Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!

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 Post subject: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Word is spreading that this lens is getting out to people that have (pre-) ordered now!

If you don't know, it's a remake of the "cult" 35mm f/1.2 Nokton because Cosina couldn't source one or more of the aspherical elements anymore. So it's got a new optical formula - which remains to be seen, as the original is phenomenal... It has big shoes to fill! Though that might be a little hard, as it's a little bit shorter than the previous version. Two other things to note - it only has one hood, which is an optional accessory - and there's a chrome filter ring around the front... Seems Cosina is learning from the Zeiss ZMs, for better or for worse. List price in the USA is around $1,399 for the lens and $109 for the hood.

Let's hope this re-vamp doesn't introduce focus shift as has been the trend with other recent Cosina/Voigtländer lenses (e.g. 2/28, 1,1/50, etc.).

If you've got one, would love to see some reports on it and especially samples!

Until I know more, I'm taking my "classic" to the grave... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Ok now so here we go. Here are my first impressions on the design, build and size/weight.

Box/presentation: Typical Voigtlander, no frills but well packaged, but now with the addition of the word 'aspherical' added to the box's exterior.

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Size: A little thinner, it obvious Voigtlander has given this lens a notable workout. As soon as you pick it up it feels smaller - not significantly, but noticeable and its very welcomed. It also feels and looks like a tiny bit shorter.

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Weight: I haven't weighed then because knowing the specs means nothing to me. in the hand they feel about the same.

Design: This one is a little more handsome. It's black paint finish is less glossy then verison 1 and more like the typical Leica lenses. Lens index and aperture numbers are all engraved as before. It's focus now goes down to 0.5M, that's 20cm closer, although the M rangefinder does not couple that close so you'll 'need to remember' this when shooting. For M 4/3 cameras and others with live view, this addition will make this lens an easy upgrade decision for many who like to work in close range, as this is the only 35mm rangefinder lens in the world with a 1.2 aperture and 0.5M close focus limit/ability.

The focus ring has been widened which I didn't really notice in use but it's nice and there's a little more distance between the focus ring and the aperture ring. Focus throw is very similar, though I didn't directly compare them. Even with the extra 0.2M on version II it doesn't seem much/if any longer, but you must watch out when focusing. When I want to get close I usually twist the focus ring all the way to 0.7M and line up the rangefinder patch. You can't do it that way with this one, so extra care must be taken.

At the front of the lens lies a bayonet silver filter end just like it's Zeiss ZM cousins which I believe looks handsome, and actually makes the lens look shorter. The optional LH-8 hood clicks and turns onto the bayonet mount and costs an extra $109.

Also there is a welcomed red dot to assit in mounting the lens to body. Previously on the mount was a little red mark.

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Glass: The glass coating and concave shape 'appear to be' identical.

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Aperture blades: Same with the aperture blades, here at f/4.

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Accessories: Because the small hood IS NOT included Voigtlander are now including a nice pinch lens cap found with some of their other lenses. So no more hood cap.

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Build Quality: Identical. No more or less feeling of quality with the version II.

On the body, the lens lens looks a little smaller, but black always does compared to chrome/silver. In the hands is where you feel it's obvious slimming down. A very welcome change.

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Last edited by leicashot on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Ok so I only had 5 minutes to do this test so I chose to focus on bokeh wide open, considering it appears to be the main subject of discussion so far in the comparison.

The simple answer is, there is no difference. While you may be able to find slight differences, remember this was not a controlled test, just a quick and nasty one. These are downsized jpegs straight from the DNG/Lightroom. Nothing has been added to these images except for an exposure adjustment of -0.4 stop exposure on some of the rose pics outside as my exposure was at 1/4000sec with an opening of 1.2.

My subjective opinion is that the version II has slightly more sharpness wide open, but its very close. Color and contrast 'appear' to be the same, which has always been fine with me. Both lenses handle highlights very well. Frankly I'm relieved that they have not changed the legend!

...lucky because I no longer own the silver V1, which is now on it's way to its new lucky owner.

So here goes.....

V2
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V1
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V2
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V1
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V2 close focus 0.5M
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V2
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V1
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V2 close focus 0.5M
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V2
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V1
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V2
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V1
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V2 close focus 0.5M
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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:55 am 
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Thanks for the awesome write-up, leicashot.

So it seems, if you already have the V1 there's no real reason per se to "upgrade" to the V2 - unless you're shooting alternate bodies, etc. Very cool that the same mojo is still there. That was a big worry for many.

I'm curious if you've noted any focus shift... Though it seems there shouldn't be any if it's this close to the previous version.

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:00 pm 
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No no noticeable focus shift. I think the lens arrangement is probably identical only now using 3 different aspherical elements


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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:43 pm 
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I recently got the first version and it came with the new pinch cap.


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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:53 am 
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I had the original version of this lens and sold it because I didn't use it much. After about six months I regretted it and have been kicking myself ever since.

I am tempted by the v.2 35/1.2 - may have to have a rummage sale to fund the purchase of one of
these little jewels.

Too bad C/V offed the lens cap that went on over the hood. That was a nice feature. Why they don't include the hood as part of the deal with the v.2 is beyond me.

I could have done without the bright ring at the business end of the lens - makes me wonder what others think of that change. Ultimately it is not that big of a deal though. The lesn is for making photographs, not for looking at.

The bokeh shown in the examples posted above is really nice - very smooth and visually pleasing. I have seen some photos made with the Noctilux 0.95 ASPH that had a bokeh that was jarring to my eye. I'knot sure if it was due to the background contrast or what but some photos made with the 0.95 can be visually irritating for lack of a better term (to my eye at least).

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:19 am 
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Either version of the "Bokton" is a classic. There's really not much difference between the two (optically) but physically, sure. The newer one looks more like a Zeiss ZM... Which isn't terribly surprising as they're made in the same factory. In practice, it won't impact photos but I'm not a fan either. Thankfully a hood covers it most of the time.

I like the slip-on cap of the original, but yeah... It's not so secure. I lost my original one in Amsterdam. Replaced it, then bought the accessory hood and a regular cap. Much better.

It's funny - some manufacturers supply hoods, some even pouches. Leica does, Canon does with the L lenses. Other times you have to spend extra (e.g. Voigtländer, Zeiss). I guess not everyone uses a hood and it's a way for them to make extra money. These hoods (and caps) are not cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Double Negative wrote:
I guess not everyone uses a hood and it's a way for them to make extra money. These hoods (and caps) are not cheap.
Yes - it seems like a lot of rangefinder users don't use lens hoods (especially Leica M shooters) which I never have understood.

I don't mind paying extra for the hood - but $109 American?? For a PLASTIC lens hood?!?!?!
Methinks the term "buggery" applies here. :shock:

This lens has great bokeh, though - I like it better than the Noctilux 0.95 bokeh. The transition from sharp to unsharp is outstanding, too. It has an almost 3D appearance.

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 Post subject: Re: Here comes the new Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 II Nokton!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:40 am 
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It is a bit hard to tell on these roses with the red channel blown, but I do get the impression that the new version handles highlights better than the old one. Have you got any comparison shots on that ?


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