Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 V.2 Aspherical

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Phoenix, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    When it rains, it pours!!

    I have yet to finish processing the photos I took abroad (I'm halfway the 1st SD card, 4 more to go) and I received today the CV 35mm 1.2, I originally was expecting delivery of the lens prior to my trip but delivery was delayed. I'm really excited and want to take photos with this lens but I have to tell myself to fiirst finish processing the rest of my recent shots. One thing I'm a bit worried about is that there seems to be a small speck of dust inside the lens, I'm not sure yet if this will affect the images I take but I contacted the dealer and a couple of lens repair shops and they all assured me that this will not affect my images in any way as the speck is too small, I'm yet to test it out on the NEX as I'm at work (that'll give you an idea of my work priorities ;) ). I'll post a pic of what the camera looks like with the lens attached and my un-official review regarding my thoughts about this lens when used with the NEX-5.
     
  2. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    322
    Sep 25, 2011
    4 cards or no, you've got more self-control then I would have if a CV f1.2 showed up at my doorstep. I'm very curious to find out your reaction and see some samples.
     
  3. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Review

    @Storyteller, spoke too soon mate :D

    Before anything, this is my personal opinion of the lens, I'm not a professional or an expert, the following review is IMHO.

    I had to step away from processing the images from my recent trip (serves me right for shooting RAW) as I couldnt help myself from testing my new lens.
    I'll write down my personal review from my initial experience with using this lens.

    Size: The lens is VERY HEAVY, heavier than the Voiglander 50mm 1.1 which I previously owned, and while the 50mm 1.1 was wider in diameter the 35mm 1.2 is longer which makes the set up front heavy and I'll be upfront the set up can be challenging to use, to give you an idea of how heavy it is, The NEX-5 mounted with the 18-55 kit lens weighs 490 grams, the 35mm 1.2 alone without the optional lens hood (which is also made out of metal) weighs 470 grams, so it's like having the NEX-5 and the 18-55 kit attached to the front end of the camera. If the idea of using a heavy lens bothers you then you can stop reading here and you can be rest assured that this set up will not be for you as I can honestly tell you, it is one heavy lens.

    Build quality: To put it simply the lens is built like a tank (and weighs like one as well), the build quality is one of the highest one will see in a lens.

    Image quality: While I did not own the Version 1 of this lens I was lucky enough to have used one in the past (one of the reasons why I purchased this one) to any users who have used the Ver. 1 of this lens I can tell you that Ver. 2 while not having the same rare earth used in it's glass the 3 aspherical elements used to compensate for this works extremely well and it performs exactly as (and in some ways imho better than) its predecessor.

    Same as my past comparison with the Nokton 50mm 1.1, I used my Rokkor 50mm 1.4 to compare with the Nokton 35mm 1.2. The images I am getting from the 35mm 1.2 is a tiny bit better than the Rokkor 50mm 1.4 and in most cases they performed exactly the same. The sharpness I got shooting it at 1.2 was quite impressive considering I was shooting it wide open. The depth of field is thin when shot wide open but nowhere near as thin as the 50mm 1.1

    CV1.2.

    CV1.2 c.

    The photo with the 100% crop was shot in jpg and was taken straight from the camera without any PP.

    One complaint users had in the past with Ver.1 was the 'bullseye' effect it had with the bokeh as illustrated by andrewXu in Flickr, while still apparent in Ver.2 it is not as prevalent as it was in Ver.1
    DSC02475. Here is an example from my copy (the candle in the background above Bert the bunny)

    Ease of use: The lens has a 35mm focal that translates roughly into a 50mm focal (52.5mm) with the NEX's 1.5 crop, it also has the minimum focusing distance of .5m (even though it's a rangefinder lens)which is great to use with the NEX and M43d units. The only issue I can really think of regarding is the lens' weight that can be an issue to a lot of shooters.

    Further notes: Unlike the 50mm 1.1 the 35mm 1.2 Ver.2 does not have a lens hood included but is available as an optional accessory through a separate purchase.

    In closing: I love the 50mm focal since the days I shot on film, although nowadays shooting with the NEX with it's 1.5 crop a 50mm lens becomes a 75mm, the 35mm 1.2 is perfect for me as I get to use it as a 'true" 50mm due to the NEX's crop. I think various factors make the 35mm 1.2 a very good lens; The sharpness one can obtain from the lens' aspherical elements, the build quality, the 1.2 aperture, and the price it retails for.

    I know the retail price for this lens will cause some debate, the lens retails for $1,300 AUD and a lot of people (including myself) have groaned when I saw the price tag, but there are a couple of things to consider.

    1. What price can one put on a lens with 3 aspherical elements, is built and performs extremely well, is as good (if not a tad bit better) than the 1st version of this lens that has had a cult following?

    2. How many 50mm (for cropped sensors) with speeds up to 1.2 are available in the market?

    3. Even with the Leica Noctilux that costs $10,000 AUD when fitted to the NEX becomes a 75mm lens due to the crop, questions like "Would you pay $10,000 for a lens?" further more "Is a 75mm portrait / short telephoto lens worth $10,000?", suddenly a 50mm 1.2 for $1,300 doesnt sound so bad.

    The Voigtlander 35mm 1.2 V.2 is a very good lens but not without it's weaknesses. Like I mentioned again and again, It is quite a heavy lens and when used with the NEX (I'm using it with the NEX-5) can be awkward to use (this will probably be different when used with the NEX-7 due to its size and built in viewfinder) and this will be a deciding factor to most potential buyers, the ability to use it as an everyday lens will depend from one user to another. The price is also an issue, like I previously mentioned imo it's worth the asking price but how many people have $1300? to spend on a lens? I've quit smoking and other bad habits in order to fund my other bad habit (photography), and to me the money I've spent to invest in this lens is money well spent (as opposed to the 50mm 1.1 that I have returned previously).

    In summary it is a very good lens if you can live with it's faults and this will be subjective from one person to another. If you can work around it's weakness it can be a very rewarding lens to use. I'll be keeping this lens :)
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Comparison with the Rokkor-X 50mm 1.4

    Here are some of the comparisons I have made with 100% crops with the CV 35mm 1.2 and the Minolta Rokkor-X 50mm 1.4 both at 1.4

    I have kept both shots at the same ISO and shot in B&W as a form of control and to keep uniformity, no PP done, JPG straight from the camera and I tried to get the 100% crops from the same position.

    Shot with the Voigtlander 35mm 1.2 @ 1.4
    CV1.4.

    100% crop
    CV1.4 c.

    Shot with the Minolta Rokkor-X 1.4 @ 1.4
    MR1.4.

    100% crop
    MR1.4 c.
     
  5. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Thanks for the nice review. I wanted the 1.2 ver 1 for the same reasons that you said, but I chose 35mm 1.4 for the weight reason and now the price is even more expensive with the ver 2. I am sure it is a good investment as lenses keep their values and it will be good with nex cameras. I saw very nice photos made with the first version and hopefully will see more from you.
     
  6. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Thanks dude, I'll post some pics when I can
     
  7. tomrock

    tomrock TalkEmount Regular

    71
    Sep 18, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN USA
    Thanks for the review.
     
  8. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    322
    Sep 25, 2011
    Yes, thanks for the review. Any updates and additional pictures are welcome! I'm a bit put off by the size of the lens but someone pointed out online that it is about the same length as the 18-55 or ZA 24mm (just heavier). Is that true?
     
  9. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    It has indeed almost the same length as the 18-55 kit (not so sure about the ZA 24mm I havent tried it before) but it is also thinner in diameter, just a lot heavier. I'll try to take photos and upload it today with the lens connected to the camera as well as side by side comparison with other lenses to give a clearer idea regarding size and weight.
     
  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    Thanks for the review! Very drool worthy lens. Looking forward to seeing more of your photos with it!
     
  11. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Here are some of the comparisons I made with the 18-55 kit regarding size. My apologies regarding the IQ, I used my phone to take some of the photos.

    The 18-55 is marginally wider in diameter
    DSC02497.

    The 35mm is slightly longer though
    DSC02501.

    It becomes even longer with the adapter attached
    DSC02503.

    and here is the lens attached to the body
    photo.JPG
     
  12. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    322
    Sep 25, 2011
    How's the CV f1.2 on your NEX-7? It seems the 35mm ZMs have corner issues on the NEX-7. I was wondering if that was your experience?
     
  13. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Hi buddy, I've posted some initial shots here, There seems to be no corner issues with this combo. I haven't taken any images lately as I'm really inundated with studies, work and moving, but I'll definitely start taking and posting more images when I get some time.