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FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton
  
 
oofoto
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p.48 #1 · p.48 #1 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Great images!!


Dec 05, 2017 at 08:35 AM
MikeEvangelist
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p.48 #2 · p.48 #2 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


First shot. That's some seriously narrow DOF.




Dec 06, 2017 at 04:54 AM
Mathieu18
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p.48 #3 · p.48 #3 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Reached out to Stephen Gandy to see if he had any insight.

"Both M mount and FE mount are optimized for those sensors, but I am not sure yet how much practical difference that make in adapting the M version to the Sony."

Looks like you probably get your wish.

sebboh wrote:
this could just be a focus difference, but this makes me excited that the m-mount version might actually be optimized for the thinner sensor.






Dec 06, 2017 at 02:15 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.48 #4 · p.48 #4 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Sun came out for a few minutes this frigid morning...

(larger versions HERE )




  ILCE-7RM2    Voigtlander NOKTON 40mm F1.2 Aspherical lens    40mm    f/1.2    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







Busy background, no problem at É1.2

  ILCE-7RM2    Voigtlander NOKTON 40mm F1.2 Aspherical lens    40mm    f/1.2    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Voigtlander NOKTON 40mm F1.2 Aspherical lens    40mm    f/1.2    1/5000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Voigtlander NOKTON 40mm F1.2 Aspherical lens    40mm    f/1.6    1/3200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Voigtlander NOKTON 40mm F1.2 Aspherical lens    40mm    f/1.2    1/1250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 06, 2017 at 03:49 PM
Jonas B
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p.48 #5 · p.48 #5 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


I have continued trying to learn the CV40/1.2. One thing with this lens is the problem with, as Makten calls it, the transition zone. Several of my images have a busy background and in many cases I'm not that happy with the rendering.

Disclaimer: I'm a lousy photographer, I often abuse the amount of pixels the trusty cameras delivers, my samples are ugly and ideas about images are clearly below par. In short; anyone else will get better results.

I decided to look a little into this. I was out and took a lot of images in the dark. That's not the best situation; high contrast images with blown highlights and all that. An image like this one worked as appetizer:







and the same again:







...as I said, abused pixels, 42 MP wasted. But, they made me design a test situation. Using a cord with really small LED:s on it, one every 0.05m, in total 102 of them making a 5m long test bench. I tried to double that using a mirror but found no big mirror big enough that I could use. Anyway, here is the the CV40/1.2 result (all images are 25% crops, camera was the Sony A7R MKii with one obvious exception):







Yikes. That explains a lot.
We have seen some images with really good rendering in this thread. Good isolation, well done, very likeable images. But we have also seen some problems demonstrated. I don't really agree with Mike's "busy background, no problem at f/1.2" above, for example.

We all see things in different ways of course so when I say there a re a lot of problems in that image it is what my eyes tells me only. The lens may be great to everybody but me, what do I know. I am however about to give up on the CV 40/1.2.

Why? There are too many images looking busy and disturbing to the eyes. I also got some "eye candy"-class images but then I have either been lucky or I had to work hard to check the distance between my subject and the background, or choose another background. This is in situations not causing the RX1 (which I used more or less exclusively since it hit the market) any problems.

Is the LED-thing good or bad? Well, here is another one:







Above the Pentax SMCP FA31/1.8 - a semi-modern lens. Not super good but better.

The RX1 looks like this:







I shot the same setup with these lenses:
CV 40/1.2 at 1m (above)
CV 40/1.2 at 2m
FA 31/1.8 (above)
RX1 (Zeiss Sonnar 35/2.0) (above)
Zuiko Pen F 38/1.8
Zuiko OM 50/2.0 Macro
Canon FL 58/1.2

Anyone curious can check them out here.



Dec 06, 2017 at 08:36 PM
realVivek
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p.48 #6 · p.48 #6 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


If you wish to sell, Jonas, drop me a line. I am not sure yet but will consider it if I can get it at a discount off the current retail.


Dec 06, 2017 at 08:44 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.48 #7 · p.48 #7 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Jonas B wrote:
I have continued trying to learn the CV40/1.2. One thing with this lens is the problem with, as Makten calls it, the transition zone. Several of my images have a busy background and in many cases I'm not that happy with the rendering.

Disclaimer: I'm a lousy photographer, I often abuse the amount of pixels the trusty cameras delivers, my samples are ugly and ideas about images are clearly below par. In short; anyone else will get better results.

I decided to look a little into this. I was out and took a lot of images in the dark. That's not
...Show more

Donít be so hard on yourself Jonas! And thanks for the comparison. No fast wide is going to match the smoothness is the rx1 it seems, but thanks for adding in the RX1 and Pentax.




Dec 06, 2017 at 09:06 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.48 #8 · p.48 #8 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


I made a Lightroom/Camera Raw profile for the VC 40mm lens (since Adobe hasn't released one yet). It cleans up the distortion and vignetting.

If you'd like to try it, just drop me a PM with your email and I'll send it to you. (it's small)

Mike



Dec 06, 2017 at 09:52 PM
grahamgibson
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p.48 #9 · p.48 #9 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Interesting comparison, Jonas. Thanks!


Dec 06, 2017 at 11:25 PM
Luvwine
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p.48 #10 · p.48 #10 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


The fringing is obviously an issue with this lens, but it has thus far always been a simple matter to clean that up in post using the Lightroom sliders.


Dec 06, 2017 at 11:26 PM
 

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MikeEvangelist
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p.48 #11 · p.48 #11 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Interesting observations Jonas! And a very clever way to simulate bokeh balls!

After spending a full day shooting with mine, and trying to overlook its faults, I decided to send it back. It's far too soft until stopped down to at least É2.8, at which point it's pointless. (perhaps mine is faulty, but I don't care to play 'good copy roulette', so I won't be trying another one.)

To me, the lens just doesn't justify its thousand dollar price tag*.

*For comparison, I have the Tamron 45mm É1.8, which is sharp even wide open, has reasonably nice bokeh - and - cost less than $400.




  ILCE-7RM2    TAMRON SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013S lens    45mm    f/1.8    1/3s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 07, 2017 at 02:03 AM
sebboh
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p.48 #12 · p.48 #12 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Jonas B wrote:
I have continued trying to learn the CV40/1.2. One thing with this lens is the problem with, as Makten calls it, the transition zone. Several of my images have a busy background and in many cases I'm not that happy with the rendering.

Disclaimer: I'm a lousy photographer, I often abuse the amount of pixels the trusty cameras delivers, my samples are ugly and ideas about images are clearly below par. In short; anyone else will get better results.

I decided to look a little into this. I was out and took a lot of images in the dark. That's not
...Show more

ha, this is great. also though, you have way too much time and i probably shouldn't care.




Dec 07, 2017 at 05:08 AM
genji
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p.48 #13 · p.48 #13 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


MikeEvangelist wrote:
Interesting observations Jonas! And a very clever way to simulate bokeh balls!

After spending a full day shooting with mine, and trying to overlook its faults, I decided to send it back. It's far too soft until stopped down to at least É2.8, at which point it's pointless. (perhaps mine is faulty, but I don't care to play 'good copy roulette', so I won't be trying another one.)

To me, the lens just doesn't justify its thousand dollar price tag*.

*For comparison, I have the Tamron 45mm É1.8, which is sharp even wide open, has reasonably nice bokeh - and - cost
...Show more

I also have the Tamron SP 45/1.8. It's an excellent lens for the reasons you state and an unbelievable bargain at USD399. But, for me, there are two flies in the ointment: size and weight. I've been doing the Starting Strength barbell training program for three months now and I estimate that in about another three months I'll be happy to carry the Tamron 45 around for extended periods. Until then it's been relegated to tripod duty.



Dec 07, 2017 at 12:29 PM
Jonas B
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p.48 #14 · p.48 #14 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


nehemiahphoto wrote:

Donít be so hard on yourself Jonas! And thanks for the comparison. No fast wide is going to match the smoothness is the rx1 it seems, but thanks for adding in the RX1 and Pentax.

It's OK, it happens that I take good or even really good images as well... Da disclaimer is there for anyone wanting to tell me my "test" work is worthless or badly executed.
The RX1 and the FA31/1.8 both have to be parts of the comparison: the RX1 as it has been The camera for me since 2013, the FA31/1.8 as an old favourite with very nice rendering but too much LoCA in some situations. Thank you for commenting.
---------------------------------------------

grahamgibson wrote:

Interesting comparison, Jonas. Thanks!


Thank you Graham!

---------------------------------------------

Luvwine wrote:

The fringing is obviously an issue with this lens, but it has thus far always been a simple matter to clean that up in post using the Lightroom sliders.


Hi,
Yes, in a context similar to macro contrast: with big blobs the Lightroom sliders work OK. When the problem has been all over among a lot of smaller details, especially in very high contrast areas I've found I need other methods, or even have to turn to B&W. I'm also not very keen on manually softening of the background to make the bokeh look better.
Hmm, btw, maybe your reply wasn't aimed to me?

---------------------------------------------

MikeEvangelist wrote:
Interesting observations Jonas! And a very clever way to simulate bokeh balls! (...)

Thank you. I'm happy I didn't upset you when mentioning one of your images. Some photographers are a bit sensitive about such things.
And yes, I too have decided to leave my copy of the lens to somebody else who appreciate it more than I do.

---------------------------------------------

sebboh wrote:

ha, this is great. also though, you have way too much time and i probably shouldn't care.


Hi sebboh,
Hmm. I think it's the opposite. I don't have time for lenses not delivering a look i don't care for. Not the CV40/1.2, not the little Contax Planar 45/2, not the Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH FLE, not the CV35/1.2... That leaves me with the RX1, again, for the moment. It's not a fun camera but the lens is the most trustworthy I have used. A tad boring sometimes but there is often that something with the images which I like.
And hey, it's not me having posted 21k+ times here. Talking about time I mean... :-). Cheers!

/Jonas



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:22 PM
GMPhotography
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p.48 #15 · p.48 #15 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


There is copy variance with this lens. I got lucky but Fred has sent at least one back.


Dec 07, 2017 at 09:38 PM
SharpContrast
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p.48 #16 · p.48 #16 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Do you know what Fred's issue was with his first lens?


Dec 07, 2017 at 09:41 PM
Makten
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p.48 #17 · p.48 #17 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Jonas B wrote:
I don't have time for lenses not delivering a look i don't care for. Not the CV40/1.2, not the little Contax Planar 45/2, not the Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH FLE, not the CV35/1.2... That leaves me with the RX1, again, for the moment.


I think you have waaaay too high expectations. I mean, every single lens has some flaws. The Nokton is surprisingly good for what it is, even the rendering. If you compare it to all the 50/1.2 lenses there is, only a few (veeery expensive) ones draws "better" than the Nokton. The rest are soft wide open and/or give horrible bokeh in many situations.

I haven't tried a lens that I love everything about. There are some that come close, but the idiot within me has always convinced me to switch to something different, just to continue the search. But now I think I've finally understood that it doesn't matter. My images get worse when I get a new lens, until I'm familiar enough with it to know what too shoot and what not to shoot. I know I'm never gonna find the holy grail, because it doesn't exist. It's an illusion!



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:43 PM
Jonas B
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p.48 #18 · p.48 #18 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


GMPhotography wrote:
There is copy variance with this lens. I got lucky but Fred has sent at least one back.

I guess that is about different lenses being more or less "sharp", right?



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:46 PM
sebboh
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p.48 #19 · p.48 #19 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Jonas B wrote:
sebboh wrote:
Hi sebboh,
Hmm. I think it's the opposite. I don't have time for lenses not delivering a look i don't care for. Not the CV40/1.2, not the little Contax Planar 45/2, not the Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH FLE, not the CV35/1.2... That leaves me with the RX1, again, for the moment. It's not a fun camera but the lens is the most trustworthy I have used. A tad boring sometimes but there is often that something with the images which I like.
And hey, it's not me having posted 21k+ times here. Talking about time I mean... :-). Cheers!

/Jonas


perhaps i have too much time (stuck in front of a computer) and am not discerning enough. all those lenses have a look i like. some have more looks that i like than others...

it would probably benefit my photography to only have one lens, but that would give me less to argue about online while things compile.




Dec 07, 2017 at 10:13 PM
Jonas B
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p.48 #20 · p.48 #20 · FM Review of the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton


Makten wrote:

I think you have waaaay too high expectations. I mean, every single lens has some flaws. (...) It's an illusion!


If you replace having too high expectations with holding my hopes too high you are right. It's about finding a lens with the right balance between the good and the bad and that's about personal taste, right? The CV40/1.2 wasn't what I hoped for and I have been trying to tell why.
But, of course, why do such a thing (thinking about it, interesting)?



Dec 07, 2017 at 10:34 PM
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