at f2.0
    hat by napilopez, on Flickr

    glasses by napilopez, on Flickr

    nor by napilopez, on Flickr

    colors by napilopez, on Flickr

    look by napilopez, on Flickr

    container by napilopez, on Flickr

    bw by napilopez, on Flickr

    leaves by napilopez, on Flickr

    prospect-16 by napilopez, on Flickr

    walk by napilopez, on Flickr

    m by napilopez, on Flickr

    prospect by napilopez, on Flickr

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    • Like Like x 19
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Thanks for sharing these. The bokeh on the full length portraits look a little busy but not terrible, a lot like some of my old Minoltas. Head and shoulder portraits look fantastic.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia

    I have to agree with Vin, the bokeh is a little too busy for my liking, but that's the famous Voïgtlander Cosina "cats eye" bokeh I guess which you either love or you hate.....I generally find it to be too distracting as it can often dominate an image, however there are times when it's precisely that unique and arty CV rendering that makes an image. I am impressed however by the degree of subject separation in the full body portrait above which I assume was taken at f0.95, I didn't expect there would be THAT much, awesome ...even though the PL42.5 Nocticron won't have the same build quality or aperture of the CV, the shot above makes me hopeful that even at f1.2 the the Nocticron will be an epic lens and be able to achieve a similar FF look. If it renders with a character similar to that of it's older and wider brother the PL25 then thats the way I'll go. Plus I'm lazy and like AF ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    Thanks for the beautiful shots. Like said above, bokeh looks busier to me also. Jordan is also posting his shots which are more closer to macro focus and those looked much smoother due to fast aperture. I am waiting for Pana version also...
  8. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Just goes to show how subjective bokeh is! What you consider "busy", I consider "character" hahah. I've always liked cats-eye bokeh. Not that I dislike circular bokeh, but I certainly do get bored of how clinical it is sometimes, and have never found the cat's eye shape distracting.

    As a bit of a tangent, sometimes I wonder whether that has to do with the amount of time people have been into photography. I'm only a of couple years in now and have been used to very clinical modern lenses. But I'd imagine that people who have been shooting since the film days might more often prefer the technical superiority of perfect bokeh.

    And Livnius, that photo is slightly front focused, but believe me that I had no trouble getting subject isolation from such distances. Properly focused it would be just a little bit less than what you see here.

    As for the Nocticron... I am just as excited. F1.2 is only the second notch on the Voigtlander's Aperture ring, and from my tests you'd be very hard pressed to tell the difference between the two settings. I also assume the nocticron will be sharper wide open and have more technically better bokeh.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Great stuff here Napi!
    Man this is one hot lens! :2thumbs:
  10. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    A few more in very low light, mainly to show off more of the bokeh with point light sources. You can very clearly see the cat's-eye in effect. Wide open, you're basically only going to get circular bokeh at the exact center of the frame.

    I wonder what the differences are in apparent subject isolation for lenses with a given bokeh rendering for a certain focal length. The bokeh here seems to get "squished" as you reach the edges of the frame, and their area decreases; does this imply that a lens with more circular bokeh would give the illusion of greater subject isolation? It's curious, because sometimes I feel like I expect the lens to have more bokeh (particularly for close up shots), and then other times it surprises me with the amount it has(full-body shots) Makes me wonder about the Nocticron, which is only a single notch below f0.95, and will almost surely have more circular bokeh. Maybe it's all in my head though.

    Anyway, all obviously wide open. Super low light and heavy/sloppy processing, so no use in assessing other aspects of the lens' performance. Just shot some pics of my friend and her boyfriend while hanging out.

    1 - Notice how the bokeh gets smaller as you approach the edges of the frame.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9768956652/" title="IA by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9768956652_389a4827c3_z. "640" height="480" alt="IA"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769148355/" title="IA-2 by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769148355_20d791ebf0_z. "480" height="640" alt="IA-2"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769233923/" title="IA-8 by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769233923_7bc2ff63c1_z. "640" height="480" alt="IA-8"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769158754/" title="IA-14 by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769158754_c9405a4f55_z. "640" height="480" alt="IA-14"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769158434/" title="IA-18 by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769158434_b379718c71_z. "480" height="640" alt="IA-18"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769146945/" title="IA-19 by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769146945_7dd1a7e031_z. "640" height="480" alt="IA-19"></a>

    7 - I really love how this lens flares. Glad I took advantage of the car's headlights in the background!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37605747@N07/9769160666/" title="model by napilopez, on Flickr"> 9769160666_ddbf8481d6_z. "494" height="640" alt="model"></a>
    • Like Like x 5
  11. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    • Like Like x 6
  12. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Love the second shot - works very well!
  13. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Amazing work Napi, and cant agree more this voigtlander lenses are nothing but stunning. Im currently using the 25 0,95 whic is welded to my ep5. Brilliant lens, im considering of selling my o75 to get this one.

    About the bokeh, whats a "cats eye" bokeh? I love how my voigtlander renders the bokeh with the hexagonal shapes rather than circular which also how it renders the highlights with sharp starburst is simply beautiful. Also i agree with you, i love the flare this lenses produce. So soft.

    After using my 25mm i understood what some people meant for "character".
  14. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Thanks! Cat's-eye bokeh is simply when bokeh, typically that around the outside of the frame, takes on a somewhat elliptical shape instead of the usual circular or polygonal one. It looks like a "squished" circle and has to do with the design of the lens.
  15. krixoff

    krixoff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 11, 2013
    i love render effect of this lens.
  16. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    uhu! thanks for that. and yeah i love that "cats eye" bokeh then. :drinks:
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    This is quite beautiful. Nice work Napi.
  18. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Thanks! I had a great subject ^_^.

    But man, I always hate returning this lens to lensrentals. Idk whether the Nocticron will completely remove my lust, even though I expect it will render a similar amount of bokeh despite the smaller aperture. This lens sure has "character".

    Some thoughts on focusing:

    Manual focusing has been easier than I expected at f0.95; decent EVFs always seem better to me than OVFs for manual focusing, even without using the magnification or peaking functions. Ironically, the aliasing of the image inherent to digital displays makes it easier to MF to a trained eye. Just spot the subtle shimmer of a the sharp area's aliasing and chances are you'll be right on target. I imagine this would be a joy on the E-M1's larger and higher res EVF.

    Anyway I rarely magnify unless I'm in the studio, as part of the reason I like manual focusing is being able to select my focus point by, well, just focusing. No need to move around a focus point or focus and recompose. In any case, this lens exhibits strong field curvature wide open (and come on, that's pretty much how you'll be using this lens 80+% of the time anyway), so focus and recompose is very tricky. If you're subject isn't in the center of the frame, you're better of composing the image as you would want it, and then either moving the magnification point or not using magnification at all.
  19. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    My opinion: rendering nice, DOF control maximal, bokeh middling or just plain annoying. Another great tool for the format!
  20. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    The em1 evf and rear display is very easy to focus. I tried manual focusing without peaking just using the live view, then turn on focus peaking and i was usually spot on or very very close every time. I rarely use magnify but i do have it setup as one of the Function buttons just in case.
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