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Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?

  
 
Makten
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
The Loxia 35mm is a Biogon design but wide open performance is not really good.


It depends on preferences and expectations. I think it's really good, but there is a bit of glow from spherical aberration. The Nokton 35/1.4 is in fact very similar in rendering, but faster and it has much more distortion.



Jan 24, 2020 at 06:00 AM
Nick Dakota
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?




matt-to wrote:
Which Biogon are you referring to? The Loxia 35mm is a Biogon design but wide open performance is not really good. Could be perfect for landscape photographers though.


Speaking of the Zeiss Biogon C 2.8 ZM




Jan 24, 2020 at 07:45 AM
matt-to
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Makten wrote:
It depends on preferences and expectations. I think it's really good, but there is a bit of glow from spherical aberration. The Nokton 35/1.4 is in fact very similar in rendering, but faster and it has much more distortion.


It's not sharp wide open, that's a fact. If you can live with it, it's a great lens.



Jan 24, 2020 at 12:01 PM
Makten
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
It's not sharp wide open, that's a fact. If you can live with it, it's a great lens.


An opinion can never be a fact. Define "sharp", please.

Edit: This is the only image I've got online at f/2 but it's plenty sharp to me.


9471 by Martin Hertsius, on Flickr


For those of you that haven't followed the discussion, it's shot with the Loxia 35/2.



Jan 24, 2020 at 06:31 PM
matt-to
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Makten wrote:
An opinion can never be a fact. Define "sharp", please.

Edit: This is the only image I've got online at f/2 but it's plenty sharp to me.

For those of you that haven't followed the discussion, it's shot with the Loxia 35/2.


Nice click, but I'll go with the tests and reviews of specialists. The Loxia looks fantastic stopped down, not so much wide open.

Here is what Bastian from Phillip Reeve's website wrote:

So, who is this lens for? Anyone, who looks for a small yet native 35 mm E-mount lens with great build quality and transfer of Exif information or who is primarily filming and can therefore make use of the “de-click” function of the aperture ring. In case you are looking for great across the frame sharpness at wider apertures or you are planning on using a 35 mm for astro landscape photography this is probably not the right lens for you. I have to admit though, stopped down contrast and sharpness are great, as are the sunstars and this lens yielded me some very nice images within the rather short period of time I had the chance to use it, but personally I think it is overpriced for what if offers.

Update 06/05/16:
Despite some of the technical shortcomings I have bought this lens myself now. In retrospective the photos I have taken with this lens have something about them I really like, I think it is best described as a very punchy micro contrast. Take into account most of my photos are taken stopped down, this was indeed the best (small) 35mm lens for my needs.



Jan 25, 2020 at 10:11 AM
Makten
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
Nice click, but I'll go with the tests and reviews of specialists. The Loxia looks fantastic stopped down, not so much wide open.

Here is what Bastian from Phillip Reeve's website wrote:

So, who is this lens for? Anyone, who looks for a small yet native 35 mm E-mount lens with great build quality and transfer of Exif information or who is primarily filming and can therefore make use of the “de-click” function of the aperture ring. In case you are looking for great across the frame sharpness at wider apertures or you are planning on using a 35 mm for astro
...Show more

What defines a "specialist"? I'd say I have about the same knowledge about lenses as Bastian. This is about taste, not facts.
You're entitled to your opinion, but if I was you I'd not state them as facts. They're not. Especially not when you are only referring to other peoples opinions.


Jan 25, 2020 at 05:44 PM
matt-to
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Makten wrote:
What defines a "specialist"? I'd say I have about the same knowledge about lenses as Bastian.


That is a bold statement

Makten wrote:
This is about taste, not facts.
You're entitled to your opinion, but if I was you I'd not state them as facts. They're not. Especially not when you are only referring to other peoples opinions.


Call it a fact, an opinion, a taste etc... the Loxia 35/2 doesn't perform so well wide open. Doesn't mean it's a bad lens, it just means it doesn't perform so well wide open compared to other lenses.



Jan 25, 2020 at 05:56 PM
Makten
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
That is a bold statement


Nah, I've been a lens nerd for fifteen years.

Call it a fact, an opinion, a taste etc... the Loxia 35/2 doesn't perform so well wide open. Doesn't mean it's a bad lens, it just means it doesn't perform so well wide open compared to other lenses.

That's also not really true. It performs very well wide open if you like the results, which I happen to do. And I happen to dislike many "better" lenses. Which means they are not objectively performing better. Just differently.

You can say that it has "less than X line pairs per mm" or similar, and that would be a fact if it was true. I know I'm nitpicking, but your first statement started it.



Jan 25, 2020 at 06:25 PM
matt-to
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Makten wrote:
Nah, I've been a lens nerd for fifteen years.

That's also not really true. It performs very well wide open if you like the results, which I happen to do. And I happen to dislike many "better" lenses. Which means they are not objectively performing better. Just differently.

You can say that it has "less than X line pairs per mm" or similar, and that would be a fact if it was true. I know I'm nitpicking, but your first statement started it.


If you like lenses that have technical shortcomings wide open, it's very fine. Whatever pleases people, wether it's a special effect, the rendering etc...but at the end of the day the Loxia 35 doesn't perform so well wide open, which was my first "statement" and is clearly a fact, as many specialists reviews show.

I'm glad you like it though. But that is not related to my point



Jan 25, 2020 at 06:50 PM
AndrewNYC
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
It's not sharp wide open, that's a fact. If you can live with it, it's a great lens.


There would never be a great picture rendered not great because it was shot by this lens wide open. Nor would there be a bad photo rendered great by a supposed "sharp wide open" lens.



Jan 26, 2020 at 12:35 PM
 


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Makten
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
...but at the end of the day the Loxia 35 doesn't perform so well wide open...


Compared to what? If you look at other lenses of the same size, they are not objectively "better", just different. The modern Nokton 40/1.2 for example, has horrible bokeh towards the corners, onion rings and so on. You trade a set of aberrations for an other set. But for some reason, "sharpness" is what most people refer to when they talk about performance.

Anyway, this is also probably why many don't even try the Nokton 35/1.4 Classic. It's "bad" if you read the specs and look at the graphs. But there are no aspherical lenses causing onion rings. There is very little longitudinal chromatic aberration. At a bit of distance, the bokeh is fantastic and also of lower contrast than the field of sharpness, giving great "3D". The resolution is also very high, even if local contrast isn't (high Nyquist but low MTF ratings at high frequencies).

In my opinion, many photographers of late have been fooled by "experts" and testing methods that only show certain qualities of lenses. The Nokton Classic is great, as is the Loxia. Even wide open.



Jan 26, 2020 at 05:10 PM
d.s.
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?



matt-to wrote:
...but at the end of the day the Loxia 35 doesn't perform so well wide open, which was my first "statement" and is clearly a fact, as many specialists reviews show.


Indeed. The lens on which the Loxia is based is the ZM 35/2.0 Biogon. Erwin Puts' brief summary explains the lens' few shortcomings nicely: https://photo.imx.nl/leica/zeiss/page65.html

The 35/2.8 C-Biogon, by comparison, is less "stretched." One's only concerns with it may be vignetting and, I seem to recall, some LOCA wide open.



Jan 26, 2020 at 08:18 PM
philip_pj
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Puts has it right here:

'Zeiss has always stressed the fact that lenses should be designed for photographic use, not as specimens for lab testing. The requirements of photographers may be not related to the parameters that can be tested on a numerical basis.

Currently we are in the stage of extreme number fetishism, driven by photo magazines .. If you cannot relate the figures and facts to the requirements of the working photographer, no amount of number crunching will improve the assessment of a lens and its practical validity.'

That was in 2005. What would he think of, for example, Marc Alhadeff's well-discussed table of made-for-Sony lens quality, in which he had this to say about the sharpness ranking of the Loxia 35/2? (the fifth of six classes he devised):

'Those lenses can barely achieve very good results when aperture is closed down and in general they are not even on the entire frame; those lenses are not adequate for A7RIII, A7RIV; those lenses are acceptable on a A7III but do not exploit the potential of the 24Mpix'

https://sonyalpha.blog/2019/11/10/which-lenses-to-maximise-the-potential-of-the-sony-a7riv/

That's a terrible take, IMO. There is nothing inherently wrong with a lens that is not superb in the corners, many great street and portrait lenses are made this way, by design. The Loxia 35/2 performs better wide open on-axis than the Otus 28/1.4 (see Zeiss's own MTF charts). What does it tell you about what you can do with each of them, though?

The thing that makes FM lens review threads so valuable is the range of material members photograph with these lenses, giving you a much better idea what they do well and not so well, rather than relying on test chart results. You can't mistake the test for the images, it's like a 'not seeing the forest for the trees' situation (often literally, in some reviews).



Jan 26, 2020 at 09:32 PM
d.s.
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Can any VM 35/1.4 Nokton II owners chime in on if the ring flare "feature" is similar to the FE version? I've attached a reference. The 40/1.4 Nokton I also have has nothing like it.







Jan 27, 2020 at 10:51 PM
Nick Dakota
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


matt-to wrote:
Nice click, but I'll go with the tests and reviews of specialists. The Loxia looks fantastic stopped down, not so much wide open.

Here is what Bastian from Phillip Reeve's website wrote:

So, who is this lens for? Anyone, who looks for a small yet native 35 mm E-mount lens with great build quality and transfer of Exif information or who is primarily filming and can therefore make use of the “de-click” function of the aperture ring. In case you are looking for great across the frame sharpness at wider apertures or you are planning on using a 35 mm for astro
...Show more

Not to jump in here, but solely out of curiosity...what makes Bastian a "specialist"?

I've been a member here since 2005 and can 100% say I would respect Makten's thoughts based on his shooting experience with many different lenses before Bastian's. I mean that with no offense to Bastian.

That said...in the end, if I am curious about a lens, I buy one new or used and figure it out on my own. I guess that is why I currently have 6 M mount 35mm lenses that I am still "testing"!


Jan 28, 2020 at 04:29 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Mine just arrived today (SC). I’d sent my 35 Lux pre-ASPH out for CLA to DAG and needed a stand-in and possible companion for use on another body — dual-wielding 35 1.4s

Really nice lens. Didn’t expect it to be on par with CVs other recent lenses as far as build quality and focus feel. Really, really nice. Images so far at f/1.4 look great and no focus shift wide open. Threw on a spare Leica UV filter — normally I use a Zeiss UV, but it didn’t want the T* coating affecting the SC version’s contrast. Will post some shots later.

Is there an official review thread here on the version II of this lens? Can’t find it if there is one.







Aug 09, 2022 at 11:07 AM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?






Kentmere 400 w/ the above get-up






Aug 09, 2022 at 02:36 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Desmolicious wrote:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52271537137_594cd2b12a_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52271537242_243d896fa5_b.jpg

Kentmere 400 w/ the above get-up

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52059842325_b2f85f24b1_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52058367607_b54f0ec86b_c.jpg


Nice! At f/1.4, mine focuses correctly at MFD and close distance, but at about 5 meters, it’s clearly front-focusing unless I switch to f/2. Does yours have any focus shift at f/1.4? Trying to figure out if this is normal or if I should try another copy.



Aug 09, 2022 at 02:48 PM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


highdesertmesa wrote:
Nice! At f/1.4, mine focuses correctly at MFD and close distance, but at about 5 meters, it’s clearly front-focusing unless I switch to f/2. Does yours have any focus shift at f/1.4? Trying to figure out if this is normal or if I should try another copy.


I haven't noticed any, but I also haven't tested for it.

When I have some time I will test it on my M10-r as that will be the easiest way.



Aug 09, 2022 at 02:59 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Voigtlander Classic Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II - Any reviews?


Desmolicious wrote:
I haven't noticed any, but I also haven't tested for it.

When I have some time I will test it on my M10-r as that will be the easiest way.


Tested a bit more. Definitely returning mine. Will decide to try another copy or not at a later date. At anything but MFD and infinity, when set to f/1.4, it front focuses compared to live view. Since my main use will be at f/1.4 at all distances, this copy won’t do it for me.



Aug 09, 2022 at 03:48 PM
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