Gear Porn

Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
DSC_3466.jpg
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Three siblings:
  • By now, the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 feels like the granddad of the current series; it's also the bulkiest of the three (not the tallest, though) and makes the M10 decidedly nose-heavy - it'll invariably dip forward and hit the surface the camera sits on when left to its own devices. More importantly, it's a nice enough performer wide open, but it's not free of aberrations; stopped down a bit, it becomes very good - it can hold its own against the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 (V) at equal apertures while adding one and a half stops at the fast end ...
  • The APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2 is a fantastic performer and, even though it's longer than the 50mm f/1.2, balances quite a bit better than its faster relative; performance-wise, this is my best 50mm lens for the M system (and only really beaten by the huge and high-tech Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S; the Z 50mm f/1.8 S is almost as good, though). I really like how it feels and handles on the M10 - but small it is not (a third bigger than the aforementioned Summicron-M 50mm f/2).
  • Finally, the new kid on the block: The Nokton 50mm f/1.5 II is *small*, and while it's not quite as sharp as the Summicron-M, it's not far behind; if you stop down a bit, it becomes very crisp, and the bokeh is very interesting: swirly, but really quite pleasing, with only slight outlining. Rendering is modern, but it has some pop and very smooth transitions - in that respect, it beats its big brother, the 50mm f/1.2; of course, that one can have the background melt away much better, but that's not news.
  • Interestingly, compared to its predecessor, it's smaller, but handling is better - though that's more down to design than mechanics, I think (even though my own old Nokton is in need of a CLA - or at least the "L" part). That said, I still like the images coming from the first version - the optics have their own signature, and the new lens is a completely different animal. But objectively, the 50mm f/1.5 II not only is smaller and slicker to handle, it's also optically superior. Here's a side-by-side:

DSC_3470.jpg
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I've seen the size difference described as "huge"; that's inaccurate: The old lens is only slightly bigger and heavier than the Summicron-M which is virtually the same weight as the new Nokton. Nevertheless, the differences in weight and girth are noticeable - indeed, the new lens *is* smaller than any of the other lenses mentioned.

All in all, this is one heck of an achievement by Voigtländer; while I still see a use case for the (slightly superior overall) Nokton 50mm f/1.2, the Nokton 50mm f/1.5 II is certainly good enough to stand in for both the faster lens *and* the (much better, but also bigger) APO-Lanthar in many cases. More to the point, it's defintely the better EDC lens than any of its siblings: quite sharp, quite fast, pleasing rendering, tiny, slick. That said, I think for me, the APO-Lanthar is worth its (slightly) bigger bulk in most cases - because that lens isn't only good, it's stunning. But I also have to say that I definitely prefer the new Nokton for doing what I like best: Walking around with the camera in my hand.

M.
 
View attachment 352388

Three siblings:
  • By now, the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 feels like the granddad of the current series; it's also the bulkiest of the three (not the tallest, though) and makes the M10 decidedly nose-heavy - it'll invariably dip forward and hit the surface the camera sits on when left to its own devices. More importantly, it's a nice enough performer wide open, but it's not free of aberrations; stopped down a bit, it becomes very good - it can hold its own against the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 (V) at equal apertures while adding one and a half stops at the fast end ...
  • The APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2 is a fantastic performer and, even though it's longer than the 50mm f/1.2, balances quite a bit better than its faster relative; performance-wise, this is my best 50mm lens for the M system (and only really beaten by the huge and high-tech Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S; the Z 50mm f/1.8 S is almost as good, though). I really like how it feels and handles on the M10 - but small it is not (a third bigger than the aforementioned Summicron-M 50mm f/2).
  • Finally, the new kid on the block: The Nokton 50mm f/1.5 II is *small*, and while it's not quite as sharp as the Summicron-M, it's not far behind; if you stop down a bit, it becomes very crisp, and the bokeh is very interesting: swirly, but really quite pleasing, with only slight outlining. Rendering is modern, but it has some pop and very smooth transitions - in that respect, it beats its big brother, the 50mm f/1.2; of course, that one can have the background melt away much better, but that's not news.
  • Interestingly, compared to its predecessor, it's smaller, but handling is better - though that's more down to design than mechanics, I think (even though my own old Nokton is in need of a CLA - or at least the "L" part). That said, I still like the images coming from the first version - the optics have their own signature, and the new lens is a completely different animal. But objectively, the 50mm f/1.5 II not only is smaller and slicker to handle, it's also optically superior. Here's a side-by-side:

View attachment 352389

I've seen the size difference described as "huge"; that's inaccurate: The old lens is only slightly bigger and heavier than the Summicron-M which is virtually the same weight as the new Nokton. Nevertheless, the differences in weight and girth are noticeable - indeed, the new lens *is* smaller than any of the other lenses mentioned.

All in all, this is one heck of an achievement by Voigtländer; while I still see a use case for the (slightly superior overall) Nokton 50mm f/1.2, the Nokton 50mm f/1.5 II is certainly good enough to stand in for both the faster lens *and* the (much better, but also bigger) APO-Lanthar in many cases. More to the point, it's defintely the better EDC lens than any of its siblings: quite sharp, quite fast, pleasing rendering, tiny, slick. That said, I think for me, the APO-Lanthar is worth its (slightly) bigger bulk in most cases - because that lens isn't only good, it's stunning. But I also have to say that I definitely prefer the new Nokton for doing what I like best: Walking around with the camera in my hand.

M.
Nice comparison! I too love the 50 APO (I had one for my Sony but ended up selling it) I don't use 50mm a whole lot so the Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 II works perfectly for me as a fast lens. It is small, fast with very good image quality. I also have the Leica Summarit 50/2.5 to fill my Leica branded lens desire.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

Top Veteran
I had one of these, late 1950s! I loved it for a time, then p/exed it for an SLR, so that I could take close-ups, and alternative lenses that didn't cost a fortune. My choice was an Olympus OM1, which was small, light, and a lot of fun. Those were the days, as they say!
I inherited it from my mom who had inherited it from her mom. It traveled the world with Grandma and spent a good deal of time in Pakistan/India in the early to mid-60's as my step-grandfather was working for US AID at the time. I don't shoot film, but when I tried it out with the M3 I found the camera really caused my hand to cramp without a grip added to it. I had the camera CLA'd a few years back when I got it going from storage. It works very well now and should for a good long time to come as I'm not wearing it out at all.
 

saladin

Veteran
Name
Jason
Not really "gear porn" in the true spirit of this thread. But I was rummaging around for the charger for the old Pentax K5 for a little comparison shoot over in the Pentax board , which led to most of my old DSLR bodies ending up on the dining table!

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Left to right: Pentax K5, Pentax K10D, Minolta 5D, Nikon D200, Oly E-300 (with grip). Not shown are a pair of Canon Eos bodies, a 5D classic and a 40D.


The K10D was my first entry into Digital SLRs , purchased new. The current one isn't that camera, it was stolen from my car years ago. The K5 followed as a new purchase when released. I definitely love Pentax, so I picked up a cheap K10 a year or two back again. The Minnie, Nikon, Oly and Canons were all thrift shop finds over the years. I still keep an eye out for cheapish models of interest. I'd like a Fuji S5Pro and a SD-1 Merrill, for instance. Don't need them, just like them. And I'd still like to try one of the old flagship sports bodies from Nikon or Canon one day, lol.
 
Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
DSC_3478.jpg
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I was really looking forward to shooting the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2 VM on the Z 6. But once I had mounted it via the Voigtländer M to Z mount helicoid adapter, the whole combo felt really dense and surprisingly heavy. Of course, it's not really that exceptionally bulky - it just felt almost uncomfortably front heavy. This compelled me to put its cousin, the Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II-S, on the D750, and lo and behold, the two combos weigh virtually the same (within a couple of grams), with the DSLR combo feeling way better balanced. With the adapted lens, I felt the strain on the wrist after only a couple of minutes of carrying it in the hand - something that doesn't often happen with the Z bodies at all.

Of course, optically, the 50mm f/1.2 is way better than the 58mm f/1.4, and the Z 6 combo offers (3-axis) I.B.I.S. still. But my enthusiasm has been quenched quite a bit. This only goes to show: There's more to lens design than just optics and size: Balance is really important on the whole. I remember not liking the feel of the Z 24-70mm f/4 S on the Z 6 much - whereas both the bigger Z 24-120mm f/4 S and the mighty Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S feel quite nicely balanced. Even the huge Z 50mm f/1.2 S (which blows the Voigtländer out of the water, optically) feels bearable, though it's not a good idea to want to carry it around in the hand for any length of time (I tried).

This prompted me to play around with the 50mm f/1.2 on the M10, with the additional grip, without it ... The whole combo is about 100g lighter, so, not a lot. Sadly, Leica's original grip for the M10 feels really quite uncomfortable for me (not while carrying but while shooting - it's a real stretch to reach the shutter button), because it solves the only irritating issue I feel the combo has: You can't set it down on a surface without the camera tipping forward and the aperture ring taking the hit. Again, it's pretty front heavy (of course it is - everything above 250g and a certain length causes the combo to tip; it just about balances with the Voigtländer APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2 *on a good day*). But with my compact combo (just using Leica's thumb rest), it's quite manageable, and certainly not much a pain to carry. So, the 50mm f/1.2 is definitely better at home on the M10 ... Go figure.

Which leaves me scratching my head a bit. I thought I had elegantly gotten around the fact that Voigtländer just issued their 40mm f/1.2 (which is almost as desirable as the 50mm f/1.2 - but not quite) for Z mount. I know how well Voigtländer's chipped lenses work on Z bodies - I own two of their APS-C lenses for the Z fc. Now, the nagging feeling that it would be a really nice thing to have is back. And the price of the new lens isn't that high at all, comparatively speaking. This looks like a case of recurring G.A.S. ...

M.
 
Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
And while we're at it ... Upon writing the announcement for the "Single in February 2023" (SiF 23), it occurred to me to take this image:

DSC_3479.jpg
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Two fast "normal" lenses, one so good as to be called exceptional, one so cheap as to be called a no-brainer: The Voigtländer 50mm f/1.2 is an impressive performer (even though it's not tack sharp wide open) while staying manageable, the 7Artisans is a "classic" lens in many regards (quirky, with less than stellar IQ), but it's a really nice fit on the Z fc.

The combo shown on the right will most likely be my pick for SiF 23.

M.
 

tommay80

Regular
Location
Austria
Name
Thomas
Back around 2016 I tried myself as a Blog-Writer in regard of Photography. Gear, Locations etc. In this time i "reviewed" some gear and of course I tried myself in product photography of said gear. Here are some examples.

Leica T.jpg
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Sony A7S - 24-70 Zeiss.jpg
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Tamron 45 1.8.jpg
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