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Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 vs. Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2


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Since about one year I’m the proud owner of a M10P and enjoy photography using the M system a lot. Mainly taking pictures of people and street photography during my (business) trips in order to create content that I want to share on the new website that should launch in about 1 or 2 months from now.

Next to a Summicron 28mm and a Summarit 75mm, I own a Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 lens. After reading some reviews (claiming superb image quality and Leica glow of the Summilux) I am more and more tempted to add a Summilux 50mm f/1.4 asph and would like to understand how this lens compares with the Voigtlander. Is there anyone on the forum that owns both and can share his / her experience using these lenses?

How close are they in character and image quality? What are the differences? And would you recommend me to get the Summilux? Or do you think it will be almost the same in character and image quality compared with the Voigtlander? 

Your thoughts and feedback are highly appreciated. 

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No much "glow" with my Summilux 50mm v3 either... but some lovely/buttery rendering my Summilux 50mm (APO) Asph can't produce... Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!Dominique by Del-Uks, on Flickr Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!Anouk by Del-Uks, on Flickr Hello

Not pointing these remarks at anybody but it saddens me to see so many web discussions about lenses eventually descend to 'this lens is "better" than that' or 'my lenses is "sharper" than yours' etc.  I see it completely differently and as though lenses are simply different brushes in an artist's draw; they all have different characters and can be used to provide different brushstrokes that will benefit different pictures.   No lens is "better" (whatever that means) than any other but they

I very much agree with Elmar's comments about the differences he's observed between these two lenses (the Leica 50mm f1.4 Lux asph vs. The VC 50mm f1.2)! I usually don't like to comment on two different high performing lenses that are similar focal length & speed without having both in hand and testing one vs. the other on same subjects at same time.  I used to own the 50mm Lux asph for quite some time (and eventually sold it) and now own the VC 50mm f1.2.  Therefore my brief opinion is

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I have not used any of the lenses that you've listed that you own.  I have the 50'Lux and have used it on my previous M9P, my current M10 and most recently with the Leica adapter on the SL.   Others here are far more versed than I am in "specs" and "testing measurements" so I'll defer to them on those topics but as an active shooter I will share that it rarely leaves my camera.   It's one of those special lenses that's always scores high on the list when people ask, "If you could only have one lens".  To be perfectly honest you could enjoy your camera all day long 7 days a week and never own another lens.  I just fell it's that good.   I have 5 or 6 M lenses currently and have own various other M lenses in my life, maybe 6 or so others have come and gone over the years but the 50'Lux is magnificent.   Maybe you could consider moving your 75 and the Voigt and just go with your Leica 28'Cron and the 50'Lux?   That's a real nice little street kit to carry around with you.   Losing the 75 won't hurt you as you'll never use it again once you see the 50'Lux results.   For the extra range, step forward 2 or 3 feet or corp in post.    I can't praise the 50'Lux enough.   I'll let others smarter than me discuss specs, charts, etc.  Purely from an enjoyment level, it's my favorite lens of all time.     Good luck.....  All the best. 

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I very much agree with Elmar's comments about the differences he's observed between these two lenses (the Leica 50mm f1.4 Lux asph vs. The VC 50mm f1.2)!

I usually don't like to comment on two different high performing lenses that are similar focal length & speed without having both in hand and testing one vs. the other on same subjects at same time.  I used to own the 50mm Lux asph for quite some time (and eventually sold it) and now own the VC 50mm f1.2.  Therefore my brief opinion is based on shooting the same test subject under similar but not identical lighting and looking at previous files from the Leica vs. current files of the VC 50mm f1.2.  I do though have to shoot more subjects similar or identical to the Lux asph to make a more definitive statement.  Keep in mind my comments are predicated on examining files at 100%.

With that said, this is my impression, especially at f1.4 up to and including f2, where the primary differences occur.  At very close distances, the Lux asph appears to be sharper and this is primarily due to the floating elements in the Lux asph.  In fact after having tested two samples of the VC 50mm f1.2 and also taking to two individuals that also shoot that lens on a M digital body,  the VC lens is set up whereby it front focuses a little at closer distances.  This contributes to it appearing softer than it really is on close up subjects. At slightly longer distances than mid distances, the VC is quite/very sharp on center but there is a drop off in the outer zones.  The same can be said of the Lux asph, but not quite as dramatic and definitely more subtle.

I've yet to take any meaningful long distance landscape shots with the VC 50mm f1.2 to determine when the outer zones/edges of the frame sharpen up but at my mid distance shots, these areas do get quite good at f2.8 and even better at f5.6...whereas in the Lux asph, the outer zones are quite excellent at these f-stops and ahead of the 50mm f1.2.  Keep in mind the enormous price difference between the two lenses and therefore the 50mm f1.2 can be considered a best buy in high performance 50.  In fact if size is not  taken into the equation, my order of preference would be 50mm Lux asph, VC 50mm f1.2, 50mm current Cron.  Of course having used briefly the APO 50mm cron, this particular lens would be #1 but certainly not in my price range.

I will say without the floating element of the 50mm Lux asph, the feel of the focusing in the 50mm f1.2 is simply perfect, silky smooth and one of the best I've experienced in a lens. Many samples of the Lux asph can feel choppy to turn the focusing ring and it's not the best feeling in use.  I know some have gotten Leica to adjust the lens to feel better.

How much you give up by going with the VC 50mm f1.2 vs. 50mm Lux asph, depends on what you shoot and what you plan to do with your files.  Both lenses draw beautifully and if you do landscapes and print big, you have to stop the VC 50mm f1.2 down further that the Lux asph to get edge to edge sharpness.  If you shoot close up portraits, the additional softness at close range in the VC 50mm f1.2 may work to your advantage unless you need the point of focus razor sharp.  In this instance the Lux asph has the advantage as explained "above"

For most general photography at varing distances and shooting a lot at mid apertures (f2.8 to f5.6 and beyond) but still do occasionally need or would like to use f1.2 or f1.4 for shallow depth of field and if you print to popular mid sized prints...the VC 50mm f1.2 is a more than excellent lens that has the bonus of having very very good sharpness, especially in the central area of the frame. If you require even a higher level of performance, then the Leica 50mm Lux asph may be required.

So far I am pleased with the VC 50mm f1.2, but time will tell since its in its early days with me and my mind may change, one way or the other.

Dave (D&A)

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27 minutes ago, SMAL said:

The 50/1.4 ASPH has no „Leica glow“. If you want that buy a V3 Summilux 50/1.4 pre-asph. Lively glow and close focus like the ASPH.

Does your 50 Summilux pre-ASPH v3 glow? I've had it for some months now, but I haven't experienced any noticeable glow yet.

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I have 50Lux current version and I like it very much.  I used to own VM 35 f/1.2 (but not 50mm).  The VM is pretty good under normal lighting but it has too much purple fringe (CA) when shooting a person in backlight OR on some highly reflecting subjects like chrome material.  The LR is able to correct CA but heavily CA stuff leaving grey edges.  So I gave up and sold it.  

hmmm, i'd say, paying 1/3 of the price but are you getting 1/2 as good comparing to Lux?  Pretty much... but It really depends on personal taste and stuff that you shoot.  There is no solid answer am I correct? 

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44 minutes ago, jaeger said:

I have 50Lux current version and I like it very much.  I used to own VM 35 f/1.2 (but not 50mm).  The VM is pretty good under normal lighting but it has too much purple fringe (CA) when shooting a person in backlight OR on some highly reflecting subjects like chrome material.  The LR is able to correct CA but heavily CA stuff leaving grey edges.  So I gave up and sold it.  

hmmm, i'd say, paying 1/3 of the price but are you getting 1/2 as good comparing to Lux?  Pretty much... but It really depends on personal taste and stuff that you shoot.  There is no solid answer am I correct? 

I own both the VC 35mm f1.2 and the VC 50mm f1.2 and they perform completely differently,. Without your having used the 50mm f1.2,, how can you make the statement that it's half the lens of the 50mm Lux asph. This is far from accurate. Most who have used the VC 50mm f1.2 are fairly uniform in their assessment. Some put it vary close to the Lux asph, some find its still trails that lens but almost all rate it quite high in reaching a high level of performance. The primary difference is the outer zones at f1.2 and f1.4. I say this with having used and owners the Lux asph and now the VC 50mm f1.2. . My comments are strictly to be informative to the OP, who asked specifically about the Leica 50mm f14 asph vs. The VC 50mm f1.2.

Dave (D&A)

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To give a short answer: Get the 50 Lux, it is really that good!

I have owned the Lux for 2 years now and I am still blown away by its look. I have it paired with the 28 Cron (new version) and they go very well together in terms of rendering and handling (size, same filter size, etc.).

What strikes me most: People actually notice the very unique rendering and I get a lot of comments on photos taken with this lens. This is the best proof you can have and I value this more than any technical arguments on some MTF curves.

Finally, I think the 50 Lux has a wonderful industrial design. Obviously, this will not help you take better photos, but it puts a smile on my face  every time I attach it to my camera. 

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I have used the summilux 50 apsh. that was great lens but after i used Noct 50 f1 v4. I knew that i like the old lens more than the modern lens. 

some imperfect makes the character that make me like it so much. 

I wanna try the summilux 50 pre-asph (V3) as well but no opportunity to try it. 

However, i have tried the summilux 50 v1 at second hand shop, that made glow so much (beautiful like a dream).

 

about the voightlander 50 f1.2, I have read review on the internet. It a great lens as well. beautiful rendering and fast aperture. if the money is not my problem, I prefer Leica more than voightlander because i like character and in my country the price of leica when you wanna sell it, sometime got some profit  :) 

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Here is my review of the CV 50/1.2 for the LHSA Viewfinder.

https://lhsa.org/2018/12/voightlander-50-1-2-nokton-lens-review/

I own both the current BC 50/1.4 Lux ASPH and also a v.2 Lux. Yes, the 50 Lux ASPH is the best of the bunch. The v.2 Lux gives a very "dreamy" or Leica glow rendering wide open. The CV 50/1.2 is no slouch, and it will be very hard to differentiate it from the Lux ASPH. If I had to choose only one, I would take the Lux ASPH. Having said that, the CV 50/1.2 is very close, less expensive and weighs less than my BC 50 Lux ASPH.

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I am of the opinion that any photo taken will only be as good as the photographer making the best decision on compromises - composition, lighting, location, time of day, weather, available gear etc.

Paying top dollars for the last 1-2% in a performance curve for a lens should be the last of your worries.

See also this review by Steve Huff  http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2018/09/19/the-voigtlander-50-1-2-m-mount-lens-on-the-sony-a7riii-first-look-and-images/

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1 hour ago, derleicaman said:

Here is my review of the CV 50/1.2 for the LHSA Viewfinder.

https://lhsa.org/2018/12/voightlander-50-1-2-nokton-lens-review/

I own both the current BC 50/1.4 Lux ASPH and also a v.2 Lux. Yes, the 50 Lux ASPH is the best of the bunch. The v.2 Lux gives a very "dreamy" or Leica glow rendering wide open. The CV 50/1.2 is no slouch, and it will be very hard to differentiate it from the Lux ASPH. If I had to choose only one, I would take the Lux ASPH. Having said that, the CV 50/1.2 is very close, less expensive and weighs less than my BC 50 Lux ASPH.

I completely concur and tried to express the differences between the 50mm Lux asph vs. the VC 50mm f1.2 in detail in an earlier post in this thread.  It also addresses the OP's original inquiry directly which namely was the differences between the Leica Lux asph vs the VC lens.

Dave (D&A)

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Am 28.3.2019 um 16:36 schrieb evikne:

Does your 50 Summilux pre-ASPH v3 glow? I've had it for some months now, but I haven't experienced any noticeable glow yet.

 

Am 28.3.2019 um 16:54 schrieb Ecar:

Mine doesn't glow much either. Our lenses must be unhappy.

It sure does glow. Not nearly as crazy as the 35 lux pre ASPH or a 50/1 Nocti, but just as much to make out of focus areas and light and shadow transitions more pleasing to my eye.

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I found the CV 50/1.2 to be wider than any other 50mm lens I own. My guess is that Voigtländer tweaked their existing 40mm lens and somehow made it to 46mm but not quite to 50mm.

The Summilux has better micro contrast and slightly smoother bokeh wide open.

On the other hand the CV 50/1.2 does not have the slight mid-zone dip of the Summilux wide open.

 

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