My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions
RoelHendrickx
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My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
Apr 13, 2013

Today I gave the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm lens its first real workout during a backstage documentary shoot in a circus passing through our town.

I did the whole shoot with only manual focus lenses : the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye for 5 % of the shots, the Rokinon 85mm lens for another 5% of the shots, and all the rest with the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm lens.  Lots to stuff to select and process. Stay tuned for images and impressions.

But I could not resist uploading one first image: a candid portrait of Jeannot during make-up in his minuscule trailer.

Jeannot is a great character with true circus spirit : an acrobat in a previous life, now a wonderfully spontaneous clown, and a philosopher in all his fibers.  We had the nicest of chats.

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MarceloLI
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

Fantastic portrait Roel, can't wait for the rest of the pictures.

Marcelo

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David Kieltyka
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There ya go!
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

A great lens put to great use. Keep 'em coming!  

-Dave-

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to MarceloLI, Apr 13, 2013

MarceloLI wrote:

Fantastic portrait Roel, can't wait for the rest of the pictures.

I'm going through them now.

The hit rate is a bit less successful than on a previous occasion (where I shot with PL25mm and with ZD35-100).  I will definitely still have to get better at manual focusing.  I was scrambling and seraching for the magnify button too often: that must become routine.

But when the focus was right, it was REALLY good.

Marcelo

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Chuck Eklund
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Re: There ya go!
In reply to David Kieltyka, Apr 13, 2013

Very, very nice.

Chuck

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RoelHendrickx
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David
In reply to David Kieltyka, Apr 13, 2013

David Kieltyka wrote:

A great lens put to great use.

Thank you.  For my very first real run with the lens, I 've enjoyed it.

Keep 'em coming!  

I am going to make you feel sorry you asked that.  I just know.

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RoelHendrickx
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Chuck
In reply to Chuck Eklund, Apr 13, 2013

Chuck Eklund wrote:

Very, very nice.

Very, very kind of you to say that.

Chuck

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Surefoot
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Nice portrait
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

Did you try and shoot video with this lens ? You'll be amazed at the results, believe me

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RoelHendrickx
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Video?
In reply to Surefoot, Apr 13, 2013

Surefoot wrote:

Did you try and shoot video with this lens ? You'll be amazed at the results, believe me

No, I have not yet.

The lens arrived only last Thursday and I did not have any time yesterday, so today was my first day with the lens.

I must confess that I consider myself really a stills photographer.  I have not done much if any videos with my video-capable cameras.  It's a totally different ballgame.

But I must also confess that I have seen Voigtlander-footage and it looked good and had me intrigued.  Smooth manual focus really is the way to go for video.  I have even already looked up about shutterspeed in video (a concept that had me baffled, but I think I understand it now).

So yes, who knows?

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RoelHendrickx
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Come to think of it, Surefoot...
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Surefoot wrote:

Did you try and shoot video with this lens ? You'll be amazed at the results, believe me

No, I have not yet.

The lens arrived only last Thursday and I did not have any time yesterday, so today was my first day with the lens.

I must confess that I consider myself really a stills photographer.  I have not done much if any videos with my video-capable cameras.  It's a totally different ballgame.

But I must also confess that I have seen Voigtlander-footage and it looked good and had me intrigued.  Smooth manual focus really is the way to go for video.  I have even already looked up about shutterspeed in video (a concept that had me baffled, but I think I understand it now).

So yes, who knows?

Come to think of it, Surefoot.

If you are of that opinion, then you probably own a Nokton, and probably shoot video with it.

Any samples online? Any tips and tricks?

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Surefoot
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Re: Come to think of it, Surefoot...
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

Sorry no sample online.. i am also a stills shooter for the main part, and i was just as intrigued by video capabilities of my 25mm Nokton as you are. So i tried my hand a bit, last time was when a friend of mine was giving a concert. The result was amazing, and i really want to try more of it, in a more serious manner this time.

The smooth focus and f/0.95 DOF, and the rendering of the Nokton make it easy, along with the stabilization of OMD body. Most of the time (unless i have something blocking the view) I use the flip screen to hold the camera at chest level, so i have a very stable hold to start with, the OMD magic does the rest.

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Sergey Borachev
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 13, 2013

You so lucky, Roel.  Looking forward to more phots and feedback from you about this intriguing lens.

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Julian_K
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Roel,
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 14, 2013

I haven't been on these forums for a while, but it's great to come on here today and see this fantastic portrait. I love the processing on it as well, a truly terrific photograph. Would love to see some more of your shots from this shoot.

Jules

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RoelHendrickx
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Sergey
In reply to Sergey Borachev, Apr 14, 2013

Sergey Borachev wrote:

You so lucky, Roel.  Looking forward to more phots and feedback from you about this intriguing lens.

I know that you are critical of this lens (in a value-for-money sense, in your quest for a great and affordable 35mm EFL). So I am happy that you enjoyed this image and look forward to more.

Now if only Amalric would chime in.

I really did not purchase the F0.95 for snobbery reasons or bragging rights (or as a way to spend the infinite amount of money that I do NOT have), but to make images with it that would be (much) hard(er) if not impossible otherwise and that can have a unique look.

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RoelHendrickx
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Jules, here's a link to a previous, similar shoot
In reply to Julian_K, Apr 14, 2013

Julian_K wrote:

I haven't been on these forums for a while, but it's great to come on here today and see this fantastic portrait. I love the processing on it as well, a truly terrific photograph.

Thanks.  Much appreciated.

Would love to see some more of your shots from this shoot.

I will definitely show more (here or on Zenfolio), but I need to finish the shooting (I will return to the circus today or Tuesday) and then make a good selection, etc.

Shooting with the Voigtlander was fun, but I need to improve my focusing routine.  There were some shots I missed (but I think AF might have missed them too...)

However, if you liked this image and its desaturated processing, I can point you in the direction of a previous backstage shoot I did in another circus two years ago.  That series is finished:

http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p422043475

The processing is not identical but similar.

My processing skills have evolved over the years, but I still feel that style works well for this subject: a bit nostalgic.

I hope you enjoy it (that series was obviously not with the Voigtlander, but with fast Olympus lenses (35-100 & 150) and the Panaleica 25mm).

Thanks for your enthusiasm and encouragement.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 14, 2013

Nice processing and portrait.


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Alejandro Ruiz
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 14, 2013

It's a very nice portrait, with a lot of life, and the processing brings a kind of nostalgic happiness feeling, perfect for circus word.

I also found the work on DOF very interesting: sweet bokeh in the back and hands that seem moving (I needed to check the shutter speed to get they were oof).

I'm very interested in this lens, but still doubtful in this focal length portrait capabilities (I couldn't afford this 17,5 plus the 25 or the longer one announced).

In your photo the added perspective of the 17.5 fl works very well: with the subject, a man, a circus artist, and with the composition, minuscule trailer, hands.

I would like to know if you already have a more general judgment about this lens portrait capabilities. Do you shot other portraits ? Do you notice much distortion?

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Martin.au
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Re: My first Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm portrait.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 14, 2013

That's a pretty damn nice portrait.

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RoelHendrickx
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Other experience? Nope, not yet. But hear this.
In reply to Alejandro Ruiz, Apr 14, 2013

Alejandro Ruiz wrote:

It's a very nice portrait, with a lot of life, and the processing brings a kind of nostalgic happiness feeling, perfect for circus word.

Thanks.  I thought so too.

I also found the work on DOF very interesting: sweet bokeh in the back and hands that seem moving (I needed to check the shutter speed to get they were oof).

Yep.

I'm very interested in this lens, but still doubtful in this focal length portrait capabilities (I couldn't afford this 17,5 plus the 25 or the longer one announced).

I bought the 17.5 because I have the 25mm PL, but not yet any 35mm EFL prime. I'm happy so far.

In your photo the added perspective of the 17.5 fl works very well: with the subject, a man, a circus artist, and with the composition, minuscule trailer, hands.

I think it is a good FL for environment portrait and small groups.

I would like to know if you already have a more general judgment about this lens portrait capabilities. Do you shot other portraits ? Do you notice much distortion?

Not yet. This was my first ever day with the lens.

I don't plan on using it on head-shots (although I might in the circus, where distortion could be a benefit).  I plan to use it on portraits that include head, torso, waist and environment.  And basically also on all the rest.

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Alejandro Ruiz
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Re: Other experience? Nope, not yet. But hear this.
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 14, 2013

Thanks very much Roel for your precise answer.

I'm afraid my dilemma on 17.5 vs 25 mm will last till the day I buy one of them...

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