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Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review

  
 
MEDISN
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p.43 #1 · p.43 #1 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Nice samples from San Clemente, my town!

The Voigtlander 21/1.4 Nokton performs just as good on the M and SL. I have done controlled tests on this and actually corners perform a little better on the latter to my surprise. Not the case with the Leica 21/3.4 SEM.


Thanks Fred. I was at T-street shooting a grom for promo series with some super-teles. The light was so good that morning, I grabbed the 21/1.4 and walked over to the pier for a coffee at Bear Coast. That was a mistake as shooting a manual focus lens with one hand...well made for a few laughs on the walk back

I haven't tried the 21 SEM on the SL but use it often with the M as a walk-around. I think the Voigtlander 21/1.4 will be well suited for landscapes on the SL2 and low light indoor/event settings for unique look. Having loved the Sony + Loxia 21 combination in the past, I have been waiting for a similar landscape pairing for the SL2. Based on your review here I think it will do quite nicely. More to come.




Jan 26, 2022 at 12:41 PM
rscheffler
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p.43 #2 · p.43 #2 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Steve and Fred (or Rich or anyone) have you used the ZM 21/2.8? And thanks for the insight on the 21 SEM—interesting and telling you both like it so much. The ZM seems to be reviewed well and praised. Wonder how it stack up against the CV 21/3.5 and 21 SEM.


Sorry, I missed this. I had the ZM for a number of years and at one time had it, the SEM, 21 Lux and VM21/1.8 at the same time. I wrote a review comparing the four.

TLDR from the review: the ZM has some field curvature that will affect across-frame sharpness of certain types of images (like brick walls) until about f/5.6. Depending on the sensor design, it's also more likely to cause edge color shifts. It was a problem for me on the M9 until later in that camera's firmware cycle. Of course Leica didn't address the problem of the ZM directly, but fixed edge color shift correction profiles for a number of older lenses, including the one I used for the ZM. I'd have to look through my results with it on the original a7/a7R cameras but have the feeling it wasn't good for both edge sharpness and also color shift on those pre-BSI sensors.

IMO the ZM is now in a 'no man's land' of 21mm options. The SEM is overall better optically and for Leica-centric UX, the VM21/3.5 is smaller, cheaper and probably close to as good, optically (I have yet to try it but from sample images and the comments here, it appears to slightly trail the SEM). And for similar ZM 21/2.8 money, one can buy one of the fast VM options that also perform very well stopped down.

I think if you had one and liked it, then carry on. If you don't have one, the only reason to get it would be if the price was too good to resist and you want Zeiss rendering. But I'm not really sure how much the ZM has of that, compared to other Zeiss lenses beloved for this characteristic.



Jan 26, 2022 at 02:22 PM
sandycrane
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p.43 #3 · p.43 #3 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I'm getting confused. This seems to be a mixture of lens performance on Leica and Sony cameras. Can I assume that comments regarding lens performance on one brand of camera will also apply to the other?


Jan 26, 2022 at 02:43 PM
Majestictone
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p.43 #4 · p.43 #4 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I just completed reading this entire thread that started this past Friday night. Lots of great information and and outstanding images. The 21/1.4 NOKTON has been on my radar for quite awhile to go along with my recently acquired 40/1.2 NOKTON. Thank you for all great insight… I was divided between the NOKTON and the Loxia and after the feel and haptics of the 40, I know the direction I’m going….


Feb 08, 2022 at 09:04 PM
Douglas L
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p.43 #5 · p.43 #5 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Majestictone wrote:
I just completed reading this entire thread that started this past Friday night. Lots of great information and and outstanding images. The 21/1.4 NOKTON has been on my radar for quite awhile to go along with my recently acquired 40/1.2 NOKTON. Thank you for all great insight… I was divided between the NOKTON and the Loxia and after the feel and haptics of the 40, I know the direction I’m going….


The used price for this lens is ridiculously cheap too...



Feb 08, 2022 at 09:32 PM
MEDISN
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p.43 #6 · p.43 #6 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


A few from this week. SL2 + NOKTON 21/1.4

Incidentally, the camera and lens got splashed by a wave hitting the rocks under me during the long exposure in the fourth photo below. Not worried about the camera, I rinsed it off with distilled water when I got home, but the grooves around the NOKTON barrel picked up sand and made quite the racket when turned. I was able to vacuum out the sand with a shop vac and carefully wipe down the lens. Who knows what salt will do over time. Use it while it lasts!




































Feb 18, 2022 at 03:14 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.43 #7 · p.43 #7 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


MEDISN wrote:
A few from this week. SL2 + NOKTON 21/1.4

Incidentally, the camera and lens got splashed by a wave hitting the rocks under me during the long exposure in the fourth photo below. Not worried about the camera, I rinsed it off with distilled water when I got home, but the grooves around the NOKTON barrel picked up sand and made quite the racket when turned. I was able to vacuum out the sand with a shop vac and carefully wipe down the lens. Who knows what salt will do over time. Use it while it lasts!



Cool shots! I would send that lens to DAG immediately to be cleaned. With saltwater, it will die sooner rather than later.

https://www.dagcamera.com/contact.html



Feb 18, 2022 at 05:16 PM
groune
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p.43 #8 · p.43 #8 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Any idea how the lens performs with a Panasonic S1 ?


Feb 19, 2022 at 04:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.43 #9 · p.43 #9 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


groune wrote:
Any idea how the lens performs with a Panasonic S1 ?


It performs optimally on the SL2 (which was surprising to me) so it's possible it's ok on the Panasonic, not sure, never tried.



Feb 19, 2022 at 05:28 PM
MEDISN
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p.43 #10 · p.43 #10 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
It performs optimally on the SL2 (which was surprising to me) so it's possible it's ok on the Panasonic, not sure, never tried.


This what sold me on this lens

I blame Leica for making the SL line so convenient to use with M-lenses. I end up purchasing more of both which is brilliant for Leica (and Voigtlander) revenue stream, not so much for my "retire at 55" goal!



Feb 20, 2022 at 12:39 PM
 


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groune
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p.43 #11 · p.43 #11 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
It performs optimally on the SL2 (which was surprising to me) so it's possible it's ok on the Panasonic, not sure, never tried.


Yes the SL2 is optimized for M lenses, not the S1 sadly.



Feb 20, 2022 at 04:01 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.43 #12 · p.43 #12 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


groune wrote:
Yes the SL2 is optimized for M lenses, not the S1 sadly.


The SL2 works well with M lenses but it's really optimized for SL lenses. Still better with M lenses compared to all other mirrorless brands.



Feb 20, 2022 at 10:35 PM
RexGig0
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p.43 #13 · p.43 #13 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


sandycrane wrote:
I'm getting confused. This seems to be a mixture of lens performance on Leica and Sony cameras. Can I assume that comments regarding lens performance on one brand of camera will also apply to the other?


A best practice is to never assume equivalent performance, across multiple camera systems. Check each post, carefully, to see the camera/lens combination. Each generation of camera can also introduce more differences.

Some cameras that do not perform optimally, with some M-mount lenses, such as Sony, can have their filter stacks modified, to perform better with M-mount lenses. Look for such key words as “Kolari,” which performs this service.

Voigtlander makes some lenses, for both the Sony mount, and the M-mount. This requires paying even closer attention, to the posts.

In some of the posts, I cannot tell which lens has been used. I reckon that it would not hurt, to ask, if one needed to be certain.

I have not used M-mount lenses on non-Leica cameras, and have not used any Sony interchangeable-lens cameras, so cannot provide further details.




Feb 21, 2022 at 10:06 PM
goldscott
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p.43 #14 · p.43 #14 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


goldscott wrote:
Hi All,

I just bought a Nokton 21 VM lens. I tend to shoot in dark places, so wide open performance is important to me. Can you help me determine if I have a bad copy of the lens. In the composite image below, Nokton on the left and Summilux 24 on the right, both shot at f1.4 from a tripod. These are small crops from the center of the image. Does the Nokton look hazy/blurry/less sharp than the Lux? I see 'glow' on the white letters on the spine of the black book. Is this normal, or do I have
...Show more

I ended up returning my Nokton 21. I wasn't happy with the "glow" and softness wide open. I think it was just my copy, because everyone else's photos look much better.



Mar 01, 2022 at 11:53 AM
sandycrane
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p.43 #15 · p.43 #15 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Unfortunately the samples on your previous post are a little too small to judge. But if you're going to see spherical aberration in a fast lens wide open / close up is where it will probably show up. Have fun with your Leica.


Mar 01, 2022 at 12:31 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.43 #16 · p.43 #16 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


After a long debate I decided to buy this lens, I found one at B&H and after a non scientific test looks like it is a very sharp copy.

Noticed a very strong vignette wide open and some CA, but so far a very nice lens.
































Mar 22, 2022 at 10:00 PM
zalmyb
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p.43 #17 · p.43 #17 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Just got this lovely little (not so little) lens and am enjoying putting it through the paces. Definitely a unique look wide open...

I'm sure this has been answered somewhere, but can anyone help with an adapter to Sony that is accurate at infinity (ie infinity on the lens is infinity in practice?). I have 2 and both focus past infinity, which makes focusing by distance, zone, or hyperlocal, more complicated than it should be...

thanks!












Mar 23, 2022 at 03:48 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.43 #18 · p.43 #18 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I am really enjoying using this lens in the city, I bought it planning to use it in my next trip to Spain and I think because the size and IQ it will be a great travel companion.






















Mar 25, 2022 at 12:26 PM
lookert
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p.43 #19 · p.43 #19 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


zalmyb wrote:
Just got this lovely little (not so little) lens and am enjoying putting it through the paces. Definitely a unique look wide open...

I'm sure this has been answered somewhere, but can anyone help with an adapter to Sony that is accurate at infinity (ie infinity on the lens is infinity in practice?). I have 2 and both focus past infinity, which makes focusing by distance, zone, or hyperlocal, more complicated than it should be...

thanks!


If the adapter is for sure the problem here, I've had great luck with Novoflex. They are pricy outside of Europe but they are very well machined. Another option might be the Voigtländer make close focus adapter.

Lovely images.



Mar 26, 2022 at 12:22 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.43 #20 · p.43 #20 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


goldscott wrote:
I ended up returning my Nokton 21. I wasn't happy with the "glow" and softness wide open. I think it was just my copy, because everyone else's photos look much better.


That's surprising since the 21/1.4 Nokton is well corrected for SA. It's also equipped with a floating system which means it's sharp and contrasty even at close distance. Perhaps your copy had an issue with element spacing.



Mar 29, 2022 at 12:41 PM
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