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Voigtlander 35mm 1.2 on A7s, A7ii and A7r

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tomO2013, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    Hi,

    I'm interested in picking up a good 35mm lens for the A7 series and stumbled across a few conflicting reviews for the CV35mm 1.2 + Voigtlander VMe close focus.
    Can anybody who has used this lens comment on it's sharpness when shot wide open (and accurately focused ;)) and also when stopped down to F2-2.8 relative to the existing native Loxia 35mm F2 and Sony 35mm F2.8. I've heard mixed reports on wide open performance...

    I'm prepared to forego weather sealing and autofocus, but want pure optical quality. I don't mind the dreamy/creamy wide open look - it's actually a creative advantage in certain controlled situations. However I would like to have versatility in a lens and want to know when I stop it down to F5.6 - 11 that I will have a lens suitable for a variety of subject matter requiring DOF, micro contrast, sharpness across the frame.

    Can anybody who has shot any or all three comment on this lens. Particularly interested with respect to the A7r (which despite the fact that I don't intend to use it with the A7r - it would likely be the most demanding sensor so any lens that works fine with this sensor should be fine with either the A7s or A7).

    Thanks.
     
  2. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Here is a test shot on A7R with the close up adapter:
    original.

    I didn't use it much to comment. However I didn't see any negative results for this lens other then its big size eg compared to my more used lens, Contax g 45mm f2 or the smaller CV 35mm 1.4... If I remember correctly, we had bunch of samples posted here...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    Correct - we do here : https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=6105&page=2

    But I'm more interested to know how it compares with the native 35 2.8. Corner sharpness stopped down ? Across the frame?
    I've heard some complain that it adds a magenta cast to the image. Shooting at F1.2 is something that I would do every now and then and it is definitely nice to have.
    Just for the price differential more than the FE35, I'd like to think that it is sharper, more contrast at smaller apertures too...
     
  4. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    I don't know where you heard the magenta cast, maybe it is due to the adapter, but it is one of the rf lenses it doesn't have. You can check Ron Scheffler's test:
    Sony a7R vs. Leica M9 infinity test with 20+ Leica, Zeiss, Voigtlander rangefinder lenses

    The f1.2 is nice to have:
    original.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    So, here's the thing. I've used two copies of this lens. Both were absolutely superb stopped to f/4 and I couldn't tell the difference between them. But one copy clearly had some problems because it was far softer wide open with a whole lot more haze. The other copy is as good at f/1.2 as the Voigtlander 17.5mm f/.95 (for micro four thirds = 35mm f/1.9 FF-e) is at f/.95. And that's pretty awesome because the 17.5mm is excellent wide open--hitting around 40 lpmm according to lenstip.

    Anyway, at f/2.8 the biggest challenge for the 35mm f/1.2 across the frame isn't resolution. It certainly is super sharp . The issue is field curvature, which makes it look softer than it is when the in focus area is curving toward you as you go to the edges of the frame.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    My copy seems soft wide open too. About 1.8/2 it gets sharper.
     
  7. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    I find it to be quite an excellent lens. But I haven't really looked too closely at corner performance. Honestly I tend to take the 35/2.8 if I just want stopped down shots (it's not an exciting lens but it is a very nice one), and use the CV for low light environmental portraiture and the like. I really like the lens a lot but it is large and heavy. I use a Hawks helicoid v3 as the adapter for closer focus.

    If the Zeiss FE 35/1.4 weighs in at around the same I will probably swap one for the other. 1.2 vs 1.4 will likely not outweigh the benefit of autofocus for me...


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount
     
  8. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    The magenta comment that I made originally was based on a comment from a user on another forum.

    Anyway, best way to find out is to try out.... so I bought one.

    I've since returned the first copy of the CV35 1.2 and trying a second copy as we speak. The second copy is much sharper wide open. I've shot the Voigtlander trilogy on m43 previously (owning the 17.5 and renting the others) so I know that Voigtlander make great lenses but can certainly suffer sample variance, unfortunate given the local pricing.

    MAubrey I know what you mean about the 17.5 - it is quite special.
    To my eyes, the 35 1.2 is noticeably sharper wide open at similar equivalent fields of view in good light. I'm comparing CV35 1.2 on an A7s vs an CV 17.5 F0.95 on EM1. From a pure resolution perspective it's a reasonable comparison in natural overcast lighting.
    I've observed that the CV35 1.2 has less glowing haze - leading me to believe that optically, it's optical formula is more 'accurate' than the 17.5 F0.95 when it is also shot at F1.2 and looks at equivalent/similar fields of view. On my second copy of the CV35 1.2 there is a noticeable difference between F1.2 and F1.4 in terms of sharpness and contrast however as noted by everybody else so far there is definitely a lot of sharpness wide open. It gets very sharp stopped down to F2. There is slight field curvature at F2. It may end up being more of a shallow portrait lens for me, similar to how I use the Voigty 17.5 on micro four thirds.

    I'm going to take the lens out for a shoot again tomorrow and make my final mind up. I'm debating just waiting for the Zeiss 35 1.4 or Zeiss loxia 35 or keeping this lens. I don't need two fast 35's. Then again depending on price, it may end up being better value to own the CV35 and sony-zeiss 35 2.8 for the price of one Zeiss distagon FE 35 1.4 (assuming it is priced somewhat similar to the Amount variant) ;)
     
  9. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    While not mounted on an a7x line, this write up gives an interesting overview of the different rangefinder lenses and how they perform on the RD1. There is a nice comparison there between the 35mm Summilux ASPH, Cosina Voigtlander 35 1.2 ASPH and Canon 35 1.5. Interestingly in this writeup, they are comparing the version 1 35 1.2 and not the newer 35 1.2 vII which is supposedly sharper, more micro contrast. I would imaging the newer version to produce results close to the summilux.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/fastlensreview.shtml
     
  10. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sounds like a pretty accurate description to me, Tom. Good move on that second copy. I'm glad that worked out for you like it did for me.

    Depending on what you paid for this copy, it might be worth keeping it around until the Zeiss FE 35mm 1.4 comes. I highly doubt that the CV35mm 1.2 will loose much resale value at all.

    Here's my flickr album for the lens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/sets/72157642072042483/
     
  11. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    That review is old, predates even digital Leica M's. RD1 was using a 6MP Sony apsc (1.5x) sensor. That is one of the resources that I used for buying rf lenses for nex-5. Sean Reid has a paid website which he does reviews for Leica/Voitlander lenses, so he has more up to date info there. I am not a subscriber to his site. From what I read from other reviewers that the new Zeiss 35mm 1.4 zm is a good option for 35mm, better then the summilux on M, but it comes with a higher price tag over $2K. There is also Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2 FE biogon. Sony FE 35mm 1.4 should be a good one for the given size. We'll see. I am more interested in the Sony 28mm f2 due to its size. Enjoy your lens.