Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 or Minolta MD 50mm f1.4

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by goranilic, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    11
    Mar 14, 2016
    USA
    Hi,

    I recently purchased Sony A7 camera with Sony 28mm F2. I also have from before Minolta MD 50mm f1.4 lens. Not that I am not happy with Minolta lens, but I was looking for little bit wider lens for street or walk around. I have read a lot good reviews about Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 lens as very good combo with A7 cameras.

    I was wonder if anyone had any experience with both lenses and what would be impression regarding sharpness, IQ and colour. Is it worth spending $450 as an upgrade from Minolta to Voigtlander?

    Thank you.
     
  2. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    285
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Welcome to the group. The Voigtlander Nokton 40mm has a fairly active thread devoted to it. Search for "Voigtlander 40mm" and you will find it. Or look in Forums -> Sample Image Showcase -> Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase where Voigtlander will be near the end of the alphabetical list. TalkEmount a good place to find lots of information. Share some of your images and thoughts too.
     
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I've had the Voigtländer 40/1.4 for a while, in fact I bought it almost immediately after I got the A7. However, the lack of sharpness at larger apertures outside the center quickly started to annoy me; at f/2 it is quite sharp and contrasty but only in a small center region. Even at f/4 it wasn't sharp near the edges, like this picture shows: the girl isn't pictured tack-sharp. This is a crop, see the full-res total picture here.
    i-cpz7tST.

    Is the Minolta 50/1.4 really better? Depends on the model; you mention the MD 50/1.4 which I presume is this one. It is the same optical design as the Minolta MD Rokkor with 49mm filter thread which can be quite good but shows a lot of sample variation. The best ones are even useable wide-open if only just, the worse ones need to be stopped down quite a bit to get really sharp and contrasty. You say 50mm is a bit too tight for you, I feel the same way and very much favour 40mm as a standard lens, so after the disappointment with the Voigtländer 40mm I got the Olympus OM Zuiko 40mm 1:2 and I like it a lot, made many keepers with it. It's expensive however, but still cheaper than the Voigtländer 40mm. The Konica Hexanon 40/1.8 is a good alternative, it only needs some more stopping down to get sharp across the frame than the Olympus 40/2. I should mention that use of filters on the Olympus 40/2 is a royal PITA, because the filter ring doubles as the aperture ring and non-Olympus filters block rotation of the ring due to the very shallow filter thread depth of Olympus lenses. Both the Olympus and Konica are useless wide-open for me, too much loss of contrast and not crisp.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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  4. goranilic

    goranilic TalkEmount Rookie

    11
    Mar 14, 2016
    USA
    Yes this is a exact Minolta lens I have. So, far I like it, but would like to explore something more open/sharper/color.
    Thanx Ad.
     
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  5. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    257
    Aug 16, 2014
    Do you think you had a bad copy or is it due to the A7 not playing well with RF lenses? My Nikon mount Voigtlander glass is good wide open and stopped down excellent.
     
  6. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    It's that it's a rangefinder lens having trouble with the think sensor stack on the A7. Your Nikon Voigtlanders are more telecentric and tend not to have that problem.

    Sensor Stack Thickness: When Does It Matter?
     
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    In my experience bad copies of older primes mostly show decentering and/or bad sharpness and contrast wide-open. My copy didn't have any of those deficiencies so I guess it was at least an average sample.
    Maybe but this is a 40mm lens while troubles occur predominantly with wide-angle rangefinder lenses that have the rear element very close to the image plane. Given that sharpness degrades so rapidly at f/2 when going off-center and that it even is visibly deteriorated at f/4 I'd guess the thickness of the sensor stack is only part of the problem. We'd know for sure if someone with a normal A7 and an A7 with the thin Kolari stack would compare the image quality, at this moment it's only speculation.
     
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  8. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Judging from above image the CV40/1.4 isn't exactly your dream lens, Ad?! Nice test setup though, I shoot a lot of my stuff at similar distances.
    Regarding 40mm I'm a fan of that FOV myself but since I'm on APS-C I use my 28mm glass to get there.
    I don't have the CV40 or the 40mm Zuiko (yum yum) but the 40mm Summicron, the slightly longer 45mm Contax G Planar (my favorite of the bunch, optically) and the 40mm Konica pancake. There's also the 40mm RF Rokkor for the Minolta CLE - just in case.
    Here's a link to some test shots with the 40mm Cron on an A7 someone else has posted - doesn't look that bad @f4.
    Leica Summicron-C 2/40
     
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  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Thanks for that. I've been looking out for a Minolta/Leica 40mm for some time but I'm on the fence really when it comes to spend the kind of money they generally go for. From the sample pics it looks like it's well useable wide-open and really good by f/4 so it would be a real candidate for lower-light work, while the Olympus 40/2 isn't up to snuff wide-open.
     
  10. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Regarding the 40mm Cron I only know it from back in the day on film and on APS-C. Wide open I'd rate it OK or acceptable (highly subjective). The bokeh and rendering of OOF highlights can be quite harsh as well, depending on the f-stop and relative distances but regarding your shot above I guess it would have performed somewhat better @f4 than the CV40.
     
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