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Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review

  
 
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #1 · p.27 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


highdesertmesa wrote:
Pretty much, or just do the merry-go-round of exchanges. I've had better luck with Leica lenses, but I've gotten duds from them, too. Voigtlander quality control seems to get worse as the price of the lens gets lower. The 50 f/1 is probably just very difficult to get perfect, so I'd consider it an outlier.


I ordered 3 copies from B&H. Fingers crossed one of them will be great!



Jan 30, 2023 at 02:08 PM
ftllens
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p.27 #2 · p.27 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


watch all 3 be immaculate rofl

and thank you Helena, I look at your work often for inspiration myself



Jan 31, 2023 at 01:03 AM
rscheffler
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p.27 #3 · p.27 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


ftllens wrote:
watch all 3 be immaculate rofl


Instead of returning two, he could sell them here at a premium as hand-selected and pre-tested.



Jan 31, 2023 at 02:31 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #4 · p.27 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


ftllens wrote:
watch all 3 be immaculate rofl





Jan 31, 2023 at 07:03 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #5 · p.27 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


3 copies arrived today.

1st copy would not mount to the camera at all. Tried several times, wouldn't "click" into place. I read somewhere about grinding something down, but wasn't too interested in that with two other copies to try.

Second copy mounted fine. First quick test was at 1m to check range finder calibration. Failed. It was off by a decent amount. Didn't do anymore testing.

Third copy mounted fine. Rangefinder calibration was pretty much perfect at 1m, 2m and 3m! Next checked the hard stop and patch alignment at infinity...passed. Next decentering test...passed. Next field curvature/tilt test...passed. I think I got a good one!

Then tested out of curiosity it on the SL601 and it resulted in more tilted curvature. But if I had to guess the M lenses don't perform quite as well on the SL as the M11 and the newer SL2/S. I have a SL2-S arriving tomorrow that I'd like to compare also.




















SL601




Jan 31, 2023 at 01:16 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.27 #6 · p.27 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


lifeandmylens wrote:
3 copies arrived today.

1st copy would not mount to the camera at all. Tried several times, wouldn't "click" into place. I read somewhere about grinding something down, but wasn't too interested in that with two other copies to try.

Second copy mounted fine. First quick test was at 1m to check range finder calibration. Failed. It was off by a decent amount. Didn't do anymore testing.

Third copy mounted fine. Rangefinder calibration was pretty much perfect at 1m, 2m and 3m! Next checked the hard stop and patch alignment at infinity...passed. Next decentering test...passed. Next field curvature/tilt test...passed. I think
...Show more

Keep in mind that if it nails focus at f/1 using the rangefinder, it may not perform optimally at f/1.4 and f/2. All these fast lenses have focus shift and therefore, the lens should front-focus slightly when shooting wide open through the rangefinder. The good news is that the CV 50/1 Nokton does not have very noticeable focus shift compared to vintage lenses since it's better corrected for spherical aberration, so you may not notice this in real images.

BTW, that tilted FC on the SL is troubling. I would test if this happens with other lenses on this camera.



Jan 31, 2023 at 01:23 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #7 · p.27 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Keep in mind that if it nails focus at f/1 using the rangefinder, it may not perform optimally at f/1.4 and f/2. All these fast lenses have focus shift and therefore, the lens should front-focus slightly when shooting wide open through the rangefinder. The good news is that the CV 50/1 Nokton does not have very noticeable focus shift compared to vintage lenses since it's better corrected for spherical aberration, so you may not notice this in real images.

BTW, that tilted FC on the SL is troubling. I would test if this happens with other lenses on this camera.


Thank you, just did both. You were right on the tilt.

Tested for focus shift the very lazy way. Focused at f/1 on a book and went all the way up to f/16, the patch and EVF stayed aligned throughout.

Bad news is I tested the 35 FLE II, and an L mount lens on the SL601 and same exact tilt.

Have only had this camera a few days. Good news is I informed the seller and he immediately offered to take the camera back and refund it.



Jan 31, 2023 at 01:43 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.27 #8 · p.27 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


If itís not the adapter, it could be sensor tilt.

lifeandmylens wrote:
Thank you, just did both. You were right on the tilt.

Tested for focus shift the very lazy way. Focused at f/1 on a book and went all the way up to f/16, the patch and EVF stayed aligned throughout.

Bad news is I tested the 35 FLE II, and an L mount lens on the SL601 and same exact tilt.

Have only had this camera a few days. Good news is I informed the seller and he immediately offered to take the camera back and refund it.




Jan 31, 2023 at 02:55 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #9 · p.27 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
If itís not the adapter, it could be sensor tilt.



I edited the message above, but basically you were right, it is the camera. Thank you!



Jan 31, 2023 at 03:16 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.27 #10 · p.27 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


lifeandmylens wrote:
I edited the message above, but basically you were right, it is the camera. Thank you!


But can you rule out the adapter? It would suck to get another body only to find out the adapter was at fault.



Jan 31, 2023 at 05:59 PM
 


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lifeandmylens
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p.27 #11 · p.27 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review




highdesertmesa wrote:
But can you rule out the adapter? It would suck to get another body only to find out the adapter was at fault.


Yes I did. I tried an L mount lens and it exhibited the same tilt.



Jan 31, 2023 at 06:15 PM
ftllens
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p.27 #12 · p.27 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


wow, such variances in copies in multiple ways lol, glad you discovered the camera issue too


Feb 01, 2023 at 08:42 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.27 #13 · p.27 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review




ftllens wrote:
wow, such variances in copies in multiple ways lol, glad you discovered the camera issue too


Agree, a lot of copy variation. I did chat with B&H before ordering 3 copies and asked if they had an issue with it and the lady said they had no issue with it. So I think thatís how Iíll order CV lenses in the future. Had I just ordered one at a time and exchanged them I probably would have gave up after the second copy.

And yes, glad the testing also revealed a problem with the SL before it was too late.



Feb 01, 2023 at 08:57 AM
josh-himes
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p.27 #14 · p.27 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Keep in mind that if it nails focus at f/1 using the rangefinder, it may not perform optimally at f/1.4 and f/2. All these fast lenses have focus shift and therefore, the lens should front-focus slightly when shooting wide open through the rangefinder. The good news is that the CV 50/1 Nokton does not have very noticeable focus shift compared to vintage lenses since it's better corrected for spherical aberration, so you may not notice this in real images.


Thanks for this info Fred. I have had the 50 F1 for a week and it's an excellent lens. I noticed that my copy front focuses by a small but noticeable amount wide open with the M11 rangefinder. I tested for focus shift at 1M with a lens calibration target and you are exactly right - the focus shifts just a little at each half stop between F1 & F2. By F2, the focus point perfectly matches the rangefinder and from there on out, either there is no further focus shift, or it's hidden in the DOF. I'm not sure you would see the focus shift with a normal target (small print, etc), but you can see it with the angled calibration target.

I had considered sending the lens back, with the hope of getting one that is perfectly calibrated to the rangefinder at F1. After seeing the focus shift, I'm wondering if it's operating as designed and the RF is actually calibrated at F1.4 or 2? I'm curious about your thoughts, since you have quite a bit of experience with this lens. Otherwise, the lens seems perfectly centered and is acceptably sharp across the frame wide open at infinity.






Feb 01, 2023 at 09:38 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.27 #15 · p.27 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


lifeandmylens wrote:
Agree, a lot of copy variation. I did chat with B&H before ordering 3 copies and asked if they had an issue with it and the lady said they had no issue with it. So I think thatís how Iíll order CV lenses in the future. Had I just ordered one at a time and exchanged them I probably would have gave up after the second copy.

And yes, glad the testing also revealed a problem with the SL before it was too late.


If you plan on doing that regularly, I recommend calling in every order from now on and establish a relationship with a dedicated salesperson. They will be your advocate to keep you from get flagged for repeated returns. (Don't) ask me know I know.



Feb 01, 2023 at 09:40 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.27 #16 · p.27 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


josh-himes wrote:

Thanks for this info Fred. I have had the 50 F1 for a week and it's an excellent lens. I noticed that my copy front focuses by a small but noticeable amount wide open with the M11 rangefinder. I tested for focus shift at 1M with a lens calibration target and you are exactly right - the focus shifts just a little at each half stop between F1 & F2. By F2, the focus point perfectly matches the rangefinder and from there on out, either there is no further focus shift, or it's hidden in the DOF. I'm not
...Show more

I read Zeiss used to factory calibrate their ZM 50 Sonnar 1.5 to a smaller f-stop, but you could send it in to be recalibrated for 1.5 with the understanding it would be off for other apertures due to known focus shift.

The CV 35 Nokton Classic II I tried was calibrated for f/2 instead of f/1.4. It wasn't just DOF covering up an error, it was way off wide open. I don't know if it was miscalibrated at the factory or if Voigtlander does it intentionally. Since many of them come correctly calibrated wide open, I have to think it's either miscalibration or CV has a few rogue workers that prefer to do it the Zeiss way for lenses with focus shift.



Feb 01, 2023 at 09:49 AM
josh-himes
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p.27 #17 · p.27 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


highdesertmesa wrote:
I read Zeiss used to factory calibrate their ZM 50 Sonnar 1.5 to a smaller f-stop, but you could send it in to be recalibrated for 1.5 with the understanding it would be off for other apertures due to known focus shift.

The CV 35 Nokton Classic II I tried was calibrated for f/2 instead of f/1.4. It wasn't just DOF covering up an error, it was way off wide open. I don't know if it was miscalibrated at the factory or if Voigtlander does it intentionally. Since many of them come correctly calibrated wide open, I have to think it's
...Show more

Ha. Could be that a rogue technician did the calibration on my copy. The error with my lens is minor, but I didn't figure out the exact behavior until Fred's comment. The amount of focus shift is very small and likely wouldn't be detectable in real life images. It took a few sets of tripod mounted tests with the calibration target to see the pattern. In practical terms, the EVF is probably the best solution below F2 anyway.



Feb 01, 2023 at 10:00 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.27 #18 · p.27 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


josh-himes wrote:
Ha. Could be that a rogue technician did the calibration on my copy. The error with my lens is minor, but I didn't figure out the exact behavior until Fred's comment. The amount of focus shift is very small and likely wouldn't be detectable in real life images. It took a few sets of tripod mounted tests with the calibration target to see the pattern. In practical terms, the EVF is probably the best solution below F2 anyway.


It's even hard to nail f/1 focus with the EVF†Ė must... hold... very... still.



Feb 01, 2023 at 10:04 AM
josh-himes
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p.27 #19 · p.27 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


highdesertmesa wrote:
It's even hard to nail f/1 focus with the EVF†Ė must... hold... very... still.


Agreed. Even with a tripod, the EVF requires some concentration to hit perfect focus. It's easier with a high contrast target, but that's not always available in normal low light situations.



Feb 01, 2023 at 10:15 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.27 #20 · p.27 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


josh-himes wrote:

Thanks for this info Fred. I have had the 50 F1 for a week and it's an excellent lens. I noticed that my copy front focuses by a small but noticeable amount wide open with the M11 rangefinder. I tested for focus shift at 1M with a lens calibration target and you are exactly right - the focus shifts just a little at each half stop between F1 & F2. By F2, the focus point perfectly matches the rangefinder and from there on out, either there is no further focus shift, or it's hidden in the DOF. I'm not
...Show more

Yes, that's normal operation. The lens is calibrated taking account focus shift and therefore it's usually perfect aligned with the rangefinder one stop down from wide open. If it would be perfectly calibrated at f/1, by f/2.8 the subject would be noticeably out of focus. With vintage lenses like the Leica 50/1 Noctilux for example this is even more apparent. It's really only an issue with fast and ultra fast lenses since the amount of aberration is higher wide open compared to slower lenses.
Of course, this is an issue with rangefinder focusing only. For those focusing with the help of LV, this is a non-issue.




Feb 01, 2023 at 10:23 AM
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