The two lenses reviewed in this post today, are:
Voigtlander Color-Skopar Pan 35mm f/2.5 Wide Angle Manual Focus Lens – Black
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4 Wide Angle Leica M Mount Lens – Black
I made another quick test of these two lenses. The Voigtlander Color Skopar II is a great little lens, no focus shift and super sharp. I am glad I own it, specially when I only paid $350 with hood and B&W UV Filter. Now, the Classic MC is another story…
I want to like the Voigtlander 35mm Classic Nokton f/1.4 MC but it is soft, has about 7 to 15 inches of focus shift from f/2.8 to f/8 (depending on aperture and distance from subject) and it never gets sharp as other lenses. Has some distortion as well. I do not mind the distortion since it can be fixed with Lightroom, I also don’t mind the busy crazy our of focus areas it renders since I can always fix that as well. The only reason not to like this lens is simply sharpness and the focusing is stiff between 0.7 to 1.2 meters.
This means I won’t be keeping this lens, I will try the Nokton 35mm 1.2 II next time, people say its sharp and has nice out of focus rendering.
I keep making tests with these two lenses, just want to know if I should sell the Voigtlander and get a Summicron 35mm Asph. or go with the Voigtlander 35 f/1.2
Anyway, here are two photographs that I converted to B&W in order to see sharpness in a better way. As far as color goes, the Voigtlander lens gives you bluer and greener casts vs the orange and more natural colors of the Summilux.
If you have the cash, you wouldn’t be reading this post about what lens is better. You would have the Summilux already. But for those who want to spend the $3000 on other things, look at these two samples and I can tell you that you make a good choice by going with the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm Aspherical II
On a side note, I noticed something very interesting. The 50mm images were converted to Black and White using the Hue/Saturation conversion in Photoshop CC and the 85mm image was coverted to Black and White in Adobe RAW (ACR) Why are there variations? not sure yet.
Did you also know you can now use many lenses on your Leica M Typ 240? Yes! I am using Nikon Lenses on mine with the help of a tiny F mount to M mount adapter.
I added a bonus, here you see the Nikon 85mm AF-D f/1.4 at f/2 using a Leica F to M mount adapter. As you can see it is very sharp and renders nice blur outside the focus point.
Summilux M 50mm Aspherical. Premium lens with nice blur, very sharp and nice natural overall.
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm Aspherical f/1.5 this lens suffers from focus shift at certain apertures. Very minor though, only visible at close distance. Very good lens for the money.
I’ve had the Neewer CN-160 for about a year and have used it for events, street photography and even product photography. It uses 3 type of batteries. You can use old Sony FP type, Regular or Rechargeable AA or some not very popular Panasonic batteries. This way this unit is very universal, I just didn’t like the color of its light since it gives a hard green cast, something you can fix if shot in RAW but can be problematic when using different light or when you want to match the color of the light with the ambient light. I normally put color filters on it and forget about using the included color plastic with the light since it just makes things a little worse.
I wanted a little more power so I decided to buy the Yongnuo YN300 that costs about 2x more. This unit has much better color balance but only uses FP type batteries. So if you are somewhere and don’t have a charged battery with you, you are alone without it. That was my only negative on this unit. It has a very convenient IR remote, it feels much better grade, the plastic and build is better and feels solid. You can control the brightness in two steps and in case you are lost in an island, they included an SOS strobe to call for help. Maybe your assistant can SOS to you when he doesn’t know what to do. It includes a nice grip, a GoPRO type connector (not sure if its the same size) a shoe stand is included as well. A nice bag and 4 color filters that are okay. I sanded my clear filter to get a little better diffusion but did not help much, instead I lost a little in brightness with gain of little diffusion.
Both units at their Maximum Strength
Very good light at 8ft away. You can use this unit in many places.
This little one has a strong green cast that has to be fixed every time unless you attach a green gel to compensate.
Very nice looking colors from this light. Almost perfect for my use.
This is with one of the included plastic color changers. It produces very well balance with the warm one.
I would like to recommend the CN160 but its green color cast will degrade color accuracy, so you must use a gel to compensate for this cast and lose brightness. So I would recommend the YN300 for its better color accuracy, better build but keep in mind that it does not accept AA batteries.
Many of us look for a perfect camera strap. We spend hundreds of dollars on new camera straps and finally realize that none of them really work like we wish. I thought I had found the perfect strap one day until I found out that the metal parts were scratching my camera and lenses so I went with a plastic only strap but I didn’t like the look of plastic so again I went with an all leather strap but it was thin and hurt my neck after hours of use. I then started looking at the Leica a la Carte straps that go for around $150 and even though they are nice, I felt like I was tired of overpaying for camera straps. So I finally decided to make my own. I made sure that the strap was secure by reinforcing the loop with a dual matching metal clip.
This leather strap can be cut to your specific length to carry over the shoulder, is thick enough so it doesn’t bother your neck, is capable of holding the biggest lens and camera combo you can attach to its heavy duty rings and yet simple enough that even your Leica, Canon, Nikon, Olympus can shine on its own.
I present you, the Leather Cam-Strap:
Available now in Dark Brown or Black. Made by Hand in the USA.
selling now through ebay at:
Here is another quick test on all three lenses at f/2.8 where the difference is so minute that anyone could say is so irrelevant when it comes to photography. You could shoot these lenses and capture amazing photographs without any limitation of sharpness or color rendition. At this level of quality is up to you to make a great image. Some say that using other lenses on a Leica body turns out to lessen the quality of said lens, I do not know if this only qualifies when shooting JPEG only versus shooting in RAW.
I have been shooting the my Nikkor 85mm AF-D for about 3 years, I can say that is sharp from f/2.8 and on but if you shoot at f1.4 or f/2 get ready to see soft images and aberrations. The only lens I have shot below f/2.5 that can truly say is sharp is that Summilux-M 50 Asph. Keep in mind I have not shot the Zeiss 50 f/1.4 to compare but I have shot the Sigma 35mm Art and even that lens is sharp but compared to a Lux-M Asph at f/1.4 is still soft.
At the end of the day, the only time you should shoot at f/2 or bellow is if your subjects aren’t running otherwise good luck catching them in motion at those speeds, your percentage of good sharp photos will be less than 10% with the exeption of shooting from about 8 meters, then you will have good sharp images.
Sharp at 2.8
Sharp at 2.8
Sharp at 2.8 and below.
I wanted to make a quick test of color and sharpness on lenses I currently own. The contenders are a Summilux-M 50mm Aspherical, Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm PII and Voigtlander Nokton M 50mm Aspherical.
When it comes to weight, the Skopar wins, then comes the Nokton 50 and finally the heaviest is the Lux-M 50mm.
Here are the sample images:
Notice sharpness even open at f/2.5
Notice the rendition of natural colors.
Not bad for the money but notice the rendition of cool blue tint of color cast and obviously not as sharp as a Lux-M Asph.
Had a quick opportunity to do photograph a couple having fun at the Funfair. Took the M 240 and two lenses. Of course I wanted to be super light so I could shoot quick since I knew the couple would be moving around quickly. We also had an Elinchrom Ranger with us that threw a little bit of light so we could achieve that look we wanted.
I knew I wanted a vintage type of look from the beginning so I knew I had to make the colors pop like that old Kodachrome, but instead I went with a faded look for some of the images. You decide what look suits best.
Our friends at the Funfair were extremely helpful and super nice. They were happy that the couple went there to spend a nice evening with a nice crowd.
Bottom image: A mix between Kodachrome and cross processing with a faded look using the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm PII
Bottom image: Just a candid image with a bit of Kodachrome using the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm PII
Bottom image: This one again tried to emulate the Kodachrome look but I added more yellows to their skin because of the tungsten lights hitting their skin. This one was taken with the Summilux M 50mm Asph.