Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Specialty Lens, October 16, 2011
This review is from: Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 V2 Nokton Manual Focus Lens for Micro 4/3 Mount (Accessory)
This is a great lens. For the price it obviously should be. I am not going to rehash the optical and build characteristics as the top reviewer did an outstanding job of that. The only thing I didn't see mentioned was the purple fringing a bright light sources at wide open apertures. This is common for fast lenses and can be fixed in post. With all of that said, this is a speciality lens. Since it is manual focus, a great application is for shooting video in very low light situations. This would be a difficult low light street shooting lens because of the manual focus and heavy weight. A better option is the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. That lens is a little over 1 stop slower than this one but the autofocus makes it better in that application. Other reviewers have mentioned the soft corners. All fast lenses are soft in the corners (even the $12K Leica 50 f/.95) and that is part of their charm. Most of the time I am trying to blur or vignette the corners anyway so this aids in that process. Also, this lens has a very smooth and pleasing bokeh which make it nice for shooting group portraits. This is especially nice in your average poorly lit home. The other thing that is nice with this lens is it very close focusing distance 17cm. With this you can get some exceedingly shallow depth of field.

For most people the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, Panasonic 25mm f/1.4(or 20mm f/1.7) and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 offer more versatility for the same price as this lens alone. However, if you are looking for the look of a f/.95 then this lens is a must have.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 9, 2012 9:12:52 AM PDT
Red Tiger says:
Hi Brady: Thanks for another great review. Curious what your thoughts are on the 25/0.95 vs the 17.5/0.95 now that the 17.5 is out. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 1:37:25 PM PDT
shuTTL3bus says:
First of all I do not own the 17.5/.95 but I have read really good things about it. The biggest difference lies in how you want the camera to view the world. The 17.5mm gives you the 35mm crop and the 25mm give the 50mm crop. Each has its proponents. The 25mm is going to be tighter cropped with more background out of focus. For indoors it is possible that it may be too long of a lens. The 17.5mm will give a wider view with less out of focus. This is good for group portraits or environmental portraits. Environmental portraits are not tight close ups but instead focus on the environment as well as the subject. The 17.5mm is going to be good for indoor and street photography.

I generally prefer the 50mm view but I do have an X100 that I use for my environmental portraits. That is actually something to consider. For the price of the 17.5 you can get an X100 which has a great sensor and a great f/2 lens. For me it also has flash sync up to 1/4000 which currently no m43 is anywhere close to (a pathetic 1/160 is the norm on m43). For the sensor size the f/2 on the X100 is equal to a f/1.4 on m43. So you would gain a little over one stop with the 17.5/.95.

On a side note, I rarely use the 25mm anymore. Once Pani releases their exceptionally good 25/1.4 with auto focus, that is what I use 95% of the time on my Olympus OM-D

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 1:58:52 PM PDT
Red Tiger says:
Hello and thanks for your reply.

My search is for something fast to use 50/50 stills/video and it's the video part that has me looking beyond those options (25/1.4 and X100), although I love both. I think you're right that it's the field of view that's probably the biggest difference, although the stepless aperture ring on the 17.5 would be useful for video. I will experiment more with what view gives me what I'm seeking.

Interesting to hear that the 25/1.4 has supplanted your V25. Curious about the cases when you find use for the V25 still.

As an aside, that OM-D is a really great camera, isn't it! I think it makes APS-C look irrelevant for anything but action.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 5:30:08 PM PDT
shuTTL3bus says:
I actually meant to make a statement about video. I don't do much video but I haven't been happy with auto focus lenses for video. It may be my ineptitude but they always hunt on me. For video, the .95 could be keep to running a high enough frame rate with a decent ISO so for video both those lenses rock. I think the new T series lenses are going to be fantastic also. M43 is really kicking butt in the video realm.

The biggest place where v25 is better is for close ups as the focus distance is very small and you get macro type results. Also, if I were to do video, it would get used much more.

Talking about the OM-D, yes it is a phenomenal camera. It is my first Olympus m43 but it is the best of them. Olympus finally got it right. As far as action goes, I don't machine gun it. I prefer to take individual snaps at my moment of choosing and the OM-D is fast enough to do that. I am not an action photo so they may feel different. As far as tracking auto focus goes, the Nikon 1 system has the best as it has contrast and phase on the sensor! Sony just did that with their A99. I actually have a hard time using DSLRs now with their crappy autofocus. It only covers part of the frame and you have to use a cursor to move them around. Yuck. The OM-D with touch focus and full sensor focus kicks butt. Also, since it focuses off the sensor, you don't have to worry about focus shift or any of the other problems that DSLRs do.

Olympus is talking about making a camera that is 4/3 and m4/3 capable. They only way I can see them doing that elegantly is to have a sensor that moves backwards and forwards in the camera according to which lens is mounted. That could be pretty interesting as the Olympus 150 f2 and 35-100 f2 have yet to be replaced in the m43 line ups. Some would say with higher ISO you don't need such fast lenses but the quality and shallow DOF allow for some great shooting. The new Panis are great but I am disappointed about 2.8 instead of 2. That gives an equivalent of 5.6 for DOF which is really good for event work but lacks shallow DOF. Anyway, the future of m43 is bright.

Since I don't do video, I am not planning on getting the GH-3. I own the GH-1 and GH-2 so this will be the first GH I don't get. For me the larger size is a downer. Not huge but I don't see that it does anything better than the OM-D except video. Don't get me wrong the GH-3 is a great camera but I really like the OM-D's changeable size. Small when you need it. Bigger when you need it. Also, it is ridicules that Panasonic still has not implemented an electronic shutter. <1/160 flash sync speed is simply unacceptable. Also, 1/4000 is not fast enough to shoot wide open in the day without a ND filter. Give me 1/400 flash sync and 1/32,000 shutter speed and I will buy that camera.

Good talking to you and I will talk to you later.


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 9:26:08 AM PDT
Red Tiger says:
I enjoyed reading your points and good talking as well!

I never was into video in the "camcorder" era, so never got used to AF. I agree AF just doesn't work well on dslrs. I typically just do manual focusing and make sure the aperture is set small enough that the area in focus gives me sufficient buffer for what I'm trying to shoot and how much I'm willing and able to move with the subject and do it stably. With practice, this required buffer has gone down :-).

On OMD for action, I've found that if I manage shutter speed well, it can do quite well. It's quite a camera that saved me from bailing to NEX. I didn't want to because I love the lens options for m43 but my 5n which I bought as a hedge (hehe) just blew away any of my m43 for pictures prior to the OMD. Now with the OMD for stills and the GH2 for video or the future GH3 for video/stills, m43 is in a great position! Having 2 mfrs of bodies behind the standard really was a genius stroke because it provides lots of variety compared to something like NEX where you're "stuck" with the 3 or so bodies they offer. Glad I stuck around since the GH1 days.

Makes sense to me if you're not into video that you'd take a pass on the GH3. Totally agree on size/form factor of OMD vs GH's in general. Especially with the different grip options for the OMD, it works great with any lens combo.

I've tried the 12-35/2.8 and it's a perfectly good lens but doesn't add anything other than convenience (which can be important) vs separate primes. It works well, IQ is great, and it's very light but imho it's still too expensive and with such small primes available it's not worth it unless changing lenses in the field is problematic (e.g., adverse conditions). I agree that f2 would have made it more compelling but I'm not sure how much bigger it would have had to have been. Agree on your dof point.

My guess is that mirrorless will take over APS-C except for those with specific needs (these will diminish as mirrorless gets better) and full frame will become the standard "go-to" format for dslr purchasers. I think it will take price reductions in mirrorless to make this happen as low end dslrs and equivalent lenses are still significantly cheaper. Full frame prices of course are already coming down.

I used a D200 for almost 5 years. Now that there's some clarity with the mirrorless platforms and I'm feeling confident about m43, I'm hoping not to spend much more time looking at gear for another 5 years except just for fun. It hasn't been fun the last year or so contemplating whether m43 was going to work :-)

Again, good chatting!
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