A7r + Voigtlander VM 50mm f/1.5 Nokton

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Paul Richman
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A7r + Voigtlander VM 50mm f/1.5 Nokton
11 months ago

Well, I'm pumped!

I read Steve Huff's review of this lens on the Leica M, and got interested, so I ordered the lens yesterday here. I can tell you that it is as beautiful in person as it looks in the pictures (Stephen Gandy's pictures of the lens are much better than mine here).

But how well does it perform on the A7r? How does it compare to the wonderful Zeiss 55mm f1.8? That's what I really wondered....

So, I did a couple quick tests today:

Test 1 Scene (Voigtlander shot at F8) on tripod with 2 sec timer.

100% central crop from the Voigtlander

100% crop from Zeiss 55mm shot's central area

They are very close, but the Voigtlander is a tad sharper, just a tad.

100% crop from right edge of Voigtlander shot

100% crop from right edge of Zeiss shot

Again, a very slight nod to the Voigtlander. These shots were taken more than an hour apart, so the lighting is different, which makes this not the best comparison. But I still think it's telling. The next comparison is a little better.

The Zeiss is a beautiful all metal lens, and I really like it. But the Voigtlander is something very special. To me, it's the most beautiful lens, more so than any of the Zeiss ZF.2 or Leica M lenses I've owned in the past. And it's allot of fun to use. I was hoping it would be as good as the Zeiss, so that I wouldn't feel silly in using it over the Zeiss. I don't feel silly...

Here's the second test:

Second test scene, flagstone rock sign in the shade (Voigtlander shot)

100% crop from the central area of the Voigtlander shot at f8

100% crop from the central area of the Zeiss shot at f8

The Voigtlander is clearly sharper in this one, although the Zeiss is excellent.

100% crop from the LR corner of the Voigtlander shot at f8

100% crop from the LR corner of the Zeiss shot at f8

The Zeiss is better in the far corner, but the Voigtlander is sharper everywhere else.  By f11, the Voigtlander is sharp even in the corner.

The Voigtlander had superior color rendition in this shot as well.

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D +11 more
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