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Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2 III vs. Summilux 35 FLE


MikeRZ67
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10 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?

Maybe even less. You're looking for the T-value of the lens (transmittance), which varies slightly from aperture and measures the true light gathering capacity of a lens. Usually - in conventional designs - this value is close to the f/number but the more "extreme" you go in design, the more it can diverge. As a very, very rough rule of thumb, given same technology and materials in lenses, a more complex, faster lens with more elements, will have its T-value diverge a bit more from its f/number, versus a simpler, slower lens with fewer elements. Pictorially, those differences are silly and irrelevant. (Plus there are bigger issues at play, like vignetting. A slightly brighter lens but which vignettes much more in the majority of the frame, is it really brighter in practice? ;) )

Where the actual T-value plays a role (aside from cinematography where shutter speed is fixed), is in "unconventional" lenses where T and f values vary considerably. Some examples are lenses with apodising elements (minolta and sony used to make some, it was called SF-something iirc, fuji makes a modern one for their X-cameras, a version of the 56mm f/1.2), or lenses like the Thambar, or soft focus lenses with similar "tricks" (like the Imagon with its pierced disks, or the more "modern" Fuji implementation the SF 180mm f/8 for the GX680, Mamiya also made one for the RB/RZ).

But most importantly, where t-value undoubtedly plays the biggest role, is telling people that are splitting hairs and obsess over the light gathering capacity of an f/1.2 vs f/1.4 lens, that their actual t-values differ less than 1/3rd of a stop, which is a tighter tolerance than the spec of their mechanical shuttered cameras when they left the factory, let alone 30-60 years later :P 

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4 hours ago, giannis said:

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.

Maybe you could suggest a better comparison.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I always wondered why T stops weren’t the standard in photography. Okay, a f2 lens still stays a f2 lens even if it has a 4x filter on it while it Could not be considered a T2 lens anymore, I guess...

For our purposes, f1.2 vs 1.4 definitely plays on the general look, where the rendering definitely shows the differences. I’m not sure that shutter speed is the main goal. At least not as important as in the film days where a photographer stuck with Kodachrome 64 desperately needed extra speed, where 1/8th vs 1/10th or 1/12th  played a role in getting a shot hopefuly less blurred.

Edited by Capuccino-Muffin
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I guess on film film you are looking at first for consistency in brightness when swapping out lenses, as I would think this is the first thing which gets noticed. In photography, there is more emphasis on dealing with limited light in reportage and the ability to separate planes, as there is only one shot. The T vs F stop indication preference makes sense to me.

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On 4/6/2022 at 5:38 AM, Capuccino-Muffin said:

Yes, I always wondered why T stops weren’t the standard in photography. Okay, a f2 lens still stays a f2 lens even if it has a 4x filter on it while it Could not be considered a T2 lens anymore, I guess...

For our purposes, f1.2 vs 1.4 definitely plays on the general look, where the rendering definitely shows the differences. I’m not sure that shutter speed is the main goal. At least not as important as in the film days where a photographer stuck with Kodachrome 64 desperately needed extra speed, where 1/8th vs 1/10th or 1/12th  played a role in getting a shot hopefuly less blurred.

I think it's marketing.  It's confusing and hard to regulate which they love.  They are selling bone-in steaks for the price of boneless steaks.  If we T stops were in place, there will be an instant downgrade for all lenses. 

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On 4/5/2022 at 7:52 AM, 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.  

It’s just about 1/2 stop between f/1.2 and f/1.4

It actually is 0.4448, which is close enough to 0.5 to call it 1/2 stop. 

You are taking about an area, so you need to look at the geometric mean not the arithmetic mean.

The formula is:

Difference = 2*(log2(fnumber1) - log2(fnumber2))

Hope this helps.

 

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  • 1 month later...

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On 4/5/2022 at 7:31 AM, Ko.Fe. said:

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.

 

  

And that's how it's done!

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FLE is expensive, but I just love that focusing tab. Once you use it for a couple of years, your finger will know exactly where it should be, even before you raise your camera up to your eye. That’s one huge value to me.
If that’s not important to you, maybe Norton will do. 

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  • 2 months later...

I have used both and I think that either will satisfy. The vIII is the most Leica-like lens that Voigtlander has produced in that it is small and compact compared to much of the other lenses. Most of my output with the Leica was in black and white - there are substantial artifacts in the type of photography that I prefer, which is cityscape at night type stuff. I don't think that the Leica is objectively "better" than the Voigtlander as I can afford either, but I do feel the rendering is different. In black and white I prefer the Leica - I don't like the sunstars from either which is a shame, both are mushy at all apertures and add nothing to a picture. Others have already waxed eloquently about the Leica focussing tab versus the Voigtlander lack of thereof, but I found both well-dampened to focus. The Voigtlander aperture ring is superior, the Leica was annoyingly easy to knock out of your preferred setting. In terms of design, I prefer the Leica and the square hood to the Voigtlander and its circular hood, but design is not a compelling reason for me to purchase a lens, only output. It has achieved "permanent status" on my Leica M11 for the last few weeks but I also want to test it out early morning with my Leica M10M. I believe wide open that the Leica *might* be sharper, but I'll leave that one to the pixel peepers as that isn't particularly important to me. The close focusing distance was the nail in the coffin that made me plump for the Voigtlander.

This outrageous technicolour sky cityscape was shot right after a thunderstorm. Leica M11 with Voigtlander Nokton vIII 35/1.2

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Whichever suits ur budget, not breaking the bank and still left you with something to go on your next trip

Never handled the voigt 1.2 MIII, not my 35 mm size wise, but considering how much i loved the ultron, i see nothing against the 1.2 version

FLE is preferred for its size and image wise but this lens aint perfect either, there’s always a caveat, even a distagon 35mm 1.4 was more favorable at the time i had those lenses, but again, came down to the shooting situation due to its size

in the end, i settled with 35 f2 cron, though i miss the FLE

for my case, size is above IQ, which nowadays, you can almost pick up any lens and deliver above average quality criteria

im more a 50mm guy so may be i havent put enough efforts to the bigger 35mm lense to compensate

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