User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  1
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 on Olympus E-P1 review

  1. #1
    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
    Join Date
    31 Oct 2009
    Location
    Tura Beach, NSW
    Posts
    3,593
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 on Olympus E-P1 review

    Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 review (Part 1)

    I have been waiting for this lens for a while. I ordered in the day after it was announced in late August as my birthday present to myself. It arrived on Melbourne Cup day and I made arrangements to go and pick up the lens after the race (no luck there as I didn't win anything). It was great to meet Scott at Mainline Photographics - obviously a bunch keen on their photography and keen pricing (at the time the cheapest in the World but our dollar has since risen and it is about line ball with USD pricing).

    Here is my review after its first week of use. Note - click on image or link for a larger version of photos. I will post the review in several parts and this is of course Part 1.

    Unboxing



    _B025004 by peterb666, on Flickr




    _B025006 by peterb666, on Flickr




    _B025007 by peterb666, on Flickr




    _B025008 by peterb666, on Flickr


    A rather modest thing. Well packed and you get a hood and two lens caps, a 52mm one for the lens body and a 67mm for the front of the lens hood. Both are snap on types.


    Initial impressions

    The build quality is superb. The lens has a nice solid feel to it having an all metal construction. It isn't too heavy and it oozes quality. This is how a good quality lens was made 3 or 4 decades ago.

    The focus ring is ultra smooth and a generous amount of rotation covers the zoom range from 0.17m to infinity. You would expect a lens like this to focus no closer than around 0.25m, maybe even 0.3m. With about 280 degrees of rotation and much of it in that range between 0.3m and 0.17m, it is very easy to accurately focus the lens.

    The aperture ring in towards the front of the lens. I am not a big fan of this type of design but have got use to it over the years. I have the same on a number of Olympus OM lenses as well as my Schneider 40mm lens from my Robot Star IIa. I also prefer full-stop clicks but the half-stop clicks are bearable enough. The aperture ring is light and the click stops positive.



    Voigtlander 25mm by peterb666, on Flickr




    Voigtlander 25mm-1 by peterb666, on Flickr


    One disappointment is the lack of electrical interface with the Micro Four Thirds mount. Examining the rear element, it is fairly obvious that it would be difficult to provide space for the contacts other than slicing off the bottom of the rear lens elements. That of course would make assembly difficult and add to the cost of lens.



    Voigtlander 25mm-2 by peterb666, on Flickr

  2. #2
    I am older than I look.
    Threadstarter
    peterb666's Avatar
    Join Date
    31 Oct 2009
    Location
    Tura Beach, NSW
    Posts
    3,593
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On the Camera



    Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 self portrait by peterb666, on Flickr

    The lens is relatively long yet quite slim. You would think that this may present a handling problem with the Olympus E-P1 but it is very easy to hand-hold with one hand supporting the lens as you do with an SLR or an older, larger rangefinder camera. This is sufficient dampening in the focus ring that you wouldn't normally knock the lens off-focus.

    This is not the quickest lens in the world to use. For a start you need to use the traditional focus and stop-down metering of old pre-set lenses. If you are prepared for this and patient, the lens a joy to use and will give superb results. Consequently, this lens is not suited to things that move around unless you are prepared to pre-focus and wait for the object to come into the focus zone.

    As you would expect, this lens excels in low light or when you want minimum depth of field. It is nice to be able to see something in the LCD in pre-dawn light levels and to be able to focus even on the very few occasions when you cannot see anything in the LCD. To those use to scale focussing, the focus distances seem very accurate. As the lens is moderately wide compared (OK it is a standard in MFT terms), dept of field is good when stopped down to f/8 or f/11 and you can use hyperfocal focusing to good effect. There is a generous dept of field making on the lens. Mechanical focus rings, infinity stops and depth of field markings are all things most advanced photographers miss from most Micro Four Thirds lenses. I certainly do.


    In the Field

    Pre-dawn and sunrise



    Pre-dawn at Tamarama by peterb666, on Flickr




    Tamarama Sunrise 2 by peterb666, on Flickr


    Low light



    Hen's night out by peterb666, on Flickr




    Seaside Photographers by peterb666, on Flickr




    Tripods at Tamarama by peterb666, on Flickr


    Dept of field

    Focus is on the letter O on the mug and the noses of the 2 dogs left & centre. Distance is around 0.3 metres from the sensor…



    Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 test 1 f0.95 by peterb666, on Flickr

    That shot also shows the excessive glow that can appear with highligts on edges (see top of mug). It is well and truely gone by f/1.4.




    Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 test 3 f2 by peterb666, on Flickr




    Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 test 7 f8 by peterb666, on Flickr




    Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 test 9 f16 by peterb666, on Flickr


    Portraits



    Hair Dressing in Hyde Park-2 by peterb666, on Flickr




    Hair Dressing in Hyde Park-4 by peterb666, on Flickr




    _B075159 by peterb666, on Flickr
    Last edited by peterb666; 10-11-2010 at 9:00pm.

  3. #3
    I am older than I look.
    Threadstarter
    peterb666's Avatar
    Join Date
    31 Oct 2009
    Location
    Tura Beach, NSW
    Posts
    3,593
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Conclusion

    Pros

    Superb image quality from around f/1.4 and up

    You can get usable images at f/0.95 (also see 'Cons')

    Incredibly sharp and great detail

    Very accurate and relatively easy (but slow) focussing

    Shallow depth of field when required

    Great value for money (but this is really a specialised lens).


    Cons

    It isn't always easy to get a good image at f/0.95, especially if there is backlighting or extreme highlights and strange edge glows/halos. Stopping down to f/1.4 fixes that while still maintaining a shallow depth of field.

    Very slow to focus due to generous rotation angle of focus ring (this however makes focussing very accurate)

    Not suited to moving things due to the slow focussing.


    Endnote

    This is a specialised lens. If you want shallow depth of field or need a lens that you can work with in low light levels, this is it.

    The lens is good value for money and a bargain if you are in the market for this type of lens. The only ultra-fast lenses that provide a normal focal length for Micro Four Thirds are adapted C-mount lenses, most of which vignette badly and many have poor IQ and bokeh.

    On price it competes with the Noktor 50mm f/0.95, the manual focus Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (which is still available new) and the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 (about $300 more expensive in Australia) however these are far too long for general purpose lenses on Micro Four Thirds and other than the Noktor, require an adapter. I think the image quality is up there with the Nikon and Voigtlander lenses and well ahead of what I have seen out of the Noktor.

    I am very happy with the results. In most situations where the bokeh comes into play, it looks reasonable enough. Things like grass and leaves can be a little messy rather than smooth but that seems a common trait of short focal length ultra-fast lenses. Shooting point sources of light seem pleasing enough, and quite frankly outstanding for a lens at this sort of price range. It isn't like the defunct 58mm Noct Nikkor or an ultrafast Leica, but then it only costs between 10 and 20% or less of the asking price of those but it is comparable to the Voigtlander Noktor 50mm and Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 lenses but with a more useful focal length for general use.

    Now if only Voigtlander will bring out a 10mm f/1.4 or thereabouts, I would grab that too - preferably with electrical contacts for Micro Four Thirds.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    28 Nov 2008
    Location
    River Murray
    Posts
    727
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    great post, i'm humming and harring. i haven't been that endeared to the voigtlander's that i've owned in the past. I'm not a fan of the boke from the 35 and 50mm noktons, and my 1.2/50mm lens was really a 1.4/50mm lens. is this a true 0.95 lens? it does seem like a great little lens though, probably one of the great bargains available in photography today, as with a lot of the voigtlander gear.

  5. #5
    I am older than I look.
    Threadstarter
    peterb666's Avatar
    Join Date
    31 Oct 2009
    Location
    Tura Beach, NSW
    Posts
    3,593
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I haven't checked the meter readings under any sort of controlled ligting but I wouldn't be surprised that the bit beyond f/1 was developed by the marketing department. If there are extremes of lighting, it can be difficult to get a decent shot out of f/0.95 but even one notch down the aperture ring things look pretty good.

    I think the big plus is being able to see an image in the LCD in stupidly low lighting and manually focus lenses on the E-P1. That fly by wire stuff on the Olympus and Panasonic lenses leaves something to be desired.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    28 Nov 2008
    Location
    River Murray
    Posts
    727
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yeah, i don't use manual focus on my oly 17mm, but i do have some manual focus lenses that i use, and i agree with you when you say that the screen can be a godsned.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •