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Thread: Voigtlander 58mm F/1.4 Nokton - an alternative 50mm

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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    Voigtlander 58mm F/1.4 Nokton - an alternative 50mm

    Just thought I'd share a few quick out of the box samples of this fine lens - basic jpegs from camera, handheld, most shots wide open too - a lot sharper than the Nikon 50/1.4 G

    First at f 2.0, second shot at f1.4.
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    Nikon D750
    Olympus m/43
    Rolleicord IV


    My SmugMug

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    Voigtlanders are one of my favourite lenses made for the Nikon F-mount. The other one which is also worth getting is the 40mm f2 Ultron SLII. I use that to shoot a lot of my product photography because of it's macro ability (especially food). Both super sharp and detailed. Solid construction, not to mention cheap and they too make Carl Zeiss lenses in Japan.

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    One shot from the 40mm f2. Sorry if this appears to be a little big of a camera porn like shot :P
    Picture straight out of the S5Pro (just resized and posted).


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    I only found out about the 40/2 after I ordered the Zeiss 35/2 - otherwise I probably would have got it. I think they really are underrated lenses - and like you said they are manufactured in Japan by Cosina -who are also contracted out by Zeiss to make their lenses. You can tell when you have it in hand, feels every bit as well built as the Zeiss line and the optical quality beats the pants off most of the AF 50mm offerings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    I only found out about the 40/2 after I ordered the Zeiss 35/2 - otherwise I probably would have got it. I think they really are underrated lenses - and like you said they are manufactured in Japan by Cosina -who are also contracted out by Zeiss to make their lenses. You can tell when you have it in hand, feels every bit as well built as the Zeiss line and the optical quality beats the pants off most of the AF 50mm offerings.
    I would sell off the Biogon and get the 40 to be honest :P LOL. After buying to 40, I will have extra cash to fund for something else. Unless you are a collector, then the Biogon will come in handy in the future. Then again, these Cosina lenses might go up in price too someday, and you are right,... not many people take it seriously because of it's price tag. But to me it is worth every penny spent, and a whole lot more if you use it to earn something.

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    I got the Distagon 35/2 - I think the Biogon is the older design which goes back to 1951 and designed to fit the Contax system and other rangefinders, as it sits very close to the image plane and would get in the way of an SLR mirror assembly, I think the Distagon has a different element set up - not sure how they compare in quality. I've heard the Biogon was sharper wide open and the Distagon performed better stopped sown. Either way I'm a happy camper
    Last edited by kaiser; 10-08-2010 at 8:30pm.

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    So I guess you're reasonably happy with it then

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    Yep, for sure Should be great for portraits on the D90 and a superb general purpose on the D700. I just need to practice MF more to improve my keeper rate
    Last edited by kaiser; 10-08-2010 at 8:36pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    Yep, for sure Should be great for portraits on the D90 and a superb general purpose on the D700. I just need to practice MF more to improve my keeper rate
    Get a focus screen for your D700. Your D700 will love you for it (Katz-eye is one brand you can look up) I have got one for my S5Pro and D700 too.

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    Another shot of the 40 f2 on Velvia film colour setting on the S5Pro.
    Seafood TomYum Soup at Anantara Resort, Krabi, Thailand.

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    I love the way this lens draws OOF areas. All at f1.4, straight from camera


    _DSC7190 by kaiserkudo, on Flickr


    _DSC7181 by kaiserkudo, on Flickr


    _DSC7174 by kaiserkudo, on Flickr


    _DSC7193 by kaiserkudo, on Flickr

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    that first and second one are really nice.

    love the swirly looking blur behind the flower in #2.

    looks like the lens and screen are working for ya!

    from what I understand of these (modern)Voightlanders is that they're CPU'ed too.... so no mucking about with lens additions into the camera's menu.

    And from what I think I know of their (overseas)prices, they don't appear to be too expensive either.. except for the stupidly priced(now) 125mm macro lens.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Yep AK they are chipped so full auto metering and aperture The bokeh has that painterly feel to it which really appeals to me. Almost a bit Zeiss 100MP in its rendering. Close OOF elements are soft but still retain detail instead of being a massive blur like the Sigma 50/1.4 (which sometimes I find great, but in some photos it looks boring compared to this rendering which I find complimentary without being distracting.


    I got mine from a trusted EBay seller for $430 shipped. The focus ring is just sublime! Makes focus so much easier...and yes the Katz Eye helps too And as you can see from the samples its plenty sharp and contrasty wide open. Its one of those best kept secret lens.

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    i like the voigtlanders too. i've had a 1.5/50mm and a 1.2/35mm. i've also got the 4.5/15mm super wide heliar, and I'm about to order the new 0.95/25mm. superb build quality, great optics, and great value. for some reason, the RRP of the Voigtlanders overseas is higher than OZ, a welcome change.

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    I wish the 125 APO didn't command such a high price on eBay. Maybe one day CV will make an SLII version.

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    I always liked the Voigtlander(cosina) 58mm f/1.4. AFIK it has a closer minimum focus distance for a 58mm lens, much closer than is typical for most 50mm lenses out there. A physical property that helps it blur backgrounds much more effectively. The voigtlander lens is also substantially sharper at wider apertures in the corners than the ziess equivalent.


    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    I wish the 125 APO didn't command such a high price on eBay.
    Considering the optical perfection of the 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar it is hardly surprising that it still commands a hefty price tag. I one ever shows up in pentax K mount I would willingly sell my sigma 180mm f/3.5 APO [IF] EX DG* just to get it.

    *this lens is discontinued in Pentax K mount, and it fetches prices on e-bay that are pretty much on par with the Voigtlander 125mm

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