CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

Started Sep 3, 2009 | Discussions
Blurto Regular Member • Posts: 444
CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

Does anybody know of any reason why not to buy this lens? I'm not sure if it is rangefinder coupled (or whatever) and does that mean you can't focus it through the viewfinder? And is it coded or not and exactly what does that mean? Pardon my ignorance.

Cheers,
Barry.

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Nikonparrothead Veteran Member • Posts: 5,563
Re: CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

Blurto wrote:

Does anybody know of any reason why not to buy this lens? I'm not sure if it is rangefinder coupled (or whatever) and does that mean you can't focus it through the viewfinder? And is it coded or not and exactly what does that mean? Pardon my ignorance.

Cheers,
Barry.

Hi Barry, it is indeed rangefinder coupled and a great value. It's not coded but there should be a space where one could code it. The coding on a lens allows an M8-series camera (and soon maybe an M9) to know the focal length characteristics and light transmission of the lens (which is recorded in the image and allows the camera to correct for other light transmission issues that others here are significantly better equipped than I to explain.

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ashwinrao1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,723
Re: CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

From everything read and posted here, by folks such as Bo Lorentzen and Ilker, show this to be a spectacular lens, in terns of rendering and control of depth of field. Reasons not to buy:

1. If you don't need the speed. f/1.1 produces very narrow depth of field. Most would be happy with f/1.4 or f/2 at 50 mm focal length, but if you are a depth of field nut (like I am), then you'd crave this lens anyways.

2. Size: It's a big bugger, as far as M-glass goes. There are definitely bigger lenses in the SLR world, but mounted on a rangefinder, you may see some viewfinder interference (especially with a hood mounted). Look at Bo Lorentzen's site for his review to get an idea of viewfinder issues

3. Price; $1100 isn't cheap, but for f/1.1, it is not a bad price at all.

4. It isn't the sharpest lens of the 50's, but in real world photography, I doubt that this would matter all that much.

Overall, if you are looking to get into the ultrawide aperture game, this is a great entry point.
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QDIEM4SC Senior Member • Posts: 2,711
Re: CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

Blurto wrote:

Does anybody know of any reason why not to buy this lens?

Hi Barry.

I don't own it, but from the samples of images I've seen, I would say that it is typical of CV lenses--excellent value. There is a difference in image quality when shooting with the CV vs. Leica lenses, but in many cases the difference is minor and in some cases it is pretty well indistinguishable (for example, in the case of the Nokton 50/1.5). Where there is a huge difference is in price advantage (by a factor of almost 10 in some cases!).

If you can see the IQ difference, and if you can afford the Leica lenses, then purchasing the CV may leave you "wanting", but otherwise CV lenses are great choices. They are optically very nice and the build quality is excellent.

I used to own the Nokton 40/1.4 until I bought the Leica 50/1.4, and I can see the difference (esp. wide open), so for me it was worth it (I cringe writing that, given the price difference, but I still had to find a used model to make the jump).

I'm not sure if it is rangefinder coupled (or whatever) and does that mean you can't focus it through the viewfinder?

It is rangefinder coupled--which means you can focus it through the viewfinder patch.

And is it coded or not and exactly what does that mean?

It's not 6 bit coded (those black and white dots on the lens). The coding is handy for providing some EXIF info (for example, lens ID) on to the digital files and for correcting vignetting or colour shifts that can occur with wider lenses. On lenses 35 mm or longer, this type of correcting is not necessary, so coding would not be necessary on the 50/1.1.

Peter.

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david martyn Regular Member • Posts: 293
Re: CV Nokton 50mm 1.1, any reason not to buy?

I've had one for a few months.

1. If you don't need the speed. f/1.1 produces very narrow depth of field. Most would be happy with f/1.4 or f/2 at 50 mm focal length, but if you are a depth of field nut (like I am), then you'd crave this lens anyways.

Agreed. It lets you work in some very dark places & still use low ISO. Be aware that the DOF at F/1.1 is very small & you have to be very careful about not moving after focusing as even the smallest movement can change the focus.

2. Size: It's a big bugger, as far as M-glass goes.

Indeed, its not small or light & I usually consider what I'm going to be photographing before I decide whether to put it in the bag.

4. It isn't the sharpest lens of the 50's, but in real world photography, I doubt that this would matter all that much.

Wide open its not that sharp, then again at apertures like this what is? However I've found from F/4 - F/11 its excellent.

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OP Blurto Regular Member • Posts: 444
Thanks to all.

Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning. They had sold out their first shipment which doesn't mean much as it was only a few lenses. I already have the CV15 Heliar, which is great, so I'm not really concerned with any quality issues. My first ever camera was a Voigtlander more than 40 years ago, wish I still had it now.

As an aside the dealer told me has a customer who has already traded a brand new M8 for an M9 when they arrive. He hadn't even taken it out of the box yet.

Cheers,
Barry.

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BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Re: "... already traded a brand new M8 for an M9 ..."

I don't believe Leica is going to be able to make this camera fast enough to meet market demand. Sort of like their 50mm f/0.95 lens, they have consistently been on back-order, everywhere that sells Leica stuff.

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BRJR ....(LOL, some of us are quite satisfied as Hobbyists ..)

Blurto wrote:

Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning. They had sold out their first shipment which doesn't mean much as it was only a few lenses. I already have the CV15 Heliar, which is great, so I'm not really concerned with any quality issues. My first ever camera was a Voigtlander more than 40 years ago, wish I still had it now.

As an aside the dealer told me has a customer who has already traded a brand new M8 for an M9 when they arrive. He hadn't even taken it out of the box yet.

Cheers,
Barry.

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BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Re: "... Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning."

1. There are a lot of photos starting to appear on Flickr, that have been captured using this lens; and, I agree it appears to be a great value for the cost.

2. Here's the Flickr link to the photos I saw:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nokton50f11/pool/

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BRJR ....(LOL, some of us are quite satisfied as Hobbyists ..)

Blurto wrote:

Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning. They had sold out their first shipment which doesn't mean much as it was only a few lenses. I already have the CV15 Heliar, which is great, so I'm not really concerned with any quality issues. My first ever camera was a Voigtlander more than 40 years ago, wish I still had it now.

As an aside the dealer told me has a customer who has already traded a brand new M8 for an M9 when they arrive. He hadn't even taken it out of the box yet.

Cheers,
Barry.

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Rob from thepicturedeskca Regular Member • Posts: 485
Re: "... Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning."

It looks like a fun lens... I hope to get one.

-rob

canon5Dshooter New Member • Posts: 6
Re: "... Thanks kids, I placed my order this morning."

Has anyone ever seen some really great photos from this lens? I've seen some OK shots but none of that lovely microcontrast that the Noctilux or Canon 50/1.2 have for example.

BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Re: "... but none of that lovely microcontrast that the Noctilux or Canon 50/1.2..."

1. I can't speak of the "Canon 50/1.2", as I won't ever have that lens; but, I do own the new Leica 50mm f/0.95 lens.

2. IMO, for a Leica M shooter that either can't or simply don't want to spend $10,000.00 USD for the Leica 50 f/0.95 lens (that I purchased) or $3595.00 USD, for a Leica 50mm f/1.4 lens, this Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1 Leica M Mount Lens, at $1149.00 USD, is quite a good alternative lens, IMO.

3. I have no problems with the low cost of Voigtlander lenses, as compared to Leica M lenses. For, example, some time ago, I posted in the forum here that I really didn't see much difference in the same images I shot using my new (at that time) Leica 24mm f/1.4 lens as compared to the IQ of my Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 lens. Either way, I like using both lenses (especially the small size of the Voigtlander 35 1.4 lens); and, as I already have the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 lens, saw no reason to purchase a Leica 35mm f/1.4 lens (though this could change when Leica releases an update version of their 35mm f/1.4 M lens, as is rumored).

4. Sometimes, I feel as though some folks expect far more than is practical for some of their lenses, or far more than even the specifications of the lenses they purchased; and, even some of my friends, have yet to find a lens they seemingly don't dislike something about.

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canon5Dshooter wrote:

Has anyone ever seen some really great photos from this lens? I've seen some OK shots but none of that lovely microcontrast that the Noctilux or Canon 50/1.2 have for example.

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BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Re: "... It looks like a fun lens... I hope to get one."

If, it's IQ is anything like that of my Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 lens (and, there's no reason to suspect otherwise), you should like it a lot, and especially regarding the cost of the lens.

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Rob from thepicturedeskca wrote:

It looks like a fun lens... I hope to get one.

-rob

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goodlensgoodlens Regular Member • Posts: 115
Some 50/1.1 samples to share

First time using it, really like it alot, didn't have difficulty focusing though I am relatively new to rangefinders (M8)...the sample are jpg direct from the camera, no pp only resize. I thought the sharpness of the lens is impressive at wide open as I took all shots handheld. It's the most affordable

OP Blurto Regular Member • Posts: 444
Re: Some 50/1.1 samples to share

I really look forward to using the lens more now. These and the other samples I have seen (plus the few shots I have managed) are all most encouraging.

Cheers,
Barry.

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BRJR Forum Pro • Posts: 13,641
Those Are All Nice, IMO.

goodlensgoodlens:

And, thanks for taking the time to post and share some of your first images from using the lens; looks, like you are well on your way enjoying and having fun with your new lens ---- congratulations, on being able to get one.
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