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Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review

  
 
MagicNikon
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Having only just dipped my toe into the manual focus waters with the 40/1.2 and 65/2, I am very excited to receive this one. I have been waiting on the pre-order. Thanks for the review Fred.


Oct 16, 2018 at 03:37 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks for posting, helpful. Seems like CV has found another little niche within the e-mount ecosystem and succeeded.


Oct 16, 2018 at 03:42 PM
Jman13
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I'm curious how big a difference there is on 24MP bodies.

Biggest difference, aside from a slight resolution advantage with the Loxia, is the biting contrast.



Oct 16, 2018 at 03:55 PM
chez
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


From what I'm seeing, price and weight seem to be the two advantages for the CV...images show better details, colours and contrast with the Loxia.


Oct 16, 2018 at 04:19 PM
Makten
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I can live with the less saturated colors, but that midzone... Ouch!
I'd much rather have muddy corners.



Oct 16, 2018 at 04:31 PM
offtraildog
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks for the review Fred - I have been eagerly waiting the arrival of this lens since I really like my other CVs: 15, 40, 65. I already have the Loxia 21 and see no benefit in changing .. Better IQ with Loxia and the weight/size difference is neglible for me ...


Oct 16, 2018 at 04:31 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


kdrk888 wrote:
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?


The included hood has an inner thread and I was able to attach a 52mm UV filter on it. I may be possible to use a polarizer but it could be awkward to rotate it.



Oct 16, 2018 at 04:45 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Makten wrote:
I can live with the less saturated colors, but that midzone... Ouch!
I'd much rather have muddy corners.


When I first checked these crops, I looked at center and extreme edges and was surprised by how well this little lens performed!

Unfortunately there is no free lunch, and there is a noticeable mid-zone dip that improves as the lens is stopped down. At first I thought it was wavy field curvature but the mid-zone does not improve when focusing on it...
I consider the Loxia 21 a reference lens and imo, the Voigtlander did a great job for such small, light and less expensive lens.

Curiously, this is the first Voigtlander E-mount lens I've tested that has true infinity at the hard stop but we could very well have some variation on this. As many of you know, the Loxia 21's hard stop yields best corners and a slight tad before the hard stop gives the best center... With the Voigt 21/3.5 I get the best resolution from center to corners at the hard stop.

Here is an example showing the extreme corners for the Loxia 21/2.8 focused at the hard stop (RIGHT) and a tad before it (LEFT) which yields the best center. I don't see much difference with the CV 21/3.5 and with my copy, anything before the hard stop, denigrates the entire image. (including the mid-field)





Loxia 21 tad before hard stop (better center) vs Loxia 21 at hard stop (better corners)




Oct 16, 2018 at 04:59 PM
johnahill
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Cheers Fred
How do you think the CV compares with the original Tokina Firin?

I'm not about to switch from the Loxia but my cousin is in the market for a good wide on a budget.



Oct 16, 2018 at 05:16 PM
DavidBM
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks @Fred Miranda!

An excellent choice on a budget or where size and weight are the big concern.

Still, for myself I don't think I'll be given up the Lox even for hiking.
Maybe (thinking about what I want, not necessarily what is best for all) I'd rather have and an f4 lens that was the same size as this, and the same quality as the Lox, if that were possible.



Oct 16, 2018 at 06:21 PM
 


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jhinkey
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Doesn't the 40/1.2 have the now infamous mid-field dip? It still takes great landscape images.
I can handle a bit of mid-field dip if the lens has flare and ghosting resistance - those show up at any image resolution. This will be my travel 21mm.
The Lox 21mm, though not a large lens, certainly is dense. Every little bit of size and weight reduction helps when you are my age.



Oct 16, 2018 at 06:28 PM
imagesfromobjects
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I think you're going to love it. It's tiny - you can shoot it one-handed. Maybe even pocketable, if we're talking "hoodie" pocket.

jhinkey wrote:
Doesn't the 40/1.2 have the now infamous mid-field dip? It still takes great landscape images.
I can handle a bit of mid-field dip if the lens has flare and ghosting resistance - those show up at any image resolution. This will be my travel 21mm.
The Lox 21mm, though not a large lens, certainly is dense. Every little bit of size and weight reduction helps when you are my age.




Oct 16, 2018 at 06:41 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Flare Resistance

Generally, I found the CV 21/3.5's flare resistance excellent, competing well against the Loxia 21/2.8. In some scenes it actually does a better job!

Under normal conditions, flare should not be bothersome with this lens.

Here are some side-by-side samples under extreme lighting.





Voigtlander (TOP), Loxia (BOTTOM) - Notice they cover pretty much the same FOV.







Voigtlander (TOP), Loxia (BOTTOM)




Oct 16, 2018 at 07:06 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


On these samples, the Voigtlander actually performed better than the Loxia:

Images where taken seconds apart.





Voigtlander (TOP), Loxia (BOTTOM)







1:1 crop from above image







Voigtlander (BOTTOM), Loxia (TOP) - Here the Loxia image is on TOP and shows more flare (see 1:1 crops below)







1:1 crop from above image...there are colorful ghosts in my house but only the Loxia can see it. :)




Oct 16, 2018 at 07:13 PM
rico
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred makes lens testing look easy! Great C/V results for such a dainty design: let's call it less sharp but more uniform performance through the frame. It does show once again that the L21 is a monster.


Oct 16, 2018 at 07:31 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Lateral CA correction

I'd say both lenses perform similarly with very low LaCA. Here is a crop showing both lenses at f/5.6 showing the corners of the frame.

Keep in mind that although both my A7RIII and Lightroom had CA corrected set to "OFF", a built-in profile was applied for BOTH lenses. The only way to stop this is to tape the lens electronics...










2:1 crop from the above showing slight more CA for the Voigt







Same as above some slight more CA for the Voigt..If I have to magnify to 2:1 to see this, the take away is that both lenses perform great. (Keeping in mind that both RAW files were cooked :-)




Oct 16, 2018 at 07:39 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


MFD Performance

The CV 21/3.5 can focus as close as 0.20m and it performs great with little resolution/contrast difference between wide open (f/3.5) and f/5.6:





f/3.5 vs f/5.6 at MFD (Minimum focus distance)







It focus closer than the Loxia 21/2.8. Here is the difference between the two lenses at their respective MFDs.




Oct 16, 2018 at 08:08 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Specular Highlights (rendering)

Wide open, the CV 21/3.5 renders well-rounded specular highlights without onion rings. (Although the inner structure is a bit busy)
This is similar to what I see in Loxia 21 images @f/2.8, except that the Loxia's bokeh balls are not very rounded wide open...(It's an issue I've found with most Loxia lenses where the aperture blades do not contract all the way.

Towards the corners, "cat-eye shaped" specular highlights are more prominent for the Voigtlander.





Rounded bokeh balls for the Voigt wide open. Not so much for the Loxia







Cat-eye towards the corners




Oct 16, 2018 at 08:23 PM
azhenley
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Do I sell my Batis 25 for this?


Oct 16, 2018 at 08:36 PM
FFM1
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thank you. These tests are perfect. My lens is on the way, and I see that I was right to order it sight unseen, and with no review or samples.


Oct 16, 2018 at 08:40 PM
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