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Voigtländer Nokton 50 mm F1.0 asph. VM


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On 2/4/2022 at 6:45 PM, Luke_Miller said:

I have the 50/1.1 -  The criticisms of that lens tend to be focus shift and rather busy/chaotic bokeh.  If you test for it, the focus shift is real, but I don't notice it in actual use.  The bokeh issue only appears in some images. The 50/1 images here look to be noticeably smoother in the OOF areas.  The 50/1 looks to be larger in diameter than the 50/1.1 so possibly more viewfinder blockage and is a bit heavier.  I'm sure the 50/1 is the superior lens, but in my view probably not enough to justify moving from the 50/1.1. But, never say never 😀

I have presently similar thoughts and also own the underrated 1.1/50 since more than 10 years.

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On 2/2/2022 at 8:39 PM, rscheffler said:

When you get around to shooting it stopped down, say around f/5.6, please let us know if you notice any signs of mid-zone weakness/softness/weirdness. So far the only full-res M10-R images I've seen made with this lens have been posted in the DPR VM50/1 thread by "BostonBoy." HIs stopped down photos of building facades, as well as other images, hint at some mid-zone strangeness.

Regarding your lens selection rationale, I get where you're coming from. I also have multiple lenses at different speeds (and size) at certain focal lengths and empathize with the dilemma one can face trying to decide which to take on an outing, if not both (and the resulting increase in kit size and total weight that it entails). My collection of 50s includes some between f/1.1 and f/1.5 with plenty of character. But most of those also aren't strong performing general purpose lenses when stopped down. As a result, my 'daily carry' 50mm is the Lux ASPH because it's fast, pleasing and predictable enough wide open for the kinds of portraits you mentioned, while also very sharp stopped down (though it has mid-zone weakness between f/2.8-4) and is relatively compact. I've settled on alternating slow and fast lenses for my daily use kit: 21/3.4, 28/1.4, 35/2, 50/1.4 and 90/4. This gives me a few slower, but smaller high performing lenses that are complemented by a couple fast f/1.4s at focal lengths that make the most sense for my needs (both for shallow DoF effects and low light uses). This way I have fast if I need it, while keeping the overall size and weight of the kit in check for when I'm in good light and usually working stopped down.

Thought I’d share my final decision regarding Nokton 50mm F1.

It’s performance wide open appears to be outstanding. On the other hand I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that stopped down performance is not up to other worthy alternatives. That coupled with the extra size and weight have led me to conclude that its not suitable as an all purpose “daily carry”.

I know that it should have been evident from the start that an F1 lens was not likely to be an all singing and all dancing alternative general purpose 50mm lens. I somehow got sucked into the idea of a “breakthrough” lens that could do it all :)

I’ve therefore decided to return the Norton 50mm F1 and am taking the plunge for the trusty (but pricey) 50mm Lux ASPH. I’ve owned the lens in the past and regret having sold it. Even with all the recent compelling 50mm lens introductions by Voigtlander in particular, the Lux still retains a great balance in performance and rendering suited to multiple use cases, in a size and weight that I find quite reasonable for all day use.

Long story short, I ultimately settled on the lens that you wisely chose as your daily carry.

 

Edited by NicholasT
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3 minutes ago, NicholasT said:

 

It’s performance wide open appears to be outstanding. On the other hand I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that stopped down performance is not up to other worthy alternatives. That coupled with the extra size and weight have led me to conclude that its not suitable as an all purpose “daily carry”.

This has been my experience with the TTArtisan 50/0.95. :)Great stuff wide open but doesn't improve remarkably closed down.

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4 hours ago, NicholasT said:

Thought I’d share my final decision regarding Nokton 50mm F1.

It’s performance wide open appears to be outstanding. On the other hand I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that stopped down performance is not up to other worthy alternatives. That coupled with the extra size and weight have led me to conclude that its not suitable as an all purpose “daily carry”.

I know that it should have been evident from the start that an F1 lens was not likely to be an all singing and all dancing alternative general purpose 50mm lens. I somehow got sucked into the idea of a “breakthrough” lens that could do it all :)

I’ve therefore decided to return the Norton 50mm F1 and am taking the plunge for the trusty (but pricey) 50mm Lux ASPH. I’ve owned the lens in the past and regret having sold it. Even with all the recent compelling 50mm lens introductions by Voigtlander in particular, the Lux still retains a great balance in performance and rendering suited to multiple use cases, in a size and weight that I find quite reasonable for all day use.

Long story short, I ultimately settled on the lens that you wisely chose as your daily carry.

 

Very smart decision. 
 

I’m kinda in the same boat. My everyday carry is the 50 APO, and has been for nine years. It travels well with life. The 50 Lux ASPH is a phenomenal lens in its own ways that the little Cron can’t possess. 
 

I’m glad these fast lenses are aplenty but I find myself not feeling much anything special about them (50 1.1, 1.2, 1.0). I think that could be a good thing for most people but no thanks… 

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5 hours ago, NicholasT said:

Thought I’d share my final decision regarding Nokton 50mm F1.

It’s performance wide open appears to be outstanding. On the other hand I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that stopped down performance is not up to other worthy alternatives. That coupled with the extra size and weight have led me to conclude that its not suitable as an all purpose “daily carry”.

I know that it should have been evident from the start that an F1 lens was not likely to be an all singing and all dancing alternative general purpose 50mm lens. I somehow got sucked into the idea of a “breakthrough” lens that could do it all :)

I’ve therefore decided to return the Norton 50mm F1 and am taking the plunge for the trusty (but pricey) 50mm Lux ASPH. I’ve owned the lens in the past and regret having sold it. Even with all the recent compelling 50mm lens introductions by Voigtlander in particular, the Lux still retains a great balance in performance and rendering suited to multiple use cases, in a size and weight that I find quite reasonable for all day use.

Long story short, I ultimately settled on the lens that you wisely chose as your daily carry.

 

Did you try the CV 50/1.2?

This is a little big, but much much lesser than Nokton f1... And the size is still decent if needed to use stopped down.

But maybe, with your LUX E46, I guess you're fine.

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I’m really only adding the Nokton for wide open use on my sl2 and sl2-s with the m adapter.  The 50 focal length isn’t one I use all the time so this will be reserved for that speed…

I have other SL primes for f2 and lower if I need that unsurpassed excellence.

Robb

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On 2/11/2022 at 5:01 AM, NicholasT said:

Thought I’d share my final decision regarding Nokton 50mm F1.

It’s performance wide open appears to be outstanding. On the other hand I’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that stopped down performance is not up to other worthy alternatives. That coupled with the extra size and weight have led me to conclude that its not suitable as an all purpose “daily carry”.

I know that it should have been evident from the start that an F1 lens was not likely to be an all singing and all dancing alternative general purpose 50mm lens. I somehow got sucked into the idea of a “breakthrough” lens that could do it all :)

I’ve therefore decided to return the Norton 50mm F1 and am taking the plunge for the trusty (but pricey) 50mm Lux ASPH. I’ve owned the lens in the past and regret having sold it. Even with all the recent compelling 50mm lens introductions by Voigtlander in particular, the Lux still retains a great balance in performance and rendering suited to multiple use cases, in a size and weight that I find quite reasonable for all day use.

Long story short, I ultimately settled on the lens that you wisely chose as your daily carry.

 

Thanks for the updates. I can’t say I ‘wisely’ chose the Lux ASPH. Rather, it was the second 50 I purchased when testing waters with the M9 (first was the no-nonsense ZM50/2) and it happened to be the one that continues to meet most of my needs. I’ve since bought around 8-10 other 50s, but mostly older and non-Leica, for ‘character’ purposes. I’ve thought about getting the VM50 APO as my ‘technical’ lens, given its better across-frame performance at wider apertures and better flare resistance. But then I’d be back in the dilemma of which 50 to carry, and when. The Lux ASPH is not perfect, but I’ve found some of its imperfections can be used to advantage, or worked around, enough so that it’s difficult to beat as an all-rounder. The VM50/1.5II betters it in some technical considerations, and is shorter, but IMO trades off rendering character and purple fringing resistance.

I’ve also thought about the VM50/1.2 but its slightly larger size/diameter has deterred me. I tend to carry 4-5 lenses in a very small bag. Everything fits just perfectly. The 50/1.2 would disrupt this harmony without providing much benefit because most of what I currently shoot is stopped down and the look of the Lux ASPH wide open, for those rarer times I need it, is difficult to beat. But there are ways to accommodate a bigger lens, such as the 50/1.2. I could ditch the 28 Lux for a 28/2, for example. But that is another trade off and I do like the versatility of the 28 Lux…

Edited by rscheffler
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  • 2 weeks later...

Two screenshots from the above video review by Matt Osborne comparing the f/1.0 to the Nokton f/1.2:

Both lenses are shot at their widest aperture. The f/1.2 has clearly less vignetting and some spherical aberration (at MFD).

The outward (or reverse) field curvature, that the f/1 has at medium to short focus distances, typically makes the foreground more blurred while the background will be less blurred (outside the greater central area of the frame), compared to the f/1.2 which has a pretty flat plane of focus (wide open).

I have been "on the hunt" for a decent 50mm f/1 or f/0.95 lens for several years, but these lenses are obviously difficult to make without some sacrifices.

Based on the tests that Fred Miranda (and others) have done, the Nokton f/1 is clearly the sharpest lens in this category for M mount. It is also the smallest and lightest. This means that the Noctilux f/0.95 is not only much, much more expensive, it is heavier, larger, and less sharp. In addition, the Noctilux also has more "bad" field curvature.

However, owning the Nokton f/1.2 lens and seeing side-by-side comparisons, I don't see the f/1 having a clear-cut advantage over the one I already have. In the central part of the image, yes, but in the sides and corners, the amount of blur is nullified or even less compared to the f/1.2. In addition, the bokeh quality in those areas is smoother with the f/1.2 (in the sides and corners).

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On 2/23/2022 at 4:47 AM, LarsHP said:

However, owning the Nokton f/1.2 lens and seeing side-by-side comparisons, I don't see the f/1 having a clear-cut advantage over the one I already have.

So, the real question is... Not having the 1.2, which Nokton do you will choose? 🤔 

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58 minutes ago, Dennis said:

So, the real question is... Not having the 1.2, which Nokton do you will choose? 🤔 

Is the extra weight and size worth a half stop? For film usage, my opinion is: no.

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26 minutes ago, 105012 said:

Is the extra weight and size worth a half stop? For film usage, my opinion is: no.

Before having tried both, I agree with you. Size, weight and price ($1k vs $1.8k)

Also, I own the Nokton 35/1.2III which is very good. I would expect the same for the 50/1.2

.

Open question: is the 50/1.2 the only version or like the 35, there are more than one? No idea

Edited by Dennis
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3 hours ago, Dennis said:

Open question: is the 50/1.2 the only version or like the 35, there are more than one? No idea

There is a 50/1.0, a 50/1.1 and a 50/1.2. The 50/1.1 is discontinued I believe, leaving only 50/1.0 and 50/1.2.

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11 hours ago, Dennis said:

Open question: is the 50/1.2 the only version or like the 35, there are more than one? No idea

No, the 40/1.2 came first then they released the mostly similar 50/1.2. So far they haven’t released a version ii of either of these (but they are relatively recent lenses)

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On 2/25/2022 at 1:28 AM, Dennis said:

So, the real question is... Not having the 1.2, which Nokton do you will choose? 🤔 

If shooting film, the f/1 might be more tempting than on a digital Leica M, since on film you will benefit more from the extra speed, while the reverse field curvature will most likely be visibly less than on digital. If you get the f/1 and shoot a digital Leica M, knowing that the plane of focus bends outward in the sides and corners will of course let you work around this issue, though. Having seen the side-by-side images that Fred Miranda did, I think it's a side-step rather than a clear improvement over the f/1.2. I can't tell you how disappointed I am over the field curvature behavior. I really, really would have loved the lens if it wasn't for that. The only good thing about it is that the Noctilux'es aren't better in that regard either.

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