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Decision support wanted: Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:1.4 Nokton VM II or Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:2.0 Ultron VM


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Good morning community,

I recently purchased a Leica M Type 262, and chose the Zeiss Distagon T* 1.4/35 mm ZM, as my first lens.

However, since the Zeiss Distagon is not really compact and lightweight, I am still looking for a small and lightweight 35mm second lens for travel and street photography.

Here the following lenses have caught my eye:

Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:1.4 Nokton VM II (S.C. = for the classic look).
Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:2.0 Ultron VM

Which lens would you choose, and why?

 

 

Best

René

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Neither. I would buy a used Summicron 35 series 3 or 4 or a Summicron 40. Those are the 35-ish mm lenses that give the most pleasing overall result.

However, I think that the lens that matches your choice of 50 mm lens best would be the Zeiss Biogon-C 35/2.8 as it produces a similar  contrast as your Distagon does.

 

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Posted (edited)

I second Jaap,

 I don't have neither Zeiss (only for Contax) or Voigtlander in 35mm, but even 35mm Leitz/Leica lenses are different from each other, they marry very well with digital M.

Some can be very compact/light and give very good result.

I do use some 35mm lenses, neither one is "better" than another just different in results and holdings to appreciate or not ,

one part here, and more not showed 😉

...

 

 

 

Edited by a.noctilux
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Yes a small Summicron, any version should complement your Distagon. It’ll render different to your Distagon which would be a plus - May as well mix it up instead of having 2 lenses of the same focal length rendering exactly the same. Plus you’ll have at least one “native” lens. For rendering and fast aperture you already have the best 35mm.

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Some may have misread the question.

Out of the 2 specific lenses i would go for the 35mm f1.4 SC because it gives you a completely different look to a modern lens[ especially wide open] and has the extra stop of speed over the modern design ultron.

I have the distagon and the 40mm f1.4 nokton SC as it happens.

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Posted (edited)

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9 hours ago, Ray94 said:

Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:1.4 Nokton VM II (S.C. = for the classic look).
Voigtländer 35 mm / 1:2.0 Ultron VM

Which lens would you choose, and why?

Welcome to the forum :). I'm not good at comparing different apertures but the rendering of those lenses (i like both)  is not the same. Think of the Ultron as a compact Summicron 35/2 asph with closer MFD sort of. Modern rendition with high acutance at f/2 and little flare but a bit of vignetting too.  Whilst the Nokton is a kind of modern Summilux 35/1.4 pre-asph with more sharpness and less flare at full aperture and a bit less "glow" there too. I mean halos around highlights if you don't follow the forum ;). But flare and glow it can show indeed and it is one of its charms actually. Nokton has a bit less acutance than Ultron too so it deserves its classic name whilst Ultron is an "asph" lens and deserves that name also. FWIW.

Edited by lct
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Hello Ray94, 

I have the ZEISS Distagon alongside the Voigtländer 35mm f1.4 MC and I think this works great. The Voigtländer is the lens I carry around on walks and "family & friends" stuff. The Distagon comes in hand when I want to have a more "professional / modern" look. 

As the ZEISS goes more in the "perfect rendering" direction, I would prefer pairing it with the Voigtländer 35mm f1.4 to have the complete opposite in rendering. I got the MC Version, the SC is even more classy but I don't like the lens flares (orange / yellow instead of orange / red) and less contrast.

Hope this helps, have a nice evening!

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Nobody yet mentioned the Nokton 35mm F1.2 Aspherical III VM and it has been a week already 🙂 ... I guess it is considered too big.
If size matters, it does not get more natively compact than the Summicron 40.

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My second 35 is the first version of the 35f1.2 Nokton.  It is the largest but since I use it so seldom its size is not a factor.  I have thought about selling it and the C Biogon and just getting one but have a hard time getting motivated since my needs are very well met with the pair of lenses.  Have almost the same set up in 50 with a large fast one and the 50 Summicron as my small and compact travel lens.  And having a couple lenses in each of my favorite focal lengths allows flexibility with my three M bodies.

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OP wants it small. 35 1.2 isn't small at all. 

The Leica on Leica is better not so much true. Never been even at Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand street, travels with Leicas.

 Old Crons will give kind of different from new lenses colors on digital. Not better, not retro, just slightly different. The whole retro rendering on digital is self-illusion and nothing else. If you want real retro, use film. People will ask which year photos where taken if you have non-modern surroundings on photos. I use Summarit-M 35 2.5 and people are asking this question while holding my darkroom prints in hands.

Logically 35 1.4 II VM is the best match to 35 1.4 ZM.  Same aperture range, you don't have to re-invent the wheel for low light, DOF handling. 

If you want really small lens, CV CS 35 2.5 PII with small hood. It will be no difference on digital comparing to more expensive lenses.

If you want better than ZM, VM lens handling and not too big lens - Summarit-M 35 2.5 with its original hood.

You will pay less than for Cron in junk state and it is true street handling lens. Not a primitive "f8 be where" and hyperfocal lame.

This lens is superior to any ZM and VM handling on the street as soon as you are willing to be capable of changing aperture and do focus by tab at same time and "split of the second" :) . 

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47 minutes ago, astrostl said:

I gotta say upon reviewing this thread comparing the Summilux FLE, Nokton II MC, and Nokton II SC that the MC and SC differences (??) are shockingly tiny, even in color.

Those are Nokton 35/1.4 MC and SC v1, not v2 (thread is from 2013). Bit more glow and smoother bokeh out of the SC v1 but the latter has more flare. In fact my SC v1 copy is my worst 35 as far as flare is concerned. SC v2 has less flare and less focus shift than SC v1.

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Thank you so much to everyone for all the suggestions and tips regarding my lens choice.

I will briefly tell you how I decided and why. First of all, I have to confess that the Zeiss 35mm Distagon went straight back the day it arrived. I first thought I could handle the size, but when I briefly had it on my Leica, it quickly became clear that the lens would probably only be kept in the closet, as it was too long and and it stuck out too much into my viewfinder.

I'm coming from a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon EOS R and this time I wanted the hard contrast (with slow photography and as compact as possible). That's why the Zeiss went back. The Voigtländer APO Lanthar was also not an option for me because of this. Just like the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm 1.2 VM III.

Therefore, I was finally faced with the following choice: Will it be the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm 1.4 VM II or the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm 2.0 VM II? The choice fell on the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm 2.0 VM II. Why? Simply because it will be used primarily for street photography, and only occasionally for portraits. And the bokeh at aperture 2.0 has also visibly convinced me through sample images in various online reviews. I am amazed at how sharp and beautiful images become with this lens, and that at not even 30mm length!

But I have to mention. Since I am a fan of large apertures, I have now ordered another Voigtländer for portraits, with which I could shoot first test photos today.

The choice here is the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm 1.5 Vintage Line aspherical VM II.

Thanks again for the advice, to all who had participated!

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12 hours ago, Ray94 said:

Thank you so much to everyone for all the suggestions and tips regarding my lens choice.

I will briefly tell you how I decided and why. First of all, I have to confess that the Zeiss 35mm Distagon went straight back the day it arrived. I first thought I could handle the size, but when I briefly had it on my Leica, it quickly became clear that the lens would probably only be kept in the closet, as it was too long and and it stuck out too much into my viewfinder.

I'm coming from a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon EOS R and this time I wanted the hard contrast (with slow photography and as compact as possible). That's why the Zeiss went back. The Voigtländer APO Lanthar was also not an option for me because of this. Just like the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm 1.2 VM III.

Therefore, I was finally faced with the following choice: Will it be the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm 1.4 VM II or the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm 2.0 VM II? The choice fell on the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm 2.0 VM II. Why? Simply because it will be used primarily for street photography, and only occasionally for portraits. And the bokeh at aperture 2.0 has also visibly convinced me through sample images in various online reviews. I am amazed at how sharp and beautiful images become with this lens, and that at not even 30mm length!

But I have to mention. Since I am a fan of large apertures, I have now ordered another Voigtländer for portraits, with which I could shoot first test photos today.

The choice here is the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm 1.5 Vintage Line aspherical VM II.

Thanks again for the advice, to all who had participated!

Voigtlander is quietly becoming a serious player in M-mount lenses department. At least based on LUF forum comments.

I'm wondering when they will provide full package: camera + lenses.

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2 hours ago, Cobram said:

I'm wondering when they will provide full package: camera + lenses.

They tried (Epson R-D1 in 2004). Not sure they will try again before long.

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2 hours ago, lct said:

They tried (Epson R-D1 in 2004). Not sure they will try again before long.

I think a proper m-mount full frame EVF camera will be an interesting option in the future if they decide to release it. No need for a mechanical rangefinder, thus saving costs.

Properly priced camera can make marvelous M-mount lenses reachable to wider audience. 

Maybe. Just brainstorming 😅

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Cosina could reduce costs by using parts from Bessa bodies in 2004 but i do like your idea. It could push Leica to compete as they had to do with the M8 in 2006. I don't hold my breath though TBH. 

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20 hours ago, Ray94 said:

The choice fell on the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm 2.0 VM II.

Congrats! It would be great if you can share some pictures with us 🙂 

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