Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.

Started Apr 29, 2012 | Discussions
Ollie 2
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Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
Apr 29, 2012

I bought mine a year ago. Traveled through Europe with it and a bunch of other lenses. I've never managed to get anything great out of it. I don't know why it seems to work so well for some people but not for me.

All shots look a bit soft and it seems to have a fairly nasty purple fringing. The bokeh is never particularly pleasing to my eye and although it's a great video lens, I don't shoot video.

I like a manual lens and 25mm is a great focal length.

So, I'm thinking about selling it and picking up a Leica 25mm.

Anyone had a similar experience and/or preferred the Leica?

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

Ollie 2 wrote:

So, I'm thinking about selling it and picking up a Leica 25mm.

Anyone had a similar experience and/or preferred the Leica?

I've never used the Voigtlander 25mm, but I do own the 25mm. Its a great lens and on my camera most of the time.

On the other hand, I just ordered the Voigtlander 17.5mm and I expect it to take the 25mm's position as main lens.

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Ollie 2
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Michael Kaufman, Apr 29, 2012

I've never used the Voigtlander 25mm, but I do own the 25mm.

You mean the Pana/Leica 25mm?

Yes. I'm hoping that that will suit me more.

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MAubrey
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

I've had the PL25 for about four months now and have greatly enjoyed it. I find that it tends to stay on my camera for rather long intervals, , though I cannot compare it to the Voigtlander since I've never owned it.

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Andy Crowe
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What aperture do you use?
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

What aperture do you use most often? It's not great wide open (quality is like a 50mm f1.8 wide open) but stopped down a bit it gives better results.

I bought mine a year ago. Traveled through Europe with it and a bunch of other lenses. I've never managed to get anything great out of it. I don't know why it seems to work so well for some people but not for me.

All shots look a bit soft and it seems to have a fairly nasty purple fringing. The bokeh is never particularly pleasing to my eye and although it's a great video lens, I don't shoot video.

I like a manual lens and 25mm is a great focal length.

So, I'm thinking about selling it and picking up a Leica 25mm.

Anyone had a similar experience and/or preferred the Leica?

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Marc
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

It's really interesting to hear your comments on the 25mm 0.95 as I was thinking of getting the PL25mm but thought it might be worth saving up a little more to get the CV25mm instead. I thought f0.95 would be enough to differentiate it from the P20mm I already have as the focal lengths are not that different. I'd love to hear more comments from people who have owned any of these lenses.

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jeffharris
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

Ollie 2 wrote:

I bought mine a year ago. Traveled through Europe with it and a bunch of other lenses. I've never managed to get anything great out of it. I don't know why it seems to work so well for some people but not for me.

All shots look a bit soft and it seems to have a fairly nasty purple fringing. The bokeh is never particularly pleasing to my eye and although it's a great video lens, I don't shoot video.

I like a manual lens and 25mm is a great focal length.

So, I'm thinking about selling it and picking up a Leica 25mm.

Anyone had a similar experience and/or preferred the Leica?

Which camera are you using?

I've had my Voigtländer 25mm since July and it's become my favorite lens. If it's not always on my GH2, then it's almost always in my bag!

It may be a bit soft at f0.95, but stop it down a bit and it becomes very sharp. At f5.6 and above it's phenomenal. It's a very special lens. It and the 7-14mm are the 2 lenses that define the M4/3 system for me.

I've tried the PL25mm and while, it's a very good lens, to my eye it doesn't match the visual (or build) quality and character of the Nokton 25mm. They're two very different lenses.

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

Ollie 2 wrote:

I've never used the Voigtlander 25mm, but I do own the 25mm.

You mean the Pana/Leica 25mm?

Yes. I'm hoping that that will suit me more.

Correct. I should have said that. Its a fantastic lens. I think you will like it.

For what it costs, if you don't like the Voigtlander, you should definitly sell it.

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Jonas B
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

Ollie 2 wrote:

(...) I've never managed to get anything great out of it. I don't know why it seems to work so well for some people but not for me.
All shots look a bit soft
(...)
I like a manual lens and 25mm is a great focal length.

So, I'm thinking about selling it and picking up a Leica 25mm.

Anyone had a similar experience and/or preferred the Leica?

Yes.

I'm a sucker for fast primes and I've used quite a collection of 50/1.1 -50/1.4 and 50/2 lenses with FF cameras as well as fast 35mm lenses for APS-C format cameras and the 4/3 PL25/1.4, the CV 25/0.95 and the micro 4/3 PL 25/1.4 for 4/3 and micro 4/3 cameras.

I bought the CV25 when it was released, very happy with finally getting a fast normal covering the sensor and actually working. It didn't take long for me to become somewhat frustrated; the flare was sometimes a problem causing exposure errors when shooting stopped down against strong lights sources (sun being reflected in streets for example), the aperture ring lost its good feeling when shooting in cold weather, the cramped focusing ring making exact focusing at longer distances unnecessarily hard etc.

The biggest problem though was the poor performance edge to edge at long distances. The lens performs very well at short distances, in fact it seems optimized for shooting a lens reviewer's resolution target. Trying to capture a street scene, or a building, using any aperture, critically sharp edge to edge is not possible.

So I went back to my 4/3 version of the Panasonic 25/1.4 and instead lived with the poor manual focusing, noisy AF, aperture dance and somewhat slow reactions (long shutter lag).

Now I have the micro PL25 instead and enjoys the small (when compared) size and weight, sharp images and decent automatic functions. The PL25 is indeed sharp enough wide open and there i easily beats the CV25 comparing at the same aperture numbers. The CV25 has the best measured values (around f4 and f/5.6) when checking a resolution target in the lab but the difference is of no practical use, at least not for me.

The CV25 is, again to me, annoyingly soft wide open, and indeed takes some time to focus. The PL25 focuses very well, and fast.

These lenses are very different. For fastest possible response, if you pre-focus, the CV is the better one (but wth, get a Nex-5N or 7 together with the superior CV35/1.2 if this is your main interest). For best overall results, fastest focusing, complete exif values, automatic focal length reported to the IBIS and so on, use the PL25.

For me the PL25 is the better all round lens and that with some margin.

I hope this helps somewhat,

Jonas

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JeanPierre Martel
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

The picture hereunder was taken with a Voigtländer 25mm on a Panasonic GH1 camera. I don't have a Lumix 25mm to compare.

It's a very sharp lens. I don't use it often but I'm glad to have it since I don't have any alternative (in my lens collection) when want to take video under low light situations

Panasonic GH1, Voigtländer 25mm f/0,95 Lens — 1/60 sec. — F/8,0 — ISO 100 — 25 mm

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g2van
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

The 25/0.95 is an expensive lens. If you don't like it, you should sell it and get the Pany 25/1.4 for mft, after you've tried it for AF speed, rattling, etc.

But: they are different lenses for slightly different purposes. I love my 25/0.95 for the flexibility to shoot at 0.95 altho I have to admit that with the EM5 & its brilliant higher ISO output, that extra stop over the 1.4 just to get a shot may now be moot.

Yes, it's glow and softer look at 0.95 is a problem for some but at such a wide aperture, you really can't expect it to be as sharp as a 1.4 lens. At 1.4 I find the CV pretty sharp -- I'm not overly concerned about the corners. Most lenses at 1.2 and wider are similar with the "glow" except maybe the Noctilux 0.95 and the new SLR 0.95 (only judging from stevehuffphoto.com).

But the CV's manual focus helps for quick street shooting because of its manual focus that enables scale focussing. For me, the CV is not my main lens and it sits somewhere between go-to and specialty, but it's very enjoyable to shoot with.

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Gregm61
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 29, 2012

Ollie 2 wrote:

I bought mine a year ago. Traveled through Europe with it and a bunch of other lenses. I've never managed to get anything great out of it. I don't know why it seems to work so well for some people but not for me.

All shots look a bit soft and it seems to have a fairly nasty purple fringing. The bokeh is never particularly pleasing to my eye and although it's a great video lens, I don't shoot video.

Softness all over, even stopped down? I know the temptation to use it at the f0.95 aperture that dictated the high price has got to be very tempting....probably more so than one should be using it. Depth of field even at f1.4 is paper-thin, and if you do not focus really accurately I could very well imagine a perceived overall softness.

The Leica 25/1.4 is a very nice lens. I have not yet used it an awful lot at f1.4, but the times I have it has been excellent. I have used it quite a bit at f2 and it is really superb at f2.

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coffeebean
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Jonas B, Apr 29, 2012

Jonas B wrote:

The biggest problem though was the poor performance edge to edge at long distances. The lens performs very well at short distances, in fact it seems optimized for shooting a lens reviewer's resolution target. Trying to capture a street scene, or a building, using any aperture, critically sharp edge to edge is not possible.

Jonas

At distances beyond 3 meters, the nokton no longer maintains a flat field. At infinity, it stays infinity for around 90% of the frame, but drops precipitously to around 5 meters approaching the extreme corners. The only way to edge-to-edge is to stop down until there is sufficient DOF to get everything from 5 meters out to infinity, which means stopping down past F8. In this regard, the new 17.5 seems to do much better.

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Jonas B
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to coffeebean, Apr 29, 2012

coffeebean wrote:

Jonas B wrote:

The biggest problem though was the poor performance edge to edge at long distances. The lens performs very well at short distances, in fact it seems optimized for shooting a lens reviewer's resolution target. Trying to capture a street scene, or a building, using any aperture, critically sharp edge to edge is not possible.

Jonas

At distances beyond 3 meters, the nokton no longer maintains a flat field. At infinity, it stays infinity for around 90% of the frame, but drops precipitously to around 5 meters approaching the extreme corners. The only way to edge-to-edge is to stop down until there is sufficient DOF to get everything from 5 meters out to infinity, which means stopping down past F8. In this regard, the new 17.5 seems to do much better.

Maybe it is 5 meters, or even somewhat less than so? When focusing, critically, at something in the center of the image it's not possible to get the edges sharp at the same time. You have to focus "deeper" to get everything inside of the DOF limits and then you have lost some of the very good center resolution.

In any case, all that was too fiddly for me as I often don't have the time for that sort of delicate focusing.

I hope you are right believing the 17,5mm is better as that's an interesting focal length for many.

Jonas

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Ollie 2
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, Apr 30, 2012

Thanks for all the great responses. Thought provoking.

I started using the CV with an Ep-2 and I confess I was using it mainly wide open and often with an ND4 or 8 attached. I knew it would be soft but even at smaller apertures the edge focus falloff and fringing was just unacceptable.

I’ve seen some great images produced by this lens and following this exchange I’m going to give it another go.

But I suspect our arranged marriage is destined for failure.

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g2van
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, May 1, 2012

Steve Huff just posted his first look on the Nokton 25/0.95 and the 17/0.95, with a review to come. His first impressions are that he is not finding the 25 to be soft wide open:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/01/1st-quick-look-at-the-voigtlander-17-and-25-f0-95-on-the-om-d/

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yotes
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to g2van, May 1, 2012

I have Voigtlander 25mm. Here is the list of my lenses in order of preference.

1. Voigtlander 25mm
2. Olympus 45mm
3. Panasonic 7-14
4. Panasonic 20mm
5. Voigtlander 40mm
6. Panasonic 14-140mm

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PaulChapman
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to jeffharris, May 1, 2012

I agree with you completely; my favourite combination is the CV 25 and the PL7-14...I had them with me last weekend and snapped these with my GF1. I do, however, find the CV problematical wide open and generally limit it to no wider than f1.2..but that is actually no real problem. The CV 17.5 should be interesting...and I would have bought one immediately except that I have a very expensive 35mm f1.4 on my Leica M9; Fast 35mm is very satisfying as a walk around street lens.

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ntsan
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to PaulChapman, May 1, 2012

Ever since I got the CV25 I hardly used DG25, the F0.95 and 0.17m focus is really nice! The 0.3m focus is quite a limit sometimes if you want to shoot smaller object or some close ups. In low light the MF is more preferred than AF, and in daylight I tend to use zoom lens since you don't need fast lens anyway.

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amtberg
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Re: Voigtlander 25mm f0.95.
In reply to Ollie 2, May 1, 2012

I have the Voigtlander and enjoy it very much. I'd say it's my favorite lens, but it is something of a specialty lens. It's superb for video -- especially low light -- and very good for casual (not full face) portraits. As others have noted, the corners never get especially sharp, but that's not really an issue the way I use the lens. I wouldn't recommend it for architecture or landscapes.

It's reasonably sharp wide open (useable but soft), better at f/1.2, and very sharp in the center from f/1.4 on.

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