Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M Asph. 50mm f/1.4 Review

Most of the reviews written in my this blog are for two main purposes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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 two lenses I will be reviewing here can be purchased at amazon:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M Aspherical Manual Focus Lens (11892)

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 Leica M Mount Lens – Black

The Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 is bigger, feels solid and looks nice but doesn’t feel heavier than my Summilux 50 Asph. 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.

Here are some images that compare side by side of the two lenses.

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4 (notice the brightness difference is what you gain by going from f/1.4 to f/1.1)
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4

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.

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4 both at f/2.8
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 vs Summilux M 50mm Asph. f/1.4

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.

Some people like to shoot the Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 http://amzn.to/2tuMSuJ but dislike the focus shift that happens at different apertures although its smaller and doesn’t weight as much. The 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 but if you are after the Leica look of sharp focus and smooth bokeh, save your pennies and get a new aspherical lens from Leica. In the meantime, you can make great images with almost any lens and camera.

To see a short review on YouTube with almost the same content as here, check it out:

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I own the 50 ‘Lux and bought it specifically for the deliciously creamy bokeh that it produces. I have yet to find anything that can match it there.

    There was a time when Leica and Zeiss truly did produce the best glass on the planet, but since CNC machines came along, that claim has been fading fast. These days, most of the Zeiss glass is actually produced on contract by Cosina in Japan. And Cosina seems to be learning from their partnership with Zeiss because their latest Voigtländer lenses are superior to the glass that they first began producing back in the 1990’s.

    1. Erick Photo says:

      is truly a great lens!

  2. Absurdal says:

    What Leica model did you use for this comparition?

    1. Erick Photo says:

      Welcome to the blog, thanks for visiting. The camera used was the M Typ 240

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