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Voightlander Lenses, LoCa and Purple Fringing


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I sadly side tracked the great 35 APO thread with comments about my experiences with Voightlanders and purple fringing. In my experience of them, the ones i have owned, all are very prone to purple fringing.

I was pointed to a thread by @Harpomatic where many 50s are compared, and it's a brilliant review which personally i feel confirms many of my experiences. I can also look at reviews of CV on fred miranda and steve huff and many other places and see this in images samples placed.

I compare this to cine based APO lenses but also the Leica crons, 28, 50 and 90 which i have and use daily - i find these much better are controlling these issues. 

But i can only go by my experiences and i know many might disagree. 

I personally believe the voightlander design lenses for specific looks and this is simply a by product trade off. Looking at that great review, the bokeh balls really tell the story and the CV have very prominent green fringes around them, not present in the cron and lux versions. I found the OOF rendering perhaps tainted because of this.

I was keen to explore the new CV 50 and 35 APO designs but the 50 has a number of reviews pointing out the same issues but the LoCa appears much better (APO for you)

It's an issue for me personally because i use them for motion and heavy post work is something to avoid. The LoCa green/purple fringing and casts cause noticeable issues when shooting things moving and and out focus. And sure, these are not cine lenses.

That's my 2c/p

I would love to see a review of the 50 APO that doesn't show the fringing and i look forward to the 35 and what happens with that.

I like voightlanders, i have owned most of them at one time and still hold onto a 21 f1.8 and 35 f1.4 single coating. I like the idea of the newer ones although i don't like the fact that the E mount ones focus closer. But i've been through most lenses and ended up at the M lenses and for the first time i am happy with my crons.

cheers
Paul

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Your post inspired me to go back and look at some earlier images taken with the Apo-Lanthar 50 shortly after I received it. The image below was captured in harsh direct sunlight. It was captured with the 50 mounted on a Sigma fp, which generally handles difficult lighting better than my Leica SL (601). I shot it for B&W but went back to look more closely at the DNG file. I had processed it to return as much detail as possible from the overexposed areas. This allows the spurious color to be a

Thanks Alan, some lovely images in there. Also i saw your sun photos from your website and they are stunning, very inspiring. I bit the bullet and ordered a CV 50 APO myself and will see how it works for me.  I have some new cine APOs arriving in the next few weeks as well, so once i have the collection i will attempt to do a @Harpomatic style review (can't promise that level of detail) but i will be able to compare: 50 cron, 50 canon 1.2 RF, CV 50 APO, 50 APO HyperPrime, 50 zeiss

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As far as purple/cyan fringing is concerned some CV lenses perform quite well and better than their Leica counterparts sometimes. Among my own lenses i would quote the CV 15/4.5, 21/4, 35/2, 35/1.4 SC v1 and 35/1.4 SC v2 but i have not much experience with the latter.

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7 minutes ago, lct said:

As far as purple/cyan fringing is concerned some CV lenses perform quite well and better than their Leica counterparts sometimes. Among my own lenses i would quote the CV 15/4.5, 21/4, 35/2, 35/1.4 SC v1 and 35/1.4 SC v2 but i have not much experience with the latter.

I've had the 12/5.6 which was excellent but it was f5.6 and that 15 is f4 so i wouldn't expect much trouble from them. The 12mm has been supplanted by a 12mm f2.8 cine version from laowa which has great performance too - they will be doing M mount versions of some of their wider lenses and they really know what they're doing. Worth keeping an eye out for.

I had the 21/4 and it's okay, but f4 don't see much issues. I have the 21/1.8 still and that will has issues. Don't have the 21/1.4, i wonder whether that stopped down works well.

The 35/1.4 SC I have and i love the lens and the render of it but it's pretty bad regards fringing and CA but then it's a 'look' lens, has some pretty crazy distortion too. I can't speak for the V2 of that though.

Beyond that i've had the 50/1.5 (love and hate lens there), 28/1.9 (good lens that still fringes), 35/1.2 V2 (usual issues), the older 75 (not the new fancy one), the 90 APO (which i thought was awful but i might have had a terrible copy - the M 90 APO is infinitely better).

I don't have what i consider the newer generations, the 1.2 lenses, but from reviews i still the same look but they are improved.

And sure, YMMV and i have a certain aesthetic.

As i mentioned the 35 and 50 APO really had me hoping. But the MFD on the Leica side is greater than the E mount side which is really disappointing - because optically they are identical AFAIK and so that restriction must be mechanical?

As for Leica, yes, totally there are clearly some less than stellar models but then when they're good, they're *really* good. I often see it written that CV x & y is a as good as it's M counterpart but i look and think well, for some things sure, but up to a certain point you get what you pay for (but of course the law of diminishing returns is active with M lenses)

However i find that there are some really interesting optical designers out there who have similar aesthetics and the market is opening up and so small boutiques can compete. I've seen some stellar lenses from Meike (new cine ones), the APO HyperPrimes and MicroPrimes and also from Dulens, a brand new shop. Cool stuff happening.

I want to see Leica, making more like the APO and sorting out the focus rotations and MFD. That 35 APO is sublime.. more like this!

cheers
Paul

 

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I do find that apo-lanthar 50 f2 can show purple hues in out of focus details in the most challenging settings. I've hunted through a few hundred exposures to find some of the worst examples from a recent trip.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Alan Friedman said:

I do find that apo-lanthar 50 f2 can show purple hues in out of focus details in the most challenging settings. I've hunted through a few hundred exposures to find some of the worst examples from a recent trip.

 

I'd say these are pretty good actually. What's interesting about the tree is that it's LoCa - purple and green in the OOF areas, which the APO tames. So less purple fringing as such. You can see that foreground has a different colour to background.

When pulling focus in a high contrast areas these tints can be very obvious in motion.

Maybe this is just extreme though!

Thank you!
Paul

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3 minutes ago, paulcurtis said:

I'd say these are pretty good actually. What's interesting about the tree is that it's LoCa - purple and green in the OOF areas, which the APO tames. So less purple fringing as such. You can see that foreground has a different colour to background.

When pulling focus in a high contrast areas these tints can be very obvious in motion.

Maybe this is just extreme though!

Thank you!
Paul

I agree... and I'd say they are the extremes. I had to hunt through a lot of photos to find these examples. Not sure which lenses are perfect for shooting tree branches against a bright sky at maximum aperture. It's not a common subject for me. ;^)

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3 minutes ago, Alan Friedman said:

I agree... and I'd say they are the extremes. I had to hunt through a lot of photos to find these examples. Not sure which lenses are perfect for shooting tree branches against a bright sky at maximum aperture. It's not a common subject for me. ;^)

No, i think these look great. I wonder how much copy to copy variation there is.

Now if CV made the min focus on the VM mount the same as the E Mount (45cm) i probably would get one. I believe it's 70cm?

thanks
Paul

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20 minutes ago, paulcurtis said:

No, i think these look great. I wonder how much copy to copy variation there is.

Now if CV made the min focus on the VM mount the same as the E Mount (45cm) i probably would get one. I believe it's 70cm?

thanks
Paul

Yes, the 50 is 70cm. The 35 apo-lanthar, which will be shipping later this month, is stated at 50cm. If you are a mirrorless L-mount user, the Haoge macro adapter is an interesting M-L mounting option. I've posted a few examples around the forum. I wouldn't depend on it for dedicated macro shooting, but it is a nicely manufactured adapter that allows one to get closer when needed without sacrificing infinity focus. 

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Your post inspired me to go back and look at some earlier images taken with the Apo-Lanthar 50 shortly after I received it. The image below was captured in harsh direct sunlight. It was captured with the 50 mounted on a Sigma fp, which generally handles difficult lighting better than my Leica SL (601). I shot it for B&W but went back to look more closely at the DNG file. I had processed it to return as much detail as possible from the overexposed areas. This allows the spurious color to be appreciated in all its glory. It is virtually absent in the image prior to post processing. You can also appreciate the intense sharpness of the lens and how free it is of CA in focus. 

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10 minutes ago, Alan Friedman said:

Your post inspired me to go back and look at some earlier images taken with the Apo-Lanthar 50 shortly after I received it. The image below was captured in harsh direct sunlight. It was captured with the 50 mounted on a Sigma fp, which generally handles difficult lighting better than my Leica SL (601). I shot it for B&W but went back to look more closely at the DNG file. I had processed it to return as much detail as possible from the overexposed areas. This allows the spurious color to be appreciated in all its glory. It is virtually absent in the image prior to post processing. You can also appreciate the intense sharpness of the lens and how free it is of CA in focus. 

 

That is very good, maybe you've have an awesome copy there. 

In answer to your previous comment. I am running it on both a sigma fp but my main use is on a Red Komodo, which is RF mount. I have helicoid adaptors for both L and RF but that's another thing to worry about when shooting motion so it's not ideal but yes, i can get the MFD closer this way. It's just frustrating that the optics are clearly fine but there's some artificial rangefinder based limit going on...

Great shot though, damn, it's tempting me again...

thanks
Paul

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7 hours ago, paulcurtis said:

I was pointed to a thread by @Harpomatic where many 50s are compared, and it's a brilliant review which personally i feel confirms many of my experiences.

Thanks a lot, I really want it to be a good resource.

 

7 hours ago, paulcurtis said:

the bokeh balls really tell the story and the CV have very prominent green fringes around them, not present in the cron and lux versions. I found the OOF rendering perhaps tainted because of this.

It certainly is true that the spherochromatism is present in the CV lenses. The Voigtlander designs are looking for a different set of compromises than Leica’s ones. The Lux has more LaCA that the best Noktons but less LoCA. It really comes down to what your set of requirements are. 
I would love to see Leica producing a Lux as small as the Nokton II. It would probably cost £8000 for a 5% better performance than the CV. Those Nokton are fantastic still photography lenses. For motion picture? No idea!

 

 

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18 hours ago, paulcurtis said:

Leica crons, 28, 50 and 90 which i have and use daily - i find these much better are controlling these issues. 

Rechecking my comparison, the Cron 50 is controlling spherochromatism better than the Lux. Knowing that the Lux is an apochromatic design this is quite amazing! Check the focus shift test at F2:

https://www.47-degree.com/focus-shift/leica-m-50mm-lens-comparison-part-2/#skip-to-focus-shift

The Cron is cleaner in the out of focus region.

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1 hour ago, Harpomatic said:

Rechecking my comparison, the Cron 50 is controlling spherochromatism better than the Lux. Knowing that the Lux is an apochromatic design this is quite amazing! Check the focus shift test at F2:

Did you ever sort out your cron, i think it had an issue with infinity focus?

This reflects my observations, the 50 cron is remarkably good, at least my one is. I think it's this f2 barrier, things get orders of magnitude harder the faster you go beyond that. The lux's as wonderful as they are still - to my eye - aren't as smooth in terms of bokeh.

A damn good spherical design can work wonders. I see a lot of APO based spherical designs around at the moment. Usually f1.8/f2 - so T2.1/T2.4 rather than super fast. 

ASPH in my experience usually means quite harsh bokeh and you can see in the bokeh balls the roughness which i believe reflects moulded APSH elements. What i think Leica has done with their APO and APSH is amazing, they clearly have cracked a manufacturing process which results in ASPH elements that are smoother than other manufacturers.

Inspired by your amazing review i'm tempted to do the same (well similar) with all the various 50s i have here.

Out of curiosity i thought spherochromatism and LoCa were the same?

cheers
Paul

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Posted (edited)

👍This is an excellent/informative/interesting thread. I noticed paulcurtis' standout comments in another thread and immediately looked for this thread. Thank you @paulcurtis, @Alan Friedman, @Harpomatic for your compelling contributions so far. 

IMO Peter Karbe has put "APO" designation back on the map, front and center. I've been following his comments and explanations about how he is using APO technology to achieve these phenomenal MTFs of late and how he applied the same to the new M 35/2 APO ( a watershed M achievement IMO). We are indeed experiencing the dawn of an era of the next "phase" of modern lens technology applications IMO even though APO technology has been around for a while.

Voigtlander also making a big splash but with a very different approach with their recent crop of lenses with the APO designation and impressing more than a few. Voigtlander APO Emount following has become quite something too.

VM APO vs Leica APO is something to behold and even scrutinize and a reminder that APO technology can vary greatly among manufacturers and even among APO designations among the same lens family. My only regret/sadness is where is Carl Zeiss in this latest wave of APO magic?

Edited by LBJ2
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37 minutes ago, LBJ2 said:

VM APO vs Leica APO is something to behold and even scrutinize and a reminder that APO technology can vary greatly among manufacturers and even among APO designations among the same lens family. My only regret/sadness is where is Carl Zeiss in this latest wave of APO magic?

Glad someone is finding it interesting aside from me!

I think APO is a rather large label that can mean different things to different people. Much like ASPH as well, which i had always associated with cheap manufacturing (need less 'real' elements). So i am guilty of assumptions too.

Zeiss have made some wonderful lenses in their Supreme series (cine) and Otus are amazing too. Prior to this i was never a fan of Zeiss because for me they valued sharpness at the expensive of PF and bokeh. I preferred their Contax range.

And CV focus (forgive the pun) on different features as well, but their f2 APOs i think could be the start of something else.

It is really interesting following interviews with the Lecia masters, they do often talk more about the design than others and also i find it fascinating that you can get really nice lenses out of shops and boutiques rather than the big names. 

A bit of a rat hole are these http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?163366-SLR-Magic-APO-HyperPrime-mini-review

Which i wrote about after stumbling upon them and they really punch way over their price. I use them to this day. Others to look at are Dulens, and the designers there are really very good with their approach, intentions and hopefully outcome (i will find out soon!)

cheers
Paul

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3 hours ago, paulcurtis said:

Out of curiosity i thought spherochromatism and LoCa were the same?

I am no optical engineer at all, but my understanding is that spherochromatism is an aspect of LoCA, and so is purple fringing (not the digital variety).

Spherochromatism shows in the out of focus areas as green fringing beyond the focus plane and magenta in front of it.This is due to the fact that green is focused in front of the focal plane, magenta beyond, like this:

As you can see the out of focus areas have green on the outside before the focus point, green beyond it.

LoCA can present itself in a similar way but on the plane of focus, showing a fringe that surrounds the high contrast transition darker details with a green, magenta or red fringe on all sides (differently that LaCA that will have a different colour on each side and dependent on the lens design: blue-yellow, blue-orange, green-magenta etc).

Purple fringing is a secondary spectrum colour that focuses even closer than the other colours and is hardly corrected even by apochromatic lenses. That is why it appears inside the darker detail.

Apochromatic lenses can be different in design, according to which colours are best focused on the focus point. I believe that APO lenses that have the focus skewed slightly more towards the blue rather than the red might suffer a bit less from PF, but that is just a guess on my side. 

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15 minutes ago, Harpomatic said:

As you can see the out of focus areas have green on the outside before the focus point, green beyond it.

 

That's really interesting. Of course it begs the question how you could ever correct for it because i am guessing that all rays are going to cross like that. You would need to correct for the exit on the last piece of glass to not refract the wavelengths differently. Plus also real light is a spread of wavelengths not just RGB. This is why i am not an optical designer.

So guessing APO is about that last element correction (i suppose it involves more than the last element though)

Interesting to point out purple is because of the fact there is no purple wavelength or rather it's magenta, not purple. Magenta is made up by our brains out of red and blue light but doesn't  exist in the visual spectrum at all. (See the CIE colour diagrams). Although you may also be meaning that actually it's ultraviolet light that is being focused in front, in which case do UV filters help with PF?

This is interesting

cheers
Paul

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13 minutes ago, Harpomatic said:

I am no optical engineer at all, but my understanding is that spherochromatism is an aspect of LoCA, and so is purple fringing (not the digital variety).

Spherochromatism shows in the out of focus areas as green fringing beyond the focus plane and magenta in front of it.This is due to the fact that green is focused in front of the focal plane, magenta beyond, like this:

As you can see the out of focus areas have green on the outside before the focus point, green beyond it.

LoCA can present itself in a similar way but on the plane of focus, showing a fringe that surrounds the high contrast transition darker details with a green, magenta or red fringe on all sides (differently that LaCA that will have a different colour on each side and dependent on the lens design: blue-yellow, blue-orange, green-magenta etc).

Purple fringing is a secondary spectrum colour that focuses even closer than the other colours and is hardly corrected even by apochromatic lenses. That is why it appears inside the darker detail.

Apochromatic lenses can be different in design, according to which colours are best focused on the focus point. I believe that APO lenses that have the focus skewed slightly more towards the blue rather than the red might suffer a bit less from PF, but that is just a guess on my side. 

I didn't realize until now that you are the man behind previously unknown to me until today,   www.47-degree.com 👍  I hope you don't mind if I share some of this data on your website with others... 😎

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