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How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?

  
 
Younjulius
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


I stumbled onto some images on this forum taken by 50mm Voigtlander APO lens. I canít really describe it, but certainly the images stood out. I want to learn more about the lens as Iíll be eventually filling in 50mm slot for my prime lens set.

How does it compare to other popular lenses like 50mmGM, Zeiss, and Sigma lenses? Assuming theyíre all above a certain level of quality technically, Iím not interested in the usual specs comparisons, but rather how the photos look and feel.

Iím looking for a 50mm lens that produces pleasing-yet-unique images. This APO lens might be it, and I want to understand what makes Voigtlander APO lens unique and special. In other words, this is a way to check if images that I loved are not mere results of photographers skills little to do with the lens itself.



May 14, 2022 at 11:29 AM
Zayne12
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


What do you usually shoot? I've shot with the the gm, the loxia and the voigtlander 50 apo. I'm a gm junkie so prefer the 50 out of bias. The voigtlanders though produce very sharp and pleasing images. I've had the 35 50 65 and 110 apo and all are amazing in their own right. The 50 specifically is a great lens. It's light, easy to travel around with, focusing is a smooth experience and the images are just wow! If you're a landscape photographer this is definitely a lens to have in your kit. If I ever had a mf only kit it would consist of nothing but the voigtlander apo lenses.


May 14, 2022 at 01:39 PM
doc4x5
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Don't wait, just get it. You won't be sorry. It is arguably the finest 50mm lens for the Sony E mount, and that includes the spectacular 50 GM. Read Philip Reeves review, read the entire thing, (he's among the best lens reviewers out there-avoid the sensationalistic you-tubers) https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-voigtlander-50mm-f2-apo-lanthar/. Philip Reeves says "The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar is among the optically most perfect lenses on the market right now." Even the very picky Lloyd Chambers loves the 50 APO and while the GM is great, the APO is even greater.

I am fortunate to own and love both but they are different lenses for different purposes. The APO is manual focus and weighs 360 grams, the GM is autofocus and weighs 780 grams, more than twice as much. Ask me which I take when I'm hiking in the landscape. The 50 APO is also half the price of the GM. Both are incredibly well constructed. When I'm photographing my two year old granddaughter, it's the GM all the way. Shot wide open or at f/1.4, it's just amazing.

I agree that there is something special about the images from 50 APO. It's hard to say what it is, perhaps it's due to the almost totally flat field and absence of curvature or something else entirely.

Please don't ask me which I'd keep if I could keep only one.

Photographically we have a surfeit of choices in 50mm lenses these days.



May 14, 2022 at 05:51 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Like others have said, if you can afford it without too much sacrifice, having both the Apo Lanthar and the GM is 50mm nirvana.

The GM gives you unprecedented resolution and contrast in the focus plane coupled with silky smooth bokeh at wide apertures. It's quite astonishing.

At f2, if the background is busy, you might still prefer it to the Apo Lanthar. Otherwise the AL is as good.

From f2.8 the AL is at least as good, a touch sharper and contrastier (though I'm not sure how visible this is, or just measurable. I can't say I'm sure I can see it).

But it does mean you get all the goodness of the GM, maybe a little more, in a vastly more portable size at these slightly smaller apertures (and if you adore a nice helicoid, you get that pleasure as well). As others have said, it's the AL which goes on landscaping or cityscaping trips. It's the GM that comes out for portraiture.






May 14, 2022 at 07:32 PM
Younjulius
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Can you guys with both 50gm and APO, could you be able to describe the differences in look and feel of the images from them? I want to learn more about the image style difference between the two.


May 14, 2022 at 08:15 PM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


What David said above corroborates well with my own experience while owning these two lenses. If I have to pick one, it's the GM 50 cause of the versatility. You can nail the focus in almost all situations which is more important to me than the size, weight and the slight resolution advantage at smaller apertures of the CV 50 APO.

Rendering is pretty much a personal preference. A lot of accomplished portrait/wedding photographers can make a "soul-less" lens sing with their PP, while having a "character" lens doesn't equate with automatically great outputs. So to see if a lens fits your style, you must try it and PP in your own way to see if you like what you see.

With that said, if you mainly shoot landscape, still life, etc. I don't see much sense in getting the bigger, heavier GM 50.



May 14, 2022 at 08:43 PM
Younjulius
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


hiepphotog wrote:
What David said above corroborates well with my own experience while owning these two lenses. If I have to pick one, it's the GM 50 cause of the versatility. You can nail the focus in almost all situations which is more important to me than the size, weight and the slight resolution advantage at smaller apertures of the CV 50 APO.

Rendering is pretty much a personal preference. A lot of accomplished portrait/wedding photographers can make a "soul-less" lens sing with their PP, while having a "character" lens doesn't equate with automatically great outputs. So to see if a lens fits
...Show more

Thanks. What you said makes sense. Can you tell me about the rendering difference between the two? ☺️



May 14, 2022 at 10:02 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


'Can you tell me about the rendering difference between the two?'

They are struggling to do so, aren't they?

I can suggest a technique for you to deduce much of the differences in such lenses simply by looking at their respective image threads. And it can readily tell you which of them is the most versatile, though one must be cautious here - many lenses are not yet fully explored by enough users in other than highly selected categories, and the two wider APO CVs fall into this definition, being 'out of mainstream' connoisseur lenses.

1. Here one can see the overwhelming usage people have chosen to put their GM 50/1.2 to:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1697615/30

It's the last full page of images and it speaks volumes to the aware viewer. The 'formula' appears on almost all GM 50mm image pages.

But more on the 'lens image noticer technique'. For each image, classify according to the following attributes: focus distance; subject matter; stranger or family/friend if a people image; presence of nature; presence of artifacts (excess boke / lit up balls etc); degree of coloration; thematic repetitiveness (multiples of the same theme/topic), presence of fine detail (centre and outer frame).

It's less easy for the 50/2 APO because image-sharing owners must decide if they want to use the dedicated FM review thread, the open Sony thread, or the dedicated Voigtlander thread. The first of these carried on at length on technical issues, but it's still the best guide for image noticers to check out.

2. Here is a representative 50/2 APO page to start from:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/54

It will become very clear, very quickly which of these two fine lenses is the more versatile in actual usage, and which therefore offers more creative opportunities than the other. And that is what we expect of APO lenses of 'all aperture/all of frame' excellence, that also have such substantive advantages in deployment - ergo/handling, engagement, weight, frontal area (filter size), metal fabrication, multi-mount capabilities, streetability, travelability, backcountry, etc.)

If you want I can offer more on the rendering issue, but it's preferable for you to pursue 'image analysis' as outlined above, and match them to your needs. Finally, here is an image pair of two highly detailed f4 / ISO 100 high resolution images from the (excellent) Lenstip site, showing fine image motifs, textural surfaces, colour tonality and separation, despite the very different lighting / season conditions:

GM 50/1.2: https://pliki.optyczne.pl/son50GM/son50_fot07 (jpeg) in:

https://www.lenstip.com/601.12-Lens_review-Sony_FE_50_mm_f_1.2_GM_Sample_shots.html

CV 50/2 APO: https://pliki.optyczne.pl/voi50apo/voi50_fot09 (jpeg) in:

https://www.lenstip.com/613.12-Lens_review-Voigtlander_Apo_Lanthar_50_mm_f_2_Aspherical_Sample_shots.html

Expand both. Take you time, scan left and right, move from one image to the other, back and forth. See what you think.



May 14, 2022 at 11:23 PM
Younjulius
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Thank you very much for the extentive reply. I look thu the images from both links and the impressions I got was GM images have high contrast and high saturation whereas APO images are less saturated but in high resolution (probably there is a better way to describe what I saw). Iím not sure if thatís from the difference sample photos or actually reflecting their characters.


May 15, 2022 at 01:09 AM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Younjulius wrote:
Thank you very much for the extentive reply. I look thu the images from both links and the impressions I got was GM images have high contrast and high saturation whereas APO images are less saturated but in high resolution (probably there is a better way to describe what I saw). Iím not sure if thatís from the difference sample photos or actually reflecting their characters.


What are you looking for specifically in term of rendering difference? I personally thought David already described it pretty well. What you see in the image thread is not representative if you want an objective comparison between the two. Considering how much raw developer, WB, camera profile, lens profile affecting the same image, any additional PP would muddle the water.

I got my GM shortly after getting the CV 50 APO. I just stopped using the CV cause i just enjoyed (and still am) shooting with the GM more. I have had a lot of great lenses over the years, but this GM is the only one that killed off my lust for another 50. I personally didnít feel that the CV 50 APO that special since I had the CV 65, Leica 50 APO and the Lux 50 ASPH. Among these I probably shooting with the Lux the most, mostly because of the large aperture (more flexibility) and the haptics (feel just right for me).



May 15, 2022 at 02:23 AM
 


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Younjulius
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


hiepphotog wrote:
What are you looking for specifically in term of rendering difference? I personally thought David already described it pretty well. What you see in the image thread is not representative if you want an objective comparison between the two. Considering how much raw developer, WB, camera profile, lens profile affecting the same image, any additional PP would muddle the water.

I got my GM shortly after getting the CV 50 APO. I just stopped using the CV cause i just enjoyed (and still am) shooting with the GM more. I have had a lot of great lenses over the years, but
...Show more

I see. Itís not surprising to see GM being better considering the price difference. I understood peoples use GM more for people photos whereas APO on cityscapes, which was apparent scanning sample photos.

My last question is how the two compares for cityscape photos since thatís gonna be my use of 50mm lens. Thanks.



May 15, 2022 at 11:03 AM
DaveFP
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


philip_pj wrote:
'Can you tell me about the rendering difference between the two?'

They are struggling to do so, aren't they?

I can suggest a technique for you to deduce much of the differences in such lenses simply by looking at their respective image threads. And it can readily tell you which of them is the most versatile, though one must be cautious here - many lenses are not yet fully explored by enough users in other than highly selected categories, and the two wider APO CVs fall into this definition, being 'out of mainstream' connoisseur lenses.

1. Here one can see the overwhelming
...Show more

I really don't understand this post.

Why in the world would I want to compare the rendering of two lenses by looking directly at their images when people on the internet can describe them for me?

Makes no sense.

/s




May 15, 2022 at 11:25 AM
zugzwang2
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Younjulius wrote:
Itís not surprising to see GM being better considering the price difference.


Well, you seem to be having some trouble in defining "better," particularly as in "better for me." (FWIW, it's the Voigtlander that is clearly better for me.)

For example, regarding your main use case of cityscapes, some people like well defined sunstars. The Sony has rounded aperture blades, so no sunstars. The Voigtlander behaves like this:

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-voigtlander-50mm-f2-apo-lanthar/#Sunstars

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/0#chapter8



Edited on May 15, 2022 at 03:23 PM · View previous versions



May 15, 2022 at 12:41 PM
Uncle Chip
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


I list the pros and cons of the lenses I am considering
I then list my requirements in order or priority

For cityscapes I would think the APO is a better match, half the weight and price with better sunstars,

For many the GM is a better option with the 1.2 dreamy booker and fast AF, but you can have the Voitglander 35 and 50 APOís for the same price.



May 15, 2022 at 02:51 PM
vdo1
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


philip_pj wrote:
[...]
I can suggest a technique for you to deduce much of the differences in such lenses simply by looking at their respective image threads. And it can readily tell you which of them is the most versatile, though one must be cautious here - many lenses are not yet fully explored by enough users in other than highly selected categories, and the two wider APO CVs fall into this definition, being 'out of mainstream' connoisseur lenses.

1. Here one can see the overwhelming usage people have chosen to put their GM 50/1.2 to:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1697615/30

It's the last full page of images and it
...Show more

You want the Nokton 40/1.2.

Longest thread ever.






May 15, 2022 at 03:46 PM
Younjulius
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Uncle Chip wrote:
I list the pros and cons of the lenses I am considering
I then list my requirements in order or priority

For cityscapes I would think the APO is a better match, half the weight and price with better sunstars,

For many the GM is a better option with the 1.2 dreamy booker and fast AF, but you can have the Voitglander 35 and 50 APOís for the same price.


Yeah, I think Iím leaning towards APO due to the weight, size and price. Sans cat eye bokeh balls, APO bokeh looks great to me. My comfort level for manual lenses and GM being all around great make the decision difficult, though.

Some of the 3d-ness of APO images I saw in threads really stands out to me.



May 15, 2022 at 03:53 PM
tzhang4284
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


If your heart is set on the Voigtlander go get it but if you truly want the Sony 50mm f1.2, just pay the premium and get that. It's better in every way based on my experience with both lenses except with respect to size, weight, and price.

If you're really looking for a small f5.6 or f8 lens, I thought the Sigma 45mm was excellent. There were a lot of things that bugged me about that lens, but it was great for cityscapes and general photography if you stop it down a bit.

If you want a good small all-around AF lens, I think the Sony 50mm f2.5 or Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 will give you better wide open performance than the Voigtlander 50mm and you won't see any real difference at f5.6 or f8. Wide open, the Voigtlander had really bad vignetting from when I tried it and images lacked contrast. There was some pop but I didn't think it was any better than the 55mm f1.8 overall and worse in some respects.

Don't automatically think APO = better image quality. I know chromatic aberration is an issue but I don't think I've ran into any situation that I can remember where it ruined an image for me.



May 15, 2022 at 04:21 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


I have a lot of Voigtlander lenses in both the M and Sony FE mount. If you are will to look through many of the pages in the Voigtlander lenses on E-mount bodies, you can see a lot of my images shot with the lens on both A7rIII and A1 cameras. There are also many images by other photographers and I also have a lot of images in the thread shot with the Voigtlander 12mm, 28mm f2 Ultron II, 65mm, 90mm, and 110mm lenses. Yes, most definitely post processing contributes with all of our images posted. But, the 50mm Apo is a sweatheart of a lens and one of my very favorites.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1688359

Rich



May 15, 2022 at 04:24 PM
zugzwang2
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


tzhang4284 wrote:
Wide open, the Voigtlander had really bad vignetting

Wide open at f/2 the Voigtlander loses 59% of light in the corners (a really bad result), which cannot be compared to the light loss for the faster GM wide open (63%) and at f/1.4 (56%), which I suppose is not really bad. Indeed, at f/2.8 the APO-Lanthar's monstrous vignetting of 40% per lenstip dwarfs the insignificant 37% value for the 50mm GM at the f/2, where the vignetting seems hardly worth mentioning.



May 15, 2022 at 06:35 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?



The 55/1.8 would give you better results than the 50/2 APO in what way?

In what ways was it worse?

Seems like that would be useful information for the OP if you're suggesting the 55/1.8.

tzhang4284 wrote:
If your heart is set on the Voigtlander go get it but if you truly want the Sony 50mm f1.2, just pay the premium and get that. It's better in every way based on my experience with both lenses except with respect to size, weight, and price.

If you're really looking for a small f5.6 or f8 lens, I thought the Sigma 45mm was excellent. There were a lot of things that bugged me about that lens, but it was great for cityscapes and general photography if you stop it down a bit.

If you want a good small all-around AF lens,
...Show more




May 15, 2022 at 06:38 PM
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