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Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2 III vs. Summilux 35 FLE


MikeRZ67
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Posted (edited)

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Hi,

I'm considering buying the Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2 v3. Another option would be saving up for the Summilux FLE...

When researching these lenses, I couldn't find any good comparisons between the two. Apart from the obvious differences in size, weight, max aperture, price, did anybody have the chance to compare the two and could write a bit about the differences in how they render images? Bokeh, contrast, vignetting, sharpness etc. Or if you know of a comparison, a link to that would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
Michael

Edit: I want to use the lens on a film Leica.

Edited by MikeRZ67
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I can't talk about the FLE, never used it. I handled it for a while and took a few pictures in a Leica store. I never considered it because of its high price and focus shift (it's easy to compensate, but it's there around f2-8/4).
I do own the 35/1.2III, which is a great lens. Very sharp and a distinguished performer. There is much difference between 1.2 and 1.4, much sharper at the latter aperture w/o glow. But still great wide open. I don't use it often because it's big (not huge), and it lacks a focus tab (which I adore to use). But it's my first choice when I want a modern fast lens to use wide open. It has a unique character, it's not very, very sharp, but it's great at almost all apertures. I would say its render it's something like 'flat,' very neutral. For some, it means boring, but I actually find it interesting.
If It's for film, I would opt for the Voigtlander, more neutral between your two options. I believe the FLE it's more for digital bodies, but it's just my feeling about it. If you don't need a fast lens, I suggest the Zeiss 35/2.8 Biogon. It's unbeatable, one of the most flare-resistant lenses out there. It's tiny, 220gr, super sharp (some called it clinical), but a really wow lens.
Hope this helps.

Here the Voigtlander at 1.2 w/ the given crop at 300%. Click on the picture for high res.

   

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2 hours ago, Dennis said:

I can't talk about the FLE, never used it. I handled it for a while and took a few pictures in a Leica store. I never considered it because of its high price and focus shift (it's easy to compensate, but it's there around f2-8/4).
I do own the 35/1.2III, which is a great lens. Very sharp and a distinguished performer. There is much difference between 1.2 and 1.4, much sharper at the latter aperture w/o glow. But still great wide open. I don't use it often because it's big (not huge), and it lacks a focus tab (which I adore to use). But it's my first choice when I want a modern fast lens to use wide open. It has a unique character, it's not very, very sharp, but it's great at almost all apertures. I would say its render it's something like 'flat,' very neutral. For some, it means boring, but I actually find it interesting.
If It's for film, I would opt for the Voigtlander, more neutral between your two options. I believe the FLE it's more for digital bodies, but it's just my feeling about it. If you don't need a fast lens, I suggest the Zeiss 35/2.8 Biogon. It's unbeatable, one of the most flare-resistant lenses out there. It's tiny, 220gr, super sharp (some called it clinical), but a really wow lens.
Hope this helps.

Here the Voigtlander at 1.2 w/ the given crop at 300%. Click on the picture for high res.

   

I'm on the other side having the FLE and not the Voigtlander. I'll just say I don't notice focus shift at f2 at all, maybe it's there at f4 but I mostly use 1.4, 2 and then 8,11. I actually do love it on film, I almost prefer it on film over digital. It's an older optical design from the film era that has been tweaked (maybe, I don't actually know, someone can't correct me I'm sure). But the main improvement is in close range performance and focus shift due the the FLE. I find that it renders neutral with a lower contrast, high micro contrast than some other Leica ASPH lenses. It's a great match for Portra, Tri-X and Ilford films in my experience.

I can't help @MikeRZ67 with a comparison but figured I'd mention how much I like it on film since that seems relevant.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, MikeRZ67 said:

Hi,

I'm considering buying the Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2 v3. Another option would be saving up for the Summilux FLE...

When researching these lenses, I couldn't find any good comparisons between the two. Apart from the obvious differences in size, weight, max aperture, price, did anybody have the chance to compare the two and could write a bit about the differences in how they render images? Bokeh, contrast, vignetting, sharpness etc. Or if you know of a comparison, a link to that would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
Michael

Edit: I want to use the lens on a film Leica.

Use this thread to compare images with the Leica 35 Lux FLE thread posted by Dennis above. You should also post your question in that thread on FM Forum. Fred Miranda (forum owner and person who did the review in the link) owns both lenses, and he'll probably respond.

 

 

Edited by hdmesa
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11 hours ago, rramesh said:

A pretty good comparison. Note that it's with the v2 and I understand that the v3 is better.

https://www.jaycassario.com/blog/2016/3/5/battle-of-the-35s-nokton-vs-summilux

I've considered this a few times, switching to the VM 1.2 and getting a 35 f2 as a second lens. I think this comparison is a good example of how close in rendering these lenses are.

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14 hours ago, jaeger said:

For the price of Leica FLE, I'd rather buy the VM 35mm 1.2V3,+ 35mm 1.4v2 SC + 75mm 1.5 + 21mm 1.4 and I still have a lot of changes. 

+1

I would say:

  1. CV 35/1.2III
  2. CV 35/.14 MC
  3. CV 35/2 Ultron II
  4. LLL 35/2
  5. Zeiss 35/2.8 ZM
  6. And another lens or focal length of your choice 🙂 

And for M film bodies, I guess all of them are very good candidates...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Dennis said:

+1

I would say:

  1. CV 35/1.2III
  2. CV 35/.14 MC
  3. CV 35/2 Ultron II
  4. LLL 35/2
  5. Zeiss 35/2.8 ZM
  6. And another lens or focal length of your choice 🙂 

And for M film bodies, I guess all of them are very good candidates...

 

 

And after all that you'll still want an FLE, sell off those lenses, lose money doing so etc.

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17 minutes ago, Huss said:

My problem is  I buy stuff because "I got a good deal on it and can just flip it" but end up keeping it.

That's exactly how I ended up with an FLE. It was too good of a deal for a mint and pre-owned lens. I figured I could sell it for the same or more but I haven't yet been able to part with it.

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Posted (edited)

Unless one is looking to trade and profit, the newest Voigtlander lenses are as good as any for Leica. Folks only wax lyrical when they see the Leica brand, but in a blind test no one will know the difference.

Just look at the VM 35 f/1.2 III, VM Ultron 35 f/2 II, VM APO-Lanthar 35 f/2 and several others.A lot cheaper that the equivalent Leica and almost as good. Why the VM Ultron 35 f/2 II even has a low dispersion element, found on APO lenses.

And many that Leica does not make e.g. VM 10, VM 12, VM 15.

Edited by rramesh
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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

In terms of light gathering capability--not IQ--what is the difference between f/1.2 and 1.4?  1/3 of a stop?  (The difference between, say, ISO1600 and ISO2000?)  When it comes to aperture mathematics, I am sometimes in over my head.  

Edited by hydet
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51 minutes ago, Capuccino-Muffin said:

I just don’t mess with wannabe stuff. 
Yes, I’m a snob.

I would travel around the world with just the 35FLE versus a multitude of voigtlander lenses. 

It is odd to compare lenses with different maximum apertures, especially on film, where high ISO is limited. 

If I would have this pile of money I would choose FLE as more practical (for my gear) solution. But I don't have this pile of money.

So, I traveled NA, Europe, Dark Side, Europe, NA with just a 35 2.5 Summarit-M on film M body. No serious limitations. IT just took heck a lot of time to develop and print under enlarger after it.

 

  
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, hydet said:

In terms of light gathering capability--not IQ--what is the difference between f/1.2 and 1.4?  1/3 of a stop?  (The difference between, say, ISO1600 and ISO2000?)  When it comes to aperture mathematics, I am sometimes in over my head.  

f1.2 is a half stop faster than f1.4 (f1.2 being exactly half way between f1 and f1.4 on full stop scale)

Edited by matted
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On 3/7/2022 at 4:23 AM, rramesh said:

A pretty good comparison. Note that it's with the v2 and I understand that the v3 is better.

https://www.jaycassario.com/blog/2016/3/5/battle-of-the-35s-nokton-vs-summilux

While I appreciate the link and the intention to offer something helpful, I have to say for posterity in case someone stumbles upon this thread looking for comparisons, that blog post is a horrible material for a comparison. The majority of the photos are extremely overcooked in post and they look like they're taken with phone and an instagram filter. While there are a couple more neutral ones, they suffer from misfocus which would give the wrong impression if someone was nitpicking details in order to compare two modern high performing lenses.

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