VC Nokton 40/1.4 Classic SC Test Shots

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by monsoonphoto.net, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Here are some photos from the 40/1.4. Leica M3; Ilford XP2; Nikon Coolscan IVED;
    Vuescan; No sharpening done.
     
  2. Damn. Let's try that again.
    00AaaH-21117584.jpg
     
  3. Alan,

    I think the lens is quite good, especially for the $$$, Yen, etc.
    There is nothing in that speed for reasonable sums.

    Les
     
  4. Alan are these crops of full frames?
    I have new VC 35 f2.5 and center is fine but edges suffer from vignetting below 5.6.
     
  5. Looks like a fine lens, especially considering its size and price. Are the pics full frame? If they are, the vignetting at f1.4 seems quite reasonable.
     
  6. On the 40 mm lens with 50 framelines issue...

    I converted my 40 Rokkor to bring up the 35 frame and I would do it again. I assume the same could be done with the VC.
    If you want more info search the forum, Al Kaplan has written a brief instruction on it.
     
  7. Andreas, it doesn't matter with an M3...there is no 35mm frame. :) Judging by his "vanity" shot Alan must be using the entire finder to frame his photos.

    -Dave-
     
  8. I'm loving my VC 40/1,4 Nokton. I'm using it on an RA3 but have an M3 coming that I will try it on too. Some say the bokeh is a bit rough from some shots I posted earlier but I think the background of some chain link fences in some of my shots might have given a bad impression of the bokeh. Certainly looks pretty good in these shots.
     
  9. Even if it's not a perfect lens at f1.4, it certainly looks better than the old 35 Summilux at that aperture, and it seems nearly as compact. That's a big plus, IMO.
     
  10. It sounds like this lens was designed as a compromise between the 35mm Summilux (except a fraction longer) and the 50mm Summicron (except slightly wider and faster) without all the cost of the Leitz glass. If one didn't have either of those lenses then I am sure this 40mm 1.4 lens would seem very attractive.

    It would also be interesting if one didn't already have a 40mm f2.0 rokker lens or equal. It seems a little bit redundant to pick this guy up if you already have an equally as good lens except one stop slower.

    It doesn't however sound as useful for the RD-1 as it's going to be something like 64mm, which sort of negates the advantage of it being a supposedly "slightly wide" lens.

    Hahhah! I love the obligatory bathroom shot!

    Post more pix please! Thanks!
     
  11. >> It doesn't however sound as useful for the RD-1 as it's going to be something like 64mm, which sort of negates the advantage of it being a supposedly "slightly wide" lens. <<

    Well, with the R-D1 you just adjust to the fact that 40mm is no longer slightly wide but rather slightly long. I've used the 40 'Cron-C as my RF normal lens for the past couple years. In the late 1990s I used a 60mm Macro Elmarit as my Leica SLR normal lens. Different views but equally useful...and I like 'em both.

    -Dave-
     
  12. The background in the wide-open Rahmen shot looks pretty bad -- jangly, busy, unpleasant. I think the old 35 Summilux is a lot better than that.
     
  13. >"It sounds like this lens was designed as a compromise between the 35 Summilux and the 50 Summicron without all the cost of the Leitz glass."

    I doubt it, David. Camera companies are all about selling cameras. Cosina collaborated with Epson in the development of the RD-1. In the process, a 1:1 finder was developed for the RD-1. My guess is that Cosina saw an opportunity: make a big splash by putting the 1:1 finder on a film camera. The problem was that 35 mm framelines wouldn't fit in the finder, given the Bessa base line. Voila! 40 mm framelines were the solution. Of course, a 40 mm lens was needed since Cosina didn't have such a RF lens in their stable. So, make the splash even bigger: 1:1 finer AND f/1.4 lens! So, rather than developing a 40 mm lens in search of a camera, my guess is that the 40 mm lens came in the back door & that Cosina specifically avoided competing with other existing lenses at the speed niche they had already established - which has been the CV way.
     
  14. Thanks for posting these pics Alan.
     
  15. Alan,

    Thanks for the shots, I like the way you see things. But then again, I don't think I've ever seen you take bad shots with any of your lenses. Just goes to show it is the photographer, cheers.
     
  16. Maybe I'm missing something but, IMHO, the lens doesn't seem particularly great in any way -- except maybe price.
     
  17. I really like the look of the first two shots taken at f2.8, they seem to be relatively sharp and the oof highlights look smooth. The last three shots at f1.4, however, seem relatively fuzzy at the point of focus with a harsher bokeh. Maybe the different performance at various apertures account for the conflicting reports and uneven images we are seeing on the web. Anyone seen a nice smooth image from this lens taken at 1.4 or 2?
     
  18. This one is the 40 Nokton at f/1,4 and seems pretty smooth to me.
    00Aaoc-21120584.jpg
     
  19. Try again.
    00Aap7-21120984.jpg
     
  20. Richard,

    Was that alley shot taken with the SC version or the MC version of the 1.4 lens?
     
  21. Henryk, Kevin: Yes, these are full-frame images. The vignetting is obviously there, but I
    don't mind it as I think adds to the "feel" of the pictures, especially in B&W. Still, some
    people consider it an optical flaw.
     
  22. I believe Richard has the single-coated version. FWIW, both of these shots were taken w/the 40/1.4 Classic (regular multi-coated version) @ f/1.4: [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  23. Ludwig: David is right -- I've used the full window of the M3 to frame the images. I'm not
    too concerned about frame lines (since I shoot mostly street stuff), and it's easy to
    estimate the "target area" in your head. As an option, there's always the Voigtlander 40mm
    external finder (a bit bulky for my taste).
     
  24. Christopher,

    I thought Alan's lens was the SC version by seeing the ghosting flare on the street lights. It looks like your MC lens handles the flare better (the sign above the door). Do you have any other night or low light shots you can post to show "flare" or lack of with this lens?

    Thanks from a very interested perspective buyer!
     
  25. Chris is correct, I have the SC version.
     
  26. Sure, below are some shots from the same night as the shots above, also taken @ f/1.4. In the 1st shot, you'll notice that the streetlight is a circular blob; other shots of the same scene taken @ f/2 show the "starlight" spokes made by the aperture blades. All shots were taken on T400CN, BTW.

    ----------------------------

    "Christopher,

    I thought Alan's lens was the SC version by seeing the ghosting flare on the street lights. It looks like your MC lens handles the flare better (the sign above the door). Do you have any other night or low light shots you can post to show "flare" or lack of with this lens? "
     
  27. Also, FWIW, I had a UV filter mounted on the lens . . .
     
  28. Great photos Alan.

    Damn shame they don't sell the Nokton 40/1.4 in screwmount. :-(
     
  29. No Richard. Your eyes are playing tricks on you. Didn't you see Paul's post above? This lens "doesn't seem particularly great in any way".

    Love these "drive-bys" with little or no substance or explanation.
     
  30. Well, here's what I *really* think about the lens. Paul is right -- there's nothing extraordinary about these images; they could have been done on a Rokkor 40/2, Hexanon 50/2.4 or the Nokton 50/1.5. The bokeh and characteristics of the 40/1.4 are similar to other Voigtlander offerings. The images don't particularly stand out.
    That said, 1) the lens is very compact; 2) it's f/1.4; 3) it's f/1.4 for $350. It performs well enough for me and I'm not interested in spending more on a lens.
    The 40/1.4 will help me travel lighter. I used to pack 3 lenses on trips. On a recent visit to Lebanon, I packed a CV 21, CV 35/2.5II and a Hexanon 50/2.0. For future trips, it'll just be the CV 40 and the CV 21 -- the best combo for my shooting style.
     
  31. Thanks for sharing Alan. and its good to see you put the specs also so we
    know what your kit consists to seeing the finals images. I particularly like the
    Shiodome shot.

    I think for a 350 bucks this lens is pretty dam good. How can you knock a very
    compact f1.4 lens for this kind of money? I think it performs well at 1.4 - sharp
    enough and as for the vignetting -- so what -- you get that even with the Leica
    35 'lux ASPHERICAL that costs TEN times more -- go figure
     
  32. "Love these "drive-bys" with little or no substance or explanation."

    Same as your opinion with little or no experience in using this lens.
     
  33. I think you hit the nail on the head, Alan. The lens looks decent even at f1.4, it's affordable, and it restores one of the chief virtues of the Leica: compact size. Thanks for sharing the pics.
     
  34. Thanks for sharing Alan. I agree with your conclusions. BTW, you've got a very nice portfolio on your website, congrats! I espescially liked the portraits with the 35(...?!), which add a setting to the portrayed. What film were you using in Lebanon? Cheers.
     
  35. Very nice lens, very nice price. The pixs were the nicest. Thanks Alan.
     
  36. Hey Joel, thanks for the reply. ???? If you've been reading this forum I happen to own this lens and have shot over 6 rolls with it in the last 2 weeks. And posted a shot from it right here in this thread. Did you even read this thread before posting to it? I'm truly confused. Thanks for just more of the same....
     
  37. Thanks for the kind words Lutz. Most of the pictures from Lebanon were done either on
    the Hexanon 50/2.0 or the CV 35/2.5 Pancake II. The film used was the Ilford XP2.
     
  38. Alan, great gallery from that trip (I already applauded your previous efforts ;-) And your assessment of the CV lens mirrors my thoughts.

    Cheers,
     
  39. Note that the "Ramen" shot is sort of a worst-case for bokeh. I've found as a general rule
    that bokeh gets progressively more problematic: a) the larger the aperture, b) the closer
    the focus, c) the more distant the background, and d) the more contrasty the background.

    With any lens, we discover our own limits for what we'll tolerate, and then shoot within
    those limits. For instance, with the 4th-version 35mm Summicron (pre-ASPH), I would
    never shoot wide open because the contrast was just too low for me.

    Overall, the more shots I've seen taken with the 40mm Nokton Classic, the more
    serviceable it seems. If you keep the plane of foucs reasonably distant and watch the
    background, even f/1.4 seems usable in point of vignetting, contrast, and center
    sharpness. Not a bad result for a small fast lens.
     
  40. Mike, thanks for listing these basic bokeh rules. I appreciate your consideration for photographers and your dedication to the field. Who knew bokeh would dominate people's imagination the way it has? Last night and this morning, I tested the CV 40 bokeh at the extremes of the lens's performance: close focusing, contrasty backgrounds with light source/s prevalent in the finder, wide apertures, etc. I'll post the photos tonight. I haven't evaluated the images closely enough to have a real good sense of how the lens performed in all of these difficult situations, but it seems to have held its own. I too think this is a serviceable lens.
     

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