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Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review

  
 
rico
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p.51 #1 · p.51 #1 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


@modlin CZ D21, first released in the early 1990 as part of the Contax RTS, was the best UWA in the world—and the reason I bought into C/Y mount. Milvus uses the same optical formula, and was already receiving competition on its release. Today, various other lenses like the C/V 21/1.4 have moved to the next level. I really don't understand eBay prices for the D21 C/Y even with the excellent Kyocera build. The biggest problem is the gull-wing distortion that exceeds 2%, and quite obvious lateral color.


Mar 14, 2024 at 08:44 PM
modlin
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p.51 #2 · p.51 #2 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


rico wrote:
.

The biggest problem is the gull-wing distortion that exceeds 2%, and quite obvious lateral color

You lost me a bit here...which one are you talking about 21 zeiss or 21 vm?



Mar 14, 2024 at 08:56 PM
OscarF
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p.51 #3 · p.51 #3 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


rico wrote:
The biggest problem is the gull-wing distortion that exceeds 2%, and quite obvious lateral color



He's talking about the Zeiss 21. From Fred's test: The Voigtlander 21/1.4's distortion is very similar to the Loxia with a simple and easy to correct barrel distortion. The Loxia has slightly more distortion

Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4]Miranda Voigtlander 21mm 1.4 Test


Moderator:
The forum seems to be scrambling up the quotes with posts and using the same orange font...



Mar 14, 2024 at 10:10 PM
CrazyLeicaFox
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p.51 #4 · p.51 #4 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


rico wrote:
CZ D21, first released in the early 1990 as part of the Contax RTS, was the best UWA in the world—and the reason I bought into C/Y mount. Milvus uses the same optical formula, and was already receiving competition on its release.


The Milvus uses the same optical formula as the 21mm from the Zeiss Classic lineup, while the older Contax/Yashica model was different.

Contax/Yashica Distagon 21mm/2.8 PDF

Zeiss Classic Distagon 21mm/2.8 PDF

Zeiss Milvus 21mm/2.8 PDF



Mar 15, 2024 at 06:50 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.51 #5 · p.51 #5 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


modlin wrote:
Hello...sorry for being a bit lazy but 50 pages long thread exhaused me (I gave up after first 10 or so )...so, maybe there was a talk about this lens (or VM ver.) vs 21/2.8 zeiss distagon (or same optics milvus ver.)?
Anyone with both these lenses care to comment?
Thanks


I have had 3 copies of the Zeiss ZE/ZF.2/Milvus 21 f/2.8 that I have used on Canon (5D II), Sony (A7r II), and Nikon (Z7) cameras. I also have had the Voigtlander 21 f/1.4 in Sony E mount that I have used on Sony (A7r II), and Nikon (Z7) cameras.

Both lenses are excellent and produce nice contrasty high resolution images. They are some obvious differences. The Zeiss lens is a lot bigger. The Voigtlander lens is two stops faster. The Zeiss lens has the mustache distortion described above and that is noticeable in some images (although I find for nature images it often is not very noticeable), whereas the Voigtlander lens has simple barrel distortion that typically isn't noticeable. The Zeiss ZE/ZF/ZF.2 lens is available at a really low price now days and can be adapted to any mirrorless camera system. I have not had trouble adapting either lens. The Voigtlander lens takes a lot smaller filters, 62mm vs. 82mm.

I think the Zeiss lens is a great option on a budget if you primarily shoot landscapes, but the smaller size and wider aperture of the Voigtlander lens makes it easier to carry and more versatile and for many photographers will be worth the extra cost.



Mar 15, 2024 at 07:18 AM
Ripolini
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p.51 #6 · p.51 #6 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


CrazyLeicaFox wrote:
The Milvus uses the same optical formula as the 21mm from the Zeiss Classic lineup, while the older Contax/Yashica model was different.


That's right. Here is the comparison of the MTF plots of the current ZF/ZE 21/2.8 and the older CY model.
The ZF/ZE lens should perform slightly better w/open.




Mar 15, 2024 at 07:21 AM
sselhtrim
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p.51 #7 · p.51 #7 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Has anyone managed to get the vm hood separately? Does it fit on the e mount version?


Mar 15, 2024 at 11:58 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.51 #8 · p.51 #8 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Ripolini wrote:



That's right. Here is the comparison of the MTF plots of the current ZF/ZE 21/2.8 and the older CY model.
The ZF/ZE lens should perform slightly better w/open.

https://download.nikonimagespace.com/2eb0a83528128fa3ff731431d0a0ae5e/old_and_new_21F28.jpg


In this particular case there is more information that makes the comparison slightly more complicated. Roger Cicala also measured the performance of a number of ZE 21 f/2.8 lenses and the measured performance averaged across the several lenses he tested is reported here:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2019/03/just-mtf-charts-zeiss-slr-lenses/

It is slightly worse than the MTF's that Zeiss provides for the C/Y 21 f/2.8. So, we don't know have the same sort of tests for several C/Y lenses as we have for the ZE lenses, but Roger's tests at least raise the possibility that in lenses that have been in use for awhile the ZE version might be slightly worse than the C/Y version.



Mar 15, 2024 at 12:02 PM
Ripolini
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p.51 #9 · p.51 #9 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I wouldn't compare the ZE 21/2.8 MTF curves measured (and averaged) by Lensrentals to CY 21/2.8 MTF plots acquired by Zeiss.


Mar 15, 2024 at 12:44 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.51 #10 · p.51 #10 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Ripolini wrote:
I wouldn't compare the ZE 21/2.8 MTF curves measured (and averaged) by Lensrentals to CY 21/2.8 MTF plots acquired by Zeiss.


I would compare the ZE 21 f/2.8 MTF curves reported by Zeiss and the ZE 21 f/2.8 MTF curved measured and averaged by lens rentals blog, and when they don't match that closely as is the case here it isn't clear to me which measurement is a better representation of that lens's performance.

I would further argue with that ambiguity it is hard to know whether the ZE 21 f/2.8 performs better than the C/Y 21 f/2.8 as the two measurements suggest different things about that comparison.



Mar 15, 2024 at 01:00 PM
 


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Maximilian
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p.51 #11 · p.51 #11 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
I would compare the ZE 21 f/2.8 MTF curves reported by Zeiss and the ZE 21 f/2.8 MTF curved measured and averaged by lens rentals blog, and when they don't match that closely as is the case here it isn't clear to me which measurement is a better representation of that lens's performance.


I wouldn't know either, but I remember that Roger Cicala once wrote somewhere that indeed his MTF test device can lead to values for the frame edges/corners that are "worse than in reality" (roughly quoted).



Mar 15, 2024 at 01:40 PM
Ripolini
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p.51 #12 · p.51 #12 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I guess that Zeiss published the best MTF plots for each lens, i.e., the curves of those 'real' lenses that more closely resemble the theoretical ones (I bet they do not test one lens only). Under this hypothesis and - most important - according to data acquired by Zeiss technicians using the same measurement methodology - the ZF/ZE 21/2.8 performs slightly better w/open than the previous C/Y version; their performance is almost identical @ f/5.6. Finding that a more modern design of an already great lens gives better results isn't that surprising


Mar 15, 2024 at 01:45 PM
modlin
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p.51 #13 · p.51 #13 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
I have had 3 copies of the Zeiss ZE/ZF.2/Milvus 21 f/2.8 that I have used on Canon (5D II), Sony (A7r II), and Nikon (Z7) cameras. I also have had the Voigtlander 21 f/1.4 in Sony E mount that I have used on Sony (A7r II), and Nikon (Z7) cameras.

Both lenses are excellent and produce nice contrasty high resolution images. They are some obvious differences. The Zeiss lens is a lot bigger. The Voigtlander lens is two stops faster. The Zeiss lens has the mustache distortion described above and that is noticeable in some images (although I find
...Show more

I do have 21 ZE Distagon and I am very happy with it...use it on my Canon bodies plus on SL2
Was just curious if 21 VM will provide a substantial positive difference in iq
Wt/size is not a problem for me at all
I guess, save the money for something else (?)...



Mar 15, 2024 at 02:07 PM
sandycrane
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p.51 #14 · p.51 #14 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


After shooting the bulbous 21 ZF for a number of years I was overjoyed to find the comparatively tiny Voigtlander 21/1.4. Fast and small with great IQ.



Mar 15, 2024 at 03:57 PM
Maximilian
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p.51 #15 · p.51 #15 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


modlin wrote

Was just curious if 21 VM will provide a substantial positive difference in iq



I don't think so.



Mar 15, 2024 at 04:06 PM
virtualrain
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p.51 #16 · p.51 #16 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


I searched through this thread but couldn’t find much on how this 21 Nokton compares with the 21 f/3.5 Color-Skopar… in image quality at f4-f11… has anyone owned both?


Mar 16, 2024 at 03:08 AM
MAubrey
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p.51 #17 · p.51 #17 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


virtualrain wrote:
I searched through this thread but couldn’t find much on how this 21 Nokton compares with the 21 f/3.5 Color-Skopar… in image quality at f4-f11… has anyone owned both?


Fred has compared both lenses to the Loxia 21mm, you could probably decide which you prefer using the Loxia as a point of reference between them.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1566500/0#14632368
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1603441/0#14903019

The main thing is that the 21mm f/3.5 has a mid-zone dip that never quite catches up with the Loxia (and thus, also, the Nokton).



Mar 16, 2024 at 07:51 AM
virtualrain
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p.51 #18 · p.51 #18 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review




MAubrey wrote:
Fred has compared both lenses to the Loxia 21mm, you could probably decide which you prefer using the Loxia as a point of reference between them.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1566500/0#14632368
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1603441/0#14903019

The main thing is that the 21mm f/3.5 has a mid-zone dip that never quite catches up with the Loxia (and thus, also, the Nokton).


Do you think it’s an optical upgrade then for spertures they have in common?



Mar 16, 2024 at 02:25 PM
MAubrey
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p.51 #19 · p.51 #19 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


virtualrain wrote:
Do you think it’s an optical upgrade then for spertures they have in common?


The Nokton is certainly optically better at larger apertures, though from Fred's tests, if you're shooting landscapes at f/8, they're really close. If that's your primary subject, I don't think you can go wrong with a lens as small as the Color-Skopar. But they're both superb lenses. It's a hard choice!



Mar 16, 2024 at 04:14 PM
photonoclast
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p.51 #20 · p.51 #20 · Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton Review


virtualrain wrote:
I searched through this thread but couldn’t find much on how this 21 Nokton compares with the 21 f/3.5 Color-Skopar… in image quality at f4-f11… has anyone owned both?


I wonder about copy variation in all these tests. I apparently lucked into a stellar copy of the color-skopar. I honestly can't see any evidence of the reported mid-zone dip in any real photos. It's super sharp across the frame at f5.6, and plenty good enough wide open. If I were you I'd make my decision based purely on your need for f1.4 vs your desire for ultrasmall - that's the tradeoff, and I doubt you'd see any important difference beyond f4 or at least f5.6.



Mar 16, 2024 at 05:08 PM
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