Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 review

Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 lens - one of the most boxy and aperture portraits on the micra 4/3 system.

This lens gives a strong background blur and naturally has its own unique pattern.

The Voigtländer brand is one of the pioneers of the photography industry along with Carl Zeiss and Leica. They produce high quality manual optics. Film medium format cameras were also produced in the past. You can hear more about the history of this brand in my video review at the end of the article.

Thanks to the Ukrainian store Profotosale I had the opportunity to test this lens with a camera Olympus EP-L10.

In my tests, I compared the degree and quality of the background blur of the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 with analogs on systems with larger sensors:

The results are as follows:

42.5 vs 50 f1.2 vs 85 f1.8More tests in the video review

At first glance, they all do a good job of blurring the background. But there are features.

If you're shooting at close range, the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 is very nice and blurs the background a lot. But at distances of 3 meters or more, the bokeh becomes ragged and not as soft as crop or full-frame lenses with a smaller aperture. It is also worth noting that the 85mm f1.8 at full frame is ahead of all lenses in comparison in terms of background blur.

Optical qualities Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95

At f0.95, the lens is somewhat soft. You can’t call it soapy, but covering the aperture gives a noticeable jump in sharpness. So, already at f1.4, the sharpness becomes very good, and at f2.0 it’s just perfect.

At f0.95, there are chromatic aberrations that can appear in some shooting scenarios. But not always.

The lens can focus at a distance of 23 cm, which makes it possible to photograph very close, almost macro. The quality of such shooting is very high in the center, but frankly lame at the edges. Also, when shooting at a minimum focusing distance, chromatic aberrations appear even at closed apertures. The lens is clearly not designed for macro.

External Features

The Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 is very well put together. This is not a lightweight lens with a metal body. Its weight is 571 grams.

VOIGTLANDER nocton 42.5 f0.95 -1It is relatively compact, but very tightly built. Lots of glass inside. So, for example, Viltrox 85mm f1.8, although larger in size, is even slightly lighter in weight (531 grams).

When used on a compact camera like the Olympus EP-L10, you end up with an unbalanced and uncomfortable design.

VOIGTLANDER nocton 42.5 f0.95 olympus ep-l10

The lens greatly outweighs forward. Holding such a combo in your hands is inconvenient.

The focus ring is very smooth. Focusing, despite f/0.95, is relatively easy.

Aperture ring with clicks. Diameter for filters 58mm. The cover is plastic.

This is how the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 looks like relatively similar crop lenses. Of these, he is the heaviest.

42.5 vs 50 f1.2 vs 56 f1.4

Video review of the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95:

top 3 useless almost zoom for kenon

TOP 3 useless misunderstandings for Canon

In this rating, I will consider 3 hype, but not very useful zooms for Canon cameras. Many people are drooling over these lenses. I will describe in detail why they do not make practical sense.

Let's start with a general classification.

  • Fixes - Lenses with a fixed focal length. Classics of the genre: 50mm f1.8. Such lenses give maximum aperture, they are relatively compact and often inexpensive. At the same time, it is the fixes that have the best image quality due to the simpler optical design compared to zooms.

Lenses with variable focal lengths, that is zooms, can be divided into several categories.

  • fast zooms. Examples: 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8. These are lenses with good aperture and high image quality. Their zoom ratio is usually no more than 3. The most common and versatile: 24-70mm f2.8, on which you can shoot anything and anywhere, by and large.
  • Long zooms. Examples: 24-105mm, 18-135mm. Such lenses provide a wide range of focal lengths, while maintaining decent optical properties, but already losing in aperture ratio relative to the previous category.
  • Superzooms or ultrazooms. Examples: Tamron 16-300mm, Tamron 18-400mm. These are very high zoom lenses. They have inconsistent and low aperture, as well as mediocre image quality.

Relatively recently, manufacturers have introduced a new category: super fast zooms. These are lenses with variable focal lengths, but at the same time with apertures greater than f2.8. They will be discussed in this article.

First place - Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM Art

sigma 24-35 f2

In the first place is a misunderstanding devoid of practical meaning with focal lengths of 24-35mm. It was released by Sigma in 2015.

Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM Art The world's first full-frame wide-angle lens with a constant f2.0 aperture.

Innovation is great, but what about practical application?

Advertising articles say that this lens replaces 3 fixes at once - 24mm f2, 28mm f2 and 35mm f2. In this case, you do not need to change lenses, you can just zoom one lens. It was also stated that the Sigma 24-35mm f2 ART is not even optically inferior to fixes (I don't argue with that). So this is a cool universal zoom.

Everything would be fine, but no one in their right mind carries both 24mm and 35mm fixes with them to shoot at the same time. They are too similar. The difference between 24mm and 35mm in the field of view is compensated by a back/forward step of a meter. In the future, of course, there are differences, but they are not so big as to take two of these lenses with you at once.

If you shoot with primes, then you take lenses with you for a specific function: one standard 35mm lens or 50mm, one portrait/telephoto 85mm or 135mm and one width 14mm or 24mm.

If you shoot with zooms, then take 24-70mm and 70-200mm and cover everything with them.

For people who do not understand how it all works, their eyes light up from the magical constant aperture f2 at the zoom. But there are several problems.

Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM Art — it is essentially NOT a zoom. It cannot compete with the 24-70mm in terms of focal length coverage. This lens does not provide zoom functionality. The difference between 24mm and 35mm, as I already wrote, is compensated by 1 forward / backward step. 24-35mm doesn't give you versatility when shooting from a single point. And the task of the zoom is just that. But even with fixes 24-35mm f2 cannot compete in functionality. Because the main features of fixes are compactness, lightness and aperture. YES, there is light. But the weight and compactness of the Sigma 24-35mm f2 ART did not work out. This crap weighs 940g, and essentially performs the same function as the fix Canon EF 35mm f2IS weighing 335gr (almost 3 times lighter).

The idea that Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM Art replaces 3 fixes - 24mm f2, 28mm f2 and 35mm f2 are nothing more than a marketing ploy. She replaces them on paper, but not in photographer's bag. If a person takes 3 fixes with him, then they definitely won’t be 24, 28 and 35. Three different lenses are taken precisely for the sake of diversity, and not just for the sake of numbers. Continuing this "brilliant" idea about replacing 3 lenses, one could just as well write about replacing 5 lenses: Sigma 24-35mm f2 ART immediately replaces 24mm, 28mm, 30mm, 33mm and 35mm primes. In nature, there are fixes with such focal lengths, but no one will carry them with them right away, because. it doesn't make any practical sense.

We will talk about the aperture ratio of under-zooms when considering the next lens.

Second place - Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM

canon rf 28-70 f2 usm

In 2018, Canon released a very cool Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM. The weight of the novelty is 1430 g, the cost is about 3000 dollars.

Everything is more serious here than with sigma. Before us is almost 24-70mm with a constant f2.0. I had to sacrifice 4mm, but the focal range is already decent.

Everything would be cool, but again the question arises - why is it needed? For beginners, it doesn't matter. The steeper the settings, the better. It is necessary to take the coolest and newest, the pictures will be better. Only the price stops, and so here it is - the best standard zoom in the world.

The question is in the function. Lenses with a focal length of 24-70mm are designed for field work. Experienced photographers know that f2.8, by and large, is enough for the eyes everywhere on a full frame for reportage shooting. In poor lighting, aperture is not a panacea. Flash no one has canceled, no matter how cool the lenses are.

f2.0 is good, but it's usually used for portraits. At a wide / standard angle, when shooting reportage, lenses, as a rule, cover up to f2.8-f4 for the sake of flu.

With all this, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM is a very impractical lens. It weighs almost a kilogram and a half, it is huge and inconvenient to use / transport. In terms of weight and dimensions, it is one and a half times larger than the usual 24-70mm f2.8. But the 24-70mm still has a wider angle of view, which is nice.

The nuance with fast lenses for reportage shooting is that this aperture is not always needed. And if it is not needed, then why pay for it and carry it with you? This is how I summarized review on Sigma 40mm f 1.4. And if your shooting is not reportage, but staged, then why do you need a zoom? There is nowhere to hurry.

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM still has 2 uses.

First, it is a fashion lens. With it, Canon showed the world the possibilities of the new RF system and wiped out the competition.

Secondly, such a lens is useful for shooting sports indoors. For example, basketball. Under conditions where you can't light the scene but need fast shutter speeds to freeze motion, f2.0 will come in handy. But this is a specific task.

In general, this lens, in terms of practical characteristics, still loses to the classic 24-70mm f2.8.

Third place - Sigma 18-35mm f1.8

Sigma AF 18-35mm f1.8ART

In 2013, Sigma made a splash with the release of the first f1.8 zoom. But for crop cameras. The 24-35mm f2 was the first zoom for full-frame cameras and didn't come out until two years later. Here we have with a crop lens (which at 35mm covers the full frame, by the way). Weight 810gr.

This lens is somewhat more meaningful, because. the difference in aperture between f2.8 and f1.8 is more valuable for crops. Full frame cameras have more headroom for working ISO. For crops, additional aperture for shooting in the dark is more valuable. However, the 29-56mm full-frame equivalent focal length range does not allow for much roaming.

I did several on this lens reviews on different cameras. It's good optically, it's well built... but it's still a misunderstanding. The same task on the crop can be performed by a 24mm or 35mm fix. Only the fix will be more compact, light and convenient. And if needed zoom then 17-55mm f2.8 has much more functionality.

Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 became popular not only in Canon cameras. She also likes to farm through speed boosters on miserable micro 4/3. A specific occupation, but this is the choice of everyone.

This sigma has a brother Sigma 50-100 f1.8. My advice is to take half a 50mm f1.8 or 85mm f1.8 and don't waste your money on bricks.

Total

Super-aperture zooms perform rather fashion functions. From a practical point of view, they lose to both fixes and zooms in their niches. Such lenses try to fall into the zoom category, but for a number of reasons they cannot compete with them.

I personally like to use fixes due to their aperture and compactness. And the inability to zoom is compensated by legs and brains.

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