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Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical
Now in stock at:

CameraQuest | Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama


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I finally received my Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 Aspherical III today ("SE" E-mount version) and started a rolling review.
I wanted to compare it to a few lenses and also to the VM version. I've had the Leica VM version for a few weeks but unfortunately it was not able to focus at infinity at the lens' hard stop. Currently it's been adjusted and as soon as I get it back, I will compare both E and M mount versions side by side. My initial impression was that VM version performed well on the Sony sensor, except for the mid-field area where the E-mount version seems stronger. I will know more later on.

Let's start with some infinity tests to see how the new Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 Aspherical III performs in regards to resolution, contrast, vignetting and color aberration. Just like the Voigtlander 40/1.2 and 50/1.2 Nokton lenses, the new CV 35mm f/1.2 III is not equipped with a floating system so it performs way better at infinity compared to closer distances. At distances closer than 1m, spherical aberration is very noticeable and images will have lower contrast, resolution and some haze.











Here is a summary with links to the tests and samples images:
  1. Voitlander 35mm f/1.2 SE Infinity distance test for Resolution and Contrast
  2. Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 SE vs 40mm f/1.2 SE
  3. Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 SE vs 35mm f/1.2 III VM + adapter
  4. Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 vs Sony FE 35/2.8 ZA @f/5.6
  5. Chromatic Aberration (LaCA)
  6. Sample images



FM member samples:
  1. @Peire: 1, 2
  2. @ftllens: 1


    ___________________









    Main features:
    1. Full frame Sony FE mount with electrical contacts
    2. Compact Design without clickless video apeture
    3. Optical design optimized for digital imaging sensors
    4. Extremely solid and durable all-metal barrel
    5. Manual focus for precise focusing
    6. Minimum focus distance of 30cm

    Specifications
    1. 35MM F/1.2 Lens
    2. 9 elements, 2 aspheric elements, 4 aspherical surfaces
    3. 12 Aperture Blades for beautiful bokeh
    4. 1/3 stop Click Stops
    5. Filter size 58mm
    6. Close focus .3 meter
    7. Weight: 387 grams
    8. Size: Length 59.9mm, Diameter 63.5mm
    9. Electrical Contacts for EXIF data
    10. Manual Assist Zoom, Auto Lens Correction
    11. 5 axis image stablization for bodies capable
    12. Lens Caps and Lens Hood included



Jun 08, 2020 at 07:14 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Infinity Distance test for Resolution and Contrast

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'.


Center Area





Center at f/1.2 vs f/1.4: Good performance at infinity distance. f/1.4 slightly better. Color aberration is noticeable (purple fringing)







Center at f/1.4 vs f/2: There is a small jump in clarity and overall contrast at f/2. Purple fringing starts to subside.







Center at f/2 vs f/2.8: Excellent performance at f/2.8. Almost absent of color error and high contrast and resolution







Center at f/2.8 vs f/4: At f/4, the center area is optimal. Very strong performance







Center at f/4 vs f/5.6: Very similar performance at these apertures







Center at f/5.6 vs f/8: Still great at f/8, although diffraction starts to creep in.




Jun 08, 2020 at 07:16 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Mid-Field Area





Mid-field f/1.2 vs f/1.4: A little soft at the mid-field area, especially wide open







Mid-field f/1.4 vs f/2: Just like at center, there is a jump in IQ starting at f/2







Mid-field f/2 vs f/2.8: Mid-field area improves further at f/2.8. It's now at good level







Mid-field f/2.8 vs f/4: Very good performance at f/4 with a noticeable improvement from f/2.8







Mid-field f/4 vs f/5.6: Higher resolution at f/5.6. (Optimal for this area)







Mid-field f/5.6 vs f/8: There are similar at these apertures. Perhaps a tad better at f/8




Jun 08, 2020 at 07:18 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Extreme Corner Area





Extreme corner f/1.2 vs f/1.4: Very similar at apertures. Strong astigmatism but still "ok" resolution/contrast







Extreme corner f/1.4 vs f/2: Noticeable improvement at f/2 but astigmatism still present







Extreme corner f/2 vs f/2.8: At f/2.8 there is a jump in IQ towards the corners. higher contrast and resolution and lower astigmatism







Extreme corner f/2.8 vs f/4: IQ improves further at f/4. (approaching the optimal aperture for this area)







Extreme corner f/4 vs f/5.6: Small improvement and now the optimal aperture for the corners







Extreme corner f/5.6 vs f/8: Very similar IQ at these apertures.




Jun 08, 2020 at 07:18 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Any more stimulus packages coming.


Jun 09, 2020 at 12:15 AM
sismailian
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Definitely need more stimulus packages


Jun 09, 2020 at 01:10 AM
Douglas L
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Thanks for the test, Fred. I paid full price for the 40mm f1.2, I have not used it much. I guess at that focal length I am more a zoom guy. I think 35mm may suit me better as a walk around lens. Donít want to lose $500 by selling the 40mm to get the 35mm right now. I have not taken more than 50 pictures with the 40, so if I sell it now it would have cost me $10/picture, very few of which are keepers


Jun 09, 2020 at 04:32 AM
Chris_88
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Fred, I know it's early, but I'm curious about your findings re performance differences between the VM and e-mount versions. A major camera store in Tokyo just posted their review the other day, and among other things they mentioned that the e-mount version showed less purple fringing than the VM version. Also, they argued that stopped down performance was on the same level as the APO Lanthar lenses. I would be interested to hear you thoughts on these points, when you've had more time to evaluate the lens.


Jun 09, 2020 at 07:42 AM
hesb
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


I don't know what stopped down performance means compared to apo lanthar series. The strength of the lanthar series is their performance wide open, especially considering corner to corner sharpness, and CA.
My Nokton 50mm 1.2 E is considered by some to be one of the sharpest lens at 5.6 in center. But I don't think the corners come close to the APO 50. CA at 5.6 are also perfectly corrected whereas under 2.8, fringing can be seen...


On this infinity test Center looks perfect where corners look only good to very good. And as Fred said, at closer distance, it cannot be as good as lenses with floating element.



Jun 09, 2020 at 09:19 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Chris_88 wrote:
Fred, I know it's early, but I'm curious about your findings re performance differences between the VM and e-mount versions. A major camera store in Tokyo just posted their review the other day, and among other things they mentioned that the e-mount version showed less purple fringing than the VM version. Also, they argued that stopped down performance was on the same level as the APO Lanthar lenses. I would be interested to hear you thoughts on these points, when you've had more time to evaluate the lens.


Yes, the E-mount version will show less lateral CA when editing its raw files in Lightroom. However, it's not because it's superior optically.
The reason is that Sony embeds CA correction to the RAW file and that does not happen with the VM lens adapted to Sony or used on a Leica body. Once the VM file is corrected for CA, files from both lenses would look pretty much the same in terms of color error. (There is some correction for purple fringing as well)



Jun 09, 2020 at 11:07 AM
 


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obwohl
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


I am curious if this lens can maybe replace my Ultron 1.7 ... what do you think?



Jun 09, 2020 at 07:02 PM
Chris_88
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


hesb wrote:
I don't know what stopped down performance means compared to apo lanthar series. The strength of the lanthar series is their performance wide open, especially considering corner to corner sharpness, and CA.
My Nokton 50mm 1.2 E is considered by some to be one of the sharpest lens at 5.6 in center. But I don't think the corners come close to the APO 50. CA at 5.6 are also perfectly corrected whereas under 2.8, fringing can be seen...

On this infinity test Center looks perfect where corners look only good to very good. And as Fred said, at closer distance, it cannot
...Show more

I was merely transcribing what that review stated; no need to shoot the messenger. Their point was that the 35 1.2 was different from the APO Lanthars, in that it had a dual character: Usable sharpness with some old school glow wide open (unlike the APO Lanthars that are hard to fault from the wide open) and sharpness on the same level as the APO Lanthars stopped down to f5.6 or f8 at infinity. They also noted the lack of a floating element which obviously effects close up performance, just like it did with the 40 1.2.

This all sounds reasonable to me and I'm curious to see what Fred reports, seeing how there are probably no reviewers with better and more critical eyes around than him.

Fred Miranda wrote:
Yes, the E-mount version will show less lateral CA when editing its raw files in Lightroom. However, it's not because it's superior optically.
The reason is that Sony embeds CA correction to the RAW file and that does not happen with the VM lens adapted to Sony or used on a Leica body. Once the VM file is corrected for CA, files from both lenses would look pretty much the same in terms of color error. (There is some correction for purple fringing as well)


Thanks, Fred. I had forgotten about the "software" part of the package. Looking forward to your comparisons with older 35mm MF glass to get an idea how this compares to the Loxia 35, etc.

Edited on Jun 10, 2020 at 08:17 AM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2020 at 08:06 AM
hesb
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


My message was not meant to shoot anybody, so my apologies if it's been received like this


Jun 10, 2020 at 08:12 AM
hesb
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


The dual character you describe has been excatly what pushed me buying the nokton 50mm and not the apo. Even if I don't think the corners can reach the same level of sharpness, it is sharp enough for my a7r2, and color rendition, contrast, CA correction from f4 are really good. But at F2 it is definitely not on the same level


Jun 10, 2020 at 08:15 AM
Chris_88
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


hesb wrote:
My message was not meant to shoot anybody, so my apologies if it's been received like this


No worries.

I didn't mind the Loxia 35's dual character, when I had that lens. However, I didn't find any joy in using the 40 1.2 (which is supposedly similar or slightly weaker than your 50 1.2), as I couldn't adjust to the 40mm FL. I have had the 50 APO for only a short time, but corona and the rainy season have prevented me taking any pictures as of late.



Jun 10, 2020 at 08:20 AM
Kund
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Hello!

Any chance, WHEN and IF you have the time, to compare this one with the CV 35mm 1.4 Nokton Classic?
My wallet is "itching" me to buy one of those two!

Your work so far is much appreciated!



Jun 10, 2020 at 12:12 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Kund wrote:
Hello!

Any chance, WHEN and IF you have the time, to compare this one with the CV 35mm 1.4 Nokton Classic?
My wallet is "itching" me to buy one of those two!

Your work so far is much appreciated!


Yes, I will test it against the 35/1.4 Nokton Classic. It will take a while as it's in repair right now.



Jun 10, 2020 at 02:17 PM
Justin Stone
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Is this lens inspiring anyone? I was very interested in it, although I think I would have preferred the standard Voigtlander housing, but I just donít see much interest or activity. Iím bumping Fredís mini review from 5 days prior?!

Whoís interested? Or is this just not the 35 to own in E mount?



Jun 15, 2020 at 09:36 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review


Justin Stone wrote:
Is this lens inspiring anyone? I was very interested in it, although I think I would have preferred the standard Voigtlander housing, but I just donít see much interest or activity. Iím bumping Fredís mini review from 5 days prior?!

Whoís interested? Or is this just not the 35 to own in E mount?


I am almost certainly going to get it before long. I almost never get anything right away, however.



Jun 15, 2020 at 10:10 PM
d.s.
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical Review




Fred Miranda wrote:
Yes, I will test it against the 35/1.4 Nokton Classic. It will take a while as it's in repair right now.


VM or FE?



Jun 15, 2020 at 10:16 PM
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