Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Leica & Alternative Gear | Join Upload & Sell

1       2       3              16      
17
       18              24       25       end
  

Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review

  
 
hmzimelka
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #1 · p.17 #1 · 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

Interesting. My copy of the Ultron 35mm f/2 ASPH, including the DNG sample images I got from another forum member, had a pretty ugly mid zone at medium to far focus distances up until f/5.6. A harsh, double edged rendering of detail from what I imagine to be astigmatism. I used a M10M and an M11 with this lens and honestly couldn't wait to sell it.

I would love to try the 35/1.5 but talk of an even weaker mid zone has me a little spooked. The redeeming feature of the 35/1.5 is a far smoother OOF area than the 35/2 Ultron ASPH.



Dec 19, 2022 at 08:02 AM
phinix
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #2 · p.17 #2 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rramesh wrote:
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.


Even 1.2?




Dec 19, 2022 at 09:20 AM
rramesh
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #3 · p.17 #3 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


phinix wrote:
Even 1.2?

It's a 1/2 stop slower. For some, it would be an acceptable compromise, for a smaller lens that has a similar bokeh.




Dec 19, 2022 at 09:26 AM
Steve Spencer
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #4 · p.17 #4 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


YumMango wrote:
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
...Show more

I see a bit more axial CA from the Nokton here. It is faint but you see it around the white letter in Spain on the book and a bit on the focus chart as well. Bokeh is pretty similar I agree and both lenses do well with bokeh in this shot.



Dec 19, 2022 at 09:37 AM
Steve Spencer
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #5 · p.17 #5 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


rramesh wrote:
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.


I have the Ultron 1.7 and I am not sure I will replace it with this lens. I think the Ultron 1.7 has slightly better performance mainly in controlling axial CA a bit better. That said this lens looks like a huge step up compared to the Ultron 1.7 in ergonomics and it is about a third of a stop faster, and it is smaller with a lot less finder blockage. So, I can see why people would switch from the Ultron 1.7 to this lens.

My problem is that I don't like the axial CA and I think it is considerably weaker in that respect than my CV 28 Ultron 2 and my Leica M 50 f/1.4 Asph, so I don't see picking this lens very often over the other two. I had hopes that this lens could be paired with my CV 75 f/1.5 as a nice two lens combo, but I think I would almost always pick the 28, 50 combo instead as I do now. I think this lens has just enough that bothers me (poor close focus performance, strong purple fringing and axial CA) that it just wouldn't get used and for those few times that I use a 35 the Ultron 1.7 will do. Now a stronger 35, could be a lens I would really like and want, but this lens isn't quite up to what I hoped it would be or so it seems for now.



Dec 19, 2022 at 09:46 AM
YumMango
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #6 · p.17 #6 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


"Bokeh (IMO) is far from equivalent here."

In other photos I can see a difference.



Dec 19, 2022 at 09:52 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #7 · p.17 #7 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


When I first tried the Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron, I thought that its rendering was not for my taste either but I do like its character now. When focusing a subject a mid-distance, where the transition zone is part of the out of focus background, it yields a much different look compared to the f/1.2 and new f/1.5 Nokton lenses which have way less outlining and a more 'gaussian', smooth draw, which most shooters prefer.

Actually, the Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron's rendering is more similar to the Leica 35/1.4 FLE than other Voigtlander lenses and could be a lighter/smaller/cheaper alternative to the Leica for those who like that look. The FLE is still sharper even shooting wide open though.

Here is a subject focused at mid-distance (2m) comparing the rendering between the Leica FLE and Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron (both wide open). The latter's specular highlights have even more outlining but it's a look different than we get with new Voigtlander 35/1.5 Nokton and previous f/1.2 Nokton lenses.




Leica 35/1.4 FLE (TOP) | Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron (BOTTOM): Both at f/2






Both wide open






Both wide open






Both wide open






Both wide open




Dec 19, 2022 at 10:21 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #8 · p.17 #8 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review




Back to Quick Links

Final Thoughts:

The Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton is another solid release from Cosina. This compact, well built 35mm lens is fast, light and performs well at a price that won't break the bank.

Wide open, the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton does well at center but around the mid-field area, resolution drops a bit followed by an improvement towards the corners. The Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux FLE tested here also performed this way - with a drop in the mid-field, which seems common with most fast 35mm lenses. In terms of resolution however, the Leica outperforms the Voigtlander when shooting wide open, but when stopped down to f/2.8 and smaller apertures, both offered similar performance.

Coma, CA correction and vignetting are within the parameters of other 35mm f/1.4 lenses which are usually not highly corrected wide open but with great improvement stopped down. Low distortion and negligible focus shift are also strengths for the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton.

At minimum focus distance, it performed better than expected, considering it's not equipped with a floating element/group. At close to mid-distance, field curvature is noticeable but luckily it flattens almost completely towards infinity distance. The lens' rendering is quite smooth and pleasant and I think it's a great choice for environment portraits even in low light.

Just like with other Voigtlander lenses, the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton is capable of defined sunstars starting at f/4 and best from f/5.6 until f/11. However, it is still capable of decent sunstars even at f/2 or f/2.8. The sunstars will have 12 points since the lens is equipped with a 12-blade aperture mechanism (straight blades)

Flare resistance is one of the best I've seen in a 35mm f/1.4 lens. There is very little veiling and ghosting is rare.


Pros:
  1. Ultra compact and light for a fast 35mm lens with a modern design.
  2. Low distortion.
  3. Great build quality with tight tolerance construction. Focusing tab as smooth as silk.
  4. Aperture mechanism provides defined 12-pointed sunstars.
  5. Low lateral CA.
  6. Outstanding flare resistance.

Cons:
  1. Specular highlights 'cats-eye' shape due to high optical vignetting.
  2. Small drop in resolution at mid-zone.
  3. Noticeable axial CA.



Dec 19, 2022 at 10:34 AM
nehemiahphoto
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #9 · p.17 #9 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
I have the Ultron 1.7 and I am not sure I will replace it with this lens. I think the Ultron 1.7 has slightly better performance mainly in controlling axial CA a bit better. That said this lens looks like a huge step up compared to the Ultron 1.7 in ergonomics and it is about a third of a stop faster, and it is smaller with a lot less finder blockage. So, I can see why people would switch from the Ultron 1.7 to this lens.

My problem is that I don't like the axial CA and I think it
...Show more

In real world shooting, I am seeing more axial CA than I initially though I would get and it's been a bit of a pain. And that is one optical issue I am not that sensitive too. OTOH, the midzone dip, while not great, is bothering me less than I thought it would.

Does the CV 35/1.7 have a mid-zone dip do you know? I don't remember it have one if shot on a modded/leica sensor, but I also haven't shot it much in recent years.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:05 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #10 · p.17 #10 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
In real world shooting, I am seeing more axial CA than I initially though I would get and it's been a bit of a pain. And that is one optical issue I am not that sensitive too. OTOH, the midzone dip, while not great, is bothering me less than I thought it would.

Does the CV 35/1.7 have a mid-zone dip do you know? I don't remember it have one if shot on a modded/leica sensor, but I also haven't shot it much in recent years.


No, the CV 35/1.7 performs similarly to the 35/2 Ultron at mid-zone with a gradual fall off from center, instead of a dip.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:10 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

Steve Spencer
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #11 · p.17 #11 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
In real world shooting, I am seeing more axial CA than I initially though I would get and it's been a bit of a pain. And that is one optical issue I am not that sensitive too. OTOH, the midzone dip, while not great, is bothering me less than I thought it would.

Does the CV 35/1.7 have a mid-zone dip do you know? I don't remember it have one if shot on a modded/leica sensor, but I also haven't shot it much in recent years.


That is a good question about the CV 35 f/1.7. I haven't shot it all that much as I said, because I don't like the ergonomics and the finder blockage, so I can't say for sure but I haven't noticed problems with mid-field dip on my M10, but I very well could have missed it.

Edit: seeing Fred's comment it looks like I didn't miss it.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:10 AM
nehemiahphoto
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #12 · p.17 #12 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Thanks Steve and Fred. I don’t recall ever being annoyed or having to shoot around it.

And thanks for posting the CV 35/2 Ultron vs 35 Lux FLE—similar draws indeed.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:16 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #13 · p.17 #13 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Thanks Steve and Fred. I don’t recall ever being annoyed or having to shoot around it.

And thanks for posting the CV 35/2 Ultron vs 35 Lux FLE—similar draws indeed.


One of the 'pros' for the CV 35/1.7 was the uniform resolution performance across the field. (On a Leica M)
The CV 35/2 Ultron also shares this characteristic.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:30 AM
rscheffler
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #14 · p.17 #14 · 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.

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

YumMango wrote:
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
...Show more

Thanks for these. I ran both through a find edges filter and it looks like the Nokton's point of focus on the focus chart is slightly behind, whereas the Ultron is spot on. There's also more color aliasing by the Ultron. I still feel that the Nokton is a bit weaker in the plane of focus due to more SA. Here it's evident against the Ultron and previously in thrice's images, against the ZM.

In regards to bokeh, it's interesting to see these comparisons because I always thought the Ultron was relatively smooth. And I still think it is, relative to many other 35s. But here the Nokton shows smoother background character, particularly in the OOF chandelier at top right. I feel the Ultron has better/smoother focus transition, particularly in the foreground. Compare the bottom of the focus chart grid as well as the knobs on the cabinet. The Nokton's rendering is more nervous. Also, the skull and figure on the skull look calmer in the Ultron's rendering - not sure if this is a characteristic of the Nokton's mid zone dip. I think I see a bit more fringing in the Nokton's rendering of the wire figure.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:33 AM
YumMango
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #15 · p.17 #15 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Keen observations! Agreed.


Dec 19, 2022 at 11:41 AM
YumMango
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #16 · p.17 #16 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


@ rscheffler

I'd also add that with the Ultron, you see a tad more distortion if you look at the line of the wall.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:43 AM
rscheffler
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #17 · p.17 #17 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


YumMango wrote:
@ rscheffler

I'd also add that with the Ultron, you see a tad more distortion if you look at the line of the wall.


Yes, slight barrel distortion. It's not significant IMO and easily correctible in post, whereas rendering character isn't. I find I am sensitive to nervous rendering/astigmatism. While I don't mind 'busy' character in grossly OOF areas, as seen in Fred's comparison of the Lux FLE against the f/2 Ultron, it bothers me in transition areas. And this is where I'm less certain about the Nokton vs. the 1.7 Ultron.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:48 AM
Steve Spencer
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #18 · p.17 #18 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Looking at all the CV 35mm lenses for Leica M mount it is amazing that all have a purpose and a place, but none stand out for me as the lens I want. Here is the run down as I see it:

CV 35 f/1.2 III Nokton- nice sharpness with quite nice bokeh, not bad axial CA correction especially as you stop down, pretty heavy vignetting which cause extreme cat's eyes, in the end a pretty big lens for me on a Leica M body and comes with quite a bit of finder blockage.

CV 35 f/1.4 classic - lots of SA wide open, quite a bit of axial CA (masked a bit by the SA), bokeh is mixed depending on the situation, not very sharp until well stopped down, lots of vignetting which causes extreme cat's eyes, but very small and ergonomically quite good

CV 35 f/1.5 Nokton - see Fred summary above

CV 35 f/1.7 Ultron - pretty sharp at most distances--less so close up, a bit of axial CA but not too bad, quite nice bokeh but high vignetting leads to some pretty extreme cat's eyes if you have specular highlights, no mid zone dip, quite nice landscape performance stopped down. A big of an ergonomic disaster, however, IMO. Small focus ring that is less than ideal and the lens causes a fair bit of viewfinder blockage.

CV 35 f/2 Ultron - ergonomically very nice, small with a nice focus tab and cause little viewfinder blockage. Optically, not to my taste with bokeh that I see as fairly harsh and quite a bit of axial CA. It is a sharp lens, however.

CV 35 f/2 APO - stunning sharpness, with ok bokeh except in the transition zone. Very little axial CA as would be expected and quite decent performance close up. A lot to like optically, but ergonomically it is quite big with quite a bit of viewfinder blockage.

CV 35 f/2.5 Skopar - a bit of a sleeper lens as ergonomically it is quite good and optically it is generally pretty sharp at most distances. Axial CA is naturally limited by the narrow aperture, but the narrow aperture also means that the quantity of bokeh is often pretty low. What bokeh is there is pretty good, however.

That is a lot of lenses, but each has there plusses and minuses and you can add in Zeiss and Leica lenses and IMO only one lenses doesn't have some significant compromises (the new Leica 35 f/2 APO and that has the obvious compromise of a super high price).

So, 35mm to me is a focal length where you have to pick what compromises matter most to you. I would love a lens like the Leica M 50 f/1.4 Asph with great ergonomics, great sharpness, excellent bokeh, and low CA, but nothing like that exist at 35 (well except perhaps the uber expensive Leica M 35 f/2 APO), so we have lots of choice but for me at least not a lot of satisfaction.



Dec 19, 2022 at 11:49 AM
nehemiahphoto
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.17 #19 · p.17 #19 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
Looking at all the CV 35mm lenses for Leica M mount it is amazing that all have a purpose and a place, but none stand out for me as the lens I want. Here is the run down as I see it:

CV 35 f/1.2 III Nokton- nice sharpness with quite nice bokeh, not bad axial CA correction especially as you stop down, pretty heavy vignetting which cause extreme cat's eyes, in the end a pretty big lens for me on a Leica M body and comes with quite a bit of finder blockage.

CV 35 f/1.4 classic - lots of
...Show more

Solid list Steve. One aspect that rates importantly for many is flare resistance—and there is variability across the lenses.

Also, I am going to run my own formal test, but with both lenses at f2, I have found in real world shooting the CV 35/2 LoCal to be good (not perfect or great), and better than the new CV 35/1.5. I’ll post my results.



Dec 19, 2022 at 01:02 PM
rscheffler
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.17 #20 · p.17 #20 · Voigtlander 35mm f/1.5 Nokton Review


Steve Spencer wrote:
Looking at all the CV 35mm lenses for Leica M mount it is amazing that all have a purpose and a place, but none stand out for me as the lens I want. Here is the run down as I see it:

IMO only one lens doesn't have some significant compromises (the new Leica 35 f/2 APO and that has the obvious compromise of a super high price).


Haha, before I got to that part of your post, my thought was precisely that THE lens is the Leica 35 APO. Small enough, sharp, good bokeh, APO performance... As you stated, all of these 35s have compromises and yes, for the Leica its compromise is its no-compromises price.

Attn. Cosina: we all know you can do as well or better than Leica. Make a direct competitor to their 35 APO at ~$2,000 to 2,500 and you'll have my attention. But only if it's similar in size, similar in rendering, good across frame and APO performance. Thanks!



Dec 19, 2022 at 04:14 PM
1       2       3              16      
17
       18              24       25       end






FM Forums | Leica & Alternative Gear | Join Upload & Sell

1       2       3              16      
17
       18              24       25       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username      Reset password