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Which Voigtlander to Choose

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mzzyhmd, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. mzzyhmd

    mzzyhmd Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 3, 2015
    Muztaba
    I need extreme low light capability. I shoot a lot at night. Not indoor though. Outdoor group photos, cityscape, portraiture etc. So I'm considering a lens with 0.95 aperture. And my options are Voigtlander 10.5, 17.5, 25, 42.5. Things that matter to me

    1. 3D micro contrast/pop
    2. Bokeh rendering

    Since it's going to be mostly used at its widest aperture I don't expect noctilux sharpness. Just decent enough to get by. Please share your inputs.

    Thanks!


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  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Given those requirements, I would pick the 17.5mm. It won't be as good for portraiture (unless it's full-body environmental portraits), but the slightly wider focal length makes it more flexible for group photos and cityscapes. And since it's 17.5mm rather than 25mm, you can get away with a shorter shutter speed without camera shake, so you should be able to let in 1/2 stop more light or so to maximize image quality.

    The 42.5mm is too long, and the 10.5mm is too compromised and not very flexible.
     
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  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I would add the Mitakon 25/0.95 to the list.

    Cityscape and portraiture with the same lens...you are going to compromise on both. May be the 17 or the 25 depending on where your bias is. From lenstip reviews seems like the 17 wide open is a little better.
     
  4. mzzyhmd

    mzzyhmd Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 3, 2015
    Muztaba
    Sorry, I should have clarified by portraiture I meant environmental or full-body shot


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  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    True, if I was going to the Voigtlander 25/0.95 instead of the 17.5mm, I would pick the Mitakon. Sharper wide open, and much smaller and cheaper.
     
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  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
  7. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    OP didn't say which camera they're using, so the Mitakon 25mm might not work with their body. It does work on the EM1.

    I'd second @Turbofrog@Turbofrog's rec for the 17.5mm voigt. It's a really sharp lens, and wide enough to handle group portraiture. I love mine.
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I could recommend a lens, but your expectations seem outside the realm of reality.

    • 3D pop and "microcontrast" don't exist in low light. The light is flat, so the pictures are flat.
    • Group portraits at f0.95 means that you can usually pick one person to be in focus and the rest will be blurry or at least soft.
    • Cityscapes need deeper DOF and the corners at f0.95 will be noticeably soft even if you did have enough DOF. Really should should be at f4-5.6 and a tripod.
    • Manual focus in the dark is extremely challenging and focus peaking won't have enough contrast to help
    You might be able to get away with individual portraiture, but your focusing hit rate will be low and your ISO will still be very high.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. mzzyhmd

    mzzyhmd Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 3, 2015
    Muztaba
    Em5 mk ii will be my camera. I disagree tkbslc I have seen a lot of pop from the 17.5mm's sample shots. I might not understand the technicality of light but to my eyes the dreamy look it produces is very desirable. Like I said I don't need absolute sharpness. As long as I can see the faces it should be fine. At least I'm able to take the pictures without carrying a tripod at night. Your right for cityscapes I might have to consider using one. I don't wanna use high ISO on m4/3 hence I'm choosing a fast glass. Any suggestions if there's any other way to avoid that?


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  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Hmmmm - I love the 17mm FOV and thought something with a narrower DOF than my 17/1.8 would makes sense so I bought a used Voigtlander 17.5. It's a nice enough lens but at f0.95 it's not that sharp and stopped down to f1.2 or f1.4 then it's getting closer to the Oly's f1.8. I also really like the luxury of AF and EXIF so in the end I sold it on.

    I'm not saying my decision was right, and I know lots of CV17.5 owners are very happy with their lenses so I simply offer this up as another viewpoint.
     
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  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've shot cityscapes at f/2 with the PL15 and IBIS before, you just can't be too close to anything you want in focus. Still required to be at ISO800, something like 1/10s. Even less if I can find a wall or something to lean on.

    This only really works at wider focal lengths, where you can get away with slower shutter speeds thanks to IBIS, and wider aperture and still have sufficient DoF. I'd say the 17.5mm is probably the best for that, just don't expect to be shooting cityscapes without stopping down a little bit. Fast lenses are usually a little dreamy wide open which makes flare and loss of contrast a bit problematic with bright city lights in the background.

    I'd agree with comments about city night lights being kind of crap for the most part. There are exceptions for you to find though - shop window displays and building wall lights can offer surprisingly broad and diffuse side lighting.
     
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  12. kehoutek

    kehoutek New to Mu-43

    1
    Jun 1, 2016
    here is a shot with the voigtlander 25mm that i just acquired. I would have tried the mitakon but i wanted to be able to use it on my gm1 and e-m1. P5280009.
     
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  13. musicwack

    musicwack Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 21, 2015
    South Jersey
    James
    Have used all the VL lenses except the 10.5mm. I got a 25mm used, but if the going rates were the same for the 17.5mm, I'd definitely go for that one. Wide open, the 17.5 is definitely sharper. As far as bokeh rendering, I didn't notice any unpleasant bokeh with it as well.
     
  14. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    If you are not so worried about image quality you should not be much worried about ISO too. ISO up 3200 is quite good, 1600 if you are picky.

    A tripod like this is not too big to carry:

    Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod - Gray JB01112 B&H Photo Video

    and these lenses stopped down, just at f/2 or f/2.8, are a whole different world.

    The lens itself may be quite a big thing to carry around: 540 grams, 63x80mm.

    Olympus is going to release a series of f/1.2 lenses in a few months (starting with a 25mm).

    I wonder if a Sony A7S may be a better option overall.
     
  15. mzzyhmd

    mzzyhmd Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 3, 2015
    Muztaba
    Noise is different. It makes images ugly IMO. Less sharpness won't do that.


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    • Agree Agree x 1