Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)

Started Oct 16, 2013 | Discussions
nicholo plaza
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Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
Oct 16, 2013

Just thought I'd share some of my first images with this lens. Firstly, flaring and haze is because of the filter. I later shot without the filter and found no flaring at all.

All images are shot at f1.1 unless otherwise specified.

I think an interesting comparison would be to get the Nikon 50mm f1.2 with the metabones F mount to X mount speed booster. Now THAT would be a low light monster.

approximately 3m away, focus is on El Catrin

3m-4m away, focus on bricks

2m away, focus on "closed" sign

Can't remember focus distance, but focus is on the meter's number scale.

Shot at f 5.6, focused on the words.

closest focus distance @ f1.1

same image, but focused on the background. Metal mesh almost disappears.

focused on the still life, about 4m away.

Trevor Kloeden
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to nicholo plaza, Oct 16, 2013

Great set of pics from a very nice lens utilised by a photographer with a artistic eye.

Voigtlander lens are very under rated by many.

My favourite is the third one (Street light / Ally way).

Thanks for sharing.

Trevor Kloeden
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nicholo plaza
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to Trevor Kloeden, Oct 16, 2013

Wow. Thank you for the compliments!

I really wanted to showcase the lens in lowlight. After all, that is what the lens is made for. Do understand that the area I shot in was quite dark, with only isolated bright areas from the lights.

One thing though, a 50mm lens becomes 75mm in a cropped frame, which makes it less versatile, and a bit more specialized. I can't wait till I have saved enough money for a Leica, or if Fuji makes a FF x camera. Maybe they'll even make it with a native M mount. That would make my day. FF would mean I get to utilize the entire lens, including the soft edges with vignetting!

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biza43
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to nicholo plaza, Oct 16, 2013

Good stuff. I have recently bought the Zeiss 50 f2 ZM, looked into the f1.1 Voigt also. In the end, the Zeiss character won me over.

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Stephen787
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to biza43, Oct 16, 2013

can you please compare with 60mm f2.4 side by side with your nokton. I have a feeling the 60mm will give it a run for the IQ.

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Landsandgrooves
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to Stephen787, Oct 16, 2013

Okay.  What am I missing here?  There doesn't appear to be a sharp image in this group.

Is that the lens, or is it that the OP was not using a tripod, or  . . .  ?

What are others seeing?

This is not a slam on the photographer.  I'm just wondering if others are seeing what I am.

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Tom Gresham

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biza43
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to Landsandgrooves, Oct 16, 2013

Landsandgrooves wrote:

Okay. What am I missing here? There doesn't appear to be a sharp image in this group.

Is that the lens, or is it that the OP was not using a tripod, or . . . ?

What are others seeing?

This is not a slam on the photographer. I'm just wondering if others are seeing what I am.

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Tom Gresham

Have you ever used a super fast lens? Nobody buys a f1.1 lens because it is looking for sharpness... there is much more to a lens than sharpness: character, the way it draws, colour, contrast, and so much more. At f1.1, the depth of field is razor thin, so most of the image will be out of focus; that is precisely the point.

I actually used the loupe function on the images, and they are sharp where the focus was placed.

This 50 f1.1 Voigt has a very special way of rendering, in some ways similar to the Zeiss 50 f1.5 ZM, which has a Sonnar design. They give the images a certain "dreamy look", that can be quite special.

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Landsandgrooves
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to biza43, Oct 16, 2013

biza43 wrote:

Landsandgrooves wrote:

Okay. What am I missing here? There doesn't appear to be a sharp image in this group.

Is that the lens, or is it that the OP was not using a tripod, or . . . ?

What are others seeing?

This is not a slam on the photographer. I'm just wondering if others are seeing what I am.

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Tom Gresham

Have you ever used a super fast lens? Nobody buys a f1.1 lens because it is looking for sharpness... there is much more to a lens than sharpness: character, the way it draws, colour, contrast, and so much more. At f1.1, the depth of field is razor thin, so most of the image will be out of focus; that is precisely the point.

I actually used the loupe function on the images, and they are sharp where the focus was placed.

This 50 f1.1 Voigt has a very special way of rendering, in some ways similar to the Zeiss 50 f1.5 ZM, which has a Sonnar design. They give the images a certain "dreamy look", that can be quite special.

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Does my f/1.2 Nikkor count?

I guess your loupe function is sharper than mine.  (shrug)  Honestly, I don't find a sharp point.  I don't think this is a lens issue.  Seems to me to be more likely to be camera movement, but that's why I ask.

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Tom Gresham

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Activatedfx
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to Landsandgrooves, Oct 16, 2013

I agree with Tom. The images are very "soft", and it's not just "fast lens glow". I've shot with a Konica Hexanon 57mm f/1.2 which was tack sharp at the point of focus. Plenty of glow, for sure, but sharp and contrasty. These are just not sharp to my eye. I agree also that this may just be a case of camera shake, because I've seen incredibly sharp images taken with that Nokton. Try a similar set with a tripod, maybe?

Nice images though!

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nicholo plaza
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to Activatedfx, Oct 16, 2013

About the sharpness - most shots are at iso 6400 and at 1/30 shutter speed, shot hand held. The lens does become a 75mm with the crop factor so sharp images are very difficult. Though this lens is supposedly sharper than the leica 50 f1. In the end though, people have different thresholds for what is sharp or soft.

Also, you really shouldn't buy this lens for sharpness. If I was looking for sharpness I would have stuck with the fuji lenses and save a few hundred bucks. Similar reason why I also have the zeiss sonnar 50 1.5. It's not the sharpest lens, but that character is just fantastic. Modern lenses, in my opinion, are technical marvels but sterile. Again, that is just my opinion.

Does anyone else have the nokton 50 with the fuji? Would be great to compare.

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Radiated Robot Man
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Re: Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 on XP1 initial impressions (w/ focus distances)
In reply to nicholo plaza, Oct 16, 2013

Sorry , I can't see it either. The results from this lens don't seem to be anything out of the ordinary. They seem to be lacking the feel from some other ultra-fast lenses.

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nicholo plaza
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iso 200, tripod shot
In reply to Radiated Robot Man, Oct 16, 2013

I think this should be a good indication of the lens. The glow/haze is not quite as strong as the Zeiss 50 1.5, or the Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 single coated.

f1.1, focus on campari negroni in the cocktail recipes, not the actual logo.

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Activatedfx
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Re: iso 200, tripod shot
In reply to nicholo plaza, Oct 16, 2013

Hmmmmm... I think something is wrong here. That image is not even close to what anyone would call "sharp". And I'm not talking about a little "pleasing" softness or glow. It's positively soft. Nothing is in focus. Makes me a little dizzy, as if I forgot to put on my glasses... strange.

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nicholo plaza
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Re: iso 200, tripod shot
In reply to Activatedfx, Oct 16, 2013

Activatedfx wrote:

Hmmmmm... I think something is wrong here. That image is not even close to what anyone would call "sharp". And I'm not talking about a little "pleasing" softness or glow. It's positively soft. Nothing is in focus. Makes me a little dizzy, as if I forgot to put on my glasses... strange.

Then perhaps that really is the case. Regardless, I'm still enjoying this lens so far. Thankfully I bought it used so if I find myself not liking it in the future, I won't take a big financial hit, haha!

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Activatedfx
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Re: iso 200, tripod shot
In reply to nicholo plaza, Oct 16, 2013

Hey, as long as you're enjoying the lens and you like the images, that's what counts! Some folks think blurry pinhole images are the best thing since chocolate, and others scoff at anything that isn't medium format. To each his own. There's no doubt that you photos have a nice feel to them, it's just weird that the Nokton is so soft.

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