Leica Showcase Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton M Aspherical

trisberg

Regular
Jul 5, 2011
43
New Hampshire
These look really nice. I like the background bokeh. Any opinion how this lens compares to the Zeiss C Sonnar? Any focus shift issues with this new lens?

-Thomas
 

Frank Starling

Veteran
Jul 22, 2010
43
I haven't tried the C Sonnar. This lens is really nice though. Seems to be a good performer at all apertures, and I haven't noticed any focus shift.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I've read that it has the same optics, but different coatings- supposedly optimized more for digital. The biggest practical difference, close-focus to 0.7m.

I've neve noticed focus shift in my original LTM version. Focus shift is attributable mainly to spherical aberration. Use of an aspherical surface is a good way to reduce focus shift. The other way- as the Canon 50/1.4 in FL and FD mount does- stretch out the optical path.
 

Frank Starling

Veteran
Jul 22, 2010
43
I don't have the LTM version anymore, but this lens seems noticeably smaller and lighter than I remember that one being.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
My Nokton came today and I opened the box and changed lenses right there at the post office.

A sigh of relief, seems to be in great tune with MP240 and no focus shift. There could be trace amounts of frontfocus, but it could be just my mistake.

Purple fringing, yes. A quick analysis shows about a 0.75 stops between f/1.5 and f/2.

I wish this had the dampened focusing feel of the 50 Heliar but overall seems really good.

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Practically zero effect on pic quality between f/1.5 and f/4:

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mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Yeah, can't really complain much about this performance 😃

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Crop of focus point

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The flare tolerances seem really high as well. Not a direct hit from sunlight
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Can't actually stop laughing out loud how great this lens is. I'm alone here and laughing browsing the shots I took today.

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The design team sure figured out a way to ride these usual compromises in a way that hinders usefulness the minimum amount. Sure, things get soft and purple-fringey wide open but even then, they manage to avoid softness in the center. So even then, the softness only helps with the usual usecase of making blur.

When you close down the lens you get a wonderfully crisp renderer. I notice it behaving the similar pattern as my Summicron 35. Sure the character may have gone somewhere but you get a crazy clarity to the images. Maybe it's just a full frame picture thing, but then again I didn't notice this clarity thing with Leica Q 28mm at f/8 whereas it was one of the first things I noticed when I closed down my then-new 35 'cron. This clarity is good in a way. (If you close down the 50 Heliar you'll get bleeding eyes because the resulting images are painfully sharp.)

Sure, the bokeh is not the nicest always. In fact, it can be very ugly. (See here https://cameraderie.org/attachments/2019-09-07-13-38-mp004630-jpg.205131/) Some people ask on the internets, if this lens can best the Sonnar C. There's no question whatsoever.

The softness also that comes with wide open apertures can result in a cheap looking effect. One might give a quick glance at such a shot and think I used a smartphone's blurring features on the photo. So I'm not exactly a fan of it. But I take these characteristics any day, in a lens that sells for 420 € used.
 

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