43rumors: Voigtländer vs Noktor size comparison (+ a few image samples)

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The Micro Four Thirds system now offers two über-fast lenses. The Voigtländer 25mm and the Noktor 50mm lenses (both with the amazing f/0.95 aperture)! Sadly it is almost impossible to buy the Noktor. The website (Noktor.com) has no lens in Stock and there are a few and sometimes zero auctions on eBay (Click here to check) The Voigtländer is available at local stores or on eBay via german and asian resellers (Click here to check).

2 days ago I received my Voigtländer lens and I made quick comparison with the Noktor 50mm. All images were taken with my Olympus E-P1. JPG at normal settings and resized in Photoshop.

Click the link below to see the minireview:

Size comparison (click on thumbnail to enlarge!)

The Voigtländer is a little bit smaller than the Noktor and only a little bit more protracted with the attached metal hood. That said the build-quality and handling of the Voigtländer is a huge step above the Noktor. The aperture ring of the Voigtländer does “click” from one aperture to the other. With the Noktor you are never sure if the aperture is still where you want it to be. It’s so easy to unintentionally move the aperture ring!
With both lenses you have to turn around the focus ring two times (if not three) to get from close focus distance to infinite. Of course focusing is much easier with the Voigtländer (because of the wider focal length und greater depth of field).

Vignetting

The first picture has been taken at f/0.95 and the second picture with f/2.8. Vignetting is here but nothing really to be worried about.

Portrait

The Voigtländer is not a portrait lens and the Noktor (second image) gives you a far more creamy result.

Close focusing

A nice surprise of the Voigtländer is the very close focus distance. It’s almost a macro lens! If you take pictures of letters or stuff that has a detailed structure the image gets “disturbed”. The image of the bottle looks much nicer here. The last image has been taken with the Noktor.

Real world samples


Those are three real world pictures I have taken during my daily trip to work (all taken at f/0.95). This afternoon I will take many more images and post them here tomorrow.

I am impressed by the Voigtländer lens. It has a top notch build-quality and much sharper images than the Noktor. The only major complain I have right now is that the lens is far to big for me. When attached on my E-P1 the camera is far away from being pocketable. The lens weights a lot and the balance not optimal. I would love to see a fast lens from Voigtländer with the size of the Voigtländer 35mm f/1.4 ($400 M-mount lens))!

Check out the eBay auctions of the:
Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95Noktor 50mm f/0.95

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  • The Voigtlander seems very sharp at F4-F5.6
    Can you compare with 20mm f1.7 ??

  • I posted some wide open shots with new nokton here: http://sunli81.blogspot.com/2010/11/wide-wide-open.html

  • Dun

    Why doesn’t Panasonic produce such fast lenses?

    • Very limited market. Very risky long term investments, with sure short term loses.

      • nobody

        So why do Cosina do it?

        • cosina just did tradition handcraft, which panasonic is not capable of.

        • hd72

          Because they use the “Dummy00001 Autofocus System”. Very inexpensive for them. 😉

    • hd72

      Panasonic’s would also be expected to have autofocus and camera-controlled aperture. Who knows how much that would affect the cost and size, even if the design could be practically done.

  • 43 photo

    This lens is a fantastic option for micro 4/3. I hope Olympus will launche a pro pen which can handle both 4/3 and micro 4/3 lenses. I would buy that camera immediately to use with my SHG glass and to have the option of the Voigtlander fast primes. I hope Voigtalander/ Olympus will launche more fast primes next year. Micro 4/3 becomes a fantastic and attractive system.

    More interesting primes:
    1) fast portrait lens 80mm/1.2 with close focusing
    2) wide angle 7mm4.0 (keep it small) and a 12mm/2.8
    3) 100mm/3.5 macro 1:1

    • Wow, small manual wide angle primes from Cosina would be a great idea, because:

      For steet photography (zone focus) and landscapes you don’t really need autofocus for really wide lenses. Basically you can just guess the distance, and anything will be sharp anyway 😉

      Cosina has a lot of experience with extreme rangefinder wideangles.

      Wideangles is a niche where very few legacy lenses are available: SLR lenses are too long, and c-mount lenses don’t have a large enough image circle. So people who want a “classic” manual lens would buy a cosina.

      I’ve got the Cosina/Voigtländer 25mm f/4 for Leica RF, and it is
      tiny for a full frame lens. MFT lenses could be even smaller (or be faster with the same size), that would really fit the small size of the whole system.

  • Anybody helps me out: is center-weighted metering generally working better than ESP with MF lens?

    • Craig

      The nokton 25 0.95 manual says to use centred weighted with olympus and that esp may give inaccurate metering…also I love this lens

  • Miroslav

    Thanks for the mini review! I believe you’re the first in the world that compared these two F0.95 lenses. Looking forward to more samples. If possible, please make some night street photos and post exposure data with them.

  • I think that the Noktor is a crap. Nothing more than an overpriced C mount lens with low IQ. I purchased a much cheaper and much-much better Canon nFD 50/1.2 which works well on my GF1:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=50mm%20f1.2&w=50604678%40N02

    My Voigtlander will arrive next Tuesday. 🙂

  • Thanks for the informative article.

    I have tested the lens against some other 25mm I had. Love the sharpness of the Voigtlander lens wide open.

    http://hinting.multiply.com/photos/album/186/25mm_lens_test_on_GF1

    :hinting

  • Panasonic provides announced the Lumix DMC-GF2 Mini 4 Thirds camera. Any simplified model with the corporation’s GF1, Panasonic GF2 inherits the same flat-body layout but with revised handle layout and touch-screen manage.
    You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

  • Geet

    NIGHT SHOTS………….. show us some night shots…………..

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