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Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review

  
 
Desmolicious
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p.14 #1 · p.14 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Today Cosina announced that they have discontinued production of the 3 SC versions of Nokton Vintage Line 50/1.5 VM II:

https://www.cosina.co.jp/news/%e3%83%95%e3%82%a9%e3%82%af%e3%83%88%e3%83%ac%e3%83%b3%e3%83%80%e3%83%bcnokton-vintage-line-50mm-f1-5-aspherical-ii-sc-vm-%e7%94%9f%e7%94%a3%e7%b5%82%e4%ba%86%e3%81%ae%e3%81%8a%e7%9f%a5%e3%82%89/

It's a bit surprising since those were not so old. Anyhow, the MC versions are not discontinued so perhaps there wasn't enough demand for the SC versions and Cosina trimmed the lineup.


Sweet! My nickel finish SC is now a collector's item! See the value rise...(eventually).



Apr 12, 2022 at 10:26 AM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #2 · p.14 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


The haptics of the CV 50 1.5 II still bug me. Optically it is fantastic, but haptically it just feels like every choice they made was wrong. And weird.
The absolute nicest lens I have to use is the latest non apo Leica 50 Summicron. Even compared to a Lux Asph. The Summicron's focus ring is perfect in feel, weighting and throw. It also is buttery smooth in action. The aperture ring is light and precise, with no weird tabs that are in an awkward position if you go to min or max aperture.
No idea why the CV is the way it is, especially given that other lenses I have from them - e.g 40 1.2 - are great.



Apr 14, 2022 at 11:29 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.14 #3 · p.14 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


I have the Black MC version of this lens and I'm personally rather happy with the handling of the focus ring, especially when compared to the 1st version of Nokton 50/1.5 VM. I also like it that it's quite similar to the Topcor-S 5cm/2 (I have the Panda version of that and it's my favorite 1950's era lens). From handling perspective the CV 50/2 APO-Lanthar (E-mount) might be #1 favorite among my 50mm lenses but 50/1.5 II is pretty decent in my view as well. Much better than the 50/3.5 Heliar VM for example. The tabs on the aperture ring could be nicer though as mentioned.


Apr 14, 2022 at 12:07 PM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #4 · p.14 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
I have the Black MC version of this lens and I'm personally rather happy with the handling of the focus ring, especially when compared to the 1st version of Nokton 50/1.5 VM. I also like it that it's quite similar to the Topcor-S 5cm/2 (I have the Panda version of that and it's my favorite 1950's era lens). From handling perspective the CV 50/2 APO-Lanthar (E-mount) might be #1 favorite among my 50mm lenses but 50/1.5 II is pretty decent in my view as well. Much better than the 50/3.5 Heliar VM for example. The tabs on the aperture
...Show more

When you compare the handling to the 50 3.5 Heliar, and the v1 50 1.5, you set the bar very very low.



Apr 14, 2022 at 12:38 PM
hmzimelka
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p.14 #5 · p.14 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review




My Silver Nokton 50/1.5 ASPH II has a nice and smooth focus feel, be it a little stiff... but it's still fairly new so it will lighten up a little with time.

The aperture ring tabs, like the Ultron 35mm, are frustrating. Silly stuff.




Apr 14, 2022 at 12:51 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.14 #6 · p.14 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Desmolicious wrote:
When you compare the handling to the 50 3.5 Heliar, and the v1 50 1.5, you set the bar very very low.


Those are some of the lenses I've used a long time and have enjoyed a lot except for the handling part so they are some of my main reference points With those 2 I do or did have complaints on the handling side.

My whole frame of reference is all these 50mm M-mount and LTM lenses and CV lenses in E-mount that I have or have had:
- CV Nokton 50/1.5 VM original version with the "sawtooth" focus ring (don't have this anymore)
- CV Nokton 50/1.5 VM II
- CV Heliar classic 50/2 VM
- CV Heliar classic 50/1.5 VM
- CV Color-Skopar 50/2.5 LTM
- CV Heliar 50/3.5 VM
- CV Nokton 50/1.2 in E-mount (original and the SE version)
- CV APO-Lanthar 50/2 in E-mount (probably best of these for handling, but a bit longer lens that I'd like, esp. the hood)
- Topcor-S 5cm/2 LTM
- Topcor 5cm/2.8 LTM
- Tanaka Kogaku Tanar H.C. 5cm/2 LTM
- Canon 50/1.5 LTM

In that group Nokton 50/1.5 VM II is somewhere in the better half of the pack in terms of handling for me, and doesn't stand out as problematic. I never had any Leica lenses though so can't compare to those. I'm more into mid-priced Japanese rangefinder glass and I only adapt to mirrorless / don't have any Leica or rangefinder cameras so it doesn't make sense to pay Leica prices for glass that is not optimized for the sensors of my cameras in any case.

I'm also not that much into focus tabs or focus pins and can do without those just fine.



Apr 15, 2022 at 02:14 AM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #7 · p.14 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


My Voigtlander lenses:

28mm 3.5 LTM - excellent haptics
40 1.2 M - excellent haptics
50 2.5 LTM - excellent haptics
21mm f4 LTM- excellent haptics
24mm f4 M - excellent haptics
40 2.8 M - avg/good haptics
50 1.1 M - excellent haptics
40mm f2 Nikon F mount - excellent haptics
35 1.4 v2 M - good haptics
50 1.5 vII Vintage - poor haptics



Apr 15, 2022 at 02:21 AM
helimat
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p.14 #8 · p.14 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Desmolicious wrote:
When you compare the handling to the 50 3.5 Heliar, and the v1 50 1.5, you set the bar very very low.




The Heliar is terrible. But so good at the same time



Apr 15, 2022 at 12:10 PM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #9 · p.14 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


helimat wrote:


The Heliar is terrible. But so good at the same time


That is exactly it! An amazing lens in the physically most abysmal configuration! But, if you think the current version is bad, check out the original nickel one. I had one for a day before I returned it to Cameraquest. I could not stand how the aperture ring rattled!
The next one I bought from B&H literally had an insect in it. The third one I bought in Nikon S rangefinder mount and used that on my S2 until I sold that camera. It was so much better than the Nikon S 50 1.4 that it came with.



Apr 15, 2022 at 01:15 PM
helimat
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p.14 #10 · p.14 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Desmolicious wrote:
That is exactly it! An amazing lens in the physically most abysmal configuration! But, if you think the current version is bad, check out the original nickel one. I had one for a day before I returned it to Cameraquest. I could not stand how the aperture ring rattled!
The next one I bought from B&H literally had an insect in it. The third one I bought in Nikon S rangefinder mount and used that on my S2 until I sold that camera. It was so much better than the Nikon S 50 1.4 that it came with.


An insect? No way! 🦟

I love how you can only see what aperture you're set at when you're at infinity as well! It's so weird in so many ways, but at the same time it's been glued to my M10-P since I got it.

Edit; I checked out the original nickel version as suggested, and it is indeed even weirder.

Edited on Apr 15, 2022 at 01:27 PM · View previous versions



Apr 15, 2022 at 01:25 PM
 


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Desmolicious
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p.14 #11 · p.14 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


helimat wrote:
An insect? No way! 🦟

I love how you can only see what aperture you're set at when you're at infinity as well! It's so weird in so many ways, but at the same time it's been glued to my M10-P since I got it.


it looked like a tiny gnat or spider behind the front lens element. At first I thought it was fungus until I examined it closer.



Apr 15, 2022 at 01:27 PM
MOA10
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p.14 #12 · p.14 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


There is no sterner test than the 61mp. The a7rIV f2.8 centre image shows what the little guy has to offer here, wow. The M10 shows more CA in centre at wider apertures. All in all, very impressive, so far.


Apr 23, 2022 at 11:14 AM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #13 · p.14 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Ok I fixed the miserable sharp focus ring by attached a Lenstab Mini. It was made for this lens as the width is exactly the width of the razor edged focus ribs! Now you have a comfy grippy rubber area to use instead, or the focus tab if you prefer.
No lens was harmed in the making of these photos. But I did bend a finger nail, youch.





It was a super tight fit, and the way I figured out to put it on was to turn it inside out, and then roll it on from the lens mount forward.



Apr 25, 2022 at 10:52 PM
1bwana1
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p.14 #14 · p.14 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review




Desmolicious wrote:
Ok I fixed the miserable sharp focus ring by attached a Lenstab Mini. It was made for this lens as the width is exactly the width of the razor edged focus ribs! Now you have a comfy grippy rubber area to use instead, or the focus tab if you prefer.
No lens was harmed in the making of these photos. But I did bend a finger nail, youch.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52031107005_1d82a07f8b_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52030842864_b2f41f7a7b_c.jpg

It was a super tight fit, and the way I figured out to put it on was to turn it inside out, and then roll it on from the lens mount forward.


I also added a rubber tab to mine. It made a huge improvement. When putting on a lens tab you need to stretch them. There is a good video on YouTube that demonstrates how to do it. Great product.



Apr 26, 2022 at 02:39 AM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #15 · p.14 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


The Lenstab has transformed the way the lens handles. Love using it now.

A couple of dusk shots w/ the M240, CV 50 1.5 v2






Apr 28, 2022 at 11:04 AM
RyanDelaney
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p.14 #16 · p.14 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


1bwana1 wrote:
I also added a rubber tab to mine. It made a huge improvement. When putting on a lens tab you need to stretch them. There is a good video on YouTube that demonstrates how to do it. Great product.


Lenstab mini is out of stock on their website. Where are you all purchasing these from? I have the 7A stick on tabs arriving today, but the rubber ring appears to be much more robust and seemingly reliable.



Apr 28, 2022 at 11:12 AM
d.s.
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p.14 #17 · p.14 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


The focus ring seems to me about the same as the ZM lenses, minus the nub, but that doohickey does look nifty.


Apr 28, 2022 at 11:23 AM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #18 · p.14 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


RyanDelaney wrote:
Lenstab mini is out of stock on their website. Where are you all purchasing these from? I have the 7A stick on tabs arriving today, but the rubber ring appears to be much more robust and seemingly reliable.


I was lucky enough to buy the new one Craig was selling here on FM.

I have two of those 7A stick on tabs in my drawer. They fell off the lenses they were attached to.. (they came with the 7A lenses). Any idea as to where/what double sided tape to buy to reattach them?



Apr 28, 2022 at 01:03 PM
Desmolicious
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p.14 #19 · p.14 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


d.s. wrote:
The focus ring seems to me about the same as the ZM lenses, minus the nub, but that doohickey does look nifty.


I've got a bunch of ZM lenses and the focus ring is similar but better on them. I know I'm being picky, but why shouldn't I be when a lens is this expensive and this is such an easy thing to do right? CV nailed it with the 40 1.2, 50 1.0, 35 1.4 v2 etc

The optics and build are great on CV lenses, it's the physical design choices that just seem random to make them stand out in their lineup.



Apr 28, 2022 at 01:10 PM
RyanDelaney
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p.14 #20 · p.14 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 II Aspherical Review


Desmolicious wrote:
I was lucky enough to buy the new one Craig was selling here on FM.

I have two of those 7A stick on tabs in my drawer. They fell off the lenses they were attached to.. (they came with the 7A lenses). Any idea as to where/what double sided tape to buy to reattach them?



I may try a thread locker or similar adhesive.

I love the optics of this lens but find the haptics less than ideal. Granted, I'm used to Fuji so I already reflexively struggle with the 'correct' configuration of CV and M lenses. The larger Lux with a focus tab is much more intuitive when holding the camera and lens. I realize there is a compromise in handling with the benefits in cost savings and lens size, but I'd love to find a way to improve this one.

I'll let you know what I come up with, please do the same.



Apr 28, 2022 at 04:08 PM
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