Adapted Voigtlander 40mm 1.4 versus the new Sony35mm 1.8?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Sabre36, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Sabre36

    Sabre36 TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    I am fairly new to the Nex world having purchased a Nex-7 and a Sony 10-18 f1.8 two months ago. I also adapted some Minolta MD lenses I had: Rokkor 28mm 2.8 and Rokkor 50mm 1.7. These lenses are nicely built, especially compared to the 10-18mm zoom. I have been eyeing a Voigtlander 40mm 1.4 lens as a walk-around lens. I generally don't mind manual focusing but have certainly missed a few shots, as to be expected. Light sensitivity is important to me because I hate using a flash.

    Now that the Sony 35 1.8 is finally out this week, I am curious about the difference in IQ between the non-OSS, non-AF, theoretically higher-end Voigtlander versus the Sony 35mm which has decent specifications and one good review so far. I have never used an Voigtlander lens so I making an assumption that is a poor-man's Zeiss. For more or less the same price ( ~$400 used for Voigtlander, $450 Sony) which would you buy? I am torn by the AF/OSS convenience of the Sony 35mm versus the build and perhaps better IQ of the Voigtlander.

    Advice and opinions welcome.

  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    answer yourself

    I think you gave the answer, or at least the right question. "I am torn by the AF/OSS convenience of the Sony 35mm versus the build and perhaps better IQ of the Voigtlander." Is auto focus that important to you?

    While I personally have never owned a Voigtlander, I have yet to see any negative pictures/opinions from a fully functional one.
  3. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    Real Name:
    I love my Voigtlander 35mm, and I have read a lot of good things about the 40mm as well. But I have also heard a lot of good things about the Sony, too, and I doubt either would be a bad choice.

    I will say that the reason I got the Voigtlander 35 over the 40 was that it ended up being a 52.5mm equivalent, versus 60mm, thus closer to a 'normal' perspective. You already have some great Rokkor's in 28 and 50, so you've got some range in manual focus primes there, so maybe the Sony for a AF alternative with a 50(ish)mm perspective? Just my two cents.
  4. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    Real Name:
    There's another difference that may or may not influence your decision. The Vöigtlander would be able to be used with the rumoured upcoming full frame NEX should you ever decide to upgrade.
  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Real Name:
    That's been at least a minor factor in many of my lens purchases over the last year. Now that said FF-NEX is at the most reliable rumor stage, this becomes a major consideration for me. :)
  6. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Hmm, it all depends how fast and reliable an AF do you need ? .. Native E lenses are far from race horses for AF, lol..

    Regarding stabilization, and unless you have a Parkinson type condition (not to be taken lightly, so folks do have real issues), I wouldn't worry about OSS on such a short focal length. The ONLY times I ever felt I could have used a stabilized lens is with really long telezooms, and I'll take a 2.8 lens over a stabilized one ANY day. OS is totally overrated if you ask me...
  7. Sabre36

    Sabre36 TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    I am replying to my original post/question. I ended up purchasing the Sony 35mm 1.8. I haven't shot much with it, but my initial impressions are largely positive. I decided upon the Sony because I wanted something lightweight for travel.

    Pros: size, weight, AF, OSS, sharp at 2.5-2.8
    Cons: Light build/quality, manual focus if odd

    I did a few side-by-side comparisons with the closest prime I have at this focal length - a Minolta MC Rokkor-X 28mm 2.8. I would have to say it is a toss-up as to which is better in terms of IQ. The Rokkor probably has better color and is a little sharper at 2.8. But the inconvience (size, weight, MF) make it a draw since it is so easy to miss shots with manual focus.

    I do find myself shooting a lot with a Canon FD 20mm 2.8 these days, even more than my Sony 10-18mm f4 lens. I like that lens for some reason. I rarely shoot with a Minolta Rokkor 50mm 1.7 because I don't love that focal length.

    I'll be talking the 35mm exclusively to Budapest next week to see how it handles. If I like it, I'll sell the 28mm.