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Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review

  
 
MFoucs
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


azhenley wrote:
Do I sell my Batis 25 for this?


The Batis 25 and this new CV21 seem really different, besides the focal length. The CV21 is a lower cost, lower weight alternative to the Loxia 21. It's only manual focus and is 1 2/3 stops slower than the Batis. If you have uses that match the Batis's features, then the CV21 certainly won't replace it. For that, see the GM 24/1.4

The CV21, from Fred's amazing tests and other users' samples, also won't replace the Loxia 21. What it seems to offer, though, is an ultralight, nearly pocketable and inexpensive landscape lens with wonderful sunstars and MFD and that seems optically solid, especially from F8. For someone not shooting this FL all the time, which is me, that should be appealing.



Oct 16, 2018 at 08:44 PM
azhenley
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


MFoucs wrote:
The Batis 25 and this new CV21 seem really different, besides the focal length. The CV21 is a lower cost, lower weight alternative to the Loxia 21. It's only manual focus and is 1 2/3 stops slower than the Batis. If you have uses that match the Batis's features, then the CV21 certainly won't replace it. For that, see the GM 24/1.4


Good points. The Batis just feels gargantuan to me. The CV 21 would go nicely with my beautiful CV 15 and I have been considering getting the CV 40 (and selling my 55).

Three CVs to rule them all!



Oct 16, 2018 at 08:51 PM
imagesfromobjects
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Thanks for doing this- nice to have a point of reference. That's pretty sadistic putting it up against the Loxia, but going by your tests it seems to have held its own. I don't mind cat's eyes and plan on shooting the Skopar wide open quite a bit, so it's relieving that the bokeh ball test was one in particular where I strongly prefer the Skopar. For my application, it should be great.

I plan on testing my copy for centering tomorrow, but some brief evening shots tell me it's good, and that infinity is exactly at the hard stop for my copy as well. Short of anything horrible in my findings tomorrow, I'm thinking this lens is a huge win. Looking forward to using it in some real-world scenarios.



Oct 16, 2018 at 08:55 PM
Melindra
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I know it's a bit much to ask, but would you care to perform a test of the CV against the 12-24 (at 21mm), just at 5.6?

I LOVE the 12-24, but could do with a manual focus 21 that's this small for drone work which is the only issue for me with the 12-24, the weight really makes a difference in the air.

20mm is an FL I use regularly too.

The other issue for the 12-24 is flare and a contrast drop pointing into a light source, CPL's are a pita to adapt also.



Oct 16, 2018 at 09:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Coma perfomance

The CV 21/3.5 is not a fast lens and perhaps not the best option for nightcapes or astro. However, if used for these applications, it performs great from wide-open.

Here is a 1:1 crop showing the very corner of the frame @f/3.5:












Oct 16, 2018 at 10:40 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Coma perfomance

The CV 21/3.5 is not a fast lens and perhaps not the best option for nightcapes or astro. However, if used for these applications, it performs great from wide-open.

Here is a 1:1 crop showing the very corner of the frame @f/3.5:


Am I correct in assuming this on 42 mpx sensor? Thanks again for the testing. I'll keep my g21 as I love the rendering so much, but I realize it's really a pain without a focus rings and PCX filters, this would be my choice I think had had I not wanted to deal with all that.

Last question though Fred, are both these lenses the same FOV? Is one a narrow or a wide 21mm?



Oct 17, 2018 at 01:17 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Am I correct in assuming this on 42 mpx sensor? Thanks again for the testing. I'll keep my g21 as I love the rendering so much, but I realize it's really a pain without a focus rings and PCX filters, this would be my choice I think had had I not wanted to deal with all that.

Last question though Fred, are both these lenses the same FOV? Is one a narrow or a wide 21mm?


I shot all these tests with my Sony A7R III.
To your second question, they are very similar in field of view at infinity. I will still test for focus breathing so at closer distances, this could change a bit.



Oct 17, 2018 at 09:02 AM
jhinkey
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Coma perfomance

The CV 21/3.5 is not a fast lens and perhaps not the best option for nightcapes or astro. However, if used for these applications, it performs great from wide-open.

Here is a 1:1 crop showing the very corner of the frame @f/3.5:


What? No bat-wing stars off into the corners wide open? That just can't be . . .

Looks like a great effort by CV to balance size, weight, wide open performance, across the frame field curvature, etc., etc.

Weather looks good today so I will pick mine up and try to get it out this afternoon or evening to take some test shots to make sure it's not decentered, can't get to infinity focus, etc., etc. that I seem to be unlucky many times.

The two CV 15's that I have need to find a home . . .



Oct 17, 2018 at 09:20 AM
Gunzorro
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Well, I'm happy to keep my Loxia 21!

Thanks for the comparison testing, Fred!



Oct 17, 2018 at 09:37 AM
Charlie N
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Melindra wrote:
I know it's a bit much to ask, but would you care to perform a test of the CV against the 12-24 (at 21mm), just at 5.6?

I LOVE the 12-24, but could do with a manual focus 21 that's this small for drone work which is the only issue for me with the 12-24, the weight really makes a difference in the air.

20mm is an FL I use regularly too.

The other issue for the 12-24 is flare and a contrast drop pointing into a light source, CPL's are a pita to adapt also.


how are you flying with your a7?

anyhow, I think the main appeal is the size and weight, I'm getting the 21 for that reason, no intentions on getting rid of the 12-24, it's just a tad big at times. I think I'de rather have 18mm tbh, but I'm making due with 21.



Oct 17, 2018 at 10:04 AM
 


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GMPhotography
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Problem is which 21 to pick if you donít have one. Cv is 700 dollars and Loxia is 1500 thatís a 800 dollar swing and between a 2.8 and 3.5 makes zero diffrence in real work for these type of landscape lenses, which is not driven by need for speed. So letís go from here. Color, to me it looks like just adding a touch of saturation and a bit of clarity to the CV file would fix up that diffrence. Maybe a touch of contrast. This is just post work so not a big deal. Flare looks better on the CV , sun stars are equal or better. Rounder bokeh balls on the CV. These are all big pluses. The downside I see is the mid frame on the CV and deciding if thatís a factor or not. So end of day the Loxia maybe slighter better but is it 800 dollars better when you can take that 800 dollars and buy just about any other optional focal length to boot. Did I mention size. Frankly this one is a really tough call. Some of these decisions are far easier but this one if your buying new is a tough justification. And I love Loxia lenses but I hate the aperture ring setup too. Than you have to look at your lineup. I have a mix of CV/Loxia and frankly I like the handling of the CV better itís more old school style to me.

Iím tossing a lot of ideas in the air and frankly there are several ways to go here and I know Iím certainly not alone. Bigger issue for us pixel peeper freaks is 800 dollars for slightly better detail worth it and would you even notice it without doing side by sides which real world we donít do.

For me having two 25 lenses and no 21 lens Iím scratching my head.



Oct 17, 2018 at 10:06 AM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Anyway Iím three blocks from Central Park right now and Iím going to go shoot my Loxia 35 which I just got used and do to a family funeral I have not had a chance to go shoot. Iím outtta here. Lol

Fred and alll great work look forward to maybe seeing some more mid range images. Be nice to see those 20 to 30 feet shots as well as this could be a nice interior style lens. I just shot my daughters hair salon and used my 15/25 lenses but I would have liked a 21 in many shots.



Oct 17, 2018 at 10:14 AM
MFoucs
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


GMPhotography wrote:
Problem is which 21 to pick if you donít have one. Cv is 700 dollars and Loxia is 1500 thatís a 800 dollar swing and between a 2.8 and 3.5 makes zero diffrence in real work for these type of landscape lenses, which is not driven by need for speed. So letís go from here. Color, to me it looks like just adding a touch of saturation and a bit of clarity to the CV file would fix up that diffrence. Maybe a touch of contrast. This is just post work so not a big deal. Flare looks better on
...Show more

Well summarized! I've pre-ordered the CV21, but I'm new to this focal length. Comparisons to the Loxia are obviously going to come up short, but the weight and cost savings of the CV21 are serious considerations for me. I like to travel light and can compromise slightly on IQ for that convenience. I wonder how this lens compares to the Zony 16-35 at 21mm. While that's bigger and a zoom, that might cover all my city walk around needs (I could leave behind a 35 and/or a 15mm). If it exceeds the CV21 at F5.6, I might go in that (bigger, and thus sadder for me) direction.



Oct 17, 2018 at 10:42 AM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I think the huge plus here is size and weight and certainly I reason to buy it plus itís relatively cheap in price. I can see why we are all excited about it.


Oct 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM
xpfloyd
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


If you factor in used lox prices itís not such a big saving for the CV currently. For example I paid £750 for a mint well centered loxia 21 and the CV is £565 new. Obviously the CV will eventually be cheaper used too though so thatís another factor.

All that said if it was out when I bought my lox I might have went the cv route as it does look good



Oct 17, 2018 at 11:39 AM
grahamgibson
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


With the Loxia 21 being out for a while now though, it's pretty easy to find a decent used one in the $1000 range. In a year or two when CV 21's are $500 used, that'll be another consideration. Tough call between the two; each has some very appealing merits.

For myself at the moment, it's not as simple as choosing between two 21's either. The 24GM is almost out and AF+f1.4 is a big plus for me. Considering focal length, 21mm is not always wide enough so then the question is what wider angle lens to pick up to compliment it, and whether stepping up to 21mm vs. 24mm is a good gap, etc, etc.



Oct 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM
Jman13
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Fred -

Would you be able to do a comparison of the CV21 to the Sony 16-35 f/4?



Oct 17, 2018 at 12:50 PM
imagesfromobjects
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


It was too nice outside to work today, so I just went for a little walk to test my copy. Will post some results in a few, but [SPOILER ALERT] it's very, very good news.


Oct 17, 2018 at 01:12 PM
jhinkey
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


Just grabbed mine from the post office, but have no time to even extract it from the box until later tonight.


Oct 17, 2018 at 01:44 PM
Gunzorro
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color Skopar Review


I was actually pretty startled looking at Fred's first comparison shots showing the center area. I accidentally transposed the images and thought the Loxia was failing miserably compared to the CV. Then I looked again at the exif and relaxed. But I continued to be shocked how much more information was conveyed in the details (e.g. yellow tree) compared to the CV. Even closed down, the Loxia was super sharp, not so much improvement for the CV.

I can't sacrifice IQ for size and weight.

Jordan's idea has merit -- I believe a decent copy of the "old" 16-35G zoom will be superior wide open to the CV closed to f/4. And used, the 16-35 is not much more than the CV new. I know which I would choose . . .

Sorry to be Mr. Buzzkill.



Oct 17, 2018 at 02:24 PM
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