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Zeiss 35 f2 or Voigtlander 35 1.7 ?


colonel
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I need a lightweight and good value 35mm for a particular application

 

I am oscillating between these two lenses

 

The lens will be used wide open for people and interiors and f8 or smaller for landscape and buildings

 

They both seem very good. The upside of the Zeiss seems to be flat field and contrast, the downside is some lack of contrast and sharpness at f2, which appears to clean up already at f2.8. The upside of the Voigtlander is already sharp from f1.7. The downside is vignetting of some sort up to f8

 

For that have used both, or one, what do you think ?

 

Thanks

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I have used both (the current VM version of the Voigtlander), and to me there was also a difference in they way they feel in the hand.

 

I feel that the focus ring of the Voigtlander is a bit of an acquired taste - it feels narrow and the edges of the knurling are quite 'sharp'.  It turns very smoothly, but to me it felt a bit less comfortable than the Zeiss with it's wider ring, fine ridges and focus bump.  I'm sure there are others with the opposite opinion!  Also, the Voigtlander is quite a long lens, certainly compared to a v4 Summicron.

 

Having said all that I would be hard picked to choose between them optically - I found both the perform to a very high standard.  I didn't notice particularly strong vignetting in the Voigtlander.

 

My advice, if you can, is to handle both before deciding as that is where I found the greatest difference.

 

Not sure that's very helpful!

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What about a MkIV 35mm Summicron, a bit more but a great lens minimal distortion and acceptable contrast wide open, edge detail a bit compromised wide open but by F2.8 its already good in the corners. Plus (A big plus IMO) it's tiny with a focus tab, both the Zeiss and Voigtlander are huge in comparison. Oh and you can code for the lens accurately

 

Everything you want outside from F4 onwards, a shot yesterday at F4 uncropped to show the corners (miscoded having said the above !)

 

 

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I have used both (the current VM version of the Voigtlander), and to me there was also a difference in they way they feel in the hand.

 

I feel that the focus ring of the Voigtlander is a bit of an acquired taste - it feels narrow and the edges of the knurling are quite 'sharp'.  It turns very smoothly, but to me it felt a bit less comfortable than the Zeiss with it's wider ring, fine ridges and focus bump.  I'm sure there are others with the opposite opinion!  Also, the Voigtlander is quite a long lens, certainly compared to a v4 Summicron.

 

Not sure that's very helpful!

 

very useful, thanks

I did use the 50mm f1,5 for a bit, same type of focus ring. I didn't like it much but I could live with it, given other aspects of the lens shape up. Long is also significant merely due to public perception. not a decider but all grist to the mill ..

 

The ZM will be soft wide open due to focus shift, so if you focus with live view you would be surprised how much better it gets. The stopped down performance is superlative. I get moire all the time. No idea about the VM.

 

Interesting, I never knew there was a focus shift issue. Diglloyd did comment on its softer nature wide open and perhaps that's why!!. There seems to be broad agreement on "the street" that stopped down this lens ticks most boxes.

 

What about a MkIV 35mm Summicron, a bit more but a great lens minimal distortion and acceptable contrast wide open, edge detail a bit compromised wide open but by F2.8 its already good in the corners. Plus (A big plus IMO) it's tiny with a focus tab, both the Zeiss and Voigtlander are huge in comparison. Oh and you can code for the lens accurately

 

Everything you want outside from F4 onwards, a shot yesterday at F4 uncropped to show the corners (miscoded having said the above !)

 

Yes there are other 35ms I ma contemplating. I had a good experience with the sumarit a few years ago, and was strongly considering one, but having an extra stop of light I think would be the clincher. In terms of the summicron I used the latest ASPH a year ago and wasn't that impressed. Maybe I should give it a go again. I didn't think the Mark IV was that good wide open ? could be wrong

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I have had two 35 summicron ASPH's and liked but not loved. The mkIV is very good wide open in the Center it's the corners that suffer but not enough to be a problem at all if it's people your shooting. It's one of my favourite lenses for size speed to focus and overall performance

 

I think I use it more than my 35 Summilux, just because I like using it !

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PS I did a lot of comparisons with the ASPH and mkIV a while ago and my summary would be

 

Much preferred the mkIV colouring the ASPH is more 'pink'

The bokeh of the ASPH is okay but not great and nicer wide open than the mkIV

The resolution is better on the ASPH at the edges wide open

The mkIV has more perceived image depth and some magic at f4 where it earns its King of bikes reputation

Somehow the mkIV is quicker to focus

The bokeh of the mkIV is poor wide open

The mkIV can have a bit of chroma

They both look much nicer with 12504 hoods !

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King of bouquet was probably a joke and it magically spread on the internet without any valid reason.

 

I don't see any special bouquet, not even (especially not) at f4.

 

Would you mind showing a few Kingly Bouquet samples?

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I have the Zeiss f2, and initially thought it was soft wide open, but I found the focus was a bit off. After DAG adjusted the focus it is fine at all apertures. I had used the tiny v2 Summicron for decades, and the Zeiss seems large in comparison, so I added a used Summarit 2.5, and it is what I prefer on my M9 for its handling.

I've also had the Voigtlander 35 f1.4 for several years, which is appealing for its small size, solid feel, and very low price. My sample is quite good, at f2 less vignetting and sharper than my v2 Summicron at f2, and at f1.4 about equal to the old Summicron at f2. I've also had some very sharp pictures with it in bright conditions, but focus shift tends to place best sharpness behind the subject over f2.8 - 5.6. I now use it a lot on my A7 for people pictures, where live focus adjusts for shift, and the A7 corner issues don't bother me.

I have the Voigtlander 50 f1.5, which has the same focus style as the 35 f1.7, and it does take some getting used to. Mechanically these new VC lenses are excellent, but I have trouble hitting focus wide open due to back focus, so I guess I should send this one to DAG also. My older LTM version of the lens has perfect focus, and is mated to my M5 where the size feels right.

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I have the Zeiss f2, and initially thought it was soft wide open, but I found the focus was a bit off. After DAG adjusted the focus it is fine at all apertures. I had used the tiny v2 Summicron for decades, and the Zeiss seems large in comparison, so I added a used Summarit 2.5, and it is what I prefer on my M9 for its handling.

I've also had the Voigtlander 35 f1.4 for several years, which is appealing for its small size, solid feel, and very low price. My sample is quite good, at f2 less vignetting and sharper than my v2 Summicron at f2, and at f1.4 about equal to the old Summicron at f2. I've also had some very sharp pictures with it in bright conditions, but focus shift tends to place best sharpness behind the subject over f2.8 - 5.6. I now use it a lot on my A7 for people pictures, where live focus adjusts for shift, and the A7 corner issues don't bother me.

I have the Voigtlander 50 f1.5, which has the same focus style as the 35 f1.7, and it does take some getting used to. Mechanically these new VC lenses are excellent, but I have trouble hitting focus wide open due to back focus, so I guess I should send this one to DAG also. My older LTM version of the lens has perfect focus, and is mated to my M5 where the size feels right.

 

Interesting. So is your summarit is your main 35mm lens these days ? Are you comfortable with the f2.5 limit ?

 

The lens will be used mostly for travel and there is always ducking into the dark space or the night shots. I find that, although theoretically I could have a f2.5 and a f1.2/1.4 lens in the bag, as I am often out all day its a hassle carrying two lenses around at the same FL when I could just carry one. So would need to be very comfortable with f2.5 max ...

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King of bouquet was probably a joke and it magically spread on the internet without any valid reason.

 

I don't see any special bouquet, not even (especially not) at f4.

 

Would you mind showing a few Kingly Bouquet samples?

 

 

I tries to find a few that offer comparison, none cropped. At a hifi show in 2014, so some short focus offering some bokeh. You can see as you open the aperture the bokeh to my eyes improves and looks more real, F2 first image F2.8 second

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And now F3.4 and F4 in that order, sorry the pictures are a little abstract 

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Interesting. So is your summarit is your main 35mm lens these days ? Are you comfortable with the f2.5 limit ?

 

The lens will be used mostly for travel and there is always ducking into the dark space or the night shots. I find that, although theoretically I could have a f2.5 and a f1.2/1.4 lens in the bag, as I am often out all day its a hassle carrying two lenses around at the same FL when I could just carry one. So would need to be very comfortable with f2.5 max ...

Yes, the 35 and 50 Summarits are what I normally keep in my M9 kit, even though I have a latest (non-asph) 50 Summicron as well. I like small lenses, and the handling of the Summarits is identical, so they make a nice pair. My small bag also has a Voigtlander 20 f4 (I like small!), and either my fat TE 90 or Voigtlander 75 f2.5. I'm and old film guy, used lo low ISO and hand holding down to 1/15th, so even the M9 is fine for me with these lenses.

If I know I'll be in very dim light I may also slip in the VC 35 1.4, which is also small enough to to tuck in a corner.

Edited by TomB_tx
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Interesting, I never knew there was a focus shift issue. Diglloyd did comment on its softer nature wide open and perhaps that's why!!. There seems to be broad agreement on "the street" that stopped down this lens ticks most boxes.

 

 

 

Yes, it's also interesting that SA only shows up at f/2. From f/2.8 onwards, it is very sharp, and at f/4 it is probably too sharp for some applications.

 

The shift is minimal and only affects f/2 performance, but enough to through the image slightly OOF.

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