Most of the reviews written in my this blog are for two main purposes:
- For anyone out there that may have the same questions I do. Share information and my ideas to those that may not have the opportunity to test gear.
- My main question (is Leica gear worth its premium?)
Is the premium you pay for Leica gear really worth what you get? Yes, but don’t think you get 100% better image quality over your other gear. In the end, a much lower priced camera will also get you the same composition and essence in your photograph. Think of the camera as a tool for your artistic vision, you can be creative and the tool is a way to stencil your lines.
I have been reviewing Leica, Carl Zeiss, Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Voigtlander lenses lately and passing my findings to the online community. So, let me start now:
The lenses I will be reviewing here can be purchased at amazon below:
The Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 is bigger, feels solid and looks nice mounted on the camera. I find the Nokton easier to focus than my Summilux, this is because the bigger barrel makes it easier to turn. The aperture ring is nice and solid and the focusing barrel smooth like any nice manual lens. The 7artisans is almost the same but has no clicks on the aperture ring.
Here are some images that compare side by side of the two lenses.
One of the things you will notice (besides sharpness and color) is the type of blurred backgrounds you get from the Summilux. They are softer and more natural vs the bokeh found on the Nokton which seems to render harsher outer lines.
If you can’t purchase a Summilux or Noctilux, you have other alternatives like the Canon 1.2 LTM, this Nokton f/1.1 or the Nokton Aspherical f/1.5 (amazon link: http://amzn.to/2G8MQvo ) which has more similar bokeh like the Summilux. There are many more 50mm lenses you can use on your Leica like the Summicron, Zeiss Sonnar http://amzn.to/2tuMSuJ and even Contax adapted but I find these the most common in my area. There is also a new contender in the market, the 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 which I have also reviewed here and let me say it gives you a dreamy look wide open.
Some people like to shoot with the Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 http://amzn.to/2tuMSuJ but dislike the focus shift that happens at different apertures, although its plus side is that the lens is smaller and doesn’t weight as much. The newer Summicron 50mm is great, nice balance and great sharpness, its truly a lens I also adore. Just be careful with other lenses that may experience focus shift (focus distance is changed when aperture is changed) if planning on getting an all-around lens.
If you need a low light lens where you must shoot ISO 3200 + f/1.1 + 1/60sec. (example just by the light from a television at 3 meters and no additional light) then I would definitely recommend this Voigtlander Nokton f/1.1 or the 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 but if you are after the Leica look of sharp focus and smooth bokeh, save your pennies and get a new aspherical Summilux lens from Leica. In the meantime, you can make great images with almost any lens and camera, as for me, I prefer the rangefinder experience.
To see a short review on YouTube with almost the same content as here, check it out:
Also keep in mind, not all lenses need to be used at their maximum aperture, it sure has a magical feel when doing so but there are times when you need f/8 like in the photo below.