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Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


FM Review: Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton
Order the Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton: B&H Photo | Amazon | Camera Quest


Review quick links:
  1. About the lens
  2. Infinity Performance
  3. Sunstar rendering
  4. Longitudinal CA Correction (LoCA)
  5. Purple Fringing (LoCA)
  6. Lateral CA Correction (LaCA)
  7. Distortion
  8. Specular Highlights (Bokeh balls)
  9. Minimal Focus Distance performance (MFD)
  10. Infinity distance comparison to Voigtlander 65/2 APO
  11. Final Thoughts
  12. Sample Images 1
  13. Sample Images 2



About the lens:

The Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton is a fast and compact medium telephoto M-mount lens available in black and silver variants.
I will be testing the black version on the Sony A7R III via adapter.











Weighing only 350g (+ 50g adapter), it's surprisingly light for a 75mm lens with a fast aperture. It measures 63.3mm long and 62.8mm in diameter and has a 58mm filter thread. Like all newer Cosina lenses, it features a 12-straight blade aperture mechanism for beautiful 12-point defined sunstars.

The optical design is quite rich including three anomalous partial dispersion elements and one aspherical element. A slit-style lens hood is included, and will match the black or chrome finish of the lens itself. It gives the lens a very attractive 'vintage' look.



Focus throw is about 90 degrees from 0.7m to infinity and it travels with a nice resistance allowing great focus precision at all distances. At minimal focus distance, the lens is extended by 0.5 inch and the aperture ring stops down in 1/2 stops.


Optical Design: 7 elements (including 3 Low Dispersion and 1 aspherical)










Main Specifications:











Infinity Performance:

When reviewing the lens, I knew the Voigtlander 75/1.5 was optimized for portrait distance - but I was surprised by the great performance at long distance as well. Not only is it capable of unique rendering but it's also a solid choice for landscapes as well. In this review, I'll compare it to the Voigtlander 65/2 APO, a lens I consider to be the reference in terms of high resolution and contrast at all distances.

There is some field curvature visible at wider apertures. The mid-field area is the most affected by the wavy curvature. More on that later on.
My sample copy is perfectly symmetric even with the adapter.


Here is the full image thumbnail showing the areas demonstrated at 1:1 magnification.








  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight
  4. Lens perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom with my default landscape sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected. All in-camera corrections turned 'off'.


The CV 75/1.5 is outstanding starting at f/2.8 for the center area, while the mid-zone and extreme corners need a couple more stops to achieve optimal resolution and contrast.












At center, it achieves optimal resolution/contrast at f/4, while the mid-zone and extreme corners improve dramatically. A broader depth of field masks the field curvature and the lens starts to shine.











Moving off-axis, the mid-field and extreme corner areas benefits from f/5.6 for maximum resolution/contrast.











f/6.7 seems to be the optimal aperture for the extreme corners. At f/8 (half stop down) it remains just as good with only a slight improvement.












Sunstar Rendering: 12-point

Voigtlander is now using 12 aperture blades for all their new releases. Lenses like the CV 50/1.2, CV 21/1.4 and the new CV 75/1.5 Nokton are all equipped with 12 blades. At first, I didn't notice much difference but now I much prefer having 12-point sunstars. Another benefit of the new aperture mechanism is that it renders shorter sun-rays at smaller apertures compared to the older 10-blade design.
The CV 75/1.5 is capable of defined sunstars from f/2 and they look very defined at f/2.8 and f/4 apertures.

Here are a few samples. (f/2.8, f/2 and f/4)
Notice from the samples below, that flare resistance and CA are also well controlled. More on that later...
































Longitudinal CA Correction (LoCA)

In real world images, longitudinal CA (LoCA) is not very noticeable even in high contrast areas. There is definitely some green/magenta fringing but nothing out of the ordinary and correction is actually above average for a fast lens.
No automatic profile applied in Lightroom so, there is no in-camera nor post-processing correction for this lens.

Here are a few samples:


Thumbnail showing full image




1:1 crop magnification











Thumbnail showing full image




1:1 crop magnification











Thumbnail showing full image




1:1 crop magnification












Purple Fringing (LoCA)

Purple fringing will be visible in areas of high contrast on the focus plane. I'd say it's an good performance for a fast lens.

Here is a torture test sample showing high reflective chrome in high contrast lighting. Even well corrected fast lenses wouldn't do much better except for truly APO lenses. (Like the CV 65/2)











1:1 crop from image above










Sample 2











1:1 crop from image above. Good correction here.










Thumbnail showing full image




1:1 crop from image above














Lateral CA Correction (LaCA)

Lateral CA (LaCA) is also low and when checking LR's "Remove CA", it's pretty much gone.


Lateral CA correction "OFF"











Lateral CA correction "ON"











Distortion Correction:

The CV 75/1.5 Nokton is well corrected for distortion only showing a slight pincushion. It's visible in real world images but not very apparent and very easy to correct in post if desired.

Here are a couple samples.












Notice the slight pincushion distortion on grout area between the tiles











Specular Highlights (Bokeh balls)

A slight outlining is visible on specular highlights at close-up portrait distance (1m) and this effect is a little more pronounced at infinity distance. Traces of onion ring pattern are also visible but honestly, it's not noticeable in real world images.

Bokeh balls are no longer rounded starting at f/2. This is typical of lenses with a straight blade aperture.

Left: f/1.5 | Right: f/2 (both at 1:1 magnification)










Here is an aperture series at 1m distance (top) and infinity distance (bottom):

f/1.5, f/2, f/2.4 and f/2.8:


At f/1.5: 1m (top), infinity (bottom)











At f/2: 1m (top), infinity (bottom)











At f/2.4: 1m (top), infinity (bottom)











At f/2.8: 1m (top), infinity (bottom)











Minimal Focus Distance performance (MFD)

The Voigtlander 75/1.5 Nokton are low in contrast and hazy at 0.7m (MFD) but already improve greatly at f/2 and is optimal by f/2.4.

Here is a comparison at 1:1 magnification comparison f/1.5, f/2, f/2.4 and f/2.8 apertures at MFD:











Infinity distance comparison to Voigtlander 65/2 APO

Due to its outstanding resolution, contrast and lack of color aberration at infinity distance the Voigtlander 65/2 APO E-mount is my current go to mid telephoto lens for landscapes. However, this new CV 75/1.5 put up a great fight when I compared the two. They performed similar at smaller apertures - by f/2.8 it matches the CV 65/2 APO's center, by f/4 it matches its mid-field and at f/8 it comes close to the CV 65/2's corners.

See the comparisons below at 1:1 magnification:

At center and f/2.8, The CV 75/1.5 crop looks similar to the CV 65/2 APO:



















At mid-field and f/4 or f/5.6, The CV 75/1.5 also competes well against the CV 65/2 APO:



















At the very extreme corners from f/5.6 until f/8, The CV 75/1.5 comes close but does not quite match the CV 65/2 APO's performance:


















Final Thoughts

Producing beautiful images with undeniable Voigtlander character, the new Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton is packed with impressive specifications. This versatile lens delivers stunning portraits with smooth rendering from wide open, and solid landscapes capturing fine detail across the frame by f/5.6 at infinity distance. Although there's a slight field curvature when using it on a Sony body (likely due to the lens' short exit pupil), this only becomes an issue when using it for landscapes at wider apertures*. By f/4 or f/5.6, field curvature is masked by depth of field, making the Voigtlander 75/1.5 a compact and competent tele option for landscape photography.

*Update: I've tested this lens on a Leica body and see similar wavy field curvature. It looks like it's a characteristic of this lens and likely what allows to be so compact for a fast telephoto.

Starting at f/2.8, the 75/1.5 Nokton produces well-defined 12-point sunstars and flare resistance is top-notch. That's a winning combination for shooting against the light or when the sun is in the frame.

It's optimized for mid to long-distance but it still does a formidable job at f/2 for shorter distances where residual spherical aberration slightly reduces contrast and increases veiling which are great ingredients for natural and pleasant skin tones.

All in all, Voigtlander wins the hearts of photographers seeking a lens for aesthetic images with smooth rendering, the right amount of blur, and high resolution/contrast starting at mid-distance.

The only thing missing now - is for Voigtlander to release a 75mm f/1.5 Nokton optimized for the E-mount.
We can only dream...

______________

Order the Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton: B&H Photo | Amazon | Camera Quest




Aug 10, 2019 at 09:46 PM
fsiagian
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Thanks Fred. Would you also please take some portrait shots?


Aug 11, 2019 at 10:04 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


fsiagian wrote:
Thanks Fred. Would you also please take some portrait shots?


Here is a sample with very complex background which is really a torture test for portraits. Not many lenses would do well with foliage so close to the subject. I think the new Voigtlander 75/1.5 @f/1.5 did a pretty good job here wide.




Voigtlander 75/1.5 Nokton @f/1.5

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/400s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  






1:1 crop from image above




Aug 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM
fsiagian
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Here is a sample with very complex background which is really a torture test for portraits. Not many lenses would do well with foliage so close to the subject. I think the new Voigtlander 75/1.5 @f/1.5 did a pretty good job here wide.

Awesome. Thank you Fred.




Aug 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM
vdo1
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


For Sony E-mount users I think this lens has to fight an uphill battle with the Batis 85, which is both native and AF. The Loxia 85 is easier to overtake.


Aug 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Sample Images 1

All uncorrected for CA




f/1.5

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/2500s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  






f/1.5

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/4000s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  






f/1.5

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/1000s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  






f/1.5

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/1600s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  






1:1 crop of image above






f/2

  ILCE-7RM3    ---- lens    1/4000s    100 ISO    +2.0 EV  




Aug 11, 2019 at 08:53 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Nice. Love the fall off


Aug 11, 2019 at 09:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


GMPhotography wrote:
Nice. Love the fall off


I wish the CV 65/2 APO rendered like this!



Aug 11, 2019 at 10:23 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


What I like is itís just smooth. No swirling or blotchy OOF areas . Itís more like butter falloff if that makes sense. No bumps, bruises and weird texture in the OOF areas and a lot of pop in the focused areas.


Aug 11, 2019 at 10:40 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Cosina continue to surprise with their ability to do more with less. This one is 1.5 stops faster than the Loxia 85mm, with the same design complexity (7/6 against 7/7). It is also (ironically) much more faithful to the Sonnar design than the Loxia 85/2.4 which looks like Zeiss kept adding single elements into a long tube.

See below a diagram of a famous APO lens, showing only its front 7 elements in a 7/6 format. You can scan back to Fred's top post to compare, right down to the near-identical front end placement of the APD elements and their shapes. (Zeiss had to work much harder in the 135/2 with an extra APD and the two cemented element pairs at the back.) Cosina used Zeiss's modern trick of employing a single asph element at the very back of the lens for its fast high end designs (Otus 55/85 and Milvus 35). So it's a 'neo Sonnar', a boosted development of the traditional Carl Zeiss designs. A beautiful lens by what we have seen so far, with very little to complain about.





front 7/6 section of the Milvus 135/2 APO




Aug 11, 2019 at 11:35 PM
 


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GMPhotography
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


You folks are just trouble makers. All I can say is Big Bronco tests are coming. 😂

I just ordered this lens

I ordered from my stomping ground from cameraquest. They are in stock

Edited on Aug 12, 2019 at 08:21 AM · View previous versions



Aug 12, 2019 at 08:16 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


GMPhotography wrote:
You folks are just trouble makers. All I can say is Big Bronco tests are coming. 😂

I just ordered this lens


That is good news, Guy. It will be good to have another test. Fred's and Phillip's tests are mostly consistent, which isn't surprising as they both do an excellent job, but one area that they appear to differ is in how wide the central area of sharpness is at portrait distance. Fred's shot of his daughter above is very very sharp and is not a central frame--I would love a copy of the lens that performed like that--but Phillip's test show a much smaller central area of sharpness. It may just be sample variation, but anything you could add to address that issue would be very much appreciated. It is great we will now have 3 excellent tests.



Aug 12, 2019 at 08:21 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Thanks Steve Iíll get something going for sure. Fred and Phillip are excellent at testing lenses and about the only guys I trust so there results pushed me over the edge... yes more the merrier. Iím taking a nice trip with my wife for several days alone in La Jolla than joined by my kids and grandkids in San Diego in a beach house . So should be fun. Iím just going with my 21,50,75 all CV and all as fast as 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5

Thatís pretty cool right there all fast glass



Aug 12, 2019 at 08:26 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
That is good news, Guy. It will be good to have another test. Fred's and Phillip's tests are mostly consistent, which isn't surprising as they both do an excellent job, but one area that they appear to differ is in how wide the central area of sharpness is at portrait distance. Fred's shot of his daughter above is very very sharp and is not a central frame--I would love a copy of the lens that performed like that--but Phillip's test show a much smaller central area of sharpness. It may just be sample variation, but anything you could add
...Show more

I'm confident on my copy since it's symmetric at f/1.5 but it's hard to be sure if it performs optimally at all distances unless comparing it to at least 2 or 3 copies.

When using the CV 75/1.5 on the Sony, field curvature could be a negative for landscapes at "wide apertures". (f/4 already masks its effect)
However, with portraits, field curvature is not as relevant with the subject off-axis because we would be focusing on that area. I still don't know for sure if the FC is a characteristic of the lens. The only way to know for sure is to test it on a Leica or modified Sony. It's also not clear if Voigtlander will produce this lens for the E-mount.



Aug 12, 2019 at 12:28 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Mine might be here as soon as tomorrow . Just got a note from Stephan thanking me.

Cant recommend CameraQuest enough. Ultimately they keep this forum abreast of all things Voigtlander as Fred gets loaners to test and i just buy everything CV.

Edited on Aug 12, 2019 at 01:01 PM · View previous versions



Aug 12, 2019 at 12:46 PM
fsiagian
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Thinking about ordering one as it serves as a 75mm on Sony and a 105mm on Fuji.



Aug 12, 2019 at 12:51 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Added Distortion correction to the review.
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1608503/0?nc=1#chapter7

It's well corrected but images show some pincushion distortion.
Here are a couple samples:




Wide open (f/1.5)






f/2: Notice the pincushion distortion on the grout lines around the tiles




Aug 12, 2019 at 02:27 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Nice test . Itís very minimal though


Aug 12, 2019 at 02:55 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Fred do you like the hood. You know me just wondering




Aug 12, 2019 at 02:58 PM
LBJ2
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander 75mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


This lens does have the Pop. E.g., Fred's white jeep image and Genji's blue VW bus image.


Aug 12, 2019 at 03:02 PM
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