Another Nokton 25mm versus Leica 25mm comparison battle.


Time for another Nokton versus Leica 25mm comparison. Peter Lueck (Click here) tested both lenses. As you know the Nokton is a manual autofocusing lens only and also 2cm longer, but is a lot faster (f/0.95 versus f/1.7) and a nice 20cm close focusing distance. The Leica is larger and cheaper and has autofocus. But what’s the difference in terms of image quality?

Peter Lueck shows you different scenes taken with both lenses. The Leica has a bit “colder” colors. But that is also the only real difference because sharpness is almost equal! Take a look for yourself!

One more thing about the Nokton price. I told you a couple of weeks ago that the price of the Nokton is falling and getting closer to the price of the Leica 25mm lens. The eBay deal Infoto offered new lenses for 599 Euro on eBay (Click here). The deal is gone now but they will soon have new Stocks of Notkon for sale at the same price. 599 Euro is what you pay for the new Leica at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay (If you are lucky to find them in Stock!).

P.S.: Check the Nokton availability on eBay (Click here).

  • DonTom

    I know I’ll eventually buy a Nokton, but the PL24/1.4? Probably not, not with the Panny 20/1.7 in my bag. That low light ability is too tempting. Other lenses to get first though, especially the Olly 45/1.8.
    Thanks for the comparison Peter (& Admin), nice to see that there isn’t much difference between them in IQ.

  • Frank

    ‘manual autofocusing’ .. what is that??? Re-read your words before publishing, please ..

    • Brod1er

      It’s f1.4 (not f1.7) too. However I respect this site is free and am happy to accept a few typos. Thanks Admin!

  • Bob B.

    -another error in the post text: is ” (f/0.95 veruss f/1.7)” it should read:(f/0.95 versus f/1.4)-
    I think the Panny/Leica 25 is going to be the lens that I want on my GF7!!!!!!!
    The Nokton has a better bokeh going on which is the main reason for the attraction of this lens….but I would much rather have the trade-off of slightly harsher (but still great) bokeh with the autofocus capability that the Panasonic offers..especially for the price.
    They are both great lenses.

    • Brod1er

      Bob, I agree AF is more helpful. It is also more compact and substantially lighter which matters for me. Best of all though- everyone gets to choose what works for them. Viva the mft system!!!! No doubt for some users/situations the Nokton is the way to go (video, low light etc).

    • Jim


      Such a pitty the Nokton does not AF :)

    • Mr. Reeee

      The Nokton 25mm’s very close focus distance has turned out to be a big reason why I use it more and more. I can pretty much skip carrying my big ole Nikon 60mm macro lens around, unless I’m specifically going out looking for small critters to shoot.

      Auto-focus is a nice convenience in some situations, but the Nokton 25mm has very quick and precise focus… For manual focus. I prefer using a real, dedicated aperture ring as opposed to messing with buttons.

      • WT21

        I’ve got one for next weekend from Lens Rental (the Nokton, that is). Going to give it a whirl, and see how it feels on the new EPL2. If I like it, and if I can get one closer to $800 than $1,300, it might be my next lens.

      • flash

        Have you tried it with a small extension tube? It might be a very good Macro Lens.

        • Mr. Reeee

          I hadn’t thought about using an extension tube. Actually, the focus distance is about 7″ and from my photos, it’s nearly macro. The colors are nicer than the Nikon macro lens, too.

          Rainbow Imaging has a set of tubes for $8.59. Cheap!

          I have a couple of Nikon close-up lenses (5T and 6T) with a 52mm to 62mm step up ring, but haven’t tried it yet.

      • Bob B.

        What would help is if someone would start manufacturing some very thin automatic extension tubes for MFT cameras. There has to be enough need for that item. I would buy one in a sec.
        To my knowledge they are not available.
        (duh…just saw the post above…Flash….can you tell me if anyone is selling an MFT coupled extension tube? (I want one that is really short in size and connects all of the electronics)

  • Brod1er

    Ps A 35mm f1 would be great!

    • +1 but I would wonder about the size!

    • Mr. Reeee

      Actual 35mm or equivalent?

      Voigtländer makes a very compact Nokton 35mm f1.4 rangefinder lens with a Leica M mount. While not as nice as the 25mm, it’s really great little lens and m favorite walkabout lens. It works well with M4/3 cameras.

      • Katzen

        I’d really love to see a 35mm equivalent that’s a cut above Oly’s 2.8 offering. Currently using 12mm f2 and 4/3 25mm 1.4, need a little something there and I’m happy :)

  • oluv

    the nokton is considerably sharper, what a pity, i really looked forward to the leica, but the nokton is faster, sharper, and has better DOF-control wide open. the only drawback: manual focus :(

  • GreyOwl

    A writer cannot successfully proof read their own work, so typos are always going to be found from time to time, as admin is always working under pressure in a language that is not native to him.

    • Jim

      +1 editors are used for a reason – not because writers can’t write but because when working on your own text you can’t see the wood for the trees!

      • +10

      • blastingmills

        it’s nice to have a “second set of eyes” look over your work…the same issues apply to creating architectural drawings.

        as far as the lenses are concerned, i want the nokton for video work, where i shoot full manual focus anyways.

        for photography stills, i can see how the panasonic lens would be more desirable.

        sigh…i must choose one…

  • Come on, both are just wonderful lenses, and we should just be happy to have them available in the m43 world instead of whining for sharpness or bokeh :) The only thing I often wish using the Voigtlander is to have something like focus peaking… The magnifier isn’t a great solution when you have to act fast.

    • Anonymous

      +1 I am sure too that with both lenses great images can be made.
      +1 I think the peaking would indeed speed up the focusing process, only not sure yet how precise the results are, reading a few real world tests with the leica module for the Ricoh mirrorless system. I am planning to use my Nokton 1.1 with the GXR A12 mount module as soon as i can get one.

      • that was my reply…didn’t see i was logged out….admin, can’t this be fixed, to avoid reply from reg user as anonymous?

    • littorio

      I have tried peaking mode on Sony NEX cameras and found it not as helpful as one may think. The main problem is that peaking does not work on moving subject. Simple test – move your camera slightly to the left-right and you’ll see the peaking lines disappear. The same happens on moving objects – while background may be all in red helping lines the man walking near that background (say, the wall) does not have any signs of red. When man stops, red color fills him instantly.

      So – what is the point in having no help on moving objects? Yes, your focusing will be faster by 1 sec on stills. But still – can’t be compared to real AF…

      The other “solution” is to count on good EVF without magnifying… works for me on poratraits and 50mm lenses. 25mm needs more details, and more precision though :(

      • thats sounds indeed like a disadvantage, but i do mostly model/portraits.
        I worked with a good evf before and i don’t think focusing would be precise enough without magnifying since i mostly shoot wide open with my nokton 50 f/1.1

        • chad

          Peaking works just fine with moving subjects on the NEX although, you are correct in one way – it does not work if you move the camera. So do your test again but this time keep the camera still and wave your hand up and down (within the focus plane) and you will see that the peaking remains active.

      • Jim

        That does sound like only a partial solution!

        I’m guessing when movement occurs there is a low level pixel blur and hence the peaking thinks nothing is in focus (or not anything moving)…

        It should not seek to highlight a certain level of sharpness but rather the sharpest 2% of pixels.. then movement would not stop its function.. mind you if totaly unfocused it would still highlight the sharpest 2% even if this does not represent a focus point!

        What we need is a camera with a multi pronged approach to MF…
        1) Standard magnifiy zoom 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 7x, 10x
        2) Magnifiy zoom (specifiable in steps as above) just the center 50% of VF while retaining full image on the outside 50%
        3) Focus peaking as Sony
        4) Focus peaking as discribed above (with a vairable % for highlight)

        • Anonymous

          Or a split screen :-)

  • Troil

    Other than Infoto I haven’t seen any dealers with lenses in stock offering the Nokton for anywhere close to that price. It’s still $1199 on BH and Adorama.

    • Mr. Reeee

      The sales dudes at the Panasonic and Olympus M4/3 counter at B&H had never even heard of the Voigtländer 25mm lens! I was trying mine on an EPL3 there and a couple of them tried it an liked it, but were shocked that it was native m4/3 and didn’t need an adaptor.

      Of course, B&H never has it in stock. Adorama does occasionally.

      • Jim

        Goes to show how clued up “sales dudes” are!

    • Nick Clark

      Mainline Photographics in Australia has it for $813AUD and will ship internationally. They have it in stock at the moment ;)

      • Thanks for the head’s up Nick! If shipping isn’t outrageous I think I’ll get me one!!

  • I think that image quality isn’t the overriding factor when comparing these two lenses. I used to own the Voigtländer, but sold it because I found it too heavy as a standard prime. I’m travelling in South America at the moment with a very light kit which is unobtrusive yet flexible enough in terms of focal length and aperture range: Lumix 7-14/4.0, Lumix 20/1.7 and the Leica 45/2.8 OIS. I prefer not to carry a larger and heavier kit all day long.

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