Showcase Voigtlander Super Nokton 29mm f0.8

BPCS

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
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175
First picture (at f0.8 of course)... a compulsory cat pic lol.
This lens is a joy to use. Usable at f0.8... even nicer at f1.0 (technically the slight haze clears up), and really sharp and punchy by f1.4. If effect and blur is your objective, there is no hesitation in using it at f0.8.
It is very dense... feels really chunky and solid.
It compares very favorably with my Oly 25mm f1.2 Pro. At f1.2, my initial impression is that I prefer the Voigt in some ways, but the AF of the Oly makes it the more practical lens for rapid shooting and the Voigt can never replace it. The Voigt needs to be used at f0.8 for full effect, not just background blur but quality of blur... same as the Oly 25 1.2 Pro. My initial feeling is that if the Voigt is at f1.0, quality of bokeh does not suffer, but the Oly at f1.4 seems to lose its magic more.
Whilst there is the physics of sensor micro lenses not "seeing" more light after f1.2, in practice I do get two thirds or more exposure over the Oly (f0.8 vs f1.2). This is probably because the Voigt has a more accurate T-Stop value. You will however see no increase of exposure using the Voigt alone between f1.0 and f0.8 and only a very slight increase in exposure between f1.2 and f1.0, so I would say the science applies at f1.1.
However, background blur is a true f0.8. The background blur would be about the same as my Panaleica 42.5mm f1.2, (based on physical aperture diameter vs focal length) but with a different perspective of course. I need to find a willing human model to compare those two.
Pic at f0.8, 250 ISO, 1/60, EM1.2 and shot RAW and processed in DXO Photolab 4 Elite with NIK RAW Sharpener Pro.
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Mack

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Jan 14, 2018
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I just got this lens and have been playing with it.

Wide open, there is a lot of CA which is hard for some software like DxO Photolab 4 to even correct. I have a better time with Exposure X6 to fix the red/blue CA fringes around vertical poles. Exposure X6 also has ability to fix the edges of CA color messes too that others miss.

Being a bright and shallow DOF lens, the yellow focus peaking (I used an E-M1X) is very visible as it passes through the field. Easy to focus even being a manual lens.

I did run some tests through MTF Mapper and generated the following at f/0.8 and f/2.8 which seems the optimum for my lens and best for astigmatism too. The CA is less spotty at f/2.8 than wide open. The CA was tough for some software at the edges where some bushes and the black wrought iron fence in bottom shot below go blurry when they should be sharper. Might need to generate some preset for this lens in Exposure X6 to make using it wide open easier.
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Imatest-f2.8.jpg
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A few uncropped images below. I left the camera in Aperture (A) mode, Silent Shutter, with the lens wide open at f/0.8 and ISO 200 for all of them. I just press a button to call up Focus Peaking, focus manually, and made the shot. I did a little "Slop Shooting" by setting a bracket of three shots in Silent Shutter mode at +/-0.7 EV too.

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Mack

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Thanks for that! Very interesting results and nothing like I have ever seen before.
Here is a comparison...

https://www.digitalkamera.de/Meldun...Artisans_35_0_95_vs_Olympus_25_1_2/12248.aspx
Thanks! It's an interesting lens.

Never really worried about the price, but surprised your link said it was more than the Olympus 25mm f/1.2 and 7 Artisan's 35mm f/0.95 combined. :eek:

I set a small ruler and did a closeup with it to see what the DOF was. Maybe +/- 4mm or so at f/0.8 which is its minimum focus distance. I set the two front customizable buttons on the E-M1X so one turns on "Focus Peaking," and the second one turns on the "Magnify" function which helps fine-tuning the yellow focus peaking a bit. Makes working with this lens easier, imho.

Toy-Jeep-Closeup.jpg
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My intent with this lens is to see how this Noct lens will perform at the 1/32,000 sec. electronic speed in bright sunlight with old FP-26B flashbulbs. I errored more on the side of a f/0/8 than a f/0.95 to keep the shutter speed high at ISO 200. Just need to get out from under this overcast wildfire smoke and haze that was present in the park's exercise area above which also affected the contrast and exposure more than I'd like.

Also wish that duck above was shot from the sunlit side instead of being backlit. Might try and find it again from the other side of the lake. It seemed to show off for food (Which I didn't have. I just threw leaves and twigs into the lake to fool it.). I think I made it mad as it crapped on the lake and sand in front of it. The silent shutter was nice as it didn't spook the others.

The manual focus has a nice feel to it. Even more than the manual feel on my "Focus-by-Wire" Olympus 300mm f/4 Pro which is awfully touchy in manual mode. Slight touch on its focus ring is sometimes way too much.
 
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BPCS

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Oct 15, 2017
Messages
175
Yes, mechanically the Super Nokton 29mm f0.8 cannot be flawed. Focus action is superb. The German article mentioned that focus peaking on the 7Artisans 35mm f0.95 was difficult as that lens was so soft wide open. I do get the feeling that a Voightlander lens is far more likely to still be working perfectly in many years time... no electronics or AF motors to give trouble or potential firmware compatibility issues in the future.

I thought for many years about a super fast Voight or alternative, and as this Super Nokton went one step further from f0.95 to f0.8, I decided to explore that path. I'm very happy. It is enjoyable to see different rendering. If I put some work into a RAW, I can get rid of most flaws, but I prefer to stay closer to its natural output. Overall, it is much better than a vintage f1.2 lens if I also set the Voight to f1.2. Wide open at f0.8, the main central image area is surprisingly good and quite usable, but use careful composition to avoid the main subject being in a corner. Edge performance wide open is mostly usable... its just the corners to be aware of.
I think if Voightlander made this lens but mechanically "pre-stopped" it down to f0.95 with a baffle, its performance would be considered a definite notch above their 25mm f0.95... it really does clean up aberrations at f1.0 (next stop on the aperture ring)... vignetting and resolution improves noticably and the hazy or slightly foggy look disappears by f1.0.
But wide open is where the vintage look is on the periphery with a more modern look in the central area.
I can work fast, AF and choose where I want my subject with my Oly Pro f1.2 wide open and trust it will render nicely and deliver. The Voight is a much more deliberate process and care with composition is needed wide open, but the difference in effect can be dramatic over the Oly Pro.
 

Mack

Mu-43 All-Pro
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Jan 14, 2018
Messages
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Yes, mechanically the Super Nokton 29mm f0.8 cannot be flawed. Focus action is superb. The German article mentioned that focus peaking on the 7Artisans 35mm f0.95 was difficult as that lens was so soft wide open......
I missed that part, but I can see how the softer 7Artisans lens would make peaking more difficult. As it is, its wonderful to see the yellow peaking as it works its way through the image sort of like a knife cutting through bread. Focus throw/travel is really nice with this lens. I like the tactile feel of the fluted metal barrel too, similar to the old Pentax Takumar lenses.

I need to see if getting the yellow peaking approaching from the infinity end or nearest end while turning the focusing ring improves the hit rate more. I seem to recall somewhere about approaching from the near end worked better for them.

I did make a MF lens mistake with the duck. Since I was shooting a three-image EV bracketing for exposure, I had the Silent (Heart) shutter bracket speed set to Low rather than High. I forgot the reason to use the Low speed was for the AF to work. Don't need that with this MF lens so High Speed shutter should have been my selection. As it was,, I could see the goose moving its head and neck around quite a bit in the three-shot EV bracketing even with the camera's Silent shutter at 1/20,000-1/32,000 second. That slow sensor scan or sweep of maybe 1/20 to 1/50 second was the culprit. Very hard to get that "Yeah, but I shot the bird at 1/32,000 second (Silent) speed in a high-speed succession, but the camera is very slow to take the whole image in at ~1/20 second and the bird moved quite a bit between shots" info into my brain. I would think by now - and using electronic flash with Silent shutter X-sync - that would be ingrained in me by now. :dash2:
 

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