Jump to content

Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO vs Leica 50mm f/2 APO


jffielde
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I've read a couple of reviews online suggesting that the Voigt 50mm APO is 95% as good as the Leica for 15% of the cost.  I've read a couple of other reviews suggesting that they are quite similar in many performance meetrics.  Lloyd chambers seems to prefer the Voigt.

I have owned the Leica 50 APO for a couple of years and think highly of it.  I decided to pick up the Voigt 35mm APO and 50mm APO, mostly to decide whether to buy the Leica 35mm APO when I can get my hands on one.

Based on my own test shooting at various distances at various apertures, I am incredibly impressed with the Voigt 50mm APO.  I prefer the Voigt colors to the Leica APO - personal preference, but the colors seem a tad more natural to me.  The flare resistance of the Voigt is substantially better.  Color correction on the Voigt is detectably better.  The Voigt is slightly easier for me to visually focus, for some reason (though my tests were live-view focused).  Neither here not there, but the Voigt has a 4.3% wider field of view then the Leica.  Now the suprise (to me): The Voigt is sharper wide open and at every aperture in the center than the Leica.  I didn't test the edges or corners, but I'm impressed with the Voigt.  It's not very much larger than the Leica, but it's bigger.

I don't know whether I will get the Leica 35mm APO or not.  I'm delighted with the Voigt 50mm, but the 35mm is a fair bit larger still, while I think the Leica is even smaller than the Leica 50 APO.  Size matters to me for my Leicas, so I'll have to think about whether to buy.  I may sell the 50mm Leica APO (since it's about the same size as the Voigt) and buy the Leica 35mm APO, since it's considerably smaller than the Voigt. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, jffielde said:

I've read a couple of reviews online suggesting that the Voigt 50mm APO is 95% as good as the Leica for 15% of the cost.  I've read a couple of other reviews suggesting that they are quite similar in many performance meetrics.  Lloyd chambers seems to prefer the Voigt.

I have owned the Leica 50 APO for a couple of years and think highly of it.  I decided to pick up the Voigt 35mm APO and 50mm APO, mostly to decide whether to buy the Leica 35mm APO when I can get my hands on one.

Based on my own test shooting at various distances at various apertures, I am incredibly impressed with the Voigt 50mm APO.  I prefer the Voigt colors to the Leica APO - personal preference, but the colors seem a tad more natural to me.  The flare resistance of the Voigt is substantially better.  Color correction on the Voigt is detectably better.  The Voigt is slightly easier for me to visually focus, for some reason (though my tests were live-view focused).  Neither here not there, but the Voigt has a 4.3% wider field of view then the Leica.  Now the suprise (to me): The Voigt is sharper wide open and at every aperture in the center than the Leica.  I didn't test the edges or corners, but I'm impressed with the Voigt.  It's not very much larger than the Leica, but it's bigger.

I don't know whether I will get the Leica 35mm APO or not.  I'm delighted with the Voigt 50mm, but the 35mm is a fair bit larger still, while I think the Leica is even smaller than the Leica 50 APO.  Size matters to me for my Leicas, so I'll have to think about whether to buy.  I may sell the 50mm Leica APO (since it's about the same size as the Voigt) and buy the Leica 35mm APO, since it's considerably smaller than the Voigt. 

The other difference I've seen in side-by-side shots is the Leica 50 APO will have more uniformly rounded bokeh all the way to the edges of the frame, whereas the Voigtlander bokeh becomes more elliptical/cat-eye with a little bit of swirl.

I suspect Cosina is using a coating equal to or better than Zeiss T*, as evidenced by the incredible microcontrast and color of their recent M lenses.

Edited by hdmesa
Link to post
Share on other sites

Likewise, I’ve been incredibly impressed at the image (and build) quality of my 50 Lanthar APO, noting I used to own the M 50 APO. Ridiculous really how good the Voigtlander is for the price. The main difference I personally see is size, especially when considering the added bulk of the optional hood for the Voigtlander.  But the Voigtlander isn’t exactly big either!  I’ve not tried either the 35mm Lanthar APO nor the 35mm M APO, but I’ve read Reid Reviews (a subscription site) very in-depth comparison review between the two.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

The Leica 50 APO is definitely smaller! Especially the silver chrome looks great with silver bodies. On a serious note, I used to own the Voigtlander APO and am still impressed at its image quality for so much less cost. However, the size and lack of silver option was the final deciding factor to let it go.

On a side note, the Leica APO should be able to hold its value well, so I would say it is value for its money.

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, bernstein1234 said:

The Leica 50 APO is definitely smaller! Especially the silver chrome looks great with silver bodies.

I would love a silver chrome version, unfortunately leica moved most current lenses to silver anodized. I know there is a substantial weight saving involved but I still much prefer silver chrome lenses on silver chrome bodies.

Anyhow, both 35 and 50 APO-Summicron-M are spectacular lenses. To answer OP: if you don’t want to have both (they’re quite an expensive pair..) I would go 35 APO-Summicron-M + Voigt APO 50. You can crop quite a lot with such a 35 lens on M10-R/M11 bodies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I have the Voightlander 35 APO and I'm very happy with it.  Had there not been a price difference of roughly $7,000 I probably would've gone with the Leica.  That said, comparing images from these two lenses side by side, I don't really see a $7,000 difference.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 2/14/2022 at 9:09 PM, jffielde said:

I've read a couple of reviews online suggesting that the Voigt 50mm APO is 95% as good as the Leica for 15% of the cost.  I've read a couple of other reviews suggesting that they are quite similar in many performance meetrics.  Lloyd chambers seems to prefer the Voigt.

I have owned the Leica 50 APO for a couple of years and think highly of it.  I decided to pick up the Voigt 35mm APO and 50mm APO, mostly to decide whether to buy the Leica 35mm APO when I can get my hands on one.

Based on my own test shooting at various distances at various apertures, I am incredibly impressed with the Voigt 50mm APO.  I prefer the Voigt colors to the Leica APO - personal preference, but the colors seem a tad more natural to me.  The flare resistance of the Voigt is substantially better.  Color correction on the Voigt is detectably better.  The Voigt is slightly easier for me to visually focus, for some reason (though my tests were live-view focused).  Neither here not there, but the Voigt has a 4.3% wider field of view then the Leica.  Now the suprise (to me): The Voigt is sharper wide open and at every aperture in the center than the Leica.  I didn't test the edges or corners, but I'm impressed with the Voigt.  It's not very much larger than the Leica, but it's bigger.

I don't know whether I will get the Leica 35mm APO or not.  I'm delighted with the Voigt 50mm, but the 35mm is a fair bit larger still, while I think the Leica is even smaller than the Leica 50 APO.  Size matters to me for my Leicas, so I'll have to think about whether to buy.  I may sell the 50mm Leica APO (since it's about the same size as the Voigt) and buy the Leica 35mm APO, since it's considerably smaller than the Voigt. 

The Leica 50mm APO is noticeably smaller (in diameter and length), has two fewer lens elements, and its design is some twenty years old.  The Voigtlander 50mm APO was just recently released, and it's barely keeping up.  So, I think the comparison isn't completely fair.  The size difference between the 35 APOs is even greater, not to mention, the Leica 35mm APO looks to be a triplet design.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, MrFriendly said:

The Leica 50mm APO is noticeably smaller (in diameter and length),

Agreed.  According to B&H specs, the Leica m 35 apo is 53 x 40.9mm.  The Voitlander 35 apo lanther is 55.6 x 58.1.  That is without their respective hoods.  

On 2/14/2022 at 7:09 PM, jffielde said:

Size matters to me for my Leicas, so I'll have to think about whether to buy.  

The Leica is almost 30% shorter without the hood and with the hood is probably around the same size as the VM without a hood.  the lens cap fits easily on top of the hood and doesn't add much more length.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Camaro5 said:

I have the Voightlander 35 APO and I'm very happy with it.  Had there not been a price difference of roughly $7,000 I probably would've gone with the Leica.  That said, comparing images from these two lenses side by side, I don't really see a $7,000 difference.  

You will see the 7000$ difference when you sell the lens. Therefore, the 7000$ is real.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 3/13/2022 at 8:40 PM, MrFriendly said:

The Leica 50mm APO is noticeably smaller (in diameter and length), has two fewer lens elements, and its design is some twenty years old.  ..

 

I don't think it's 20 years old.  It was released in 2013, no?

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Huss said:

I don't think it's 20 years old.  It was released in 2013, no?

I said 'design'.  They released it in 2012, but I've read that by then the actual design was some ten years old, and that makes it a twenty year old design.

Link to post
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, MrFriendly said:

I said 'design'.  They released it in 2012, but I've read that by then the actual design was some ten years old, and that makes it a twenty year old design.

well then, who knows how old the 'design' is on the Voigtlander?  I'm sure the basis of it has been around for years.

I much prefer the Leica because it IS significantly smaller.  And having that level of performance with that size costs big $$.  Think about it this way, if Cosina could have made their lens the same size as the APO, it would have been much much more expensive.  And at that point people would say why not just buy the Leica lens?

Same thing with the Zeiss ZM 35 1.4 Distagon (which I have).  It is fantastic optically but huge.  Zeiss/Cosina could not affordably make that lens have that level of performance and be compact like the FLE.  It already is $2300.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This is of interest to me- I’ve wanted the leica version of course but it’s the cocaine of camera lenses and cocaine is Gods way of telling you you have too much money.  So no apo for me - ever- it’s out of my league pricewise. I have a very clean summicron viii pre asph lens that IS good enough for me… but perhaps I could sell it and buy the Voigtlander? I might even be able pocket a few coins..  Would I see a marked difference? 

Edited by jaques
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, M10RUser said:

I feel with the 50f2 Summicron  profile the vignette from the VL 50APO is nicely controlled. 

I don’t find this aspect problematic, just one of the differences between CV and the Leica APO and subtle at that. Most of my use of the APO-Lanthar lenses has been on the Sigma Fp-L. I look forward to using it more extensively on my recently upgraded SL2-S. You are using the profile for the Summicron-M rather than the APO Summicron 50? I selected the latter but will compare files from both profiles. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Alan Friedman said:

I don’t find this aspect problematic, just one of the differences between CV and the Leica APO and subtle at that. Most of my use of the APO-Lanthar lenses has been on the Sigma Fp-L. I look forward to using it more extensively on my recently upgraded SL2-S. You are using the profile for the Summicron-M rather than the APO Summicron 50? I selected the latter but will compare files from both profiles. Thanks!

When I was using the M10-R, the 50 Cron profile seemed to work best for the CV 50 APO. But on the SL2-S, the 50 APO is much better matched since it better corrects for the CV's edge color shift on the SL2-S sensor. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
40 minutes ago, Goposer said:

Lose a few hundred vs lose a few thousand if you end up selling them. Aesthetics and money to throw away are the only reasons I can see to choose the Leica over the Voigtlander. 

 

Yes. The IQ will be surpassed. But lenses are about what you want to see. If you want imperfect vintage then the APO isn’t what you want. 

 

I can’t see how VL making the lens a bit smaller would make it jump $8,000 in price. They made the 35f1.2 smaller and smaller and better optically and it didn’t go up in price. You’re being crazy now. The Leica 50APO price is absolutely ridiculous. 

 

Vignette goes away when you open the raw file and it applies the profile. I think the Leica is better in terms of having less vignette wide open. Still doesn’t account for the extra $8,000 in price. 
 

The way I see it is, the VL 50APO-Lanthar has effectively killed the Leica 50APO, except for doctors and lawyers that clean their toilet with $100 bills. I don’t know how any human can think paying $9,000 for a small 50mm lens is reasonable. 

I have a secret for you: I wear no underwear. This way I save 34.25$ a year. In 10 years, that’s 342.50$. I was smart, I paid 300$ for a voigtlander lens 10 Years ago. In 2027 my smart no-underwears move will pay off. Screw Leica, I could have never pulled it off so easily.

The smart man always wins.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...