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Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review

  
 
raul jarquin
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p.10 #1 · p.10 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Thank you Fred for an excellent review. The Nokton 50 F1.0 is a gem but the more I read your review, the more I realized that what I may want is the Nokton 50mm F1.2. The compromises Voigtlander made with its design align more with what I am looking for in a fast 50. The 50 F1.2 offers Sony mount specific versions, which may be an optical advantage over the 50 F1.0 for those of us shooting with Sony cameras.

I am still going to be paying attention to how the Nokton 50mm F1.0 performs adapted to a Sony camera. If that looks convincing, I may be changing my mind for a third time on this lens

I got a great education seeing how this story evolved. Wow, I am glad I am not in the lens manufacturing business.

Thanks again!



Feb 09, 2022 at 05:12 PM
Matt Kerby
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p.10 #2 · p.10 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Great write up, invaluable information for the enquiring minds. Thanks for the time you put into these. I for one find these threads riveting.
I found out, after owning a few Noctilux's that I don't really need one. For me, they end up being niche lenses. In that respect, I can't afford a 10K, or even a 5K niche lens. I might however see myself buying one of these Nocton's off the B/S board down the road.



Feb 09, 2022 at 05:24 PM
philip_pj
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p.10 #3 · p.10 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Will be enjoyable to see how different photographers use this one. A large number are moving in the direction of highly individualised lenses of great versatility with sensible aberration trade-offs. Cosina is removing many constraints on buy-in here, from size and weight to optical performance, especially MFD.

Even on a strict weight/size budget, best not to dismiss this type of lens too quickly. It's just 130 grams heavier than the 50/1.2 VM, and less than 50 grams more than the FE scalloped vsn. Many lens hoods weigh in that range.



Feb 09, 2022 at 05:27 PM
MEDISN
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p.10 #4 · p.10 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Nothing left to do but hop on the pre-order list

Excellent review and examples Fred.

We were having brunch at Mimosa on Friday, probably just missed you photographing that old CitroŽn out front.

Should have joined us for bloody mary's and let me give that Nokton a whirl



Feb 09, 2022 at 06:40 PM
Desmolicious
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p.10 #5 · p.10 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Next test, CV 50 1.0 vs Syoptic 50 1.1.


Feb 09, 2022 at 08:48 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.10 #6 · p.10 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Desmolicious wrote:
Next test, CV 50 1.0 vs Syoptic 50 1.1.


I have a variation I will doóNoct 50/1 vs Syoptic/1.1, but probably not much appeal. Can post of people are interested.



Feb 09, 2022 at 11:45 PM
Termite
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p.10 #7 · p.10 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Thank you, Fred for this comprehensive review!

Sure, the Voigtlšnder 50/1 may have its flaws, but I think we have forgotten how good lenses have become in the last decades. Show this lens to anyone in the 1960s, 70s or 80s and they would have been impressed. For us, it's like "Hmm ... the bokeh in the corners is a bit rough."



Feb 10, 2022 at 12:15 AM
rscheffler
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p.10 #8 · p.10 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Final Thoughts:

Cons:
  1. High optical vignetting renders 'cats eye' bokeh balls towards the corners.
  2. Pronounced outwards field curvature may cause unevenness in the rendering when shooting wide open.
  3. Noticeable purple fringing and axial CA in areas of high contrast when shooting wide open.
  4. One of the most expensive Cosina lenses at $1,800 (Although way less than the 13K Leica).

_____________



One more to add: 90cm MFD.



Feb 10, 2022 at 12:16 AM
KLaban
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p.10 #9 · p.10 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


Desmolicious wrote:
Next test, CV 50 1.0 vs Syoptic 50 1.1.


I'd rather see a comparison of the Voigtlander 50 f/1.2 Nokton ASPH vs the Syoptic 50 f/1.1.




Feb 10, 2022 at 07:49 AM
AndrewNYC
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p.10 #10 · p.10 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


I have a bit of a divergent view on contrast being a benefit of a lens. Maybe I'm too stuck in my ways from my film days, but to me a lower contrast rendering has much more benefit than a higher contrast rendering. To me, it's easier to add contrast in processing than to take away. Paper and output have limitations and I'd much rather have a lens that allows me to put a scene into those limitations rather than reduce to those limitations. I'm not sure I'm being clear. But an analogue analogue (get it?) is the goal of a negative being as thin as possible so one can add contrast to a scene on paper rather than reduce by dodging and burning. Open to thoughts....


Feb 10, 2022 at 09:39 AM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.10 #11 · p.10 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


rscheffler wrote:
One more to add: 90cm MFD.


I don't think 0.9m MFD is a 'cons' because it's actually a closer distance than the other F/1 lenses are capable of. (1m)
Yes, I wish the Voigtlander 50/1 Nokton would focus even closer but it looks like there is a design constrain/compromise for this.



Feb 10, 2022 at 10:28 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.10 #12 · p.10 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


MEDISN wrote:
Nothing left to do but hop on the pre-order list

Excellent review and examples Fred.

We were having brunch at Mimosa on Friday, probably just missed you photographing that old CitroŽn out front.

Should have joined us for bloody mary's and let me give that Nokton a whirl


Small world. I'm sure you saw that all images were from our town!
I was there taking a picture of that Citroen at around 7:30am.



Feb 10, 2022 at 10:30 AM
LarsHP
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p.10 #13 · p.10 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


If a lens has less contrast, I think that equals loosing shadow details, since the reason for the reduced contrast is reflections etc. in the lens itself caused by inferior coatings for example. In other words, you loose some tones in the blacks which you can't recover in post processing. Files from a contrasty lens on the other hand can be edited with a softer tonality, if you prefer that. From a creative or imaging style standpoint I can understand that some prefer the rendering that older lenses have, including veil, reflections and so on, but that has no relation to the technical quality of a lens. On the contrary, it is celebrating the technical flaws or limitations of a lens.

AndrewNYC wrote:
I have a bit of a divergent view on contrast being a benefit of a lens. Maybe I'm too stuck in my ways from my film days, but to me a lower contrast rendering has much more benefit than a higher contrast rendering. To me, it's easier to add contrast in processing than to take away. Paper and output have limitations and I'd much rather have a lens that allows me to put a scene into those limitations rather than reduce to those limitations. I'm not sure I'm being clear. But an analogue analogue (get it?) is the goal of
...Show more



Feb 10, 2022 at 10:45 AM
Bertrick
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p.10 #14 · p.10 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


AndrewNYC's point is from chemical, negative and paper days. I recall those too and vaguely remember handling contrast via paper and developer and darkroom exposure choices. I do not claim that I ever became a master at that. But in digital world, it is preferable to start with the greatest difference you can between the highest numbers and the lowest numbers in your signal. You can always scale those down to smaller differences (lower contrast) but trying to scale up creates big steps in the tonal range where the origin signal had no corresponding information. So I think we are talking about differences in chemical and digital processing.

To relate this to the Nokton 1.0, the high contrast is a very attractive characteristic of this lens in my estimation, for my purposes. I have not yet decided to purchase it though. The price is currently serving as a deterrent.



Feb 10, 2022 at 11:10 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.10 #15 · p.10 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review


LarsHP wrote:
If a lens has less contrast, I think that equals loosing shadow details, since the reason for the reduced contrast is reflections etc. in the lens itself caused by inferior coatings for example. In other words, you loose some tones in the blacks which you can't recover in post processing. Files from a contrasty lens on the other hand can be edited with a softer tonality, if you prefer that. From a creative or imaging style standpoint I can understand that some prefer the rendering that older lenses have, including veil, reflections and so on, but that has no relation
...Show more

Yes, they are confusing lens contrast with image contrast, which people do all the time. A high contrast lens can resolve a wider tonal range than a low contrast lens. The contrast of an image from a high contrast lens can be lowered in post.

That said, the vintage look that people often like is easily achieved by using lenses with lower contrast but very good high frequency detail. The lower contrast of the lens isn't as much of a detriment today with modern high-DR sensors.

https://luminous-landscape.com/understanding-lens-contrast/



Feb 10, 2022 at 11:32 AM
Edward Teller
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p.10 #16 · p.10 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review



Back to Quick Links


What follows are a few tripod based comparisons of the Nokton 50/1 to the Noctiflex 50/1, shot adapted to a Nikon Z 7, for anyone interested in adapted lenses.
All of these will be at f/1.

.DNG files opened in LR with either the Adobe Color preset, or the Camera Standard preset (there are vastly more profiles available in LR for the Z 7 than there are for the M10-R), minimal sharpening in PS and resized. What processing there is was exactly the same for each lens.







Feb 10, 2022 at 12:22 PM
Edward Teller
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p.10 #17 · p.10 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review







This isnít a great photograph, but shows what I seem to be seeing fairly consistently, that the Nokton seems to have, in effect, a wider zone of whatís in focus, not just sharper focus on the focus point. The Noctilux focus falls off faster from the point of focus, which is in this case for both images the wick on the candle. The wood in the lower right demonstrates this.
The Nikon 58/1.2 Noct does the same thing but moreso, sharpness dropping off even more rapidly from center.

Edited on Feb 11, 2022 at 08:56 AM · View previous versions



Feb 10, 2022 at 12:25 PM
Edward Teller
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p.10 #18 · p.10 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review








Feb 10, 2022 at 12:28 PM
Edward Teller
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p.10 #19 · p.10 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review








Feb 10, 2022 at 12:29 PM
Edward Teller
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p.10 #20 · p.10 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1 Nokton Review








Feb 10, 2022 at 12:31 PM
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