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How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?

  
 
doc4x5
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


As expected, opinions vary. I agree that by f/5.6 to f/8, common landscape apertures, it can be hard to differentiate lenses, even excellent ones. But I maintain that for its appropriate use, the CV 50 APO, is superb. If you really need autofocus, the GM is the undisputed king; if weight and price are irrelevant (and they usually play some role in these decisions), the GM will likely win as well. I love the CV because most of the things I photograph don't move, eg rocks and trees. I've been called an ARAT photographer, ... Another Rock, Another Tree

Whatever you do, don't look back, enjoy what you have, go out and make photographs. Have some fun. Many of us (me?) spend too much time on fora agonizing over decisions that, in the end, are not that big a deal.



May 15, 2022 at 06:38 PM
tzhang4284
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


zugzwang2 wrote:
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.


I don't dispute the data you cite from lenstip but the 50mm f1.2 vignetting doesn't bother me as much especially with software corrections, it's not bothersome. Not all vignetting is bad, but there is bad vignetting. Chalk that up to personal preference.

I'll caveat it's been two years since I owned the Voigtlander and I just remember I found the output lacking and vignetting was one of the reasons I disliked it. My reference point was the Sigma 45mm and Batis 40mm back then and I thought the vignetting was worse than those two other lenses I had.

If you like the Voigtlander 50mm, more power to you, just providing my take based on my experience with it. I've cycled through a lot of lenses in the 45mm to 55mm range over the years and I'd say the Sony 50mm f1.2 is by far the best I've used. The 55mm f1.8 is my #2 choice as a good all-around lens - still have a copy on "long-term loan" to a family member.

---------------------------------------------

tsdevine wrote:
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.



I preferred the bokeh and color rendition wide open of the Sony 55mm f1.8 to the Voigtlander 50mm APO if the Op is looking for a general purpose 50mm lens (e.g. portraits and maybe street photography). I've also used both lenses as "cityscape lenses" at f5.6 and f8 and I don't think there's a real world difference there that matters there. The reason to pick the Voigtlander 50mm over the Sony 55mm is if you want the sharpest possible corners at f5.6 or f8 and that matters more than wide open subject rendition.



May 15, 2022 at 06:49 PM
naturephoto1
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


zugzwang2 wrote:
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.



tzhang4284 wrote:
I don't dispute the data you cite from lenstip but the 50mm f1.2 vignetting doesn't bother me as much especially with software corrections, it's not bothersome. Not all vignetting is bad, but there is bad vignetting. Chalk that up to personal preference.

I'll caveat it's been two years since I owned the Voigtlander and I just remember I found the output lacking and vignetting was one of the reasons I disliked it. My reference point was the Sigma 45mm and Batis 40mm back then and I thought the vignetting was worse than those two other lenses I had.

If you like
...Show more

The Lightroom profile for the CV 50mm f2 Apo-Lanthar Asph lens corrects for most of the vignetting.

Rich



May 15, 2022 at 07:04 PM
tsdevine
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?



I haven't used my FE 55 much since picking up the 50 APO, mainly just when I need or want AF. And then most of the time I grab my Sigma 65.

tzhang4284 wrote:
I don't dispute the data you cite from lenstip but the 50mm f1.2 vignetting doesn't bother me as much especially with software corrections, it's not bothersome. Not all vignetting is bad, but there is bad vignetting. Chalk that up to personal preference.

I'll caveat it's been two years since I owned the Voigtlander and I just remember I found the output lacking and vignetting was one of the reasons I disliked it. My reference point was the Sigma 45mm and Batis 40mm back then and I thought the vignetting was worse than those two other lenses I had.

If you like
...Show more




May 15, 2022 at 07:13 PM
zugzwang2
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


tzhang4284 wrote:
The reason to pick the Voigtlander 50mm over the Sony 55mm is if you want the sharpest possible corners at f5.6 or f8 and that matters more than wide open subject rendition.


I'm quite surprised that you prefer the "wide open subject rendition" of the 55, a lens that I've enjoyed despite its characteristic features of busy, onion-ring bokeh and difficult-to-correct longitudinal chromatic aberration at wide apertures, not because of them. I wonder if the OP would agree.




May 15, 2022 at 07:37 PM
DaveFP
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


tsdevine wrote:
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.



IMO the 55 will give a better result for the vast majority of people on this forum for the simple reason that, as an AF lens, it can utilize SONY's AF technology to tremendous advantage.

The 50 APO is best left to advanced photographer's that know how to best leverage its small range of benefits.





May 15, 2022 at 08:56 PM
 


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tsdevine
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


No argument, but the OP was asking about the 50/2 APO specifically. I took at face value that he was okay with MF. I was just suggesting that the person who was recommending the 55/1.8 over the 50/2 APO give more details. AF is an obvious one if that's important to the OP.

Feel like you can't win here sometimes.

To the OP, you realize the 50/2 APO is a MF lens?


DaveFP wrote:
IMO the 55 will give a better result for the vast majority of people on this forum for the simple reason that, as an AF lens, it can utilize SONY's AF technology to tremendous advantage.

The 50 APO is best left to advanced photographer's that know how to best leverage its small range of advantages.






May 15, 2022 at 09:03 PM
tzhang4284
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


tsdevine wrote:
I haven't used my FE 55 much since picking up the 50 APO, mainly just when I need or want AF. And then most of the time I grab my Sigma 65.



I haven't tried the Sigma 65mm f2 but I figured it was a bit out of scope given that it was more than +/-5mm from 50mm. I also didn't take into account AF vs MF into my guidance. I've used the Loxia series extensively in the past personally so my preference isn't based on bias for AF. If the op prefers AF, then I think it's a strong case to skip the Voigtlander 50mm.

---------------------------------------------

zugzwang2 wrote:
I'm quite surprised that you prefer the "wide open subject rendition" of the 55, a lens that I've enjoyed despite its characteristic features of busy, onion-ring bokeh and difficult-to-correct longitudinal chromatic aberration at wide apertures, not because of them. I wonder if the OP would agree.














I prefer the bokeh on the 55mm f1.8 over the Voigtlander 50mm APO however open to different interpretations. The Sony is more smooth and less harsh than the Voigtlander to my eyes. Don't like the harshness on the right side - reminds me of the Sony or Batis 85mm and saw this during my own time with the Voigtlander 50mm. I do think their 55mm sample shot can be improved with some post-processing though. The Voigtlander 50mm shot is more detailed at 1:1 if you care about that.



May 15, 2022 at 10:51 PM
Younjulius
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


I DO know that APO is MF lens and, Iím fine with the trade of the price and MF compared to 50mm GM. Iím intrigued with Sigma 65mm f2, but I know little about it.

Can this be good enough to replace 50mm needs and 85mm being in between FL? Or, at least a good alternative to 50mm lenses?



May 15, 2022 at 11:44 PM
tsdevine
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


This might help visualize the differences between 50, 55, 65, and 85.

https://vahonen.info/FOV/?a=50&b=55&c=65&d=85

I almost always have the CV 50 with me, and I'm not sure you could look at the 65 as a replacement for 50. Both the CV 50 and Sigma 65 have less longitudinal chromatic aberration than the FE 55, as well as less coma and more resolution. And I like the 65 as it has less catseye bokeh than many lenses of its size. Do I like the bokeh of the 65 better than the 50? That's hard to say, I do see them as different FLs and haven't compared them directly, but my guess is I probably would.

Of the 3, the FE 55 is my least favorite lens, but it's still an excellent lens. I'm more of a landscape shooter, so that's why other people's perspective can be different than mine (and you can't argue if someone likes one lens better than another, everyone is different.)

The problem I have with Lenstip as a sole reference to give some one, related to samples, is that the lighting and framing isn't consistent. But they do have really nice tests for resolution, coma, etc. It may be worth looking through the complete tests on Lenstip. Links start at the resolution portion and you can see other optical qualities linked from there.

https://www.lenstip.com/613.4-Lens_review-Voigtlander_Apo_Lanthar_50_mm_f_2_Aspherical_Image_resolution.html
https://www.lenstip.com/483.4-Lens_review-Sony_Carl_Zeiss_Sonnar_T*_FE_55_mm_f_1.8_ZA_Image_resolution.html
https://www.lenstip.com/600.4-Lens_review-Sigma_C_65_mm_f_2_DG_DN_Image_resolution.html

Philip Reeve site also is a good reference, although he hasn't tested the Sigma 65.

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-voigtlander-50mm-f2-apo-lanthar/
https://phillipreeve.net/blog/sony-fe-1-855-za-sonnar-t-review/

Here's Dustin's Sigma 65 review were you can get an idea of the bokeh you can get from the Sigma.

https://dustinabbott.net/2020/12/sigma-65mm-f2-dn-review/

There is no absolute "wrong" answer here. For cityscapes at night, the 50/2 APO has better sunstars (some people like the effect, some don't.)

My comment earlier was to get some of the people to explain why they said they preferred a different lens over another, which I think I accomplished.

Younjulius wrote:
I DO know that APO is MF lens and, Iím fine with the trade of the price and MF compared to 50mm GM. Iím intrigued with Sigma 65mm f2, but I know little about it.

Can this be good enough to replace 50mm needs and 85mm being in between FL? Or, at least a good alternative to 50mm lenses?





May 16, 2022 at 06:14 AM
tsdevine
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · How does 50mm F2 Voigtlander APO lens compare?


Here's a resolution reference

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/35#15102026

Here's a rendering test I did between the 50/2 APO and FE 55. Probably doesn't have as complex a background as the Lenstip samples, but the lighting was consistent.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/43#15107204

Here are some more rendering comparisons I did, just scroll down from here for different apertures.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/43#15107227

Here's a LoCA comparison I did between the 50/2 APO, 65/2 APO, and FE 55.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/52#15129794

A nice cityscape shot from the same thread.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/51#15125133

And Will did a rendering comparison between the FE 55 and Sigma 65 that might be helpful.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1689786/5#15556109

Hope this helps.



May 16, 2022 at 06:47 AM
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