All posts by Phillip Reeve

I like to be outside with my camera and I am also a gear head with a love for manual lenses.

Review: Voigtlander Nokton 21mm F1.4 E

The Voigtlander 1.4/21 is a relatively compact super fast lens for the Sony FE system. In this review I evaluate it’s performance in a wide range of scenarios.

Image Samples

Most images in this review can be found in full resolution in my Voigtlander 1.4/21mm flickr set.

 

Specifications

Diameter 70.5 mm
Length 79.5 mm
Filter Thread 62 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 539 g
Max. Magnification 1:7
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.25 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 13/11

The Voigtlander 1.4/21 sells for $1199 at CameraQuest | Amazon.com or B&H. 1399€ at ebay.de or ebay.co.uk (affiliate links).

Changelog

  • 28.6.2019 – Start of review
  • 2.7.2019 – Added some Samples, linked full resolution images and updated alternatives section
  • finalized review

Continue reading Review: Voigtlander Nokton 21mm F1.4 E

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 announced

Sony just announced the  35mm F1.8. We will preorder it and review it as soon as possible. Here is what information we have found so far.

Specifications

Diameter 66 mm
Length 73 mm
Filter Thread 55 mm
Weight 280 g
Max. Magnification 1:4
Close focusing distance 22 cm
Number of aperture blades 9, rounded
Elements/ Groups 11/9 – one aspherical element
You will be able to pre-order it soonish at amazon.com | B&H Photo for $748 and support the blog (affiliate links). The price in Germany will be 699€ and it should be available from August. 

Handling

Comes with AF/MF switch and configurable focus stop button.

Sony claims linear focus. Yay!

Hands-on images

dpreview.com

Sample Images

imaging-resource.com – 24 full resolution images mostly wide open

Sony.net – some are available in full resolution, heavily processed

Promo video with more bokeh samples

Images Quality

Bokeh

Out of focus highlights seem to be rendered with a smooth transition and some color fringing.

Cat’s eyes  are about average.

The transition zone appears

The first samples don’t tell us much. In the not that demanding scenario bokeh looks smooth without the stronger bokeh fringing of the FE 2/28.

One still-frame of the video shows busier corners at longer distances and also some LoCA in the model’s hair but it is a more challenging scenario.

Chromatic Aberration

I see quite a lot of of axial CA in samples.

Sharpness

The off-center eye of the model shot at f/1.8 looks very sharp. There are no samples yet to judge sharpness of the corners.

Sony’s MTF diagram looks very promising as well. Sharper in the center than the 1.8/85 with little astigmatism one only a little stronger falloff in the corners and certainly sharper than the FE 2/28.

Samples show rather strong coma wide open.

First Impressions

From the spec sheet two aspects stand out to me: The weight and the magnification. At 280g the Sony is 90g lighter than the competing Nikon Z lens and 20g lighter than the Canon RF lens. it is less than half the weight of Sony’s own ZA 1.4/35. While it doesn’t reach the 1:2 magnification of the Canon RF 1.8/35 macro a magnification of 1:4 is very respectable for a 35mm prime.

The samples available so far don’t make me excited since there seems to be quite a bit of CA and bad coma correction as I would expect from a lens of this speed and weight but on the other hand it is very light, sharpness looks good and bokeh mostly fine.

I was a bit surprised by the price in the US, usually we have to pay quite a bit more in the EU but the difference is smaller this time. The prices seems to be a bit steep but if no further weaknesses become appear it could be justified since a 1.8/35 covers a wide range of applications.

Review: Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar

The Voigtlander 3.5/21 is a tiny, relatively affordable, manual focus lens for the Sony FE system. In this review I evaluate it’s performance.

Image Samples

You can find most images shown in this image in full resolution in this album.

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 40 mm
Filter Thread 52 mm
Weight 230 g
Max. Magnification
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.2 m
Number of aperture blades 10
Elements/ Groups 9/8

The Voigtlander 3.5/21 sells for $699 at CameraQuestB&H or amazon.com.749€ at ebay.de (affiliate links).

Changelog

  • 4.6.19: A few minor changes, long-term conclusion and new samples
  • 6.11.18: Updated Alternatives, Sharpness, Alternatives and conclusion

Continue reading Review: Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 Color-Skopar

Review: Voigtlander 12mm 5.6 Aspherical Ultra Wide Heliar

Introduction

The Voigtländer 12mm 5.6 Ultra Wide Heliar E aspherical is one of the widest lenses you can buy and thanks to its moderate speed it is also a rather small lens.

Sample Images

 

Sony A7iii | Voigtländer Ultra-Wide Heliar 5.6/12 III Sony E | f/11
Sony A7iii | Voigtländer Ultra-Wide Heliar 5.6/12 III Sony E | f/11
Sony A7iii | Voigtländer Ultra-Wide Heliar 5.6/12 III Sony E | f/11

Continue reading Review: Voigtlander 12mm 5.6 Aspherical Ultra Wide Heliar