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Paul Hart

CV 35/1,4 Nokton - Sean Reid review, Part 1

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Thanks Maggie. Vieri I also subscribe to Sean's reviews. Helped me a lot and taught me a lot. I have made only two posts on RFF one of them was in that thread in support of Sean's work and methodology.

 

Jeff

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Sean

 

I don't have your email address and I can't send email to you from this site. Could you email me at elwood@wsnconsult.com and we'll get this done. I really look forward to your findings on my lens

 

Woody

 

I'll be back in VT late Weds., lets work on this on Thursday.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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That thread has been deleted.

 

Too bad! I've been on the road all day (still am till later tonight) but I imagine someone must have tried to pull that thread into the toilet. Its a shame because there was some very good info in it and a good discussion between Tom A and myself. Bummer...

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Jeff, not sure but at some point of it some personal attacks to Sean questioning his integrity started to appear, I assume this might be a reason for it to be deleted. As a subscriber to ReidReviews, not otherwise related to Sean or to his business, I have to say that while wether his reviews are useful to someone or not is a completely personal thing, Sean's reviews are as good as they get as reviews coming from a photographer's point of view and are always carried on with precision and in a balanced way.

 

I think respect is due to Sean for the work he is doing for the RF community and photography community in general. Personally, thanks Sean for all the work you are putting into it.

 

Thank you kindly. Much obliged....

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Here's a reader's digest version of some of the constructive info.

 

Tom A. and I are now keeping in touch as we test this lens.

 

Tom had not yet read the review when he made his original posts to the thread. He's been working primarily wide open and at smaller apertures so far but will test for focus shift with his copies. When we spoke, he had not yet done any focus shift testing.

 

Tom believes the CV 35/1.4 was designed to emulate the pre_ASPH 35 Lux which he describes as having focus shift, field curvature and flare. My results with the two CV 35/1.4 examples I've tested showed strong focus shift and soft corners that could be due to field curvature *or* decentring *or*? In other words, these are all qualities one might expect to see in this lens.

 

 

I haven't done my CA/flare tests yet.

 

Gotta get back on the road, Cheers all

 

Sean

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Sean, I'm not sure that it is worth the effort, but couldn't you tell field curvature from decentering by selecting from your focus bracket the frames in which the corners are sharp, and seeing if they all get sharp at the same time? And just for grins, checking to see if the corners, at their sharpest, are actually sharper than the center when the center is in focus. After all, if you shoot in low light and complex street scenes, and it is sharp somewhere, nice pictures can result.

 

scott

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Sean, I'm not sure that it is worth the effort, but couldn't you tell field curvature from decentering by selecting from your focus bracket the frames in which the corners are sharp, and seeing if they all get sharp at the same time? And just for grins, checking to see if the corners, at their sharpest, are actually sharper than the center when the center is in focus. After all, if you shoot in low light and complex street scenes, and it is sharp somewhere, nice pictures can result.

 

scott

 

Hi Scott,

 

Yes, one definitely could do that. When I get alternate examples of the lens, I'll be digging into this in several ways.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I'd be willing to send you my lens for testing- it might be interesting as its field curvature seems to indicate sharp corners and a soft center.

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I'd be willing to send you my lens for testing- it might be interesting as its field curvature seems to indicate sharp corners and a soft center.

 

Cool, let's talk Thursday.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I guess I'm in TomA's boat. I bought the CV 35/1.4 SC and a week later sold off the Ultron. Like Weeks I'm primarly a b&w film street photog, so maybe that't why. The main reason I off'd the Ultron in favor of the Nokton Classic is the difference in wide-open sharpness. The 35/1.4 is as sharp as the 50/1.5 when shot wide open.

 

My review of the 35/1.4 SC is here and I also have written a comparison review of the Nokton Classic vs. the Ultron (incl. 100% crop samples of wide-open shots on b&w film) here.

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I guess I'm in TomA's boat. I bought the CV 35/1.4 SC and a week later sold off the Ultron. Like Weeks I'm primarly a b&w film street photog, so maybe that't why. The main reason I off'd the Ultron in favor of the Nokton Classic is the difference in wide-open sharpness. The 35/1.4 is as sharp as the 50/1.5 when shot wide open.

 

My review of the 35/1.4 SC is here and I also have written a comparison review of the Nokton Classic vs. the Ultron (incl. 100% crop samples of wide-open shots on b&w film) here.

 

Which boat is it that you think Tom is in?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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...My review of the 35/1.4 SC is here...

Hi Brian, welcome to the forum. Your review was interesting to me as i'm after a 35/1.4 sharper at full aperture than my late pre-asph Summilux without the somewhat harsh bokeh of the (IMO) Summilux asph and some CV lenses. Now the focus shift noticed by Sean Reid is a concern of course. May i ask you if you've used your SC at f/2.8 - f/4 and if you've noticed that focus shift as well?

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Which boat is it that you think Tom is in?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

It's an expression meaning that my opinion is similar to his and we share a similar medium.

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Hi Brian, welcome to the forum. Your review was interesting to me as i'm after a 35/1.4 sharper at full aperture than my late pre-asph Summilux without the somewhat harsh bokeh of the (IMO) Summilux asph and some CV lenses. Now the focus shift noticed by Sean Reid is a concern of course. May i ask you if you've used your SC at f/2.8 - f/4 and if you've noticed that focus shift as well?

Thanks

 

I've actually been registered for a few months (ever since Robert White let me know about this place) but I've just been lurking.

 

I haven't shot it at f2.8 (for some reason I prefer f2 and a faster shutter or f4 and a slower one, but better sharpness). I have taken quite a few at f4 and haven't noted any backfocusing, but this is judging from negatives only. I'll be making prints next week and can probably give a better answer then.

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It's an expression meaning that my opinion is similar to his and we share a similar medium.

 

I know the expression but what opinions of his are you thinking of? I don't think he's yet finished his tests on focus shift and field curvature (as of the last time we spoke) and those are the two key aspects that are under the microscope right now. There's not much debate about the lens resolving fairly well on center at F/1.4.

 

Again, Tom and I have not (yet?) gotten different results in testing this lens.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I know the expression but what opinions of his are you thinking of? I don't think he's yet finished his tests on focus shift and field curvature (as of the last time we spoke) and those are the two key aspects that are under the microscope right now. There's not much debate about the lens resolving fairly well on center at F/1.4.

 

Again, Tom and I have not (yet?) gotten different results in testing this lens.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

His initial thoughts (or reply to you) on RFF, although I guess I don't think the contrast of the SC version is all that "mellow". To me it more closely resembles the Skopars.

 

I understand that there's some distortion (it's not flat field) but since my primary use of the lens is for street photography it's not something that effects me (which is why I mentioned Weeks). There wasn't any focus shift for me wide-open or at f2. I haven't noticed any at f4 but I'll have a better idea on that when I do some prints from the rolls of Tri-X and ERA100 I've shot this week, most of which were shot at f4 and f5.6 because I wanted to see how sharp things could get.

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His initial thoughts (or reply to you) on RFF, although I guess I don't think the contrast of the SC version is all that "mellow". To me it more closely resembles the Skopars.

 

I understand that there's some distortion (it's not flat field) but since my primary use of the lens is for street photography it's not something that effects me (which is why I mentioned Weeks). There wasn't any focus shift for me wide-open or at f2. I haven't noticed any at f4 but I'll have a better idea on that when I do some prints from the rolls of Tri-X and ERA100 I've shot this week, most of which were shot at f4 and f5.6 because I wanted to see how sharp things could get.

 

By definition, there can't be focus shift with a lens wide open. Wide open is the baseline from which focus shift is judged. And at F/2.0, my test copies showed an improvement in res. I guess that you didn't see Tom's later comments in that RFF thread and I imagine you haven't had a chance to read this thread all the way through yet.

 

The field curvature we're talking about isn't related to distortion, per se, but rather to where the outside area of the lens focuses relative to the center.

 

So, some key points to consider:

 

1. Tom's comments on the lens so far, he's told me, are based on casual use. I've got to call him later today but I don't think he's yet done any tests for focus shift or field curvature. Until he gets time to do those, we don't know how his results compare to mine.

 

2. Tom's comment, later in that thread, was that he believes the CV 35/1.4 was designed to emulate the pre-asph 35 Lux. His description of that latter lens was that it has focus shift, field curvature and flare.

 

I think that when Tom gets time to do some careful testing for focus shift, he'll see it clearly at F/2.8 and F/4.0 esp. Whether the soft corners are due to field curvature, de-centering or some other factor is still an open question.

 

Lastly, Tom's earliest posts on the RFF thread were made before he had actually read the review. Now he's read it, we've talked and I'm awaiting the results of his testing to see what is and is not replicated in his copies.

 

BTW, I just read and enjoyed your article on the lens. Your two keys points about the lens performance, as I understood them, were: 1) The lens resolves well on center wide open and 2) the OOF rendering is only somewhat like that of the 40/1.4. I agree that the lens resolves fairly well on center wide open and that its OOF areas are somewhat, but not entirely like those of the 40/1.4.

 

Focus shift, field curvature/corner resolution, etc. are not aspects of the lens that your article addressed.

 

My results and yours, so far, don't contradict each other even though we've used different copies of the lens. If one man says an elephant is large and another says it's grey, those are not contradictions. If you end up doing focus shift and field curvature/corner res. tests, please let know. I'd love to discuss them. I'd also love to look at samples from those tests.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Not everybody is interested in testings pictures of walls and rulers at one meter or so.

A 35mm lens begins to get some wide DoF at f/4, for instance 0.7 meter at 2 meters or 1.5 meter at 3 meters subject distance.

It is then possible that focus shift is hidden in such cases and that photographers who don't shoot at the shortest distance of their lens do not notice it in day to day photography.

Agree?

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