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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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Hi Rene

I too recently bought an M262 and two lenses being...exactly the same as the ones you have! I am very happy with the combination (save for  the slight niggle with the 50mm focusing slightly past infinity).

Enjoy!  

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My next purchase will be another 35mm. I have the TT 35/1.4 and the 2.8/35 ZM Biogon, and I want to choose one of the lenses the OP asked for advice. My heart goes to the Nokton Classic. Two lenses in one. Inspiring and unique rendering wide open or so but sharp stopped down. A choice by many here. A lens with a strong character. On the other side of the coin, my mind thinks the new Ultron II could be my perfect choice. Why? I want to buy my first Voigtlander, another small and light 35mm. I like the size and weight of my Biogon; it feels just perfect on my M10. So my two choices are the ones in question. I really like how the Biogon C performs; it almost lacks cons. That being said, the Ultron II is more similar to the Biogon rather than the Nokton Classic II MC, right? And one-stop faster, I'm sure would be more than enough. Then the extra 20cm MFD in LV, it's very welcomed. It's a new release lens; I'm sure it will perform amazingly. 

Then I think that the Nokton has, for the same weight and size approx, one extra stop. Which is, in fact, one of the best and unique wide-open effects for this lens. I can play around with the lens at 1.4, but maybe I will dislike the result being so different than the Biogon C I like. ETC ETC ETC. But yes, I would love to try the Nokton and embrace his character.

So, what do you suggest? Feel free to ask me more questions 🙂 Follow the heart or the mind? I'm open to trying new moods, renderings, effects. A little glow, it could be acceptable (used it in the right way). More glow, no, please. A bit of softness, I'm ok. With a slightly but intelligent PP, it could give me an excellent result. Wide-open more for artsy or low light, f/4 modern rendering and sharpness. Embrace a new kind of lens (for me), cheaper, and very known and appreciated in the field. Or do I stick with my Biogon style and goes for a modern Ultron II?

I will buy it online and ship it to a friend, who I will meet in June in my town. This is the plan. I can't try them hands-on; I have to decide which one. I have to decide soon. Comments are always appreciated.

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46 minutes ago, Dennis said:

My next purchase will be another 35mm. I have the TT 35/1.4 and the 2.8/35 ZM Biogon, and I want to choose one of the lenses the OP asked for advice.


I currently own the following M 35s 😅

- Voigtlander VM 35/1.2 III
- Voigtlander VM 35/1.4 II MC
- ZEISS ZM 35/1.4
- Voigtlander VM 35/1.7
- ZEISS ZM 35/2.8

My most-important things to have covered are a tiny lens, a character lens, and a modern lens. Your Biogon covers small and modern. TT isn't quite a character lens IMO. I'd go for the Nokton, and be ready to be surprised at how much it supplants the other two. It's my own newest and thus most-interesting lens, but if I was going on a trip right now I'd gladly take just that. Wide open it has portrait-friendly warts, stopped down it's pretty transparent. And under 200g!

Personally, I could see myself adding the VM 35/2 APO and getting rid of everything but that and the Nokton, even though they're all stellar in their own ways.

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1 hour ago, astrostl said:

I'd go for the Nokton, and be ready to be surprised at how much it supplants the other two. It's my own newest and thus most-interesting lens, but if I was going on a trip right now I'd gladly take just that. Wide open it has portrait-friendly warts, stopped down it's pretty transparent.

Thank you, interesting point of view. I know some people prefer it on an M10M rather than a Leica Apo. I know it could be the first choice for only one lens kit, I've read beautiful things about it. I should follow my heart 🙂 I would say, buy it anyway cause I'm sure I'll love it 🙂 

Then I'll give a try to the Voigtlander VM 35/1.2 III in the future! I said it! I don't want to edit this sentence 🤣 

 

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I enjoy the Nokton's versatility so much, I have both the SC and MC versions that stay affixed to my M9M and M7, respectively. Small, lightweight, funky character wide open, but sharp and modern when stopped down.  

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Posted (edited)

It’s an incredible little lens, dreamy wide open but sharp enough in the centre, stopped down its gets as sharp as almost any lenses apart from the extreme corners. Who looks there anyway?

You get better pictures because you will take your camera out more often due to its small size and not be as worried about damage compared to other glass. 

Did a portrait shoot with it this weekend, was first portrait session with a rangefinder and I love the results. Hope to post them soon. 

Edited by Lee S
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I'm keen on this question as well.  Presently have the v5 50 'Cron and the C-Biogon 35/2.8 (love them both).  As a film shooter, I could use more light, although that isn't a truly a big issue for me.

The Nokton II 35/1.4 seems to be the logical way to get speed, and being 35mm I could hand-hold at 1/50 sec easily.  The Ultron looks very intriguing too.  Decisions, decisions ...

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1 hour ago, Danner said:

I'm keen on this question as well.  Presently have the v5 50 'Cron and the C-Biogon 35/2.8 (love them both).  As a film shooter, I could use more light, although that isn't a truly a big issue for me.

The Nokton II 35/1.4 seems to be the logical way to get speed, and being 35mm I could hand-hold at 1/50 sec easily.  The Ultron looks very intriguing too.  Decisions, decisions ...

The smart solution for 35mm lovers is to get both 🙂 Especially considering the price (compared with Leica). But being only one now, I made the decision already for the Nokton.

Yes, decisions!  

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On 4/21/2021 at 8:05 PM, 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!

I have the 50mm you are proposing to buy, it’s lovely and fits in well with small kit. Just wish it had a focusing tab/num on it. 

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Album from a portrait session last weekend.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151731914@N03/82769G

I used the following lenses on my M10.

> 35mm f1.4 VM II Nokton Classic

> 50mm F1.5 VM II Vintage Line.

This was my first portrait session on a rangefinder so was still getting my eye in and I did enjoy a pre shoot pint of beer in the park. 
 

I missed focus on some photos but I’m learning to care less about sharpness.

I do also crop my images heavily so bare that in mind when considering sharpness (hopefully you can tell from the resolution in exif data). I shot all without a lens hood and really tried my best to get some flare out of the 35mm nokton wide open for character , but to be honest you have to work hard to get it. It behaves very well stopped down slightly.  

Note I didn’t change the lens ID so all are showing as 50mm but if you check the image tags they are of the correct lens. 

There’s one photo using my Sony a7III with my razor sharp 85mm F1.4 G Master, can you spot it without pixel peeping or looking at the exif data?

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35mm is my favourite focal length on M cameras, and i've had one since 1962. At present I have

Leica Summicron v4

Leica Summilux ASPH v1; one of the very first ones

Zeiss Distagon f/1.4

Zeiss C-Biogon f/2.8

Voigtlander f/1.2 vII

Leica Tri-Elmar v1

coming shortly Voigtlander Ultron v/2 vII

and nearly 35, the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4 MC

Probably enough. However, there are still different flavours, of which I have tried many.

The Distagon is the best performing (better than my copy of the C-Biogon at equivalent apertures) but large.  The CV Nokton f/1.2 is smooth, but just not that sharp at any aperture, and I have tried quite a few copies. The Summilux is not technically the best, especially considering the price but in general always produces lovely images. The Summicron v4 also always pleases, but then I've known it for a long time and understand what it's capable of. Mostly, the 40mm VC has replaced it. I like the VC 40 quite a bit better than the 35/1.4's.

Someone mentioned the possibility of Cosina offering a digital body. Maybe when Kobayashi-san passes on, but as long as it's his company, that won't happen unless he's had a serious change of heart over the last couple of years. He was not happy with the Epson semi-collaboration, and didn't want that to continue. He got into producing Leica thread mount lenses because he couldn't find lenses he wanted among old Leica lenses (such as the 15/4.5 and 25/4) and always saw his Leica offerings more as satisfying his personal desires than pleasing the market. To some extent this has changed, but I would be surprised to see a Cosina digital body.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Am 27.4.2021 um 19:57 schrieb Danner:

I'm keen on this question as well.  Presently have the v5 50 'Cron and the C-Biogon 35/2.8 (love them both).  As a film shooter, I could use more light, although that isn't a truly a big issue for me.

The Nokton II 35/1.4 seems to be the logical way to get speed, and being 35mm I could hand-hold at 1/50 sec easily.  The Ultron looks very intriguing too.  Decisions, decisions ...

Yes, it would be a good choice, i love it on digital, but you can read everywhere it is unique and stellar with film. And price is quite fair.

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Am 21.4.2021 um 21:05 schrieb Ray94:

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!

Good choice for sure!

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