Author Topic: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II  (Read 21791 times)

John Geerts

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Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« on: July 18, 2015, 13:16:37 »
Has anyone experience with the Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 ? 

It's now the yearly fair in Tilburg, the largest one of the Benelux and ideal playground for testing all kind of 'stuff'.  I have some spare time and planned to test two Voigtländers, Nokton 58, and the Lanthar 90, which I could recently purchase at a bargain.

Natural colours, intriguing bokeh and usable at all apertures are my first conclusions. 'Monkey-shots' are a typical choice of the fair  ;)

Nikon D700: first at 1.4   1/350 ISO 400,   second at 2.0   1/125 at same ISO.  (unprocessed only resized)  Three and Four are at 1.4 and 2.8




Jakov Minić

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 14:17:46 »
John, you have got yourself a good lens there :)
keep on using it and show us the images produced!

i have no experience with those lenses fast lenses, and i cannot get un-hooked from my 85/1.4 it's as simple as that.
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John Geerts

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 01:00:46 »
Thanks Jakov.  I will.

Couldn't find a decent review of the lens.  But I was looking for a fast manual lens with a larger use than the Nikkor 50 1.2. (and at an acceptable price)

Did some tests, in F/1.4 only.


Airy

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2015, 12:38:01 »
Well, I have extensive experience (and issued a review on some other newsgroup). To me it is 1) a joy to use, 2) a lesser, modern 50/1.2, 3) not properly named.

About 1) : manufacturing quality is superb, handling too. I guess you noticed... hard to resist.
About 2) : it has some kind of dual personality (like the 50/1.2) but to a lesser extent: "dreamy" look wide open (less so than the 50/1.2), very sharp from f/2.8 (I think the 50/1.2 is better at f/2.0). On the other hand, images from f/2.8 are probably cleaner with the Voigtländer (less CA, less distortion, less flare)
About 3) : night shots are very good from f/2.8. But below... Strong "glow" and coma at f/1.4 make night shots unpalatable, unless you want special effects (that's probably the price to be paid for getting dreamy shots). Better avoid point light sources in the frame, in which case you will get rewarded by reasonably sharp pictures with good color and decent fringing. Otherwise, from f/2.0, it is +/- acceptable. I would rather use the 50/1.8G under such circumstances and such aperture. I fail to understand why some reviewers compared it favourably to the Noct Nikkor in that respect (well, the published pics avoided point light sources... but the evaluation seems biased because of this).

Bottom line : a very good allrounder, also providing close focus (about 1:5) if you are not too picky with sharpness at close distance. I use it a lot on the Df and guess it is, similarly, a very sensible choice on the D700. And at 200€ for a mint used copy, it is a bargain compared to the 50/1.2.

By the way I do not see the case for a "larger use" than the 50/1.2. To me, these are lenses with somewhat different styles, starting of course with the FL, but very similar "use cases". The 50/1.2 is also not very convincing at night due to coma - although stopping down is often a viable option with the D700, and even more often with the Df.

You may also be interested by the 40/2, an extremely useful lens, the IQ of which is at least as good, while obviously belonging to the same family. Conversely, I might become tempted by the 90/3.5 ;)
Airy Magnien

jhinkey

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 15:53:15 »
I too have been interested in the 58/1.4 and look forward to other's replies.  I have the 90/3.4 CV and it does not disappoint on my D800 or A7R (now looking forward to using it on the A7RII).
PNW Landscapes, My Kids, & Some Climbing

Airy

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 22:27:30 »
École Militaire, wide open (maybe this is an anti-militarist view)
Airy Magnien

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 22:30:21 »
The typical f/1.4 close-up haze
Airy Magnien

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 22:31:29 »
Now if you want it sharp, try f/11
Airy Magnien

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John Geerts

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 23:38:57 »
Thanks Airy for your reply and very helpful summary.  And your very nice examples of the capabilities this Voigt 58m.

1) Yes, the manufacturing and handling are superb, and equal in that respect to the APO 90 (although the focus-range of the latter is longer as  the minimum distance is less than 50cm). It is important to focus very precise, and that can be big step for users who are not familiar with manual focusing.
2) Dual personalities of a lens is a great bonus. It also applies for the Nikkor 35mm 1.4 Ais. My feeling at the moment is that the shots at larger apertures are 'cleaner' with the 58, than the 50 1.2 and also the 35 1.4 Perhaps that is what I meant with a possible usage in more circumstances and still have the images you want/like.

Your recommendation of the 40/2 is very helpful, and find it interesting.  The APO 90 was the reason to look for this 58, so it's recommended, when I have some time I will post something about it here. Or perhaps jhinkey can say something about it?

Here some 'fresh' samples at different apertures:

at F8  and at F16 (actual a mistake as I made some pictures of fair-movement earlier and forgot to switch back. Excuse the framing, it was handheld above my head...



Airy

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 23:52:15 »
I suspect the 50/1.2 to be actually sharper wide open, and most certainly at 1.4 (the forgotten aperture, so to say, as the ring easily goes on to 2.0 - the click is barely perceptible). Sharper with crazier aberrations at the same time. TheVoigtländer is cleaner, but with low resolution.
Airy Magnien

John Geerts

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 00:55:58 »
A bit of an impression  the Tilburg Fair with the 58mm

Bumbercars  at F/2,4  ISO 200      Homewards  at F/5.6  ISO 1600

John Geerts

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 18:34:42 »
Pigeons on the main square in Tilburg (De Heuvel)


Frank Fremerey

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2015, 18:36:42 »
@John: great graphics and perfect moment in the pigeon shot
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Airy

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Re: Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 22:15:48 »
A great shot indeed. But, as much as I enjoy it, I find the background bokeh a bit objectionable. A comparison with the Nikkor 58/1.x would be of interest here.
Airy Magnien