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Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #1 · p.16 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Scene 6:

This was at 0.9m which is the MFD for the Voigtlander. The Sony focuses way closer and still maintains outstanding sharpness.





TOP: Sony @f/1.2 | Bottom: Voigtlander @f/1






focused area at 100% magnification. (Sony = wow!)






corner area at 100% magnification




Mar 01, 2022 at 08:08 PM
grahamgibson
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p.16 #2 · p.16 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Sony = Wow!


Indeed... thanks for sharing the rendering comparison!

Actually, the CV50/1 looks pretty close when looking at the scene overall, but the details tell a different story. At 100%, the Sony is really amazing, and while it's somewhat expected for being ~60% larger than the CV, the Sony still seems quite compact compared to its AF contemporaries.



Mar 02, 2022 at 01:05 PM
LarsHP
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p.16 #3 · p.16 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


The resolution and general performance wide open of that Sony lens is truly spectacular. It makes the Nokton f/1 look weak... and regarding blur (f/1 versus f/1.2), there isn't much difference even in the center where it should be most evident.

Those who bought the Noctilux f/0.95 Asph thinking it's a reference class lens because it's a Leica, won't like seeing this thread. The Nokton is both smaller, lighter and sharper. And then the Sony lens comes along and just hammers the Voigtländer. They are of course made with different design goals, but still...



Mar 02, 2022 at 01:39 PM
genji
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p.16 #4 · p.16 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
The resolution and general performance wide open of that Sony lens is truly spectacular. It makes the Nokton f/1 look weak... and regarding blur (f/1 versus f/1.2), there isn't much difference even in the center where it should be most evident.

Those who bought the Noctilux f/0.95 Asph thinking it's a reference class lens because it's a Leica, won't like seeing this thread. The Nokton is both smaller, lighter and sharper. And then the Sony lens comes along and just hammers the Voigtländer. They are of course made with different design goals, but still...


I have the Sony 50/1.2 GM and it is, as Fred’s tests demonstrate, optically outstanding. But all that goodness comes—for me at least—with a significant penalty: its size and weight which, to be fair, don’t get in the way of its amazingly fast and accurate autofocus. So as much as I like the results the 50GM yields, carrying it around for three or four hours on the street is just too unpleasant. If Sony offered a 50/1.4 G lens that was 90% as good optically but smaller and lighter, I’d swap my GM for it without hesitation.



Mar 02, 2022 at 03:37 PM
MAubrey
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p.16 #5 · p.16 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


genji wrote:
I have the Sony 50/1.2 GM and it is, as Fred’s tests demonstrate, optically outstanding. But all that goodness comes—for me at least—with a significant penalty: its size and weight which, to be fair, don’t get in the way of its amazingly fast and accurate autofocus. So as much as I like the results the 50GM yields, carrying it around for three or four hours on the street is just too unpleasant. If Sony offered a 50/1.4 G lens that was 90% as good optically but smaller and lighter, I’d swap my GM for it without hesitation.


This is definitely true. As an analogy: I have the Sigma 28mm f/1.4 and love it. But my 7Artisans 28mm f/1.4 is nowhere near as intimidating for street shooting even though it's nowhere near as good as the Sigma.



Mar 02, 2022 at 04:52 PM
CheshireCat
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p.16 #6 · p.16 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Scene 6:
This was at 0.9m which is the MFD for the Voigtlander. The Sony focuses way closer and still maintains outstanding sharpness.


I wonder how the Nokton sharpness would compare at f/1.2.
Many f/1.2 lenses are actually 2/3 of a stop slower than f/1 (i.e. not half a stop).. I am not sure if that is true also for the GM, but almost one stop makes a difference at those extreme apertures.
That said, I agree that qualitatively the main Nokton advantage is just size.



Mar 03, 2022 at 11:21 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #7 · p.16 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


CheshireCat wrote:
I wonder how the Nokton sharpness would compare at f/1.2.
Many f/1.2 lenses are actually 2/3 of a stop slower than f/1 (i.e. not half a stop).. I am not sure if that is true also for the GM, but almost one stop makes a difference at those extreme apertures.
That said, I agree that qualitatively the main Nokton advantage is just size.


Small difference. It's more noticeable at f/1.4-2 but still can't match the GM which improves even further. Also we should keep in mind that 0.9m is the Voigtlander's MFD while the GM is capable of focusing much closer at 0.4m.
It's expected that at 0.9m, the Sony 50/1.2 GM would have a considerable advantage.



Mar 03, 2022 at 11:46 AM
LarsHP
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p.16 #8 · p.16 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Two thirds slower than f/1 is f/1.26. Lenses will usually say f/1.25 while cameras only use two figures which is rounded up to f/1.3. Half a stop is f/1.19, which always is rounded off to f/1.2.

CheshireCat wrote:
I wonder how the Nokton sharpness would compare at f/1.2.
Many f/1.2 lenses are actually 2/3 of a stop slower than f/1 (i.e. not half a stop).. I am not sure if that is true also for the GM, but almost one stop makes a difference at those extreme apertures.
That said, I agree that qualitatively the main Nokton advantage is just size.




Mar 03, 2022 at 12:01 PM
philip_pj
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p.16 #9 · p.16 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


'..when looking at the scene overall'

It's a truism for many CV lenses. They may believe users are most interested in, and form judgments based on full sized images, for many genres. Cosina want to retain depth cues even in their faster lenses, which runs against the current fashion of rushing to more uniform abstraction rearwards of the plane of focus. This design choice often makes for very interesting backgrounds, however. See Scene 4 and the treatment of the house tiles and nearby trees against the reference GM.

So the take might be: this one is aimed at a very different audience than the GM. The first is an artistic user's lens, the latter is a higly competent professional lens to compete with C/N offerings for that market. I still believe the 50/1 is surprisingly versatile and is a very viable landscape option at f5.6-f8, with the bonus of creative DOF control especially at wider apertures. If someone gave me one, it would see plenty of use. ;-)

I think it will do very well, going forward. And it might portend more lenses of this kind in future at other than CV's favourite 35-50mm zone. We can hope so, because they are going to do exactly what they want to do. (interesting that the TT lens has a very similar palette to the CV (p.14 #17) but the GM 50/1.2 (at p.15 #5-7) is very different indeed, even with what looks like a slightly warmer sky.)



Mar 03, 2022 at 06:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #10 · p.16 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


philip_pj wrote:
I think it will do very well, going forward. And it might portend more lenses of this kind in future at other than CV's favourite 35-50mm zone. We can hope so, because they are going to do exactly what they want to do. (interesting that the TT lens has a very similar palette to the CV (p.14 #17) but the GM 50/1.2 (at p.15 #5-7) is very different indeed, even with what looks like a slightly warmer sky.)


They were taken with different cameras so we can't really draw any conclusions on lens color output. The FE 50/1.2 was shot using a Sony A7R IV and both Voigtlander and TTA lenses were shot with the Leica M10-R.




Mar 03, 2022 at 07:39 PM
 


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Jman13
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p.16 #11 · p.16 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
Two thirds slower than f/1 is f/1.26. Lenses will usually say f/1.25 while cameras only use two figures which is rounded up to f/1.3. Half a stop is f/1.19, which always is rounded off to f/1.2.



This may be true mathematically, but it's often irrelevant when considering how lenses are typically marked.

The half stop series of f-stops is generally: f/1.0, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7, f/2.0, f/2.4, f/2.8, f/3.3, f/4, f/4.8, f/5.6....
The third-stop series of f-stops is generally: f/1.0, f/1.1, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.6, f/1.8, f/2.0, f/2.2, f/2.5, f/2.8, f/3.2, f/3.5, f/4.0, f/4.5, f/5.0, f/5.6....

f/1.2 is commonly used on both scales, so it's difficult to tell which way they mean it. Some lenses will mark the third stop as f/1.3, but I've only seen that VERY rarely. The same phenomenon happens at the super wide aperture range as well, where if a lens goes as fast as f/0.7, the half stop and third stop next increment is f/0.8....and then if half stops, it jumps to f/1, while third stops go to f/0.9. But there are almost no lenses that go as wide as f/0.7, and none that I can think of for typical interchangeable lens cameras. (Fastest I've seen is f/0.85 for APS-C (so the true half stop) and f/0.8 for Micro 4/3 - but is it 1/3 stop or 1/2 stop f/0.8....).

Anyway, according to the patent, the 50mm f/1.2 GM is, by pure numbers, a 51.55mm f/1.233 lens.



Mar 03, 2022 at 07:39 PM
coryrh
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p.16 #12 · p.16 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Revealing post. Thank you for taking the time to execute and document this comparison.

Best.



Mar 05, 2022 at 07:35 PM
LarsHP
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p.16 #13 · p.16 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


I have never seen f/1.2 listed as a third-stop. If you check your camera and change between half and third stops in the menu, you should be able to see that third stops between f/1 and f/1.4 are f/1.1 and f/1.3. The numbers will be more easy to recognize if you check the slower equivalents. F/2.4 is a half stop while f/2.5 is two thirds slower than f/2. The reason for that is the math as I wrote: the more exact figure is f/1.26 for the two thirds stop. Rounded off for the step between f/1 and f/1.4 it becomes f/1.3 while between f2 and f/2.8 it is f/2.5.

That said, I am sure lens many manufacturers would like to exaggerate the speed of the lens slightly rather than the opposite. One notable exception is the Leica Summarit lenses, where Leica didn't want those cheaper alternatives to look too good compared to the much more expensive Summicron series. At first, they marked them as f/2.5, two thirds slower, but the newer versions were correctly marked as f/2.4, which is only half a stop slower than the Summicrons.

Jman13 wrote:
This may be true mathematically, but it's often irrelevant when considering how lenses are typically marked.

The half stop series of f-stops is generally: f/1.0, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7, f/2.0, f/2.4, f/2.8, f/3.3, f/4, f/4.8, f/5.6....
The third-stop series of f-stops is generally: f/1.0, f/1.1, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.6, f/1.8, f/2.0, f/2.2, f/2.5, f/2.8, f/3.2, f/3.5, f/4.0, f/4.5, f/5.0, f/5.6....

f/1.2 is commonly used on both scales, so it's difficult to tell which way they mean it. Some lenses will mark the third stop as f/1.3, but I've only seen that VERY rarely. The same phenomenon happens at the super wide aperture range as
...Show more



Mar 06, 2022 at 04:07 AM
MAubrey
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p.16 #14 · p.16 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
I have never seen f/1.2 listed as a third-stop. If you check your camera and change between half and third stops in the menu, you should be able to see that third stops between f/1 and f/1.4 are f/1.1 and f/1.3. The numbers will be more easy to recognize if you check the slower equivalents. F/2.4 is a half stop while f/2.5 is two thirds slower than f/2. The reason for that is the math as I wrote: the more exact figure is f/1.26 for the two thirds stop. Rounded off for the step between f/1 and f/1.4 it becomes
...Show more
Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L is 1/3 stop. It shows up as f/1.3 when you adapt it to other cameras with an electronic adapter, but on a native EOS body, it's f/1.2.



Mar 06, 2022 at 09:42 AM
LarsHP
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p.16 #15 · p.16 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Maybe, but that doesn't change the math.

Half a stop slower than f/1 is f/1.19. Two thirds is f/1.26. That's a fact.

How the figures are rounded off might confuse things though, and the marketing department may want to call things differently from the usual mathematical way of rounding off numbers.

For instance, the Canon 85mm L lens might be an f/1.26 lens being called f/1.2 by Canon and f/1.3 by third party adapters. Or it may simply rounded up by the adapter because it only uses third stops, not half stops.

The 75mm Noctilux is called f/1.25 and that definitely means two thirds slower than f/1 (based on math).

MAubrey wrote:
Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L is 1/3 stop. It shows up as f/1.3 when you adapt it to other cameras with an electronic adapter, but on a native EOS body, it's f/1.2.




Mar 06, 2022 at 10:56 AM
CheshireCat
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p.16 #16 · p.16 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


MAubrey wrote
Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L is 1/3 stop. It shows up as f/1.3 when you adapt it to other cameras with an electronic adapter, but on a native EOS body, it's f/1.2.


AFAIK, the EF protocol works by units of 1/8 stops. Each lens model tells the camera its max aperture as an integer number when it is initialized.
This information must be accurate for proper exposure, therefore the number sent must be following technical specification.
Canon cameras can instead display max aperture as per "marketing specification" (by the way, the lens product id is also sent to the body).
I have not found the patent for the 85L, but we known it is 1/3 stops faster than f/1.4.

EDIT:
It seems that the lens is sending (5/8) as the max-aperture exponent. A Canon camera displays:

sqrt(2)^(5/8) = 1.24185781 ~= f/1.2

So why would a third-party adapter round it up to f/1.3 ?
What might happen is that the 5/8 fraction is first remapped to thirds of a stop (1.875/3) and then the numerator is rounded, giving (2/3).

sqrt(2)^(2/3) = 1.25992105 ~= f1.3

Mystery solved ?

Edited on Mar 08, 2022 at 11:24 AM · View previous versions



Mar 07, 2022 at 09:11 PM
MAubrey
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p.16 #17 · p.16 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
Maybe, but that doesn't change the math.

Half a stop slower than f/1 is f/1.19. Two thirds is f/1.26. That's a fact.

How the figures are rounded off might confuse things though, and the marketing department may want to call things differently from the usual mathematical way of rounding off numbers.

For instance, the Canon 85mm L lens might be an f/1.26 lens being called f/1.2 by Canon and f/1.3 by third party adapters. Or it may simply rounded up by the adapter because it only uses third stops, not half stops.

The 75mm Noctilux is called f/1.25 and that definitely
...Show more

Nobody is disputing that.



Mar 08, 2022 at 10:46 AM
LarsHP
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p.16 #18 · p.16 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


I expect most camera manufacturers if not all, work in either half or third stop values. This means f-stops are calculated in up to six parts of a stop.

CheshireCat wrote:
AFAIK, the EF protocol works by units of 1/8 stops. Each lens model tells the camera its max aperture as an integer number when it is initialized.
This information must be accurate for proper exposure, therefore the number sent must be following technical specification.
Canon cameras can instead display max aperture as per "marketing specification" (by the way, the lens product id is also sent to the body).
I have not found the patent for the 85L, but we known it is 1/3 stops faster than f/1.4.
I am therefore assuming the lens is sending the number 6 as its max aperture code, and
...Show more



Mar 08, 2022 at 10:57 AM
CheshireCat
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p.16 #19 · p.16 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
I expect most camera manufacturers if not all, work in either half or third stop values. This means f-stops are calculated in up to six parts of a stop.


I have just edited my post. I guess the stop exponent fraction is first converted to thirds on those adapters. After all they are third-party adapters **ahem**




Mar 08, 2022 at 11:27 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #20 · p.16 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


The Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton is finally in stock at B&H Photo:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1680316-REG/voigtlander_ba370a_nokton_50mm_f_1_0_aspherical.html



Apr 18, 2022 at 07:47 PM
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