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Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review

  
 
rramesh
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p.16 #1 · p.16 #1 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Thanks for posting! And a couple using the 35/1.5 on a little hike tonight with the dogs.


Nice photos indeed nehemiahphoto.




Dec 17, 2022 at 07:14 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #2 · p.16 #2 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


bjhurley wrote:
It's funny, that captures how I've been feeling about my new VM35/2 Ultron (which I bought based on nehemiahphoto's recommendation), but I think it might be a better generalist than the 35/1.5 because it's quite sharp wide open and I don't see any of that midfield softness. It can be too contrasty for my taste but that is easily dialed down in post, and I've really grown to like it as an all-purpose lens. It does the job reliably and has enough character at larger apertures to make it interesting. Jack Takahashi has a review of it here: https://jacktaka.com/voigtlander-35mm-f2; you
...Show more

The Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron is not one of our sharpest 35mm lenses but I consider it sharp and contrasty from wide open across the image field. At center, it manages to offer similar resolution/contrast when compared to the new CV 35/1.5 @f/2 which is an impressive feat. Where is matters, the mid-field is noticeably stronger on the Ultron but the Nokton has slight better extreme corner performance.

I will be posting coma performance next.



Dec 17, 2022 at 10:01 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.16 #3 · p.16 #3 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


@bjhurley I share the same feeling entirely. Glad you are liking the CV 35/2, Fred is warming to it as well and picked it up recently after we been messaging. Like you though, not my favorite 35mm, but a very good one for the same reasons you've listed (small, good flare resistance, fast-ish, great ergo, moderate price, punchy and modern with personality), meaning it offsets my 35 Lux pre-asph and is a highly reliable daily driver. @rramesh Thank you! @thrice That yellow dog is about 12 now, and a bigger guy--he's in his golden years, but he can still hike on the right hikes, so I love getting on the trail with him. We both love snow. And the light was lovely up there.

I honestly hate a weak mid zone as I often place my subjects there. I don't like bad corners, but I rarely place a subject in the far corner at f2, so I am far more accepting of that.



Dec 17, 2022 at 10:11 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #4 · p.16 #4 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review



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Sagittal Coma Flare performance:


The Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 is not very well corrected for coma at f/1.5 and f/2. Stopping down to f/2.8 and f/4 improves coma significantly. It's not the worse coma performance I've seen as the Leica 35/1.4 FLE is even less corrected wide open.

Here are 100% crops showing a bright star close to the edge of the frame.








Thumbnail showing the entire image. (Shot on Leica M10-R)




f/1.5 (LEFT) | f/2 (RIGHT): Not much changes from wide open to f2






f/2 (LEFT) | f/2.8 (RIGHT)






f/2.8 (LEFT) | f/4 (RIGHT)




Dec 17, 2022 at 12:32 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #5 · p.16 #5 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


As a comparison, here is the Leica 35/1.4 Summilux FLE coma performance:




f/1.4 (LEFT) | f/2 (RIGHT)






f/2 (LEFT) | f/2.8 (RIGHT): At f/2.8, coma is pretty much gone for the Leica 35/1.4 FLE






Comparison between the Voigtlander 35/1.5 Nokton (LEFT) and Leica 35/1.4 FLE (RIGHT) -- wide open




Dec 17, 2022 at 12:36 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.16 #6 · p.16 #6 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
<div id=coma name=coma></div>
<a href=https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1784972/0#ql>Back to Quick Links</a>

Sagittal Coma Flare performance:

The Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 is not very well corrected for coma at f/1.5 and f/2. Stopping down to f/2.8 and f/4 improves coma significantly. It's not the worse coma performance I've seen as the Leica 35/1.4 FLE is even less corrected wide open.

Here are 100% crops showing a bright star close to the edge of the frame.


Are these on a 40mp M10-r? would you mind to post the full sky?



Dec 17, 2022 at 02:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #7 · p.16 #7 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Are these on a 40mp M10-r? would you mind to post the full sky?


Yes M10-R.

Here is the full image showing the CV 35/1.5 wide open:

100% crops here.





  LEICA M10-R    Voigtlander 35/1.5 Nokton lens    35mm    f/4.0    2s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 17, 2022 at 03:23 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.16 #8 · p.16 #8 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Yes M10-R.

Here is the full image showing the CV 35/1.5 wide open:

100% crops here.


Thanks Fred--that is helpful. I tested mine, but I have been city bound so haven't had much of a chance to test except for a few sparse stars. Not great, but if you corrected LoCal I would say the files are usable if the vignetting isn't too much.



Dec 17, 2022 at 03:42 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.16 #9 · p.16 #9 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Thanks Fred--that is helpful. I tested mine, but I have been city bound so haven't had much of a chance to test except for a few sparse stars. Not great, but if you corrected LoCal I would say the files are usable if the vignetting isn't too much.


Just as curiosity here is the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 Ultron's coma performance @f2 and f/2.8




f/2: RIGHT | f/2.8: LEFT




Dec 17, 2022 at 08:03 PM
rscheffler
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p.16 #10 · p.16 #10 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rscheffler wrote:
But the downside to being a good generalist, is it doesn't really have anything that blows you away. It's not as sharp/contrasty at wider apertures like the ZM, Lux ASPH FLE and VM35 APO. Nor is it quite a 'character' lens like the VM35/1.4 and therefore also the various flavors of 35 Lux non-ASPH. Or going more extreme, the new MS Optics 36/1.3 Apollon with very interestingly imperfect character...

rramesh wrote:
What blows one away most often is not the lens, rather what is captured with it. In my time, I have seen great photos taken with cheap lenses, and really crappy ones taken with the most expensive Leica lenses.


I think that's a given.

This is a technical discussion on an equipment forum. What I wrote was purely based on technical considerations entirely separate from how the lens might be successfully used by talented photographers.

thrice wrote:
Do you own the ZM @rscheffler@? Would you like to?


Haha, thanks for the offer, I think. I tried one briefly in 2014 but didn't end up buying it for various reason. Ended up with the VM35/1.7 in 2015 and have been happy with it (optically). So no real interest in the ZM, primarily due to size.

I'm more interested in the VM35/1.5 because it fixes most of the ergonomic mistakes of the 35/1.7. Just trying to figure out if it'll produce what I want optically. I think stopped down it looks great. It's the wider aperture mid zone that is kind of the question mark at the moment.



Dec 18, 2022 at 02:59 AM
 


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rscheffler
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p.16 #11 · p.16 #11 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rscheffler wrote:
But the downside to being a good generalist, is it doesn't really have anything that blows you away.

bjhurley wrote:
It's funny, that captures how I've been feeling about my new VM35/2 Ultron (which I bought based on nehemiahphoto's recommendation), but I think it might be a better generalist than the 35/1.5 because it's quite sharp wide open and I don't see any of that midfield softness. It can be too contrasty for my taste but that is easily dialed down in post, and I've really grown to like it as an all-purpose lens. It does the job reliably and has enough character at larger apertures to make it interesting. Jack Takahashi has a review of it here: https://jacktaka.com/voigtlander-35mm-f2; you
...Show more

Based on Fred's comparison images between the 35/1.5 and 35/2, I feel like the 1.5 offers better background rendering (smoother) and one more stop in a similarly sized package. The tradeoff seems to be the mid zone at wider apertures.

I remember Juha's photos with the 35/2 when it was first released and I thought its focus transition was very nervous in certain types of scenes.

The 35/1.5's near distance SA is something I like about it. Takes a bit of edge off the image and could be good for people photos. Or flowers (as demonstrated by Juha's sample images in the other thread).



Dec 18, 2022 at 03:21 AM
YumMango
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p.16 #12 · p.16 #12 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Well snap. My upload and sell membership just expired. I can't quickly post comparison shots, so I'll do it indirectly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

My goal in buying the Nokton 1.5 is the hope that it can replace my favorite lens, the Ultron 1.7. As much as I love the Ultron 1.7, I dislike the weight and balance on my camera for all day travel, which is pretty much when I take pictures. I have the brass version. I have tried several lenses including the Ultron 2.0 which I returned. None have come close enough.

I'm still evaluating the Nokton 1.5, but the ergonomics are perfect and the brass version poses no problems. (The brass is lovely, in my opinion.) So is it good enough? Right now, I'm leaning toward saying that it is. I'm certainly not as good of an evaluator as FM and others here, but here is a comparison that I feel shows both similarities and differences in one shot.

The Nokton 1.5

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vi3L5J7-G5AMpBA0HEvsiyzFEzL0AwGz/view?usp=share_link

The Ultron 1.7

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11Nwj5PXV9n5OexC9IKLBT_oYSMGqTu3I/view?usp=share_link

Both photos were taken on the M11 at F2 ISO 64 at a distance from focus of about 2 feet or so. Images were taken in DNG and converted to JPG and reduced to 800 pixels (I thought that I was going to post directly to FM) in the identical process with no editing. Today is evenly overcast at noon and the lighting did not change; this fact is relevant.

My impression: When I do some extreme pixel scrutiny, I can discern minor differences but I would be hard pressed to tell them apart if I didn't already know which was which. Except that there is a real difference. On a macro level, there are a couple of things going on with the Ultron that, at least for this photo, I prefer. I lack the expertise to identify the causes or use the correct vocabulary but I'll give it a go. With the Ultron, I think that there is a touch of barrel distortion that I think that I like in this photo. I'm not sure of this fact but it is my hunch. In comparison, I can't see any distortion with the Nokton, and I would say ordinarily that would be preferable. But there is one more thing that stands out. Despite the consistent light, I prefer how the Ultron renders the center radius of the photo, with a warmer color and - I'm not sure how to explain this - more contrast and something else that I can't put into words very well. The Nokton renders light more evenly, which could be desirable, but with the Ultron in this photo there is more light and shadow in play, so the center of the image stands out more. There might be other factors in play beyond contrast.

So far I like the Nokton quite a bit. I think that I still prefer the Ultron, but the Nokton might be a keeper. I need to do more evaluations. (In a few other photos, I note a higher incidence of chromatic aberration with the Nokton.) And lastly, I'm not a technical guy so please be gentle if my analysis was off the mark.



Edited on Dec 19, 2022 at 01:05 AM · View previous versions



Dec 18, 2022 at 02:21 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.16 #13 · p.16 #13 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Back to Quick Links

A couple more examples from the weekend





f1.5 w/a7 modded sensor (native performance)







f1.5 w/a7 modded sensor (native performance) w/close-focus helicoid and lens @MFD







a7c Sony stock WO







f1.5 w/a7 modded sensor (native performance)




Dec 18, 2022 at 03:22 PM
rramesh
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p.16 #14 · p.16 #14 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


It's interesting that with this lens, Voigtlander has given users good reasons to replace the Nokton 1.2, the Ultron 1.7 and even the Ultron 2 with one lens.


Dec 18, 2022 at 06:57 PM
pinewood
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p.16 #15 · p.16 #15 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


That might be the biggest benefit for a lot of us too.


Dec 18, 2022 at 07:43 PM
rscheffler
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p.16 #16 · p.16 #16 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


YumMango wrote:
My goal in buying the Nokton 1.5 is the hope that it can replace my favorite lens, the Ultron 1.7. As much as I love the Ultron 1.7, I dislike the weight and balance on my camera for all day travel, which is pretty much when I take pictures. I have the brass version. I have tried several lenses including the Ultron 2.0 which I returned. None have come close enough.


My interest in the 35./1.5 is for exactly the same reasons. I really like the optical quality/characteristics of the VM35/1.7 but dislike its ergonomics/design. I have the black aluminum version. If I get the 35/1.5, it will likely be the black brass version.

Therefore, I'm very interested in your experiences comparing the two as you spend more time with the 35/1.5.

BTW, in your post, it's slightly unclear if your Ultron sample image is from the Ultron f/2 version or the f/1.7 at f/2.



Dec 18, 2022 at 11:21 PM
YumMango
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p.16 #17 · p.16 #17 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rscheffler wrote:
My interest in the 35./1.5 is for exactly the same reasons. I really like the optical quality/characteristics of the VM35/1.7 but dislike its ergonomics/design. I have the black aluminum version. If I get the 35/1.5, it will likely be the black brass version.

Therefore, I'm very interested in your experiences comparing the two as you spend more time with the 35/1.5.

BTW, in your post, it's slightly unclear if your Ultron sample image is from the Ultron f/2 version or the f/1.7 at f/2.


Good catch! I meant to say Ultron 1.7.



Dec 19, 2022 at 01:05 AM
srirachapapi
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p.16 #18 · p.16 #18 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Thanks for posting! And a couple using the 35/1.5 on a little hike tonight with the dogs.


Love the pups and the photos ofc haha!!



Dec 19, 2022 at 01:32 AM
YumMango
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p.16 #19 · p.16 #19 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rscheffler wrote:
My interest in the 35./1.5 is for exactly the same reasons.


I guessed that there might be other people with the same question. This won't answer the question, but here is another data point.

Ultron 1.7 at F2

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11QrXi__gcICWYR_VBop7-nV7burf90mq/view?usp=share_link

Nokton 1.5 at F2

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FRG8ZHllLN9iR7_fg_4duJ8o_KziLpuB/view?usp=share_link

Impression. The quality in this comparison is close. Unless I missed focus, I'd say in this shot the Ultron is slightly more detailed on the figure's face, but not by much. This time I prefer the Nokton's color, since it more accurately shows the wall color. I'd say more often in other photos the Nokton has more CA, but they are about equal on the silver items (look at the lens and the wire figure). But on the focus box, the Ultron demonstrates better control. Bokeh in this shot is nominal but equivalent. There is not a lot to differentiate the lenses in this shot. Maybe the biggest difference is that it looks like there is more vignetting at F2 on the Ultron.

That the lenses are so close in performance is a checkmark in favor of the Nokton.



Dec 19, 2022 at 01:46 AM
philip_pj
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p.16 #20 · p.16 #20 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Bokeh (IMO) is far from equivalent here. The new lens demonstrates bokeh with a dreamy, low contrast, fast fade character that abstracts early and gives much greater depth perception. Image motifs merge easily from one to another. Much more even highlights with soft, smooth glow. OOC it looks more linear. A more refined foundation, certainly, with easier post-processing.


Dec 19, 2022 at 04:34 AM
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