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Archive 2010 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression
  
 
rsolti13
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


***Disclaimer*** I am by no means a professional tester of any sort. I just like to shoot and am strictly amateur. I picked up my new CV 90 f/3.5 SL II (Nikon) yesterday and went out today just to test the lens. I had my little girl with me....not much testing going on. I picked up the lens from Stephen Gandy at cameraquest and he got it out fast!!!!!

First impression: Wow, this lens is tiny. I had to sell a Zeiss ZF 100 f/2 in order to purchase a few other lenses (had to have for actual work stuff) so I saved about $700 and got the CV 90. My main use is in the UWA lenses, so it came to getting rid of the 100 or ZF 21....which will happen when I am dead. Back to the CV, it is extremely small and light. Feels more like a rangefinder lens than an SLR lens. I really like that. It is just a little taller than the ZF 50 f/1.4 and no wider.

Macro: The lens goes to 1:3.5 on its own, or 1:1.8 with the close focus lens attached. This comes with the lens. 1:1.8 is plenty for me. It kinda sucks to need the lens to get close to true macro, but I would rather keep the lightweight and small package and have that small *annoyance*

Wide open: VERY SHARP. My only complaint would be that CA is a little more than I would like to see wide open (only prevalent wide open too). I'm no lens major, but it is the CA that is gone with a touch of a button in Lightroom - whichever one that is. If I had a bone to pick wide open, this is it, though a very small one as it is very well controlled and can be easily fixed.

Bokeh: Excellent. Very creamy looking.

Sharpness: Excellent. I had the ZF 100 f/2 and while this lens is not there, it is closer than I expected for a $550 lens.

Edge-to-edge sharpness is also very good. No smudging in the corners or edges that I can see.
Vignetting: Very good. Only slight vignetting wide open in darker shots, easily corrected in PP.

Distortion: Very well controlled

Focus throw is very long, just like the ZF 100 f/2. Definitely not the fastest lens to focus, but this is definitely preferred (for me anyways) for macro shooting. Allows for very precise focus.

From the short amount of time I have used it, my favorite look of this lens is gathered between 5-15 ft.

All in all, I think it is a very good lens. It is by no means a ZF 100 f/2. Obviously it does not go down to f/2, it is not 1:2 macro on its own without the correction lens and I think the sharpness on the Zeiss is a little better. That being said, it is well worth $550 in my opinion. I don't know of another 90-100mm macro lens that I would rather have at this price. Plenty of pics below for you to make your own decisions.

Like I mentioned, I am no official tester, so please do not bash my 'testing techniques'.

***ALL SHOTS ARE SOOC - NO ADJUSTMENTS MADE***

Size comparison with ZF 21 f/2.8, Nikon 85 f/1.4 and ZF 50 f/1.4













Wide open: Notice CA on woman's left arm







close up of CA







Wide open:







Another two shots wide open. It seems like it will be a great portrait lens, very sharp:
-Notice lack of vignetting wide open-













f/6.3







100% crop:







f/8 with close-focus lens







100% crop:







Wide open - not recommended on landscape but showing the sharpness:







100% crop







Other misc shots......



















distortion seems to be very well controlled.....







ENJOY!!!! Hopefully I will have more time tomorrow (alone ) to really see this lens in action

Edited on May 11, 2010 at 12:57 AM · View previous versions



May 08, 2010 at 08:03 PM
bluetsunami
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


I've always wondered about the close up lens, does it impart any limitations (speed or focusing to infinity) for the ability to focus closer?

I definitely like the lush colors you're getting from the lens



May 08, 2010 at 09:24 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


@bluetsunami: You can't focus to infinity with diopters/close-up filters. They decrease the focus distance to a tiny range - you could almost say a fixed distance. You don't lose any light because you don't have bellows factor (no extension). If it's a good achromatic diopter (consisting of 2 elements) then you'll have very little loss of sharpness.

I agree that the colours look great. The CA also seems very well controlled, plus I hate to see green/cyan/magenta CA much more than a bit of a blue fringe.

I only wish Cosina would have retained the nice old Voigtlander look - now the lens is just nothing to look at imo. :/



May 08, 2010 at 10:18 PM
dancam
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Thanks for posting.....
I've noticed this before but, this demonstrates it perfectly. Does anybody else notice that the new voigtlanders look indentical to Zeiss lenses. Also, IMHO, the build quality is pretty comparable if not the same.

Dan



May 09, 2010 at 06:42 AM
rsolti13
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Dan,
Build quality feels EXACTLY the same, just in a smaller package. I agree with you too that the CV has a very similar look to my ZF lenses. I think the first few street/portrait pics look very similar to the ZF line.



May 09, 2010 at 10:56 AM
cogitech
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


dancam wrote:
Thanks for posting.....
I've noticed this before but, this demonstrates it perfectly. Does anybody else notice that the new voigtlanders look indentical to Zeiss lenses. Also, IMHO, the build quality is pretty comparable if not the same.

Dan


They are made in the same Cosina Japan factory.

If you look closer, you'll see some differences, like the reversed colours of the meters and feet and the CVs are no longer "silver nosed" (the SL I versions are).



May 09, 2010 at 11:02 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


They're also not using the same font as Zeiss for the distance scales and apertures.


May 09, 2010 at 01:43 PM
ClausC
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Thanks for the comments, looks like a nice lens. Are you sure about the CA ? The ground next to the arm seems to almost saturated on all channels, the 'CA' could be one or two of the channels dropping out of saturation.

/Claus



May 09, 2010 at 03:02 PM
TWoK
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


AhamB wrote:
@bluetsunami: You can't focus to infinity with diopters/close-up filters. They decrease the focus distance to a tiny range - you could almost say a fixed distance. You don't lose any light because you don't have bellows factor (no extension). If it's a good achromatic diopter (consisting of 2 elements) then you'll have very little loss of sharpness.

I agree that the colours look great. The CA also seems very well controlled, plus I hate to see green/cyan/magenta CA much more than a bit of a blue fringe.

I only wish Cosina would have retained the nice old Voigtlander look - now the
...Show more
You absolutely loose light with a close-up adapter.



May 09, 2010 at 03:17 PM
TWoK
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


rsolti13 wrote:
Dan,
Build quality feels EXACTLY the same, just in a smaller package. I agree with you too that the CV has a very similar look to my ZF lenses. I think the first few street/portrait pics look very similar to the ZF line.

Duh, they are made by the same people in the same factory by the same company.



May 09, 2010 at 03:18 PM
 

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Makten
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


TWoK wrote:
You absolutely loose light with a close-up adapter.


Yeah, like 1/3 of a T-stop because of the extra glass. But nothing like when you're adding extension tubes.

TWoK wrote:
Duh, they are made by the same people in the same factory by the same company.


Probably with different glass types and different tolerances. Not to mention different designs.



May 09, 2010 at 08:39 PM
dancam
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Cogitech and TWok,
I was just making a light observation. Yes, I know they are built by the same people in the same factory. Cosina has the contract to manufacture Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, but that's it. Correct me if I'm wrong but, Zeiss still designs their lenses. Also, there are several manufacturing companies in the world that have several product lines coming out of the same factory. They don't all come out looking the same though. A perfect example is Canon. The EF standard line of lenses and the L series. They are made in the same building by the same company but, have totally different build quality, look, and IQ. I just think it's interesting how similar the two lens lines look and feel.
----IMHO, Voigtlander is Zeiss for half the price----
Dan



May 10, 2010 at 12:10 AM
ISO1600
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


TWoK wrote:
You absolutely loose light with a close-up adapter.


Nate, like has been said already,. you only lose like the tinest amount of light due to a closeup adapter/lens accessory- it is nothing like with stupid tubes or bellows.



May 10, 2010 at 01:12 AM
ISO1600
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


dancam wrote:
Cogitech and TWok,
I was just making a light observation. Yes, I know they are built by the same people in the same factory. Cosina has the contract to manufacture Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, but that's it.
----IMHO, Voigtlander is Zeiss for half the price----
Dan



I totally agree that Voigt is like 1/2-priced Zeiss. Almost none of the lenses from either line (ZF or SLII) have any personality, but most of them are technically excellent or damn-near perfect lenses.

Cosina actually is Voigtlander, well maybe that is backwards.... Voigtlander is only a name these days, as they were bought by Cosina some years ago as a friendly effort to keep the classic name alive.



May 10, 2010 at 01:17 AM
TWoK
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


I think they have a 50 year lease on the Voigtlander name from Carl Zeiss, the actual name holder.


May 10, 2010 at 01:25 AM
Daniel Moore
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Hows it look for purple fringe on high contrast edges. As much as I loved the Zeiss 100 f/2 Makro the purple fringe was difficult to accept. It literally ruins some images.


May 10, 2010 at 05:02 AM
jaetie
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


ISO1600 wrote
I totally agree that Voigt is like 1/2-priced Zeiss. Almost none of the lenses from either line (ZF or SLII) have any personality, but most of them are technically excellent or damn-near perfect lenses.


not exactly a bad thing



May 10, 2010 at 04:11 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


Interesting stuff. Not just the review on the 90, but the comments on the manufacturing. I wonder if the entwined relationship between Zeiss and Cosina dictated the seemingly random Cosina focal lengths. Some sort of non-compete clause that read, "Make anything but an 18, 21, 28, 35, 50, 85, or 100."


May 11, 2010 at 12:54 AM
rsolti13
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


More that I learned

NO FLARE!!!! Flare resistant

The zoom ring is really tough....double edged sword. While I like how it provides for more accuracy, kinda slow. I don't need speed though, so it is ok with me

It is extremely sharp, even wide open

Colors are great

Fringing is almost non-existant, you really have to challenge the lens to get any

More samples.....

























Wide open:







100% crop







Still wide open:








May 11, 2010 at 12:56 AM
TWoK
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · MORE PICS!!! Voigtlander 90 f/3.5 SL II first impression


freaklikeme wrote:
Interesting stuff. Not just the review on the 90, but the comments on the manufacturing. I wonder if the entwined relationship between Zeiss and Cosina dictated the seemingly random Cosina focal lengths. Some sort of non-compete clause that read, "Make anything but an 18, 21, 28, 35, 50, 85, or 100."

Mr. K only cares about interesting lenses. Voigtlander makes a 21/40/58/90 and has made other FL in the past. In m-mount they make nearly every FL under the sun.



May 11, 2010 at 01:04 AM
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