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Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


FM Rolling Review: Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f/3.5 E-mount
Order the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f/3.5 E-mount:

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FM Rolling Review: Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f/3.5 E-mount

I received the Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 E-mount yesterday and so far, I tested it at infinity distance compared to the Loxia 21/2.8.

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 Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 E-mount was just announced at $699. It's designed with one aspherical surface + an anomalous partial dispersion elements as seen in this diagram:










Its minimum focus distance is 20 cm allowing an unique ultra wide angle perspective and the lens only weighs 232 grams. (weighted without caps)

Here is a summary with links to the tests and sample images:
  1. Infinity distance resolution comparison to the Loxia 21/2.8
  2. Infinity distance resolution comparison to the FE 16-35/4 ZA @20mm
  3. Sunstar rendering
  4. Lateral CA correction
  5. Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) performance
  6. Specular Highlights (rendering)
  7. Flare Resistance
  8. Coma perfomance
  9. Purple Fringing and Longitudinal CA
  10. Conclusion


First Impressions:

The Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 E-mount delivers a very compact lens at a mere 230g weight, which is almost half the weight and size of its main competitor, the Loxia 21/2.8.
Like other Voigtlander lenses, it has an all metal construction and tight tolerance build. The 10-blade straight aperture allows precise increments in 1/3 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. Mounting and un-mounting is not very easy with this lens since the only non-rotating surface next to the mount is very thin. Still not too much trouble, especially if you are already used to using Loxia lenses which suffer from a similar design compromise.

Here they are side by side: (CV 21/3.5 vs Loxia 21/2.8)




Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8 E-mount vs Voigtlander 21/3.5 E-mount






Technical Specifications




Oct 16, 2018 at 11:17 AM
MFoucs
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Canít wait. Cant wait. Preorder placed at B &H!


Oct 16, 2018 at 11:44 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Let's see some comparisons at infinity distance.
  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight for both lenses
  4. Both Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected



Center resolution comparison between CV 21/3.5 vs Loxia 21/2.8:





Center at f/3.5: The Voigtlander performs well wide open but the Loxia has the advantage in resolution and contrast. I prefer the color rendering for the Loxia







Center at f/5.6: Both Voigtlander and Loxia improve. I'd say they are similar but the the Loxia still performs better at f/5.6







Center at f/8: They are similar at f/8 and diffraction starts to take effect. I'd say for landscapes at f/8 both lenses are great performers.




Oct 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Mid-field resolution comparison between CV 21/3.5 vs Loxia 21/2.8:





Mid-field at f/3.5: The Voigtlander struggles a bit here. Focusing at this area does not improve it.







Mid-field at f/5.6: The CV 21/3.5 improves but the Loxia is still noticeably ahead







Mid-field at f/8: Voigtlander is optimum at this zone.




Oct 16, 2018 at 12:02 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Extreme Edge resolution comparison between CV 21/3.5 vs Loxia 21/2.8:





Extreme Edge at f/3.5: The Voigt looks great at the corners. The Loxia has the advantage in vignetting, contrast and resolution though. Remember the Loxia was focused at center and because of its FC, it would perform even better if focused at the edges.







Extreme Edge at f/5.6: Loxia still slightly better







Extreme Edge at f/8: Both very similar.




Oct 16, 2018 at 12:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Sunstar Rendering

We can get well-defined sunstars with the lens set to almost wide open (f/4) and that's one of the strengths of this lens.

Here is a comparison going from f/4 to f11:




  ILCE-7RM3    Voigtlander COLOR-SKOPAR 21mm F3.5 Aspherical lens    21mm    f/4.0    1/80s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  ILCE-7RM3    Voigtlander COLOR-SKOPAR 21mm F3.5 Aspherical lens    21mm    f/5.6    1/40s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  ILCE-7RM3    Voigtlander COLOR-SKOPAR 21mm F3.5 Aspherical lens    21mm    f/7.1    1/25s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  ILCE-7RM3    Voigtlander COLOR-SKOPAR 21mm F3.5 Aspherical lens    21mm    f/11.0    1/10s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Oct 16, 2018 at 12:10 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks for sharing these. They match my expectations quite well. At that size and price I didn't expect it to equal the Loxia but what I see is certainly above my own quality threshold.

I would also be interested in a comparison of flare resistance with the Lox.



Oct 16, 2018 at 12:16 PM
xpfloyd
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Looks superb!


Oct 16, 2018 at 12:34 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Phillip Reeve wrote:
Thanks for sharing these. They match my expectations quite well. At that size and price I didn't expect it to equal the Loxia but what I see is certainly above my own quality threshold.

I would also be interested in a comparison of flare resistance with the Lox.


I could not get much flare when doing the sunstar test this morning so, I think it's safe to say it has good flare resistance. I will test this further today!



Oct 16, 2018 at 12:37 PM
imagesfromobjects
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Just received mine - it's gorgeous.


Oct 16, 2018 at 01:35 PM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
I could not get much flare when doing the sunstar test this morning so, I think it's safe to say it has good flare resistance. I will test this further today!

I see quite a bit of ghosting in your sunstar test but it is a pretty demanding scenario so it would be good to have a benchmark.



Oct 16, 2018 at 01:50 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Iím on my phone but looks pretty good.


Oct 16, 2018 at 01:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Phillip Reeve wrote:
I see quite a bit of ghosting in your sunstar test but it is a pretty demanding scenario so it would be good to have a benchmark.


Indeed!



Oct 16, 2018 at 01:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


For those who don't like the Loxia 21/2.8 hood, the included Voigtlander hood works quite well with it.
No vignetting.
It also allows us the front cap with it attached.




Loxia 21/2.8 with included CV 21/3.5 hood




Oct 16, 2018 at 02:06 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
For those who don't like the Loxia 21/2.8 hood, the included Voigtlander hood works quite well with it.
No vignetting.
It also allows us the front cap with it attached.

$699 for a lens hood is a bit steep, even for Zeiss



Oct 16, 2018 at 02:21 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Phillip Reeve wrote:
$699 for a lens hood is a bit steep, even for Zeiss


It comes with a great lens though.



Oct 16, 2018 at 02:23 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Lighting looks pretty similar in the samples above. What strikes me is that even though center resolution is pretty matched at f/5.6, the contrast and color separation is much better with the Zeiss. I'd take the extra cost, size and weight of the Zeiss (a pretty small lens for it's overall IQ) every day of the week.


Oct 16, 2018 at 02:25 PM
psharvic
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks Fred. Always enjoy your reviews. The CV looks pretty darn good for the price but I don't think I'll switch. I really like the weight of the CV but to me the 21has a slight color edge. Besides my Zeiss has been on my rII for so long I fear it may be corroded on


Oct 16, 2018 at 03:03 PM
grahamgibson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Would you mind testing coma performance?


Oct 16, 2018 at 03:19 PM
Douglas L
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
For those who don't like the Loxia 21/2.8 hood, the included Voigtlander hood works quite well with it.
No vignetting.
It also allows us the front cap with it attached.


One thing I like about the CV 40mm f1.2's hood is when I turn the hood, the CPL filter turns with it too so I don't need to remove the hood before I can rotate the CPL. Is it the same with this CV 21?



Oct 16, 2018 at 03:21 PM
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