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FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


FM Rolling Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton
Update: Both 50/1.2 E-mount and VM mount are now in stock!
  1. Voigtlander 50/1.2 E-mount:
    B&H Photo | CameraQuest and Amazon Prime ($999)

  2. Voigtlander 50/1.2 VM mount:
    B&H Photo | CameraQuest and Amazon Prime ($949)

  3. Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 SE Nokton (E-mount)
    Cameraquest and Amazon ($899)

Help support FM by using our links for your purchase! - Thank you!

___________________

Addendum:

Summary with links to the tests and samples images for the CV 50/1.2 and CV 50/1.2 "SE" E-mount versions:
  1. Infinity distance resolution comparison to CV 40/1.2 E-mount
  2. OOF rendering compared to FE 50/1.4 ZA at same distance
  3. Infinity distance resolution comparison: CV 50/1.2 E-mount vs FE 50/1.4 ZA
  4. NEW! Infinity distance resolution comparison to the CV 50/2 APO
  5. NEW! Infinity distance resolution comparison to the CV 50/3.5 Heliar
  6. NEW! Infinity distance resolution comparison to the CV 50/1.2 VM + adapter on Sony
  7. NEW! Sample images from CV 50/1.2 SE
  8. NEW! Sample images from CV 50/1.2 VM on Leica M10


___________________________


FM Rolling Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton

I received the CV 50/1.2 Nokton lens (VM version) a couple days ago and so far, I tested it at infinity distance compared to the Voigtlander 40/1.2 Nokton E-mount.

As soon as I can, my goal is to update this thread with many other tests - like OOF rendering, CA, sunstar rendition, etc..so stay tuned for more to come.

The US price for the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 was just announced at $1,059. It's not a cheap lens but it's designed with four aspherical surfaces + an anomalous partial dispersion element as seen in this diagram:

Very similar optical designs: Top (CV 40/1.2), Bottom (CV 50/1.2)



Summary with links to the tests and samples images for the CV 50/1.2 VM (M-mount):
  1. Infinity distance resolution comparison to CV 40/1.2 E-mount
  2. Infinity distance resolution comparison to Loxia 50/2
  3. Chromatic Aberration correction
  4. OOF rendering compared to CV 40/1.2 at same distance
  5. Sunstar rendering
  6. Specular highlights (rendering)
  7. Flare performance
  8. Flare performance 2 (Ring reflection)
  9. Hood performance
  10. Sample images 1
  11. Sample images 2
  12. Sample images 3
  13. Sample images 4

First Impressions:

The Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton delivers a compact lens at a mere 350g weight, which is pretty light for a f/1.2 aperture. In comparison, the CV 40/1.2 E-mount weighs 410g. However, since I used the CV 50/1.2 with an adapter on a Sony body, the weight increased by about 50g which then leveled out the weight difference.

All metal, some people say that this little lens is built like a tank. I have to say that when I first held it in my hands, it felt like it was going to be one of those lenses that would last the long haul.

My plan is to test it on the Sony A7RIII but, since M to E-mount adapters don't have any electronics (aka- dumb adapters), EXIF transmission, auto-IBIS and auto-magnification - are NOT available. So, if you plan on using it on the Sony, keep in mind that it will be an old school, back in the day all manual, good ol'lens. But hey, as long as it delivers, I don't see that as a drawback.

The new 12-blade straight aperture allows precise increments in 1/2 stops but cannot be de-clicked like many others Voigtlander E-mount lenses, so if you are thinking of using this lens for video, you might want to take note.

When adding an adapter, the CV 50/1.2 VM is just as long as the Voigtlander 40/1.2 E-mount lens.

Here they are side by side: (CV 50/1.2 VM vs CV 40/1.2 E-mount)



















Main Specifications




Sep 13, 2018 at 08:14 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Let's see some comparisons at infinity distance.

Here is the full image thumbnail showing the areas demonstrated at 1:1 magnification. (pixel level)



Distance: Infinity
Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
Software: Lightroom FM Default Landscape Sharpening

** CA, vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected

Center resolution comparison between CV 40/1.2 vs CV 50/1.2 Nokton





Center at f/2







Center at f/2.8







Center at f/4







Center at f/5.6







Center at f/8




Sep 13, 2018 at 08:16 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Mid-field resolution comparison between CV 40/1.2 vs CV 50/1.2 Nokton





Mid-field at f/2







Mid-field at f/2.8







Mid-field at f/4







Mid-field at f/5.6







Mid-field at f/8




Sep 13, 2018 at 08:17 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Extreme Edge resolution comparison between CV 40/1.2 vs CV 50/1.2 Nokton





Extreme Edge at f/2







Extreme Edge at f/2.8







Extreme Edge at f/4







Extreme Edge at f/5.6







Extreme Edge at f/8




Sep 13, 2018 at 08:18 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Specular highlights's rendering:

This is big deal for some folks and I'm happy to report that the new 50/1.2 Nokton does not suffer from onion ring bokeh like the CV 40/1.2 does. Not sure how Voigtlander did this since they share the same 4 aspheric surface optical design!

Bokeh balls are perfectly rounded at center when shooting wide open with both lenses. Some Loxia lenses are notorious for not having a perfectly rounded specular highlights when shooting wide open. (The aperture does not fully open)







Sep 13, 2018 at 08:26 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Iím seeing a little stronger contrast on the 50 myself. Both look very good for these type of lenses. Love the no onions rings


Sep 13, 2018 at 08:42 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Fred Miranda wrote:
Let's see some comparisons at infinity distance.

Here is the full image thumbnail showing the areas demonstrated at 1:1 magnification. (pixel level)

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/78/1535478.jpg

With all my infinity tests, the subject is focused manually and a "best of three" is used for each lens.
I use the default Lightroom settings except for sharpening which is the same for all lenses being compared.
CA, vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected for both lenses.

Center resolution comparison between CV 40/1.2 vs CV 50/1.2 Nokton


Fred when you chose the best of three, did you choose the best at centre, and then use that for the mid and corner or did you choose the best at each location? (just wondering if the crops represent the full extent of FC. If they do, it's kind of impressive given that the lens is presumably optimised for the M sensor)



Sep 13, 2018 at 09:33 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


DavidBM wrote:
Fred when you chose the best of three, did you choose the best at centre, and then use that for the mid and corner or did you choose the best at each location? (just wondering if the crops represent the full extent of FC. If they do, it's kind of impressive given that the lens is presumably optimised for the M sensor)


David, it was focused on 'Center' only. (Best of 3)
I was also expecting a more pronounced field curvature, considering that the CV 40/1.2 M-mount has higher FC than the E-mount.
It looks like Voigtlander changed things a bit even though the optical design is pretty much the same.

We now have a 12-blade aperture and lack of onion ring pattern.

Talking about sunstar rendering....read on...



Sep 13, 2018 at 09:41 PM
nampramos
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Thank you Fred!
Would you say field curvature on the VE40 vs VM50 is similar then? Or even the same?



Sep 13, 2018 at 09:47 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Sunstar Rendering:

Voigtlander (Cosina) is famous for designing aperture mechanisms that yield beautiful sunstar rendering. Because of their straight shape, it's possible to get well defined sunstars only one or two stops down from wide open.

This new 50/1.2 Nokton is equipped with "12" straight aperture blades which differs from previous Voigtlander, Loxia and Zeiss ZM lenses which share a 10-blade aperture mechanism design.

How does it look though? I will post more samples later on but sunstars look great from my initial test.






f/5.6






Don't remember the aperture! lol (one of the downsides of not having EXIF transmission)




Sep 13, 2018 at 09:48 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


nampramos wrote:
Thank you Fred!
Would you say field curvature on the VE40 vs VM50 is similar then? Or even the same?


I'd say they are similar but the 50/1.2's FC is slightly more pronounced. This is really good news for Sony shooters adapting this lens.



Sep 13, 2018 at 09:55 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Love the sun stars. I donít count them just care if they look good and I like it.


Sep 13, 2018 at 09:59 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Did a hood come with it. I see a optional one or am I just confused. Iíll go check specs


Sep 13, 2018 at 10:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


GMPhotography wrote:
Did a hood come with it. I see a optional one or am I just confused. Iíll go check specs


No hood. Just caps. It has 52mm filter thread just like your other Loxias.



Sep 13, 2018 at 10:05 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Okay I got that covered for sure. Iíll just use a metal screw in


Sep 13, 2018 at 10:07 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Am I the only one seeing the center 50 crop as significantly worse that the 40 wide open?


Sep 13, 2018 at 10:33 PM
nampramos
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


Fred, I know it's a bit off topic, but if you'd put the ZM35/1.4 in the mix with the 40 and the 50, how would you compare them and what would you say about them?

Also, do you think the t-stop on these Voigtlšnder is as good as the ZM?



Sep 13, 2018 at 10:45 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


freaklikeme wrote:
Am I the only one seeing the center 50 crop as significantly worse that the 40 wide open?


Nope worse sharpness and more purple fringing. Almost like a micro-misfocus. Probably not though.




Sep 13, 2018 at 10:51 PM
ifthenelse
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Nope worse sharpness and more purple fringing. Almost like a micro-misfocus. Probably not though.



I think you are getting confused by the different focal length. This is why you see more of the purple fringing. Starting from f2, both look very similar. If there is a difference indeed, it seems rather small and would likely not matter for screen or print. I have to say that I am impressed by what I have seen so far.


Edited on Sep 13, 2018 at 11:21 PM · View previous versions



Sep 13, 2018 at 11:09 PM
goo0h
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · FM Review: Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 Nokton


freaklikeme wrote:
Am I the only one seeing the center 50 crop as significantly worse that the 40 wide open?


nope. I was puzzled by that too. I also wondered how the E-mount version of this lens might compare....




Sep 13, 2018 at 11:11 PM
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